Mikayla is a theatre artist with a degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Northern Iowa (2020). Her love for performance started in 2nd grade when she won “most enthusiastic” in an impromptu dance-off in the school library. The prize? Two tickets to Shark Tale. The victory was exhilarating. From this moment on, Mikayla always sought out opportunities to perform for and connect with an audience.
During her training at UNI, Mikayla discovered a love for ensemble building and devised theatre. In addition to main stage performances, she also participated in several devised performance pieces that were presented in collaboration with UNI’s First Year Cornerstone Program. Over the course of two weeks, Mikayla and a group of her peers worked collaboratively with faculty advisors to analyze several pieces of text. Through their discussion and explorations, they created a 45-minute devised theatre piece in response to the text. Students told their own stories, built the sets, contributed to costume design, and worked together as an ensemble to present their performance to all of UNI’s First Year Cornerstone classes. Her continued involvement in this program gave her a new appreciation for working closely with an ensemble.
In addition to her theatrical pursuits, Mikayla is interested in writing, marketing, and graphic design. She had the opportunity to pursue all of these interests during her time as the Marketing & Public Relations Intern for UNI Business & Community Services (BCS). At BCS she wrote, edited, and designed content for multiple university websites and social media pages. Of the many projects she worked on at BCS, Mikayla's favorite was the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. Over the course of a year, Mikayla helped with the planning, marketing, set-up, and execution of the 2 1/2 day summit. Her involvement in the process, both observing and participating, taught her how a 200+ person event is built from the ground up.
Mikayla is also an author, illustrator, and novice bookbinder. Her first book, Scoot & Boiley Save Christmas, started as an inside joke with her family and turned into the quest to give the best Christmas present ever. The book tells the tale of a group of highly trained animal spies (based on her family’s real-life pets) that must save Christmas from a group of capitalist robots who live in a volcano.
In December of 2020, she dropped the highly anticipated sequel, Scoot & Boiley Save Christmas...AGAIN!!! Only 5 physical copies were painstakingly made by hand. It received glowing reviews from her family on Christmas morning. 4 out of 5 Wahls would recommend. You can read excerpts from the first Scoot & Boiley Save Christmas book here.
At her core, Mikayla is a creative person. She loves working with other people to achieve a common goal, and strives to find the fun in everything she does! One of her more recent creative projects is her groundbreaking meme-umentary A Bing Bing on the Wind that premiered at the Theatre UNI Digital Performance Festival in April of 2020. The film tells the story of a world left without their hero when they need him most. You can watch A Bing Bing on the Wind here.