College of Visual and Performing Arts Stories

CVPA Scholarship Recipient: Lina Lee ('15)

Lina Lee Headshot 8-20

SUMMARY: Lina Lee, who graduated with a degree in theatre from JMU in 2015, received a College of Visual and Performing Arts scholarship to pursue her craft.

By Jen Kulju (M'04)

Lina Lee says she has been involved in the arts since “before she was born” in South Korea to two parents who were singers. Her mother taught university-level classical voice in Korea and also released a couple of albums, while her father was a songwriter and producer. Lee moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, when she was four and then to South Riding, Virginia, in middle school. As a freshman in high school, Lee responded to a call for dancers in Kiss Me Kate and was cast as Lois. It was then that she “fell in love” with musical theatre. “I got swept onto the roller coaster and haven’t been able to get off of it yet.”

Lee spent the next “best four years” of her life at JMU as a theatre major exploring every aspect of her craft, including acting, directing, choreography, dramaturgy, publicity, and working in both the scene and costume shops. These experiences helped Lee to “understand how theatre works,” and to become a “well-rounded, more appreciative actor” with a solid work ethic. As a rising junior, Lee landed a summer job at the professional Equity theatre Flat Rock Playhouse in Hendersonville, North Carolina, which she says changed her life and gave her the confidence to pursue a career in musical theatre. Since graduating in 2015, Lee has been featured in A Chorus Line at D.C.’s Signature Theatre and Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee, in Cabaret at Maryland’s Olney Theatre Center, in Legally Blonde: The Musical on Norwegian Cruise Line and Derby Dinner Playhouse near Louisville, Kentucky, in Chicago at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland, Oregon, and in Miss Saigon on Broadway where she had the opportunity to perform in the 71st Annual Tony Awards. Lee says she feels more at home in New York because of the strong JMU alumni community. “We all share the same love of the school, so that bonds us.”

Photo by Dylan Paul Photography

April 10, 2018

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Published: Thursday, August 6, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, August 6, 2020

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