MBA Outstanding Grad combines law and business for maximum impact

May 2, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2022 graduates.

Senior high school senior April Maytorena worked on Arizona State University’s recent theater production of “The Comedy of Errors,” a bilingual retelling of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors.” Maytorena used clay to mold and create the exaggerated facial features of the production’s masks. She said the experience helped her feel connected to her grandmother on her mother’s side, who was good at sewing and crafts.

While at ASU, April Maytorena focused on costume and prop technology.
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“She created a lot of things by hand with clay,” Maytorena said. “For me, I love being part of the creative process that brings stories to life.”

Hailing from the border town of Rio Rico, Arizona, Maytorena is a first-generation Mexican American college student. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater with a concentration in Design and Production from the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Despite her artistic leanings, Maytorena hadn’t considered studying acting in college—she wasn’t even sure she was going to college—when her high school theater director suggested ASU. She had just finished performing in “Little Shop of Horrors” and loved acting, but she was not interested in being on stage again.

“I didn’t want to do acting,” Hernandez said. “I am so grateful for the design and production program. They said to me, ‘It’s okay if you don’t know much. We will teach you.

While at ASU, Maytorena focused on costume and prop technology. She has participated in almost every main stage production. Some of her credits include prop artist for “Tigers Be Still”, seamstress for “CREAM!”, prop head for “The Snow”, first head for “Hedda Gabler”, and production supervisor. wardrobe for the dance show “Emerging Artist”.

The skills she learned even led her to a job as a retouching specialist at David’s Bridal. She said she wanted to take advantage of every opportunity that came her way.

“I just jump into things and hope for the best,” Maytorena said.

Maytorena’s skills and determination caught the attention of faculty members.

“He is an exceptional person who has grown tremendously in his four years with us,” said Connie Fourr. “She is well versed in costume technology and has distinguished herself in this area. She is also an exceptional collaborator working diligently to produce high quality costumes and props for theater and film productions.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you knew what you wanted to study?

To respond: I like to think back to my first year when I started creating something that other people could enjoy. Our final project was to design for the dance show “Come AZ You Are”. We were able to collaborate with the dancers. I was so excited to work with the dancer and create something. The dancer I worked with, her piece strongly revolved around her Navajo heritage. She gave me all this research to work on, and it was such a great collaboration between us. Going through it was like a great experience, getting together and creating something.

Q: What did you learn at ASU — in class or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: One thing that really surprised me was the diversity of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. There is here. Coming from a small town where all of this isn’t talked about, it was surprising to come to town and see how freely people talk about it. It was a bit of a culture shock. I love how it helps build a community where we can be ourselves and connect with each other.

Q: Which teacher taught you the most important lesson at ASU?

A: I can’t say only one teacher. I’ve worked with so many people throughout my journey, and they’ve all taught me so much, whether it’s sewing tips, life advice, or something else. They all inspired me so much. After all this time, it really is a community for me, all the people who have nurtured me along this journey. Last year during the summer, Cari Smith (costume shop supervisor) and I were talking about shows, and she said, “It’s not for the money, it’s for making money. art”. I just had a moment of realization. I thought – oh my God – that I was an artist.

Q: What is the best advice you would give to those still in school?

A: It’s a bit cheesy, but my best advice would be to do what you love. If you’re going to spend a lot of time doing this, you should pick something you like.

Q: What was your favorite place on campus?

A: I’m always in the costume shop or the scenery shop. But when I get out of the building, one place I like is near the student services building, near the Memorial Union. There’s this little place — it’s very green and there are trees and lots of shade all semester. I love going there, relaxing and eating my food.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I was hired as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera House as an embroiderer. It’s just for the summer. The plan so far is to get back into the valley and bypass the theater stores that are hiring. I want to work in theater one way or another. As a lover of the arts in all their forms, I hope to continue creating with like-minded people.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve a problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: First, I would go into debt, myself and my family. I would definitely put money for the arts in the schools, especially those that don’t get as much funding for the arts as they do for sports – here in the valley and also in the smaller towns. And then some for roaming. There always seems to be enough money for war, but not enough to house people. Forty million dollars just doesn’t seem like enough! It’s so much money, but at the same time, you can’t do much with it.