The conviction that art can challenge, bless and inspire others motivates everything LJ Brodie (’21) does.
The senior musical theatre major from Mesquite, Texas, who will be the first graduate from ACU Theatre’s dance program, has been blessing others through performances since childhood, from work on his church’s step team to theatre in high school, and from regional musicals in Abilene to the 2019 Homecoming musical Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
“Dance has always come naturally to me,” he said. “It’s how I express myself when words fail.”
LJ was instrumental in implementing ACU Theatre’s new dance track. He has performed in shows ranging from Wonderful Town to James and the Giant Peach, arranged choreography for two ACU dance shows and had roles in the 2019 Homecoming Musical.
He also found recognition in the Abilene community theatre space, with roles in regional productions of the musicals Newsies and Pippin at the Historic Paramount Theatre, and the Abilene Opera Association’s production of West Side Story, where he worked alongside performers from film productions and national touring companies.
LJ has had ample opportunities at ACU to use art to express truth.
“Art is a living thing that can touch your heart and soul,” he said. “I love seeing Christ-like themes of human decency, kindness and love come to life on the stage.”
The conviction that art can make an impact even through challenging subject matter – such as this year’s Cornerstone production, the play American Son – has shaped LJ’s sense of calling and personal mission.
“One of my favorite lines from the musical Hamilton,” he said, is “If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?”
“Theatre has taught me to figure out and fight for what I believe in,” he said.
LJ is ready to make a difference in the world. “I’m the first in my family to go to college, and I’ll be the first one to get my degree,” he said. “At the end of the day, when I graduate, I know I’m making myself and my family proud.”