Screenwriter Nick Thurkettle '99 Returns to the Stage

August 12, 2011

Nick Thurkettle '99 has spent most of his career as a screenwriter, but recently rediscovered his love for stage acting. He returned to the stage to take the lead role in a production of  "Much Ado About Nothing" for a theatre company in Santa Ana, Calif.  

Thurkettle graduated from Bradley with a double major in theatre and music, a combination that has proved advantageous through each of his career moves.

"I have always believed that my musical background has given me a sense for rhythm and timing for which I often get a lot of compliments in my screenwriting," Thurkettle said.

When it comes to his screenwriting skills, Thurkettle gives a lot of credit to his experience writing for "The Scout," Bradley's student-run newspaper.

"I always had a strong love for movies, and writing movie reviews for the Scout helped me develop my early writing muscles," Thurkettle said.

He also credits his audition class.

"Writing monologues for my audition class led to an invitation to write comedy sketches for a musical revue, which led to my first staged one-act play. By my senior year, I realized that writing was 'in my bones' as they say," Thurkettle said.

Even when his career focused primarily on writing, Thurkettle stayed connected to the stage by taking occasional opportunities to develop his passion for acting. Serving as a last-minute, fill-in actor from time to time helped keep him fresh, and ultimately prepared to ace an audition for "Much Ado About Nothing."

Despite his busy schedule, he keeps an active relationship with Bradley. He and fellow alumnus Ryan Saul teach a screenwriting course for the Department of Communication over the Internet. They meet with students weekly via Skype.

"I am a big believer in the virtue of gratitude, and sharing some of the knowledge I've gained since Bradley seemed like a great beginning to demonstrating the gratitude I have to this great school and the teachers who did so much for me," Thurkettle said.

Thurkettle has some valuable advice for theater students who may be hoping to "make it big" in the businesses of Hollywood screenwriting. "Remember that as artists, nothing we do is complete unless it finds an audience, so make sure that you have a plan to get your work in front of an audience any way you can."

Thurkettle already has many accomplishments, but he is always working for more. He will soon play Oscar in a revival of "The Odd Couple."