Student: Taylor Reed

Taylor Reed is studying in Poland this semester — the first student from East Carolina University to win the Erasmus+ Scholarship to attend Krosno State College.

Reed is a junior theatre arts major with a concentration in theatre for youth. Last summer, she studied abroad with ECU in Poland, where she first heard about the Erasmus Program — a European Union student exchange program. Soon after returning from the trip, Reed heard that KSC was offering the ECU College of Fine Arts and Communication a scholarship for one student.

Taylor Reed is the first ECU student to win the Erasmus+ Scholarship to attend Krosno State College in Poland. (Contributed photo)

Taylor Reed is the first ECU student to win the Erasmus+ Scholarship to attend Krosno State College in Poland. (Contributed photo)

“I immediately applied because I wanted to go back and experience Poland all over again,” Reed said.

Reed says she is excited to learn more about the style of theater and dance in Poland and learn new techniques she can apply to her professional development.

After pursing theater for 13 years, Reed is certain that she wants to teach theater to students.

“I can enrich the lives of the youth, but also learn from them and better myself to serve my own artistic side at the same time,” Reed said.

About a year ago, Reed partnered with Bridget Burrows, a music teacher in Indian Trail near her hometown of Charlotte, to create the only children’s theater in Union County, called Innovation Drama Academy.

Reed serves as the in-house choreographer and assistant director. Every Saturday she wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and drives four hours to be at 9 a.m. rehearsals. Together she and Burrows produce shows for ages 8-18, licensed by Music Theatre International. They also take students to the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, to compete with other theater companies around the world and to attend workshops with Broadway’s best.

“This year has been extremely tricky to balance both IDA and my ECU life. I had to devote more time to Innovation, being that it is our first season,” Reed said.

Outside of helping to run a new business and attending school, Reed serves as the administrative assistant for ArtSmart, secretary for the student-run Dramatists Guild for Young Audiences, and is an active participant in the theatre for youth concentration.

Reed also recently won the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Award to research the influences of the supernatural on mental health and psychology for a new theater piece. She intends to continue her research while in Poland.

She plans to graduate in December and work with theater.

“I just want to continue doing what I love. I don’t have anything planned but I know what I am passionate about and I will continue to let my passions and God lead me to the next chapter in my life,” Reed said.

What advice do you have for other students?: You do not have to have everything figured out when you get here, not even after you leave here. Just remember to always do what you are passionate about because “It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than halfway up one you don’t.”

What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year?: That the mental health facilities and counseling centers are available to all students.

This Pirate is passionate about teaching theater.


College: School of Theatre and Dance

Major: BFA theatre arts, concentration in theatre for youth

Age: 21

Classification/Year: Junior

Hometown: Charlotte

Hobbies/interests: Watching movies and traveling

Clubs and Organizations: Theatre for Young Audiences Dramatists Guild, East Carolina Theatre Association


Favorite hangout: My house

Favorite place on campus: Messick Computer Lab

Favorite place to eat: Applebee’s

Favorite class: Stage Combat

Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Patch Clark

Favorite TV show: “Jane the Virgin” or “Overthinking with June and Kat”

Favorite band/musician: Bruno Mars

Favorite movie: “High School Musical 3”

Favorite website: Postopia


Dream job: Traveling teaching artist

The one thing you cannot live without: God

Role model: Joanna Franco

Your words to live by: If its free, it’s for me.