Through Bucknell, I'm learning how to be an artist.
When Reid Fournier '24 was choosing a college, Bucknell had more than just his family's approval (his mother, Pattie Craumer '79, and grandparents, Natalie '49 and Robert Craumer '48, are Bucknellians). He recognized Bucknell as a place where his varied academic interests and personal passions could share the spotlight.
As a theatre major, Fournier has been able to develop his acting range by playing a variety of characters — from the complex Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew(s) to the witty Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. "I've always been fascinated with being on stage and taking on someone else's life," says Fournier, who first began starring in productions while in middle school in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Bucknell has afforded Fournier the opportunity to get involved and try his hand at many things. In February 2023, he took on the role of director of The One Act Play That Goes Wrong, an experience that stretched his leadership skills and enabled him to learn about acting through a different lens. It also helped solidify his passion for acting. "A director can coax out an objective," he says, "but there is something about the agency that an actor has over a single role that is much more all-encompassing to me."
With Bucknell's support, Fournier has been able to further develop his craft off campus. When he was a sophomore, his adviser, professor Anjalee Hutchinson, theatre & dance, encouraged him to apply for the Juliet Shield-Taylor '83 undergraduate theatre summer research grant, which enabled him to attend a weeklong intensive training at the Tom Todoroff Studio conservancy in New York City. Fournier continues to study there through online workshops. Despite the demands of his academic and extracurricular activities — Fournier is also music director of Bucknell's Beyond Unison a cappella group — he Zooms into the studio for at least five hours a week.
Fournier's second major, political science, is just as empowering and fascinating to him as theatre, he says, adding that the two disciplines have more in common than one may initially think. Both depend on learning to understand and forming an emotional connection with people. Although Fournier's post-Bucknell plan is to pursue an acting career, either in New York City or Los Angeles, he says it's likely he will eventually get involved in politics, whether it's lobbying or running for office. "The only way to change something is to be in it," he says.
Fournier's ambitious nature keeps him reaching for new heights, beyond his professional goals. Fournier finds value in stepping away from work and often does so through traveling and hiking. The former Boy Scout summited Mount Kilimanjaro in June 2022 as part of Bucknell's Outdoor Education & Leadership team and has goals to reach Argentina's Aconcagua and California's Mount Whitney.
"For acting, you have to be completely in the moment, and then in the moment after that, and the moment after that," he says. "When you're climbing a mountain, it's the same thing. As a student, I'm often pulled in lots of different directions, so it's nice to completely hone in on one goal and throw my whole being into it. You learn a lot about yourself when you are facing a challenge."