by Kellyn Post
Robbie Lindmark, a freshman theater major and the lead role of Professor Harold Hill in Cedarville’s production of “The Music Man,” sees theater and storytelling as special ways to encourage others and bring glory to God.
Lindmark grew up next to a Christian radio station with a performing arts center attached to it. It was there that he was first exposed to theater through the center’s Christmas productions and musicals. He also had the opportunity to be involved with his sisters in acting workshops, which were similar to Vacation Bible School programs.
In addition to the acting experience itself, Lindmark said he was impacted by watching people acting as a ministry and bringing God glory through it.
“[It] really told us as kids that you need to do this for the glory of God so that people will see God and applaud Him, not just applaud you and how great you are at singing and dancing.”
For Lindmark, acting is a special way to glorify God and share the Gospel with others through a capacity for storytelling–and Christians have the story that is most worth sharing.
“The Great Commission is, ‘Go tell a story; go be a storyteller.’ So I think I picked theater because we have a story to tell, and I think we need to find ways to tell it creatively.”
While Lindmark’s first show was when he was in the sixth grade, his experience with memorizing and performing speeches goes back to the speech meets he participated in from the second grade, and that was when his love for storytelling first developed.
“[Acting] has always kind of been a part of who I am, and my family’s always been really supportive of it,” he shared.
While he made several friends through acting who are still encouraging him today, Lindmark shared that his parents had the biggest impact on his decision to pursue acting.
“I know not everyone has the privilege of having a great relationship with their parents, but God has allowed me to have that, and they’re the ones that actually pushed me into pursuing it as a degree.”
In addition to encouraging him to pursue acting in school, Lindmark’s parents provided him with a firm Biblical foundation and encouraged him to take his abilities and use them for the glory of God wherever he is led.
“[My parents] have been such key elements in the marriage of taking your giftings and taking the truth and combining them and continuing to run with it wherever God leads you,” he said.
Besides the storytelling aspect, Lindmark’s favorite part of acting is bringing a story to life for an audience and watching the response.
“There’s just something really, really thrilling about taking an audience on this journey with you. You’re just sitting there in this room for the next two hours — let’s go. Let’s go on this journey together.”
One of the difficult parts of sharing a story, however, is getting into the character’s head, and Lindmark shared that he is challenged to make his characters his own.
“One of the things that I think is challenging is trying to really get into the character’s head, as to what they’re really thinking and feeling, and not just reading the script and saying, ‘Oh, I just think I’ll read it this way.’”
Lindmark shared that he puts a lot of thought into the motivations behind his characters, and he tries his best to stay true to character in addition to following stage directions.
Lindmark’s passion for Gospel-centered theater and storytelling is one of the reasons why he came to Cedarville. He shared that he was impacted by Cedarville’s Gospel-oriented atmosphere during a visit to the school and that he values being able to study the arts from a Christian perspective. He is also passionate about bringing that perspective with him when he graduates.
“When I leave here, I don’t want to leave behind the Scriptural elements. I want to take those with me and incorporate them wherever I go with it.”
While he doesn’t know exactly what his future will look like, Lindmark hopes to continue acting, either in a ministry setting or in a professional setting.
“I would love, one way or another, to use it for the Gospel,” he said.
Professor Rebecca Baker, an associate professor in the theater department, said that Lindmark acts with energy, has a passion for connecting with people, and is a pleasure to work with.
“He’s passionate about integrating faith into his art,” she said. “[He] is also passionate about the value of theater as a reflection of God’s creativity. I think he really does want to use theatre to make a difference for God’s glory.”
For Lindmark, acting is a passion, a gift and an opportunity to share stories with others, and he desires to use that to make an impact for the glory of God.
Kellyn Post is a sophomore English major and an Arts and Entertainment writer for Cedars. She is happiest when drinking tea, listening to music, and reading old books.