'I Am Elon' with Jared Allen '14

The Elon University senior's extensive performing arts training is translating into a budding career.

By Kim Walker

As a kid, Jared Allen ’14 was a performer of all varieties: violinist, singer, saxophonist, dancer. But it was his role as Nick Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at age 10 that sealed the deal. He’s been in love with acting ever since.

Accepted into Elon’s Honors Fellows program but not into the theater program, Jared had to decide whether Elon was the right fit. “The quality of education at Elon was more important to me than just going to school for acting,” he says. He came to Elon determined to get into performing arts, which he accomplished after another audition in his first year.

Courses in history and astronomy were among his favorites, and he’s participated in multiple service trips abroad, leading one to Nicaragua last year. He says these experiences were invaluable to his personal development. “It was important for us to reflect on what service means, recognizing what you can and cannot change,” he says.

For his Fellows research project, Jared wrote and performed a one-man show, “Lost in the
Limelight.” The hour-long piece tells the story of Calvero, Charlie Chaplin’s character in his 1952 film “Limelight.”

“It came out great. Rewarding artistically and intellectually, it was my proudest accomplishment at Elon,” he says.

Although he recognizes theater is a challenging pursuit, he knows enjoying it is part of the experience. “Ultimately acting is just a lot of fun, and if you’re good enough to get paid to do it, then you’ve got it made,” he says. Since he just landed a full-time position with the Maples Repertory Theatre in Missouri, Jared appears to be on his way.

I Am Elon is a multimedia series by The Magazine of Elon featuring Elon students in their own words.