Attracting exceptionally talented students from across the country, the Department of Drama is a lively center of creativity at the University. Drama students learn stagecraft not only in the classroom but also through hands-on participation in the department’s productions. They are given abundant opportunities to work as actors, directors, stage managers, technicians, and designers, while benefitting from a superb intellectual climate that informs and enriches their theater experience.
Over the past decade, the number of students taking advantage of these opportunities has grown significantly. As many as 120 undergraduates are heavily involved in the department’s productions, either on stage or behind the scenes. Among these are eighty drama majors, about twice the number from just five years ago.
In its acclaimed MFA program, the department accepts a new group of nineteen gifted graduate students every three years. The students enter the program and earn their degrees together, in effect forming a theater ensemble within the department.
To maintain and nourish this growth and success, the department needs additional funding for new faculty, curriculum development, and infrastructure improvements.
The department plans to expand its faculty by adding an assistant professor of voice/movement to meet the growing enrollment in voice and movement classes, and to develop its program in musical theater production by adding a choreographer and a vocal coach/accompanist.
Since 1974, the Heritage Repertory Theatre has been in residence during the summer months as the Department of Drama’s and the University’s professional repertory theatre. Heritage has provided valuable connections between the department and members of the profession. Leading directors, designers, technicians, and actors from across the country join the company each year to produce a season of musicals and plays.