Prince Duren- American Graduate Youth Media Summer Institute
On July 17th, visiting Professor Prince Duren from the Department of Speech Communications and Theatre at Jackson State University spoke to the students at the American Graduate Youth Media Summer Institute. Mr. Duren started his presentation by telling the group about his backstory.
Born in Itta Bena, MS and later moving to Muskegon, Michigan, Duren’s early life began in poverty and despair dealing with a functioning alcoholic mother who later developed cancer. Mr. Duren admits that during his early college years in Michigan he made some unwise choices and ended up becoming a functioning alcoholic himself. After the unfortunate passing of his mother, Mr. Duren turned more towards religion which turned his life around.
However, as a result of his bad choices, it left Mr. Duren with little to no funds to finish school in Michigan. Luckily, an uncle reached out and gave him the funds needed to attend school at Jackson State University. While attending JSU, Mr. Duren discovered the MADDRAMA Performance Troupe and a love for theatre emerged. Mr. Duren states, “While in the troupe, I found a true love and a want to do better in my life.”
After graduating from Jackson State University, Mr. Duren completed his MFA in Playwriting at the University of Arkansas where he continued perfecting his craft. He left the students with a Deon Sanders quote “If your dreams aren’t bigger than you, then there is something wrong with your dreams.”