Summer 2011

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Michael Medford
Photo by Brian McConkey

Michael Medford

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Hometown: Mendham, N.J.
Major: Theater and physics double major

Defining characteristic: Every time I say to anyone that I am a theater-physics double major I get the same response: “Oh, that’s an interesting combination.” And then I always go into the same spiel about how I’m the only one at Northwestern. I do what I love, whether others understand it or not.
I’ve been split for a long time. Two summers ago I both did full-time research with NASA and went to Oxford to study theater for four weeks. Since then, it’s become clear that theatre is what I want to pursue.

Favorite hangout: The theater building. You walk out of class and bump into dozens of people you know. It feels like another home.

Top accomplishments: I’m about to publish an astronomy paper on high-mass star formation in the Milky Way. The paper came out of a NASA grant. Also, I will have acted in 12 shows here at Northwestern through both the student theater community and theater department. I was president of my residential college, Shepard, and went on to serve as treasurer of the Residential College Board. I also interned at a theater downtown and stage-managed its one-act play festival last summer.

Favorite Northwestern tradition: The traditions that surround the football games. I love the purple pride, Wildcat call and all the things that go along with going to the games. I’ve already bought my season tickets for next year.

What’s next? I’m going to be staying in Chicago and pursuing a career in theater. My goals include starting a theater company in Chicago and continuing to make art with Northwestern alumni. Chicago has the kind of theater I’m interested in — it’s more personal than commercial.

Dream job? To be Iago in a production of Othello at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Favorite saying: “This too shall pass.” It’s a phrase that keeps you humble in good times and gets you through bad times. It can get you through a rough midterm but also teach you to be alive in the moment.