Meet Rezia Landers ’24. The senior Theatre Arts major from Griffin, Georgia, plays Belle in the upcoming Vanguard University production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, opening April 4, 2024, and running through April 21.

What excites you about playing Belle in the upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast”
What’s most exciting about playing Belle is figuring out what makes her tick. In the opening number, the entire village describes her as beautiful, but odd. You’d probably think that she’s perceived this way because she’s a woman who reads and seemingly had no interest in courting Gaston, the most respected man in town. My director, Nikki Snelson, and I are working together to uncover more silly things about Belle to make her appear more human.  

What should theater goers expect to see in the production “Beauty and the Beast” 
Our director has crafted this version of “Beauty and the Beast” to be more layered than just a story that we have all seen before. Our patrons can expect to find grounded storytelling, delicious characters, and a refreshing take on such a classic story.  

Have you had a role that spoke to you as an artist and Christ-follower?  
It wasn’t a role on stage, but I performed a scene in class with a close friend of mine, and what I experienced that day was just God working through me. He was very present where I fell short.  

How has studying acting deepened your faith?  
I would say that I have been reminded that like all work, theatre is a craft. It takes hard work and a strong work ethic to be an actor. God is THE creator, and he has gifted us with the ability to create so that we may further his kingdom.  

Off the stage, how has being a part of the Vanguard community developed you as a person? 
I have made such impactful relationships at Vanguard. My professors, my friends, my sweet boyfriend—they have all played such a huge part in the beginning chapters of my adulthood. I have learned so many lessons here that I will take with me into the next chapter.  

Do you have any scholarships that help you attend Vanguard? 
I am on an academic scholarship, theatre scholarship, and an Assemblies of God grant.  

What drew you to Vanguard? 
I grew up in a small school, in a small town, in the middle of nowhere. I am sometimes frightened by big ponds. I wanted to feel at home in a smaller, tight-knit community where I felt safe and welcome.  

What is something that surprised you about being a theatre major at Vanguard?   
I didn’t know if I would be receiving a well-rounded education for theatre at a small, private Christian university. What I’ve learned during my time here is something someone says every year: “What you get out of this program is what you put in.”  

Rezia is just one example of the exceptional Vanguard students receiving a transformational, Christ-centered education because of the generosity of people like you.

How would you describe the Theatre Department to a prospective student looking at VU?  
We are privileged to have a family in the Theatre Department. With such a tight-knit community, you really have an amazing opportunity to build impactful relationships while growing your skill sets.  

What are your plans after graduation? 
I plan to pursue live theatre professionally and work as a dance instructor for a traveling company in Orange County. Then when the time is right, I will pursue graduate school and work at earning my MFA in Acting. Teaching is a passion of mine.  

How can the broader Vanguard community pray for you? 
Pray for guidance and peace during the post-graduation season. And pray for a Christ-like integrity that will follow me as I encounter an industry that is trying to diminish the glory of God.