The Department of Theatre and Dance firmly believes that all theatre majors, regardless of degree program, should be exposed to all aspects of the process of creating theatre. Additionally, producing professional quality shows is a labor-intensive undertaking, and requires the assistance of all members of the department. It is the policy of the department that all students participate in the process of building, mounting and running all departmentally-supported productions.
The department accomplishes this goal through what is called Theatre Practice. All students regardless of major are required to sign up for Theatre Practice during each semester they are a theatre or dance major. Students cast in shows are considered to be participating in Theatre Practice, but may have to take on an additional assignment in a show in which they are not cast.
Traditionally, first-year students are assigned to the construction shops. One semester is spent in the scene shop building scenery, and another semester is spent in the costume shop constructing costumes. After the first year students then work on assignments such as load-in crew, running crew, light board operator, wardrobe crew, or other such assignments.
Being a theatre major is a serious commitment in terms of time, as these assignments can take up five or six nights a week. Students interested in majoring in theatre should give serious consideration to the time commitment required of all theatre majors.
Theatre Practice fulfills two functions:
- It provides theatre students with practical experiences in a variety of production and performance capacities.
- It provides the necessary staffing for the execution and performing of productions supported by the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Participation in Theatre Practice:
All Theatre majors must enroll in theatre practice for each semester of study in residence until graduation. Enrollment is handled through the individual's academic advisor.
Requirements for completing Theatre Practice:
Each Theatre Major is required to successfully complete Theatre Practice, in each semester they are in residence, up to a maximum of eight (8) credits. All minors must complete four (4) credits of Theatre Practice.
Theatre Practice assignments:
Theatre practice assignments are posted at the beginning of each semester on the departmental callboards. Other assignments (usually assigned to junior and seniors) are handled through advisement or by application.
Crew calls are posted weekly and no later than 24 hours in advance on the departmental callboards.
The attendance policy will be discussed at the general theatre practice meeting at the beginning of each semester.
Appropriate clothing for the health and safety of the individual student in the area is the responsibility of the student. Details are discussed at the first crew call.
Strike commences the Monday following the final performance of a production and proceeds according to a prearranged production schedule. All production staff, performers and called crews are required to assist until released by the production manager.
Each student is responsible for obtaining their Time Card from the Stage Manager or appropriate staff member and turning it in to the Departmental Office at the end of the semester.
End of the Year Strike
All theatre students are required to attend the last strike of the year regardless of whether they are involved in the last production. This departmental strike takes place over the space of two evenings: generally the Monday and Tuesday following the last performance of the last production of the year. All students are required to sign up for one of these two evenings. This is considered part of Theatre Practice.