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Theatre Advising Information

Theatre Major Entrance Requirements: The student must complete one year of full-time study (24 credits minimum) or 32 credits as a part-time student. In addition, a student interested in the major should display an aptitude for success by having participated in at least two Department of Theatre productions and have completed (or currently enrolled in) at least one theatre (THR) course and THR 195. Full requirements are outlined below.

  • General Advising Information: PDF documents specific to this program are provided below. The full course catalog, policies, textbook information, and other resources are available from the Office of the Registrar.

    For additional advising information, contact your academic advisor or visit the advising page on myWLC (log-in required). Course offerings are subject to change due to staffing, curriculum changes, or course enrollment numbers.


  • Students may choose to pursue a program of study leading to a major or minor in Theatre or, aligned with a program in the Education Department, a major or minor in Theatre Education. Students may also choose theatre study as a significant part of their pursuit of a major in Digital Cinema and Media. While students do not declare a major until after their first year, the process of advising begins even before the first day of classes.

    Upon acceptance into the major, students request and are assigned a faculty advisor, although students are encouraged to seek the counsel of all faculty members. The Department’s assessment program requires an annual presentation to, and interview with, the entire Theatre faculty and professional staff.

    Theatre Programs of Study

    The Theatre Department offers two Major and two Minor programs of study, an integrated program with the Digital Cinema and Media Major, and courses fulfilling the General Education Requirements.

    The Theatre Major is a general, liberal arts-based program of study with core requirements in the various content and applied areas of theatre. Students choose electives - both in the department and out - to complete, if desired, a more concentrated focus of study. Areas of focus may include performance, directing, design, playwriting, or administrative management.

    The Theatre Minor is a general, liberal arts-based program of study with core requirements in the various content and applied areas of theatre. In addition to the core, five credits of Theatre electives constitute the minimum to complete the Minor.

    The Theatre Education Major and Minor are intended for students pursuing a Major in Education. The program for theatre certification in Wisconsin is "Wide Range" (PK-12), preparing a student to teach and lead educational programming in theatre activities in all grade levels.

    Three courses in the Theatre curriculum are required for the Major in Digital Cinema and Media, and other courses may be taken as electives.

    THR 101 Introduction to Theatre, THR 201 Script Analysis, THR 210 Principles of Acting, or THR 301 Theatre History may be taken to meet specific WLC General Education Requirements for all degree programs.


  • THEATRE PRODUCTION PROGRAM

    The production programs of the department offer numerous co- and extra-curricular opportunities for all students in the college. It is our vision that through engagement with vital theatre experiences all of our students will seek to thrive as active audience members for the rest of their lives - contributing to, and therefore affecting, the broader culture in which we live.

    Theatre can play a role in a culture or community's understanding of themselves and others around them. Producing theatre which is vital in a community requires exploring topics and presenting works that attempt to be truthful or seek truth - for some, many, or all of us. We certainly do not select content intending to offend, yet we acknowledge that the topic of drama is always humans, which we know are in a sinful condition - one that needs repair. Our characters and their circumstances are of a given, fictional situation - a part of a larger story - they are less often models for Christian living. It is our hope that each and every person in the audience be provoked intellectually and emotionally to consider their own life in response to the world of the play, and that the reflection and discussion continues beyond the theatre doors.

    Students who are considering a major in theatre should realize that the program, like the field itself, demands a great commitment of both time and energy. The department is committed to providing ample opportunities for students to explore and discover their talents, develop their skills, and prepare a plan for their future - perhaps a vocation that includes a career in the performing arts, perhaps using their theatre study in other vocational situations. The academic curriculum and production program are closely intertwined for the Theatre major. In a sense, production activity (rehearsal, shop work, performances) is the laboratory for experimentation and affirmation of classroom readings, lectures, and exercises.

    Rehearsals are usually 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Technical work is usually Monday through Friday afternoons and occasional Saturdays. Students taking a full-load of classes and participating in a production are expected to maintain both high academic and artistic standards.

    There is no formula for selecting plays to produce on our main stage, the Raabe Theatre. We expect that we will present plays of the following genres/types at least once every two to four years: Classical Greek/Roman or Neo-Classicism; Medieval or Renaissance; Shakespeare; Restoration, Romantic, or Melodrama; Modern Realism; Non-Realism; and an original or devised play. We do not regularly schedule a "traditional Musical" for production but will consider them on occasion. At times we may present a play that offers our theatre students an opportunity to develop their music and/or dance skills.

    VIEW UPCOMING THEATRE PRODUCTIONS

    THEATRE FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

    The activities of the Theatre Department are housed primarily in the Center for Arts and Performance on the north end of campus (main entrance off Wisconsin Avenue). The Raabe Theatre serves as the "Mainstage" of our production program. The Blackbox Studio Theatre is the principal location for our performance classes while also serving as an alternative production venue. Support areas include the Scene Shop, Costume Shop, Prop & Costume Storage, Furniture Storage, and Electrics Storage. The mezzanine level of the Center for Arts and Performance is home for the Raabe and Blackbox Studio Control booths, the Theatre Design Lab (with plotter-printer), the Department's Administrative Office, faculty offices, and the Theatre Resource Room which contains a script and periodical library, conference table and VCR-DVD-PC w/60" TV monitor.

    The Marvin M. Schwann Library contains a vast number of theatre books, videos and scripts as well as participation in TOPCAT, a Milwaukee-area library-sharing service.

    The Theatre Department also utilizes digital photography and video for classes and productions.

     Raabe Theatre

    • Thrust Stage Configuration
    • Seating Capacity - 199
    • Full-access catwalk above thrust, plus additional lighting positions
    • 123 distributed lighting circuits including stage floor pockets
    • Grand drape, wing and upstage traveler curtains
    • Off-white cyclorama
    • ETC Ion lighting control system, 108 dimmers
    • PC-based SCS Audio Control software, multiple speaker outlets
    • Over 200 lighting fixtures, including 60 ETC Source4s
    • ROBE ColorSpot 250 movable/programmable spotlight
    • Greenroom, two dressing rooms and adjoining makeup room
    • Audio and video monitor system

     Blackbox Studio Theatre

    • Open Space Configuration
    • Flexible Seating Units, Capacity - 75
    • Lighting grid with 48 circuits
    • Sound system
    • ETC Express control board and 48 dimmers

    THEATRE STUDENT AWARDS

    Every spring, the Theatre Department honors two graduating seniors with the following awards. These students receive a plaque, and their names are entered on the Honor Board, a perpetual display in the theatre wing signifying one of the following:

    The Jan Nelson Gompper Award for Excellence in Theatre Performance is presented to a graduating theatre major who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to her/his development in the craft of acting through a professional approach in studio work, rehearsals and performances. The honoree will have exhibited self-motivation, creative risk-taking, artistic growth, and notable Christian character.

    The Award for Excellence in Theatre Arts is presented to a graduating theatre major who has demonstrated and developed a voracious appetite for multiple areas of theatre knowledge and experience, a driving desire for inquiry and exploration whose contribution to activities in the classroom, studio, shop, and stage has been exemplary.

    THEATRE INTERNSHIPS

    While a formal internship is not required for the Theatre major or minor, many WLC Theatre students have held internships at area theatre companies. Students may earn up to six credits which will appear on their transcript. Three credits of internship may be applied to the major's total requirement. Internship credit has also been arranged for summer theatre experiences. Specific internship opportunities are publicized to theatre students. Both the Theatre Department faculty and the WLC Career Development Office will assist students in the process.

    THEATRE SPECIAL EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

    Throughout the year there are a number of opportunities for students that are not directly curricular or related to the mainstage production program. In the performance area, these have included student-initiated performances, class showcase performances, senior showcase performances, video/film productions - both on-campus and off, and performances for chapel.

    There are often opportunities for WLC Theatre students to use their talents and experience in the leadership of theatre activities for children and adolescents around the area.

    At least once per semester there are educational opportunities sponsored by the department. These have included guest speakers and guest artists, professional theatre artists holding master classes, lectures and demonstrations, and alumni who are working professionally that return to "share their experiences."

    Recent presentations have included:

    2012 - Neil Curry, British poet and playwright, author of The Bending of the Bow

    2013 - Antoinette McDonald & Ken Ellis, African-American Theatre History

    2013 - C. Michael Wright, Artistic Director, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Audition Techniques

    2014 - Marcella Kearns, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Acting in Shakespeare

    2014 - Ron Scot Fry, Optimist Theatre Company, Shakespeare & Contemporary Audiences

    HELPFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES

    Organizations

    Association for Theatre in Higher Education
    The Association for Theatre in Higher Education is an organization of individuals and institutions that provides vision and leadership for the profession and promotes excellence in theatre education. ATHE actively supports scholarship through teaching, research and practice and serves as a collective voice for its mission through its publications, conferences, advocacy, projects, and through collaborative efforts with other organizations.

    Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival: Great Lakes Region

    United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT)
    The association of design, production and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry.

    Screen Actors Guild
    The Guild exists to enhance film and television actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights.

    Actors' Equity Association
    Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for stage actors and stage managers.

    Performing Arts Groups in the Milwaukee Area

    Chicago Theatre and Companies

    ChicagoPlays.com
    Your guide to live theater in Chicago. Current shows, job and audition postings, etc.

    Steppenwolf Theatre Company

    Career Advice

    Actor's Equity Association
    The Union of American Theatrical Actors and Stage Managers. Click on "casting call" for job listings as well as listings of upcoming auditions by region.

    American Association of Community Theatre
    Choose "job listings" from the "resources" menu for a nice listing of salaried jobs (and some internships) in administration, directing, education, fundraising, marketing/development and technical staff.

    Backstage.com: The Complete Online Performing Arts Resource
    Resource for careers in acting. Provides casting calls under "casting" and a career chat room.

    Hollywood Creative Directory and Job Board
    All of the fine and creative arts are covered in this comprehensive site. Click on "job board" to access job listings and lots of internships in such categories as acting, musical, technical, set design, film crews, web designers, multimedia publishers, production, agents, sales marketing, and more. Everything related to the entertainment industry.

    Playbill On-Line
    Click on "casting and jobs" for extensive listings of theatre-related postings in such categories as performer, technical, design, administrative and academic. Also provides information on shows.

    SummerTheater.com
    Potential Summer Employment Opportunities

    Theatre Communications Group
    Click on the link for ARTSEARCH and search hundreds of positions in theatres and performing arts centers, summer festivals, universities, colleges and schools, dance companies, opera companies, symphony orchestras, museums, arts councils and other arts organizations. Username and Passwords are required to access job postings.

    Find a Script

    Dramatists Play Services, Inc.
    For nearly 70 years Dramatists Play Service, Inc. has provided the finest plays by both established writers and new playwrights of exceptional promise.

    Samuel French, Inc.
    Samuel French seeks out the world's best plays and makes them available to the widest range of producing groups. Sources of Samuel French's plays range from Broadway and England's West End to publication of unsolicited scripts submitted by unpublished authors

    Music Theatre International
    Music Theatre International is a leader in the theatrical licensing industry, specializing in Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End musicals. Since it's founding in 1952, MTI has been responsible for supplying scripts and musical materials to theatres worldwide and for protecting the rights and legacy of the authors who it represents.

    Moonstruck Drama Bookstore
    Plays, plot summaries, cast albums, sheet music, theatre news, and more!

    Miscellaneous

    Actingbiz: The Online Actor's Resource
    Helpful resources including examples of what professional head shots and resumes look like, as well as links to other helpful web sites and actors services.

    Eperformer.com
    Good site for performing artists. Free information including audition notices, performing arts links, a great resources section, and a features section with career-related advice for those new to the performing arts profession.

    Performink online
    Chicago's Entertainment Trade Paper. The Art, the business, the industry.