“I have had the opportunity to interact with such wonderful professors and professional staff, and their constant support, guidance, and compassion has honestly been so transformative—I am very grateful to have them by my side throughout both my academic and creative endeavors.”
With commencement upon us, we spoke to some of CFA’s stand-out 2023 graduates as they gear up to leave LMU and take on the world.
Layla Rainosek ’23
Majors: Theatre Arts, Psychology
How did you decide to become a theatre arts major?
I have been involved in theatre and performing from a very young age—I started with dancing and community theatre and continued to be heavily involved in my high school’s theatre department. I knew that I wanted to be able to keep that amount of creativity in my life and balance it with my other academic interests. When I was first applying for colleges, my primary consideration was on the arts departments of each school, and I was thrilled when my audition to LMU was accepted.
Tell us a little about your time at LMU!
I am a theatre arts and psychology double major, and I was recently named the Psychology Program Scholar, as well as the University Scholar of the Year! I currently work as a research assistant within the psychology department, a tutor in the athletics department (primarily for statistics, along with other psychology courses), and a resident advisor in the LV5/6 community. Within the theatre department, I now work primarily as a scenic designer, and my credits include the set design for Everybody (2021), projection work for The Good Body (2022), and the set design for Exit the King (2023), which was my senior thesis.
Did you have a particular experience that led you to this path?
My work with scenic design actually began largely as a result of the pandemic. I wanted to focus on non-acting classes while we were doing remote learning, and I was lucky enough to have this coincide with the development of a new scenic design class by Professor Christopher Murillo. I had always been interested in design but had never really had the opportunity to engage with it before. I ended up loving the work and immediately signed up for the next level of the class when it was developed as well. From there, I was asked to design the set for a mainstage show and have continued to develop my work from there!
What will you miss most about LMU?
I think what I will miss most from LMU is the faculty. I have had the opportunity to interact with such wonderful professors and professional staff, and their constant support, guidance, and compassion has honestly been so transformative—I am very grateful to have them by my side throughout both my academic and creative endeavors. I would like to thank them for giving me the space, resources, and freedom to grow as personally as well as professionally.
What advice do you have for underclassmen?
My advice to underclassmen is to focus on giving yourself and others grace, commit to growth, and learn for the sake of learning. It is so important to take the time to be intentional about the things we do, because sometimes it’s really difficult to make space for that. It’s over said, but it’s true that quality is often better than quantity, and this can apply to many aspects of college life, whether it be academics, friendships, hobbies, or extracurriculars. Start with figuring out what you value and then let that guide you. Trust in your capability, build a support system, and advocate for yourself and others whenever you can. You’ll figure out what’s best for you.