This feature was first published in Journeys Summer 2019.
This article was written by communications writer Kinjal Shah.
A managing story editor in the story development studio at Walt Disney Imagineering, Margaret Kerrison (Class of 1996) works at the happiest place on earth!
At the time of writing this, Kerrison is the story lead for the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands in Disneyland, Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. She works closely with the creative team and Lucasfilm to promote a big, compelling Star Wars story.
A love for travel complemented her strong desire to tell stories through physical environments by building immersive and emotionally impactful worlds. “I’ve always loved to travel because every time I’m in a new place, I imagine what stories have come and gone through there. Being able to tell a story using all of my senses is like traveling to a new place. I love that feeling of discovering a new place for the first time.”
Her passion for telling stories traces its roots to Singapore American School, where she found her voice through art, writing, and public speaking. Writing about and exploring other cultures is second nature to Indonesia-born Singapore-bred Kerrison. Born in Surabaya, Indonesia, Kerrison and her siblings spoke Bahasa Indonesia at home. Learning English at SAS proved to be challenging but “amazing teachers encouraged me to embrace my own culture while learning about other cultures and languages. It wasn't long before I learned to love reading and writing in English. Today, English is my primary language.”
Kerrison attended Tufts University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations. In college, she opted for Mandarin Chinese classes and studied in Annecy, France for a summer. Eventually, she discovered a love for screenwriting and attended University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in screenwriting in 2007. A few entertainment and production companies later, Kerrison found herself drawn to themed entertainment writing at Walt Disney Imagineering. And the rest as they say, is history!
Part of the last graduating class from the King’s Road campus, Kerrison fondly remembers walking to the National Honor Society homeroom in the morning, chatting with friends in between classes, playing cards during lunch in the cafeteria, performing in the auditorium for band, and hanging out in the library. “SAS was my second home,” she says. Kerrison is married to Foster, her husband of 15 years, and they have a curious and active five-year old named Bryce. The family enjoys road trips and discovering new places in California and around the world!
Kerrison’s top five tips for becoming an Imagineer:
1. Always stay curious and never stop learning
2. Practice presenting and communicating effectively
3. Be the person everyone wants to work with
4. Follow your heart when you choose a major in college. With passion comes success.
5. Embrace the child inside you! Laugh and play often.
- Star Wars
- Walt Disney
- always an Eagle
- class of 1996
- once an Eagle