Meredith Starkman graduated with a BFA from U-M's School of Theater, Music, and Dance in 2016. She has been featured in a number of SMTD performances.
While at U-M Meredith conducted theater workshops in the Huron River Women's Correctional Facility through the
Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP).
She also traveled to Rio de Janeiro with the Theatre of the Oppressed group to conduct similar workshops in Brazil.
Meredith received the 2016 Wallenberg Fellowship to facilitate similar workshops in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bangalore, India.
Read an excerpt from the Global Michigan article below:
"Meredith Starkman says one of the most emotionally trying experiences of her life happened on an education-abroad trip to Rio de Janeiro when she went to a hospital with a group of Brazilian performers to cheer up chemotherapy patients.
Considering how sick the patients were, the University of Michigan theatre student didn’t expect them to be a lively audience. But as soon as her group began singing, the patients came alive. They sat up and began singing along. One man asked for a tambourine. They asked Starkman and her U-M classmates to sing “Stand by Me” over and over again.
“I couldn’t really keep it together. I had never been so emotionally moved,” she said. “Some of those people sit there for three or four hours, sometimes more than that. So it was really beautiful to be able to bring them something—anything. And for them to be so appreciative, it was really lovely.”
The experience helped deepen Starkman’s belief in the power of “artistic activism,” using the arts as tools for improving people’s lives and promoting social justice. It also eventually inspired her plans as the next recipient of the Wallenberg Fellowship.
The award is given each spring to a graduating senior with exceptional promise and accomplishment who is committed to service and the public good."
Read the full article for more details on Meredith's Wallenberg plans.
Edited June 10, 2021