Chairperson: Chris Berchild
Department Office: New Theater, room 116
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/theater
E-mail: email@example.com (Julie Dixon, Department Primary Advisor)
Through a diverse selection of courses and many production opportunities, the undergraduate program in the Department of Theater provides students with a broad and solid foundation in the artistic, intellectual, and practical aspects of theatre. Led by a professionally active and accomplished faculty, the department fosters a positive working environment—inside and outside the classroom, onstage and off—that is serious, focused, rigorous, and nurturing. It encourages students to collaborate, experiment, and take initiative in the development of new work; this may be new student written plays, multi-media performances, or imaginative interpretations of established plays.
The department features an active production schedule, including at least four plays during the regular academic year. Each semester features mainstage and studio productions, comprised of both faculty-led and student-initiated projects.
A degree in theater will prepare the student for a career in many areas. Some graduates of the department are currently working in professional theatres as actors, playwrights, directors, designers, and technicians. Additionally, many graduates acquire high level jobs in the entertainment industry. The program also prepares students to pursue graduate studies. Because the theater faculty work professionally outside the department, they are able to offer experiences and contacts to students upon graduation.
In support of the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana State University, the Department of Theater participates in the Foundational Studies Program and the Honors College.
The department offers a wide range of courses in theatre history, theory, and dramatic literature, as well as in the areas of acting, directing, playwriting, stage design, stage management, and entertainment technology. Among these are some offerings specifically designed for non-majors to encourage an appreciation of the field; for example, 174 (Introduction to Theater), with multiple sections available in both fall and spring as well as online, and 150 (Beginning Acting).
The department has exclusive use of two theaters: a 225-seat proscenium theater located in Dreiser Hall (Dreiser Theater) and a flexible black-box space in the New Theater. Also located in the New Theater are: faculty offices, a laboratory rehearsal space, and an entertainment technology laboratory. In addition to the theater, Dreiser Hall houses the scenic and costume studios and a design classroom. All facilities are operated entirely by the Department of Theater.
The Department of Theater offers a Bachelor of Arts degree. All degree candidates must successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credits, including Foundational Study course work, as well as requirements for the departmental major.
Students interested in theater may choose to major or minor. The core curriculum provides theater majors and minors with a comprehensive theater education, promoting versatility by exposing students to principles and skills in the primary theatrical arts and crafts. Students may choose a concentration or continue with the Theater Studies track. Either choice will prepare the student for careers both in and out of theater upon graduation. Courses for the major are designed to promote breadth and depth and thus fall either within the broad-based Theater Studies track or, for more focused study, in one of the three concentrations: Acting; Design and Technology; and Playwriting, Dramaturgy and Directing. Options for minoring include Theater, Acting, or Entertainment Design and Technology.
Each theater major and minor is assigned a faculty advisor. Since advising is an integral part of the student’s experience in the department and a key factor in successful completion of the program, it is vital that good contact with the advisor be maintained prior to registration and throughout the academic year. The advisor can also be helpful to students when they are seeking career advice.
Auditions are held for those interested in acting in mainstage or studio productions. All students may audition, so long as they are enrolled in the University during the semester in which they want to participate. Enrolled students interested in carrying out technical assignments should arrange to meet with the department’s production manager. Students cast in shows or assigned crew or design positions may receive credit for successfully completing those assignments by enrolling in the appropriate course. Participation in department productions also enables students to earn points toward joining the honorary theater fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega.
During the summer, the Department of Theater produces professional theater productions through Crossroads Repertory Theatre. These productions provide advanced theater students with invaluable experience working directly with theater professionals from all parts of the United States. Students participating in Crossroads Repertory Theatre will receive competitive summer stipends. Contact the Department Chairperson for further details as well as for an interview and/or audition.
Theater courses are open to all students in the University who have completed the proper prerequisites.