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Actor participates in prestigious training program.

Edmond native Annie Funke was one of 28 actors from across the country chosen to participate in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's prestigious summer training program.
BY RICK ROGERS Staff Writer Published: August 21, 2011

“One reason I wanted to come here was to find my voice as an artist and figure out what I have to say as an actor,” Funke said. “I also wanted to prove to myself that I could compete with actors who are successful in areas other than the musical theater.

“I want to play a leading lady someday and I want to do Shakespeare. There are many roles that I would never be cast in but by getting the chance to explore them, you learn a lot about yourself. This program has given me the confidence to look outside the box.”

The Steppenwolf School culminates in a weeklong project that allows participants to put what they've learned into practice. Funke is doing a scene from David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize winning drama “Rabbit Hole,” an excerpt from Jim Cartwright's 1986 drama “Road” and portraying Hermia and Quince in “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”

“This program has given me a much greater awareness of my process and how I work,” Funke said. “As we get older, we sometimes lose a bit of our imagination because we become more inhibited.

“I feel like this program has unleashed my freedom again. I've gotten so many tools that will help me to become a more dynamic and versatile performer. I'm a more confident performer than when I came in and I think I will be a more well-rounded artist in the end.”