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Volume LXI Number 1 • Winter 2020 • $8.00

The TD Drought An Opportunity for Students, a Challenge for the Industry

Join a Union?

Explore When, Why, Which and If One Is Right for You

Piano Man




C N Tr & P oll SI ai r eg D n of e E D ing es , U : ir ec Pr sio niv to og na er ry ra l sit m y

SETC’s Accompanist Shares His Story, Auditions Advice



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Volume LXI Number 1 l Winter 2020 l Southern Theatre – Quarterly Magazine of the Southeastern Theatre Conference

Features Departments 4 Hot off the Press

Plays About Uncomfortable Truths by Zackary Ross

6 Outside the Box: Design/Tech Solutions Stone Cloth: Create Rocks with Aluminum, Muslin and Glue by David Glenn

48 Index to Volume LX Cover This photo from a dress rehearsal for Sotoba Komachi by Yukio Mishima was chosen from college and university submissions as the winner in our annual cover contest. The show opened April 23, 2019, at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. In this scene, Noah Heie (left) portrays The Poet, while Tony Woods (right) plays Morita. Sotoba Komachi was directed by Michele Minnick, with scenic design by Richard Finkelstein, costume design by Pamela Johnson and lighting design by Emily Becher-McKeever. (Photo by Richard Finkelstein; cover design by Deanna Thompson)

8 The Piano Man

If You're Auditioning at SETC, Jose Simbulan Has Some Notes for You interview by Richard St. Peter

16 The Technical Director Drought A Career Opportunity for Students and a Challenge for the Industry

by J.K. Curry

30 Should You Join a Union?

Explore When, Why, Which and If One Is Right for You by Stefanie Maiya Lehmann

44 From High School to College

Be Ready for the First Day of Class by Matthew Miller

Special Section D-1 2020 SETC College, University & Training Program Directory Find the perfect school for you in this comprehensive directory, which lists SETC member institutions and the degrees they offer. (Special section begins after Page 24.)

Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 3

Plays About Uncomfortable Truths by Zackary Ross


lays often reveal characters coming to terms with themselves in profound ways. As a result of circumstance, they become aware of a previously unknown or unspoken truth about their nature and their relationships to others. The Greeks spoke of these as moments of

recognition and believed them central to the very nature of drama. What follows is a collection of newly-published plays from major play publishers that feature characters grappling with uncomfortable truths about themselves or their community. Following each description, you’ll find information about the cast breakdown and a referral to the publisher who holds the rights. Human Rites, by Seth Rozin

in life can sometimes be painful and confus-

an invitation to the school’s upcoming

After reading a controversial paper on

ing, our mere act of existence has meaning

Sadie Hawkins dance, a springboard to

female circumcision practices to his

in and of itself.

his rise to the top. This poignant, funny

undergraduate class, Alan Friedman is

Cast breakdown: 3 females; 2 males

and thoroughly engrossing play offers a

summoned to Dean Michaela Richards’

Publisher: Samuel French

brilliantly nuanced and complex study of

office to discuss his students’ objections.

disability on stage.

Complicated by their romantic history

Cast breakdown: 4 females; 2 males* (*re-

years earlier and the racial differences

Amy and the Orphans,

quires one actor with cerebral palsy and

that exist between them, the conversation

by Lindsey Ferrentino

one wheelchair user)

quickly becomes heated and the two trade

When adult siblings Maggie and Jake

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

assertions of white privilege and Western

must tell their sister Amy, who has Down

superiority. When Dean Richards brings

syndrome, about their father’s death, they

in a third party – an African graduate

unwittingly discover that they know very

A Good Farmer, by Sharyn Rothstein

student familiar with the people studied

little about their parents’ decision to place

Bonnie is a widow struggling to keep her

in Dr. Friedman’s paper – to contradict his

Amy in a state home for most of her life.

small cabbage farm operating with the

findings, tensions boil over and the ground

Touching, deeply funny and, at times,

help of her best friend, Carla, an undocu-

shifts dramatically under their feet.

heartbreaking, Amy and the Orphans ex-

mented worker. Set against the immigration

Cast breakdown: 2 females; 1 male

plores the slowly expanding rift that can

battleground that is our current political

Publisher: Broadway Play Publishing

develop between siblings when adulthood

landscape, A Good Farmer puts a human face

changes their relationship.

on the nature of this conflict and examines

Cast breakdown: 4 females*; 2 males

the humanity we lose when differences are

A Life, by Adam Bock

(*requires one actor with Down syndrome)

used as a wedge to divide us.

Lamenting yet another breakdown of a

Publisher: Samuel French

Cast breakdown: 5 females; 3 males (flex-

relationship due to his “intimacy issues,”

ible casting)

Nate Martin looks for meaning outside

Publisher: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

himself – first in the astrological charts he

Teenage Dick, by Mike Lew

has come to depend on and later through

In this retelling of Richard III, one of

the advice given to him by his best friend,

Shakespeare’s most iconic villains is

Curtis. Ultimately, he discovers the futility

reimagined in the form of a 17-year-old

of his endless search for life’s answers in a

high school student with cerebral palsy.

shocking twist midway through the play.

Plotting his ascent to high school royalty –

Bock’s darkly humorous A Life reminds

and the class presidency – young Richard

audiences that while the search for answers

plays on Anne’s liberal guilt to secure

4 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020 n

Zackary Ross, an assistant professor of theatre at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, also works regularly as a director and a dramaturg.

Theatre s o u t h e r n


From Fromthe theSETC SETCPresident President…

Deanna Thompson





Southeastern Theatre Conference 1175 Revolution Mill Drive, Studio 14 Greensboro, NC 27405 336-272-3645 PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE

J.K. Curry, Chair, Wake Forest University (NC) Gaye Jeffers, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Laura King, Gordon State College (GA) Derrick Vanmeter, Clayton State University (GA) EDITORIAL BOARD

Tom Alsip, Oklahoma State University Lamont Clegg, Osceola County School for the Arts (FL) Larry Cook, University of North Georgia Amy Cuomo, University of West Georgia F. Randy deCelle, University of Alabama Kristopher Geddie, Venice Theatre (FL) Bill Gelber, Texas Tech University Scott Hayes, Liberty University (VA) Edward Journey, Alabama A&M University Stefanie Maiya Lehmann, Lincoln Center (NY) Tiffany Dupont Novak, Lexington Children's Theatre (KY) Richard St. Peter, Northwestern State University (LA) Jonathon Taylor, East Tennessee State University Student Member: Laura Falcione, Liberty University (VA) PROOFREADERS

Catherine Clifton, Freelance Copy Editor (NC) Denise Halbach, Independent Theatre Artist (MS) PRINTING

Clinton Press, Greensboro, NC NOTE ON SUBMISSIONS

Southern Theatre welcomes submissions of articles pertaining to all aspects of theatre. Preference will be given to subject matter linked to theatre activity in the Southeastern United States. Articles are evaluated by the editor and members of the Editorial Board. Criteria for evalua­tion include: suitability, clarity, significance, depth of treatment and accuracy. Please query the editor via email before sending articles. Stories should not exceed 3,000 words. Color photos (300 dpi in jpeg or tiff format) and a brief identification of the author should accompany all articles. Send queries and stories to: Southern Theatre (ISSNL: 0584-4738) is published quarterly by the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Inc., a nonprofit organization, for its membership and others interested in theatre. Copyright © 2020 by Southeastern Theatre Conference, Inc., 1175 Revolution Mill Drive, Studio 14, Greensboro, NC 27405. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Subscription rates: $24.50 per year, U.S.; $30.50 per year, Canada; $47 per year, International. Single copies: $8, plus shipping.


The winter issue of Southern Theatre traditionally focuses on students and teachers, emerging professionals and career paths. This year, we offer stories designed to help performers pull off their best auditions, to assist emerging artists in making a union decision, and to counsel high school seniors on what will be expected of them in college. We also spotlight a job that presents both opportunities for students and challenges for the industry: the technical director (TD). Many people who work in theatre believe there is a TD shortage. Tapping into data from two SETC surveys and interviews with people who work in the field, J.K. Curry explains the challenges, the potential causes and solutions for the problem, and why – despite all of this – the job of the TD presents a good opportunity for students today. Moving to onstage work, we introduce SETC members to a player they should know: the SETC accompanist. In an interview with Rick St. Peter, Jose Simbulan shares the route he took to become SETC’s professional auditions accompanist a quarter century ago. He also provides targeted advice on how SETC auditionees can make the most of their singing auditions. Whether you aspire to work onstage or backstage, one of the decisions you will face is whether to join a union – and, if so, when. Stefanie Lehmann outlines the major unions and trade organizations for the theatre industry, explains their benefits and their costs, and offers up advice from others on the pluses and minuses of joining. We also share advice for high school students and their teachers on making the transition to college theatre. Using results from a survey, Matthew Miller offers suggestions to help students make the leap. Still looking for an undergraduate or graduate school in theatre? Students and teachers seeking the best schools for a theatre education will find comprehensive help inside this issue: the 2020 SETC College, University & Training Program Directory, which lists SETC member institutions and provides details on the degrees they offer. All involved in theatre will find helpful ideas in our two regular columns. In “Hot off the Press,” Zackary Ross provides a sampling of new plays with a common theme: people coming to terms with truths about themselves. Finally, in our “Outside the Box” column offering innovative design-tech solutions, David Glenn explains how you can create onstage rocks using stone cloth made from a few simple ingredients. As you can see, this issue is packed with many helpful ideas and great advice for theatre professionals – regardless of where you are on your career journey. I hope you learn and enjoy!

Jeff Gibson, SETC President Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 5



Stone Cloth Create Rocks with Aluminum, Muslin and Glue

The rocks for this production of Children of Eden, presented in April 2018 in the Wright Center Concert Hall at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, were created from aluminum rolls, muslin and Elmer’s glue. by David Glenn

the logistics of creating and painting all of

rolls: .003" and .005". Commercially avail-

the pieces presented some challenges. We

able stone cloth uses a .0039" aluminum

ew projects are as challenging as

had at least 12 large foam billets in stock,

backer, so I took a chance and ordered the

replicating items found in nature.

but we were still going to need to order

.003" roll, which cost $129 per roll. I hoped

Creating a realistic tree or, in this instance, a

almost $2,000 in additional bulk foam.

that it would be thick enough to create the

stage full of rocks, can be a costly and time-

With production deadlines approaching,

right effect. However, we quickly decided

consuming endeavor. Natural textures are

our confidence in finishing the project

that the .005" rolls – which are almost 30%

not impossible to produce, but creating

using foam began to wane, and we began

thicker than the backer used on the pre-

them often requires a great deal of work

looking at ways to buy our way out of the

manufactured material – would perform

and resources. Traditional materials such as


better in this application. The thicker rolls

polystyrene blocks or sheets are expensive,

A Plan to Make Stone Cloth

were $165 each.


and carving them creates a large-scale

One of the options we had considered

Our plan was to bond scenic muslin to

mess. Cutting them with hot wires or

earlier in the process was commercially

the aluminum. We tested Elmer’s glue as

hot knives also requires ventilation of

available stone cloth, which has an alu-

the bonding agent and achieved a solid


minum foil-backed canvas that can be

bond with the low-cost glue. However, we

The show that required us to think

quickly “crinkled” into organic shapes.

quickly found that theatrical muslin sized

creatively about rocks was a production of

Having used it before, I loved the idea of

too much due to water we added to the

Children of Eden at the Wright Center Con-

this time-saving product. However, it was

white glue.

cert Hall at Samford University. The stage

expensive – about $6,000 for the 13 or more

has a 58'-6" proscenium opening, and the

rolls we would need.

A quick search on the internet led us to a de-sized muslin that cost $7.99/yard

design called for the rocks to extend past

But what if we could create our own

in a 118" width from One

the opening about 4' on each side of the

stone cloth at a lower price? That would

of the most important lessons we learned

stage. Originally, the plan called for carv-

become the answer to our dilemma.

while using this product is that we needed

ing Styrofoam billets that we had in stock

We started with a search for heavy-

30-40% more material than our initial esti-

and supplementing those with additional

gauge aluminum foil, which led me to a

mates due to the contour of the rocks and

billets from our supplier.

familiar supplier, Grainger. Grainger offers

the material needed to wrap around the

two thicknesses of aluminum in 4'-0" by 100'

back of the structure.

As we moved forward with that plan, 6 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating Stone Cloth

Step 1: Laminate de-sized muslin to the aluminum with Elmer’s glue.

Step 2: Paint the stone cloth to the desired finish.

The Process

Step 3: Crumple the cloth to form a natural texture.

• The aluminum stone cloth may cause

Step 4: Staple the cloth to a support frame and add highlight and shadow.

1'-wide material for use as a large, self-

Once we determined the best approach

interference with wireless microphones.

supported ribbon.

to creating the stone cloth, we began the

We had already introduced the micro-

Bottom Line

process of fabricating the massive amounts

phones before we began adding the rock

The choice to go with the homemade

needed. By the end of the project, we had

facades, and the addition of the material

stone cloth allowed us to complete Children

created approximately 460' of the 4'-wide

caused the microphones to lose their

of Eden on budget and on time, and it gave

cloth. Laminating the fabric to the alumi-

signals. With a little experimenting, we

the stones a natural texture that would

num and base painting the panels proved

were able to relocate the receivers and

have been hard to match with foam carv-

antennas to eliminate this issue.

ing. A project that had initially looked to

to be good projects for our lab students. Our scenic charge then stepped in to give

Additional Uses for the Cloth

overwhelm the production crew ended up

the rocks the textured look that we wanted

After the production, we separated the

finishing in about 10 days, and the stone

to achieve, and we were able to produce all

material into individual sheets and rolled it

cloth ended up being the most cost-effective

of the panels needed in just over a week.

for reuse in the future. We have since reused

option. n

We chose to make the panels 9' tall, and we

the cloth to create smaller stack stones and

were able to get 11 panels per roll of alu-

even as bark for some oversized tree limbs.

minum. We ended up ordering four rolls of

The usefulness of the cloth as a repurposed

the .005" aluminum after purchasing the

stock item helps justify the initial cost of the

initial roll of .003" material (which we also

materials by spreading the expense over


several show budgets.

MATERIALS AND COSTS (for 1,840 feet of product)

The move to stone cloth allowed us

Since producing the muslin backed with

to rough in the shape of the rocks using

aluminum, we have tried experimenting

Hollywood flats and frames that loaded in

with other fabrics, and the pairings have

easily to the concert hall. It took us about

created some exciting possibilities for

Aluminum rolls 1@.003 ($129/each) 4 @.005 ($165/each) Muslin 75 yards ($7.99/yard) Elmer’s glue 8 gallons ($11/gallon)

four days to finish applying the stone cloth

future use. Fabrics with more nap than

Total cost:

material. The cloth is heavy enough to be

muslin could be used to increase the

stapled into step facings and then onto the

inherent textures of the surfaces and offer

tread below to achieve stone step facings.

different paint properties. The aluminum

The overall process was quick, and we were

can be doubled up to increase its thickness

able to avoid the mess created by a major

for even greater rigidity of the material, and

Styrofoam undertaking.

we have even experimented with folding

Two Important Notes

the 4'-wide material into a four-layer thick,

$129.00 660.00 599.25 88.00


David Glenn, director of technology and design at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, and a professional technical director for 27 years, is editor of the Outside the Box column.

• The heavy-gauge aluminum is extremely sharp on its edges. Care should be taken during the handling of the material and the prepping of the set for actors.

Do you have an idea for an Outside the Box column? Email Outside the Box Editor David Glenn at for information on submission requirements. Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 7

THE PIANO MAN If You’re Auditioning at SETC, Jose Simbulan Has Some Notes for You inter view by Richard St. Peter

Caitie McMekin


Jose Simbulan holds the keys to success for thousands of auditionees. At most of SETC’s Professional Auditions for the last 25 years, he has been the unflappable pianist at the keyboard who, every 60 to 90 seconds, accepts another auditionee’s sheet music and – seconds later – plays it with precision and flair. At the 2020 SETC Convention in Louisville, he’ll be back again, sight-reading tune after tune for up to eight hours a day for three days straight. By his own estimation, Simbulan has played approximately 35,000 auditions – just in his 25 years playing auditions for SETC and his 20 years playing auditions for United Professional Theatre Auditions (UPTA). Although his work is behind-the-scenes, SETC brought him center stage in 2019 to recognize his skills and years of service as the SETC accompanist, inducting him into the SETC Hall of Fame. To call Jose Simbulan the SETC accompanist, though, is to diminish the impressive body of professional work he has accomplished outside the auditions room. From playing in the pit on Broadway shows to musical directing and conducting at theatres like Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Virginia Repertory Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the National Asian Artists Project, Jose has a flourishing career that has taken him across the country. In the interview that follows, I asked Jose about his piano training, his work, how he got started with SETC and his advice for auditionees. Our interview has been slightly edited for clarity and length.

‘There are still too many singers who come into the audition room

How did you get involved with music? When did

albums that I would check out from the local library.

you start playing?

I had always liked music in elementary school and

in piano performance at Virginia Commonwealth

heard someone

even performed in school shows and choirs. My mom

University, I spent a good amount of time “on the

signed me up for some piano lessons at a mall music

other side of the building,” the theatre side, playing

play the notes on

store when I was nine years old, and that’s when the

for directing projects and departmental productions.

music bug formally bit. (Truth be told, the “reward” of

a cone from the mall’s ice cream shop after each lesson

ing auditions came quite naturally and easily for

was a big motivator early on – and sort of still is.) My

me. Once I was able to drive, I became involved in

their song with a

dad was in the Coast Guard and got transferred to a

the community theatre scene around Washington,

new duty station every few years, so I went through

pianist. Why would

DC, and I would continue to play for community

a series of piano teachers as we moved from city to

theatre productions when I was home from college.

you leave that

city, but we eventually settled in northern Virginia

As some of those actors and directors started to

crucial part out

when I was in the sixth grade. While in middle school,

make the transition from community to profes-

I started accompanying the choirs and musicals. I was

sional theatre in DC, so did I. I landed my first re-

far from what anyone would consider a child prodigy

gional theatre credit as a music director in the fall

but had enough talent and facility to be featured dur-

of 1993 at Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, VA,

ing a school assembly every now and then.

and then spent the next couple of years building

How did you go from musician to playing for

my career between Richmond and the DC area.

theatre and auditions?

How did you start playing auditions for SETC?

My love for musical theatre really developed in

I got a taste of playing in “the big room” in the spring

high school. I owe a huge debt of thanks to my

of 1993 when the annual convention took place in

high school drama teacher, Mr. Mike Garcia, as well

Arlington, VA. I went up there to play for some of the

as one of my fellow classmates, Bryan Louiselle,

students from VCU. The following year, it turned out

who served as a sort of mentor and inspiration to

the previous pianist was not going to be available, and

me. I played for some of the drama club produc-

through a series of phone calls to the office at Theatre

tions, sometimes even doing double-duty: playing

VCU, I was hired. I actually don’t remember much

piano in the pit for some songs, then running up

about playing the auditions themselves that first

to the stage to be in some of the larger ensemble

year, just that I did, and, apparently, without major

numbers, and then back down to the pit. I also saw

incident. What I do remember from that spring is

shows when I could and listened to numerous cast

flying out of DC in the middle of a snowstorm – they

Even while pursuing my BM [bachelor of music]

I was always sort of a good sight-reader, so play-

who have never

their sheet music, or even performed

of your audition preparation process?’ - Jose Simbulan

Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 9

ran out of deicing fluid twice! – and then

a very real possibility, I thanked her and

The auditions that truly stand out to

landing in near summer-like conditions in

thanked her mother for remembering me.

me are the ones where the connection,

Savannah: I had to buy shorts in the hotel

It felt good knowing that I was helping out

the chemistry between me and the actor,

gift shop. With the exception of three spring

a second generation of performers.

goes beyond “singer and pianist,” and I

conventions – all of which were held in

The only quibble I have each year is

have been fortunate to have had many of

Florida (coincidence?) – I have played for

the lack of personal time to check out the

those. And, yes, I am purposely not name-

the Professional Auditions ever since.

various other offerings at the convention:


What do you like most about playing

the workshops, exhibits and vendors. But

Have there been any major changes

for SETC? What do you like least?

I do make a point of taking a few strolls

over your years of playing for the

Each year, it is a wonderful combination

through the convention center when I can,

auditions? What is different now from

of getting together with old friends and

as well as checking out the local restaurants.

when you started?

colleagues, coupled with meeting and

I know you have played thousands

The only notable change in my eyes (and

making many new ones. I particularly like

of auditions. Are there any that

fingers) is the amount of new repertoire

watching the progress of students who

stand out? Do you ever find yourself

and new shows that have been written

go from “summer-only” hires to “year-

thinking, “I’m going to remember this

over the past 25 years. Point of reference: I

round” theatre professionals. There’s also

person. They are going places!”

started playing for SETC before Beauty and

a wonderful and literal sense of longevity

There are many people I fondly remember,

the Beast and Rent opened on Broadway.

amongst many of the company reps and

including some that happened to get their

There is the relatively recent possibility of

actors, some of whom I have now known

big break while I just happened to be at the

someone bringing in their sheet music on

and worked with through SETC for 25

piano that day. There are also many actors

an iPad, but, otherwise, there really hasn’t

years. A few years ago, one young woman

that I’ve had the true pleasure of watching

been much of a change in the general

mentioned to me: “You played for my

go from SETC to their first audition in New

process of auditions. An actor still brings

mother.” After taking a few seconds to do

York City, and then on to booking their first

in a piece of music they wish to perform,

the math and realizing that was indeed

major tour or Broadway show.

and I play it for them. I sight-read their

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Man of La Mancha, 2019 Photo by Andrea Hallgren

10 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Caitie McMekin

Jose Simbulan plays for an auditionee as the next performer waits at the piano.

Five Do’s and Don’ts for Your Musical Audition from Jose Simbulan DO

have a good copy of your sheet music. It can be in a book, three-ring binder (with or without sheet protectors), or taped/glued/stapled to a file folder so that it will stay on the piano. And, yes, page turns are acceptable.


put your music on the piano and say, “I’m sorry this is hard to read.” If I’m not able to read it, I won’t be able to play it. And no loose sheets of paper – it’s too easy for them to fall off the piano. The same goes for “accordion folds” over three pages – if one piece of paper starts to fall, the rest will follow.


practice your music at least once with a pianist before your audition. Or, at the very least, have a pianist read through your music to make sure it’s readable and clearly marked.


find out while you’re auditioning that your sheet music is in the wrong key, and/or not correctly marked.


sing a song (or songs) that you like to sing.


know what you want for your intro: a note, a couple of notes, a measure or two of music.


decide on-the-fly where and how you want to start.


give me a complete piece of sheet music to read – a vocal line and a piano accompaniment, or a lead sheet with chords, melody and lyrics.


provide me with a copy of the “vocal book” to play from. A “vocal book” is just that – it will only have the melody with no piano part/accompaniment.


sing something that you think you have to sing – or should sing. A good performance of a “bad” song is better than a “bad” performance of a good song.

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And a bonus DO! remember that I like playing auditions. I want to play well for you. I want you to have a good audition. I want you to get a callback. If you and your music are prepared, then I will be prepared.

Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 11

sheet music and accompany them without

help them, or are simply unaware of them,

any prior consultation or practice, and we

or just ignore them altogether. While there

somehow, almost miraculously, begin and

are many examples of general cluelessness

end at the same time.

and mediocrity on platforms such as You-

Alas, one other thing that hasn’t changed

Tube, and on programs such as American

over the years is a certain degree of “un-

Idol, there are also many examples of good

education” among all levels of actors. This

singing, good stage presence and good

is even more disheartening and frustrating

technique out there as well.

Bring Your Artistry To Exciting New Levels!

when you consider the amount of good

The ability to critique and “pre-screen”

information and resources that are now

yourself is very easy, convenient and

available at no cost to everyone via the

immediate(!) nowadays by using your

LIU Post’s Theatre program offers a wide range of opportunities that will connect you to the industry as soon as you arrive. You’ll be able to:

internet. Even the viral nature of YouTube,

smartphone. Take the time to rehearse,

along with the popularity of programs

perform, record and review your audition

• Work with professional directors and designers

such as American Idol and The Voice and

material. Make the effort to find a compe-

• Earn international performance opportunities

the prevalence of smartphones, hasn’t

tent pianist to assist you with your musical

• Learn all aspects of theatre production

seemed to cut down on the number of more

preparation. There are still too many sing-

• Connect with our strong alumni network

“interesting” audition experiences.

ers who come into the audition room who

• Access internship opportunities in the New York City area

Can you elaborate a bit more on what

have never heard someone play the notes

you mean when you say “un-education”?

on their sheet music, or even performed

I am still surprised at the number of bad

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auditions that happen. I am still surprised

leave that crucial part out of your audition

by the number of aspiring performers who

preparation process? Especially an audition

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And it actually angers me at SETC when it

Oh, I have to know! What was your

becomes evident that a college professor

Broadway debut?

or director simply signed a student actor’s

The year was 2006. The show was (the

form, and then made no further effort to

short-lived) Lestat. I was one of the key-

ensure their student’s success.

board players. That’s really all that needs

What keeps you coming back year

to be said, if said at all!

after year to play for SETC’s auditions?

Fair enough! What do you do the rest

Do you enjoy the pace? The challenge?

of the year, when you’re not playing

When I first started playing for SETC, I was

for auditions? Perhaps share a few

usually looking for work for myself as a

examples of other shows you have

pianist and music director as well. Since

worked on?

most of the companies typically had their

I spend a good deal of my professional

summer staff lined up by the time they

life in New York City playing even more

arrived at SETC, many of the connections I

auditions, as well as vocal coaching.

made during the convention were for work

I like the “day job” aspect of audition

later in the year. I would also regularly

playing since it leaves my evenings free

play callbacks in the evening for some of

to see shows and concerts, check out new

the companies to make a little more money

restaurants and hang out with friends. I

during the convention. I look back on those

also travel regularly – usually to Chicago,

early years and marvel that I had the energy

San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston – to

for such a schedule: playing auditions all

spend time with family and friends, eat

day in the main ballroom and then onto

at my favorite restaurants and see even

another four to five hours of callbacks in

more shows and concerts. I spent this past

the evening.

summer at Barrington Stage Company in

Audition playing has never really scared

Pittsfield, MA. I served as the music director

me. Yes, I’ve gotten nervous a few times,

for their Musical Theatre Conservatory

Major and minor in theatre arts, minor in dance.

but since I’ve never had a fear of sight-

program for the first part of the summer,

reading – sight-reading is just something

and then switched over to the music staff

The Sewanee Pledge—study abroad, get funding for an internship, and you’ll graduate in four years. Guaranteed!

I’ve always been able to do – playing au-

for the new musical Fall Springs by Niko

ditions has never been a source of anxiety.

Tsakalakos and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. A

While the pace and span of the day can

good chunk of my work outside of NYC

try my mental and physical endurance at

has been in DC at Arena Stage; I have been

times, I do relish and appreciate the chal-

a part of 15 productions since 1997. I have

lenge and responsibility of complementing,

also worked with Baayork Lee’s National

supporting and showcasing the talents of

Asian Artists Project (NAAP), and I have

the actor. As I state in my briefing at the

played workshops and recitals for the

start of each day: “This is your audition,

Amy Murphy Studio both in NYC and

not mine.” (And then I parenthetically add

Birmingham, AL. n

Expanded financial aid program to meet the full need of those who qualify.

under my breath, “I have work …”, as a way of breaking the ice even more, hopefully.) Each 60- to 90-second audition slot is an opportunity for success and satisfaction. I come back year after year because I can,

More Audition Advice? Follow Jose Simbulan on Twitter and Instagram at @JoseSPiano or his blog at

and because I want to. It is very satisfying to be a part of an annual event for a number of years running. And the three times I was

Learn more at

not able to attend the spring convention were due to conflicts with a production I was working on, one of which was my Broadway debut.

14 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Richard St. Peter is an assistant professor of theatre at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. He is the chair of SETC’s Directing Committee and a member of the Editorial Board of Southern Theatre.




A Career Opportunity for Students and a Challenge for the Industry by J.K. Curry

The job of the technical director typically includes oversight of all the technical crafts that go into the creation of a set. At left, student carpenter Brendan King checks the scenery transitions for a production of Guys and Dolls at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Photo by Christine Rucker


“Where have all the TDs gone?” was the title of a workshop at the 2019 SETC Convention. It’s also a question that is asked repeatedly as theatres seek to hire technical directors (TDs). The job of the TD is challenging, and theatres need skilled, well-trained, hard-working people to perform it. Concerns about a growing shortage of candidates for the job prompted Camden Simon, production manager and technical director at Oak Ridge Playhouse in Tennessee, to organize the SETC session, which had an estimated 55 to 60 people in attendance. Simon noted “almost all agreed there is a problem” filling TD positions with well-qualified individuals. Difficulties in finding qualified TDs also were reported by most of the respondents to a recent informal survey of SETC member companies and theatre departments. More than 97% of the 76 respondents said there is a shortage of candidates for TD and other technical positions. In a related survey of current and former technical directors, 80% of the 40 respondents said they believe there is a shortage. Some of those who disagreed that a shortage existed said that enough qualified applicants would exist if employers provided adequate compensation for the skill level of TDs and the hours of work required.

while two additional respondents reported 35 and 40

what is a full-time TD job at a university.” Tracy Nunnally, professor and technical director at Northern Illinois University, agreed that “the role and expectations of the TD vary wildly from place to place.” Nunnally, who is also owner of the flying effects company Vertigo, shared a TD mission statement he wrote many years ago and still finds apt: “The primary mission of the traditional technical director is to coordinate resources (time, information, money, room/space and people) to ensure that the team of technical craftspeople have the necessary resources

the profiles with this article.

believe there is a shortage?

specific skills varied considerably. While six of the

particular, he noted, “We don’t have good rubrics for

spotlighted in

positions? If yes, why do you

for the job in terms of education, experience and

a TD is. It’s a different job in different places.” In

shortage are

shortage of people to fill TD

the number of applicants considered fully qualified

in Detroit, “is that there is no good definition of what

about the TD

Do you believe there is a

applicants, respectively. Within this candidate pool,

Brinker, technical director at Michigan Opera Theatre

SETC’s survey

Jacksonville, AL

respondents reported six to 20 applicants per search,

“One challenge in discussing the issue,” said Dan

responded to

Jacksonville State University

zero to five applicants for each position. Another 14

What Is the Job and Why Is It Hard to Fill?

directors who

Technical Director

TD searches in recent years, 45 reported that they had

applicant was qualified for the position.


John A. Davis

Among respondents who had conducted one or more

fully qualified, 24 respondents said none or only one

and former


Respondents to the surveys noted varying levels of success in finding qualified applicants for TD jobs.

respondents found that 100% of their applicants were

Selected current

Yes. Many companies will not pay a fair rate to their TDs, and then expect them to work ridiculously long hours. They also have unrealistic expectations of what their shop and staff can accomplish when it comes to a design for a show, which adds unfair stress to the TD. If yes, what do you believe should be done to alleviate the shortage? As upper management for a theatre company, you need to be versed in what the TD’s role is and what is expected from them. For many years, theatre has used a slave-for-the-art model: working late into the night, weekends and holidays. This model is outdated, and most TDs do not want to work this way anymore. What advice do you have for young people about this career? Learn as much as you can. Stay organized. Don’t assume you know it all. What advice do you have for those educating future TDs? Stay relevant. Just because you did it that way in the past doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way to do it today. What advice do you have for theatres looking to fill TD positions? Pay a reasonable salary, and don’t handicap your TD by questioning all of their choices. Remember, you hired them for a reason. Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 17

Camden Simon Oak Ridge Playhouse

Tracy Nunnally Northern Illinois U.

Chuck Meacham U. of Evansville

to bring the vision of the team of artisans

sign, safety and health, [and] fire codes, as

to the performance space, and ensure that

well as an understanding of theatre history,

the environment is safe for the performing

lighting, sound, props, costumes, shipping

artists, audience and staff.”

and trucking, storage facilities, contracting,

Along those lines, many technical di-

power tools, modern media design and

rectors view their primary responsibility

production equipment. If a production

as serving as a project manager. However,

wants to fly a performer, use running water

as a result of the great variability in duties

on stage, turn down the temperature in a

at different places of employment, TDs at

rehearsal hall, drive a golf cart in a produc-

some theatres may be expected to perform

tion, use live flame, know how to use a 3-D

a myriad of jobs, such as constructing the

printer, or fix a period buffet table damaged

scenery, serving as the master electrician

in rehearsal, the TD is most often the one

and engineering the sound. Even when

expected to be knowledgeable.”

not providing all the hands-on labor, the

At some theatres, the job might involve

TD is expected to be knowledgeable about

translating designs into technical drawings

all areas of technical theatre. Simon com-

for construction, devising solutions for

pares the TD to the structural engineer

requested special effects or scenic trans-

and lead contractor for a house build (with

formations, supervising professional staff,

the designer in the role of architect.) “You

students or volunteers, and being respon-

don’t need to be the carpenter, welder and

sible for everything that goes on stage. A

painter, but you must know whether that

technical director at a college or university

wall will hold, recognize a good or badly

might teach classes for academic credit and

assembled joint, and understand the phys-

have additional faculty responsibilities.

ics of materials,” Simon said.

Whatever duties are included with any

The variety of knowledge and skills a TD

given TD job, the most common problem

may be asked to contribute to the making of

in keeping the position filled seems to be a

a piece of theatre is vast. “I feel there is no

perception that wages offered for many TD

position in theatre production today that is

positions are low and not commensurate

expected to possess the depth and breadth

with the skills brought to the job.

of knowledge and technical expertise of

So, what is the typical salary for a TD? It

technical directors,” said Paul Brunner,

is difficult to obtain specific data on salaries

former technical director and head of the

because many job listings describe pay only

theatre technology program at Indiana

as “competitive.” A perusal in October 2019

University and current business develop-

of TD job listings that specified a salary

ment manager for the Minnesota-based

range included jobs:

Thern Stage Equipment. He notes that

• At a small, nonprofit theatre in Califor-

TDs must have knowledge of “structural design, mechanical design, automation controls and design, rigging, theatrical de18 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Michael Kelley UNC School of the Arts

nia ($41,000-49,000). • At a community college in California ($60,168-82,944).

• As an assistant professor/TD in Utah

cluding nights and weekends. During Tech Week, TDs may start early in the morning

($50,000+). • At a community theatre in Texas

and not get home until midnight or later. Production opening dates are fixed, and

($38,000-42,000). • At a professional theatre in California

any unanticipated technical problems can


lengthen the TD’s workday. Simon noted

To be fully qualified, a technical director

that typically a TD is “not compensated

candidate usually has years of professional

like a lawyer or someone with similar long

experience and formal education, with

hours, who is able to provide a certain

many academic TD positions requiring an

lifestyle to their family” in exchange for a

MFA. Closely tied to the issue of low pay

grueling work schedule.

is the assumption that a technical director

Beyond relatively low pay for long

is often expected to work long hours, in-

hours of work, technical director positions


Technical Director Bucks County Playhouse New Hope, PA Do you believe there is a shortage of people to fill TD positions? If yes, what do you believe should be done to alleviate the shortage? Yes. The No. 1 reason that I will not pass on or have interest in a job posting has to do with salary. Time and experience are valuable, and I often see postings for all kinds of positions that do not adequately offer a salary that balances the duties expected of that job. What advice do you have for young people about this career? Learn a little bit about any and every skill you can. You never know when knowledge and experience in any given trade will be applicable to your current project. Research. Read about it, read the directions, watch YouTube videos, contact manufacturers. Most importantly, do not go it alone. Do not isolate yourself or think that you have to do it all yourself. Contact colleagues, other theatres and friends. Ask questions on forums. Know when to bring in persons with greater expertise than you. What advice do you have for those educating future TDs? Teach your students how to teach themselves and problem-solve. Theatre is a collaborative art form. Theatre artists are going to turn to their TDs and ask them to make things that have never been made before, or have been made before, just not in that way. There’s always a chance that it is something that TD has zero experience making happen. So, instill the confidence in your students that they can take that desired effect or set piece and break it down and figure out a way to make it happen. Safely, of course. What advice do you have for theatres looking to fill TD positions? Be honest about what duties you need your person to perform. Do you need someone who can run boards and work backstage? Do you need someone who manages a shop? Do you have touring shows coming in? What kind of hours are required for this position? Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 19


can be stressful due to the responsibility

However, the need to avert a looming

the TD has for everyone’s safety, which

TD shortage seems more urgent today as

is an essential aspect of the job. The TD is

theatre educators and professionals become

the person who ensures that scenery will

aware of a potential pipeline problem. Few-

not collapse under actors or crew or fall

er students are even aware that technical

on their heads.

theatre careers exist. (Many respondents to

Other stressors mentioned by TDs in-

the SETC survey about a TD shortage also

clude a lack of respect for their skill set and

noted potential shortages in related fields,

contributions to the making of a theatrical

such as carpenter, master electrician, props

production, and limited opportunities for

construction, costume and scene shop


advancement, including difficulty obtain-

supervisor, scenic artist, sound engineer,

ing tenure in faculty positions. Usually, TDs

costume staff, rigger and stitcher.)

Apply online at:

do not publish research, the typical route

“Kids today are not told they can make a

to obtaining tenure, and their contributions

profession in the arts – high school counsel-

may be less apparent to a college-wide

ors say they can’t make a living,” said Mi-

tenure committee than the work of a scenic

chael Kelley, dean of design and production

designer, for example. Busy college TDs are

at the University of North Carolina School

likely to have very limited opportunities

of the Arts in Winston-Salem. “The idea that

to gain additional professional credits, a

there is no work in the industry is a lie.”

strategy often used by designers, directors

Chuck Meacham, professor at the

and performers pursuing tenure. Contrib-

University of Evansville and past commis-

uting to the issue, some TDs believe that

sioner for technical production with USITT,

some organizations seem simply to expect

also noted a lack of awareness of theatre

burnout and high turnover in the TD posi-

careers. “Students are encouraged to do

tion, so they do not make efforts to improve

other things, pursue other careers – ones

the situation.

that the adults in their lives understand

In recent years, many TDs have opted


to take their skills to the entertainment

In addition to not knowing about techni-

industry and beyond, where they can enjoy

cal theatre job opportunities, students today

better pay and work schedules. This, in

often lack experience working with their

turn, has created more TD job openings,

hands – an activity that may have helped

which are sometimes filled by early career

those in past generations start on the path

individuals trying to tackle the job before

to work as a technical director. A number of

they are ready – which can lead to even

respondents to SETC’s surveys mentioned

more burnout and turnover.

the elimination or reduction of shop classes

Pipeline Issue Adds Urgency

at many high schools as a major contributor

Concern about a high turnover in TD

UTC is a comprehensive, community-engaged campus of the UT System. UTC is an EEO/AA/Titles VI & IX Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution.

20 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

more fully.”

to the shortage.

positions is not a new problem. In 1989,

Young digital natives, as a group, also

Theatre Design & Technology published an

appear to spend less of their free time on ac-

article, “Job Satisfaction Among Technical

tivities that develop manual dexterity, such

Directors,” by Dennis Dorn and Lisa Anne

as building models, sewing, woodworking

Schlenker Aitken, based on a 1987 survey

or repairing machinery. A recent article in

of technical directors. They reported that,

The New York Times noted that a widespread

while most TDs found some satisfaction in

decrease in fine motor skills is a concern

their job, issues such as long hours and low

for medical schools training surgeons, but

pay were leading many to consider a move

other fields are likely to feel the effect, too.

to a different career. Follow-up surveys

Students who are not accustomed to build-

conducted by Mark L. Engler in 1997 and

ing and tinkering on their own may be less

2011 found similar concerns, but no mass

likely today to pick up a hammer in a high

exodus from the field.

school theatre program.

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While some high schools, especially arts

In addition to a lack of training at the

magnet schools, provide rich curricular and

high school level, some survey respondents

extra-curricular experiences in technical

also linked the shortage of TDs to an em-

theatre, reports from the field suggest that

phasis on design over technical education

overall fewer students are gaining hands-

in colleges. William Cruttenden, associate

on technical theatre experience in middle

production manager at Two River Theater

and high school. Many schools outsource

in Red Bank, NJ, attributed the shortage of

scene design and construction to parent

TDs to “colleges emphasizing their design

volunteers or hired professionals.

tracks and not realizing that, in the end, we

“More and more high school students

need people to actually build these ideas.”

are not being allowed to learn scenic con-

Others suggested the pipeline issues

struction and actually touch power tools,”

could be alleviated with a change in the de-

said Adam Zonder, production manager

grees that theatres and universities require

at Hangar Theatre Company in Ithaca,

of their TDs, noting that many of the skills

NY. “They are being allowed to use mov-

might be taught through trade schools at a

ing lights, run light boards, operate digital

much lower cost to students. “Many com-

sound consoles, etc., so those areas are con-

panies want a college-educated person for

sidered ‘fun and sexy’ while working with

a position that doesn’t always require a col-

plywood is what someone’s parent does.”

lege education,” said Jeff Allen, production

BA Theatre & Dance with concentrations in:

Blake Minor, head theatre director at

manager at Pacific Conservatory Theater in

Dulles High School in Sugarland, TX, noted

Santa Maria, CA. “Don’t make the hurdle of

Acting/Directing Dance Design

several reasons schools might not allow

tuition be a challenge to a career.”

students to build sets. Teachers assessed

Wally Eastland, resident designer and

on their public performances may want to

production manager at Southern Arkan-

assure the highest possible quality of tech-

sas University, also suggested altering the

nical elements by relying on skilled adults.

education path: “We should have a trade

Individual teachers may not possess skills

school/apprentice program approach to

in technical theatre that would allow them

training people who want to be technicians.

to train students in appropriate construc-

Keep the four-year programs for people

tion techniques. Some schools lack scene

who are on a design track.”

shop facilities. Concern for student safety

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22 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

and administration concern with liability

So, given the many warnings about

can also prevent students from getting

the TD job, why would a student want to

hands-on experience. “I do believe there

consider preparing for a career as a TD?

is a ton of interest from students but very

It turns out that good jobs do exist – and

little trust from adults to challenge their

a potential labor shortage may lead more

students and build in enough time to edu-

organizations to make their TD positions

cate [them on] proper building techniques,”

attractive. Many TDs find great satisfaction

Minor said.

in their work, and well-trained TDs can

easily move their skills to desirable jobs in

Tracy Nunnally is even more enthusiastic about technical directing: “I, like many

the wider entertainment industry. “You can make something tangible that

of us, do the job because I think it is the

looks great,” said Dave Foster, technical

greatest job in the world. Where else can

director and production manager at Regent

I have a hand in turning the dreams and

University in Virginia Beach, VA. “You will

visions of master storytellers into a reality

know what you contributed.”

that is shared by thousands of people?”

The opportunity to make things happen

Of course, the job is more fulfilling when

quickly is another appeal of tech direct-

performed for an organization with good

ing, according to Jeremy Day, president

working conditions and pay. Such jobs do

of Verendus Industries, who holds a BFA

exist. “Many theatre companies are great

in technical direction and now focuses on

places to work and give their employees a

finding unique mechanical solutions to

voice to express themselves on stage and

automation and rigging problems for cli-

in their work environments,” said Verda

ents in the entertainment industry. “What

Beth Martell, a former technical director

kept me from becoming an engineer was

who is now a theatre design specialist with

impatience with how long it takes to realize

DLR Group, an integrated design firm with

a project,” he said. “In the entertainment

offices around the world. Dan Brinker

field, everything is on a faster timeline. That

noted that there are “many fabulous

led me to the industry.”

companies where TDs love to work,”

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Concord Creative (custom scenery shop for theatre, live events and film) Clarkston, GA If you are no longer a TD at a theatre, why did you leave the position? Burden of work vs. pay scale. Do you believe there is a shortage of people to fill TD positions? If yes, why do you believe there is a shortage? Yes. A combination of lack of people being developed to fill the job and a lack of adequate compensation for the burden of work. If yes, what do you believe should be done to alleviate the shortage? Development of young talent and an increase in compensation, whether it be monetary or otherwise (time off, benefits). What advice do you have for young people about this career? Get a solid foundation in as many areas of theatre as you can, and find somewhere and someone who will help you grow. What advice do you have for those educating future TDs? TDs need to understand all elements of the business but don’t have to be on the forefront of every emerging trend. Build solid foundations in all types of theatre.

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What advice do you have for theatres looking to fill TD positions? Take a chance on developing talent and work with them to grow in the position. Do not expect to find a perfect candidate. Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 23

but those jobs do not open up frequently. Finding TD jobs that pay well can be a challenge. “The truth is that those who have

are being compensated very reasonably for

beginning a job search can also benefit

their services, but how to find those posi-

from guidance offered by professors and

tions is a skill in and of itself.”

professional contacts. New graduates and

the highly paid positions usually hang on to

Technical theatre jobs are listed frequent-

other job seekers can use their networks to

them, so they don’t become available very

ly on SETC’s Theatre Job Board and other

gain an idea about which positions may be

often,” Nunnally said. “I am proud to say

sites, such as the Theatre Communications

worth accepting.

that a high majority of my TD alums are

Group ArtSearch, Jobs USITT, OffStage

If individuals are not able to find a TD

working with organizations where they are and general employment sites

position with satisfactory compensation

happy with their working conditions and

such as Of course, students

or working conditions, they can take the range of skills developed through technical

FORMER TD Steve Boone

Assistant Professor/ Undergraduate Coordinator Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH If you are no longer a TD at a theatre, why did you leave the position? My job was redefined when a new person was hired. The new person took over all TD and production management responsibilities. Do you believe there is a shortage of people to fill TD positions? If yes, why do you believe there is a shortage? Yes. 1) The quantity of people who build stuff when they’re young is lower, so fundamental skills are often not there when they get to the point of going into a career as a young adult. This extends to all areas of theatre tech (costume shop, lighting equipment repair). 2) People need communication skills and a genuine love for teaching and leading new students in technical theatre to be a good TD. I think this is where “burnout” comes from – people who can’t develop good relationships with their co-workers and bosses, as well as people who can’t stand going into the shop and dealing with untrained masses every day. If yes, what do you believe should be done to alleviate the shortage? In the TD training programs, learning how to work with management and crew is essential. There really is a way to communicate effectively that leaves everyone happy (not grumpy and burned out). What advice do you have for young people about this career? It’s a lot of work, and you have to not only be good at tech, but also enjoy working with and showing others how to do this stuff. What advice do you have for those educating future TDs? 1) Seriously, make sure that students are learning how to work with and teach others. This can’t happen by simply assigning future TDs to the shop and expecting them to learn this the hard way. 2) Incorporate appropriate parts of ESTA, OSHA and similar work-related training programs. 3) Make sure future TDs learn to estimate. What advice do you have for theatres looking to fill TD positions? The salary and job expectations have to be good to hire good people. The possibility for advancement in pay and rank needs to be realistic. Conversely, cost of living pay increases for an entire career will not attract and keep a qualified and good TD around for long in these positions. 24 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

theatre training to many other fields. Noting that the $400-billion global entertainment industry encompasses much more than theatre, Michael Kelley said he wants students to “see all they can do for a living with theatre degrees.” According to Kelley, the skill set developed through technical theatre training can lead to many job opportunities, including work at places such as Cirque du Soleil, Tait Towers, theme parks, museums, water parks, science centers, the Olympics, Super Bowls, heritage sites, escape rooms, drone shows, and themed restaurants, casinos and shops, as well as in film. Martell noted that many older TDs who decided to change jobs “are staying in the larger profession, but moving to manufacturing, commercial shops, regional or national sales, engineering, project management and architectural consulting. Younger technicians might move from production into events technician, installer, shop management, sales, technical support or project management.” Technical directors interviewed for this story also pointed to colleagues and students who had moved into a variety of other fields, such as construction, engineering, facilities management and business consulting. “TD skills are generally transferable,” Martell said, noting that TDs are typically “technically savvy, good communicators and leaders, who can read and interpret complex documentation and are organized.” Challenge to Theatres and Academic Theatre Departments

People who have worked as technical directors are keenly aware of the low pay and overwork that go along with many jobs in (Continued on Page 26)

2020 College, University & Training Program Directory Looking for the best setting to launch your career in theatre? Or perhaps you’re seeking the perfect place to pursue an advanced degree in one of the theatre disciplines? To help you make those choices, we have compiled the most comprehensive directory available anywhere listing degrees and special programs offered at SETC member colleges, universities and training programs. Data for the profiles is provided by the institutions.

2020 SETC College, University ACCADEMIA DELL’ARTE San Fabiano 9 Arezzo, Italy 52100 Degrees: MFA: Physical Theatre; Study Abroad: Physical Theatre (Performance and Devising) Profile: Accademia dell’Arte is a performing ar ts school in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy. Housed at Villa Godiola, a Renaissanceera villa overlooking the city, we offer multiple levels of study abroad Physical Theatre training: One-Semester, One-Year, Summer and Winter Intensives, an MFA in Physical Theatre, plus a Summer Faculty Symposium. Contact: Bob Shryock 270-300-1146 ACTORS STUDIO DRAMA SCHOOL AT PACE UNIVERSITY 1 Pace Pl, W527 New York, NY 10038 Contact: 212-346-1531

Department of Theatre


ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre Arts PO Box 271 Montgomery, AL 36101 Degrees: BA: Performance, Technical Theatre, Theatre Generalist; BFA: Dance; Minor: Theatre, Dance Profile: Graduates are qualified theatre practitioners in acting, audience development, directing, dramaturgy, costume construction and design, set construction and design, light and sound design, theatrical makeup application, theatre history and theatre management. Graduates who earn the BFA in dance are qualified for further study or professional companies to begin dance careers. Contact: Brian Martin 334-229-6739; ALMA COLLEGE 614 W Superior St Alma, MI 48801 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Technical Theatre, Design, Management) Profile: Theory in class is combined with extensive experience in production. Liberal arts are emphasized while the fine arts of theatre are practiced – a meaningful cooperation. Alma is completely undergraduate-driven, which means you will be given every opportunity to be involved right away with one of four mainstage productions. Contact: Kristen Bennett 989-463-7242; AMDA COLLEGE AND CONSERVATORY OF THE PERFORMING ARTS 6305 Yucca St, Los Angeles, CA 90028 211 W 61st St, New York, NY 10023 Degrees: BFA: Dance, Musical Theatre, Acting, Performing Arts; AOS: Studio (Acting for Stage, Film & Television), Dance Theatre (Theatrical, Commercial & Concert Dance), Integrated (Acting, Music Theatre & Dance); Two-Year Conservatory Certificates: Studio (Acting for Stage, Film & Television), Dance Theatre (Theatrical, Commercial & Concert Dance), Integrated (Acting, Music Theatre & Dance) Profile: Founded in 1964, AMDA provides rigorous, performance-based training and an industry-focused education experience that prepares students for professional careers as performing artists. Students enjoy the option of studying at both campuses while completing their degrees. Scholar-

ships offered through an audition process. Visit for list of prestigious alumni. Contact: Jonathan Juarbe; Samantha Ciccone 212-957-3336; AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC ARTS 120 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 1336 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 Degrees: AOS: Acting; Certificate of Completion: Acting; Options to continue at partnered schools for bachelor’s degree Profile: The American Academy of Dramatic Arts was the first conservatory for actors in the English-speaking world. Its purpose is to provide students with the tools to make acting their profession. Faculty are working professionals and master teachers whose goal is to prepare students for acting in theatre, television and film. Contact: 800-463-8990 (NY); 800-2222867 (LA); ANDERSON UNIVERSITY South Carolina School of the Arts 316 Boulevard Anderson, SC 29621 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Directing, Dance, Theatrical Design); BFA: Theatre (Acting), Musical Theatre Profile: A Christian university providing excellence in performance, technical and arts administration opportunities; four venues (large and small proscenium, concert hall, black box); multiple dance spaces; and courses in acting, directing, musical theatre, design, dance, stage movement, stagecraft, theatre history, theatre ministry and theatre forms. Auditions are required. Scholarships are available. Contact: Laura Beth Cannon 864-760-1170 APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance PO Box 32123 Boone, NC 28608 Degrees: BA: Dance Studies, Theatre Arts (Theatre Design/Technology, General Theatre, Theatre Performance, Theatre Education/K-12); Minor: Theatre Arts, Dance Studies, Somatic Sustainability Profile:  Appalachian State University’s

& Training Program Directory Department of Theatre and Dance offers challenging coursework, a dynamic cocurricular production program and a facultystudent ratio of 7:1 – all in a liberal arts setting. It provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, as well as outreach opportunities within the community and the region. Contact: Emily Daughtridge (Dance); Keith Martin (Theatre) 828-262-2404; 828-262-8179; ARCADIA UNIVERSITY 450 S Easton Rd Glenside, PA 19038 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts; BFA: Acting, Acting (Musical Theatre); Minor: Theatre Arts Profile: The Theatre Arts programs go beyond a traditional conservatory-style approach – immersing you in all aspects of theatrical creation. The university’s intimate size provides close interaction with faculty in a liberal ar ts setting. Proximity to Philadelphia’s dynamic theatre community connects students with industry professionals who are regular instructors and guest artists. Contact: Mark Wade 215-572-2146; ATLANTIC ACTING SCHOOL 76 Ninth Ave, Suite 537 New York, NY 10011 Degrees: Cer tificate: Professional Conservatory, Evening Conservatory, Spring Comprehensive, Summer Intensive, Summer Teen Ensemble; BFA through NYU Tisch School of the Arts Profile: Founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, Atlantic Acting School offers rigorous training in the acting technique Practical Aesthetics. The mission of the school, affiliated with the award-winning Atlantic Theater Company, is to ensure that graduates master essential analytical and physical disciplines of acting and are empowered for success. Contact: 212-691-5919 AUBURN UNIVERSITY Telfair Peet Theatre 350 W Samford Ave Auburn, AL 36849 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Acting, Music Theatre, Design/Technology, Management

Profile: Auburn Theatre offers rigorous practical training in a liberal arts context. A high percentage of graduates proceed to industry employment and graduate theatre training programs. Contact: Chase Bringardner 334-844-4748; AUBURN UNIVERSITY AT MONTGOMERY Communication & Theatre PO Box 244023, Room 351 Liberal Arts Montgomery, AL 36124 Degrees: BA: Communication (Theatre, Broadcast Journalism) Profile: Theatre AUM is a small theatre program run in the style of a resident theatre company, with four full-time faculty dedicated to training students who are interested in learning all aspects of theatre. Contact: Katie Pearson 334-244-3632; AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY 601 College St Clarksville, TN 37044 Degrees: BA: Theatre & Dance (Acting/Directing, Dance, Design Tech); BFA: Theatre & Dance (Acting/Directing, Dance, Design Tech, Musical Theatre) Profile: We prepare the student to become a working professional in the entertainment industry by being well-versed in many disciplines and skills. Our season consists of six performances, with no restrictions on freshmen auditioning. Scholarships and out-of-state tuition waivers available. Check out for audition info. Contact: Margaret Rennerfeldt AVERETT UNIVERSITY 420 W Main St Danville, VA 24541 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Musical Theatre, English/Theatre with or without Teacher Licensure; BS: Theatre with Teacher Licensure; Minor: Musical Theatre Profile: Averett has a small, energetic and extremely active theatre department where students are offered a variety of opportunities to learn their craft. Students are guided by a dedicated professional faculty. Contact: Jackie Finney 434-791-5710;

BELMONT UNIVERSITY 1900 Belmont Blvd Nashville, TN 37212 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BM: Musical Theatre; BFA: Theatre (Performance, Directing, Production Design, Theatre Education with Licensure), Musical Theatre Profile: Belmont is a Christian university with a practical, professional theatre and musical theatre training program, three state-of-the-art theatre facilities and a compassionate, student-centered faculty. Contact: Paul Gatrell 615-460-6012 CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LOS ANGELES 5151 State University Dr Los Angeles, CA 90026 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Design & Tech); MFA: Television, Film & Theatre (Acting, Production, Writing) Profile: Located in the heart of the entertainment industry, with multiple productions throughout the year in various theatre spaces, we offer students ongoing opportunities

Baylor Theatre BA Theatre Arts BFA Theatre Performance optional concentration in musical theatre BFA Theatre Design and Technology MFA Directing MA Theatre Studies

National Unified Auditions in Chicago February 3-7, 2020 In-state auditions listed at Theatre Department acceptance by audition/interview only Baylor University application deadline February 1, 2020

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre 2019 production pnoto of Peter and the Starcatcher


2020 SETC College, University to apply class training in performance and production. Professional guest instructors, directors and speakers provide ongoing opportunities to engage with the professional community. Contact: Meredith Greenburg (Theatre); Tanya Kane-Perry (TV) 323-343-4110 CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 250 University Dr California, PA 15419 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting/Directing, Design, Technical Theatre, Musical Theatre, Management) Profile: Our program allows one-on-one study to help you find what makes your heart sing. You are not just a number, you are family. First-year students participate in a show all their own during their first semester. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. An Estill Voice Educational Affiliate.

Contact: Michele A. Pagen 724-938-5578; CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY 1 University Dr, #872 Campbellsville, KY 42718 Degrees: BA or BS: Theatre (Performance, Technical Theatre); Minor: Dance Profile: A unique partnership with a local production company offers six opportunities a semester where students can gain performance or design experience. CU offers hands-on engagement with your craft and a personalized approach from faculty. CU offers a diverse campus and provides opportunities to visit and study around the world. Contact: Starr Garrett 270-789-5266 CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY School of Drama 5000 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Degrees: BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Design (Scenery, Lighting, Costume, Sound, Media), Production Technology & Management (Technical Direction, Stage & Production Management), Directing, Dramaturgy; MFA: Design (Scener y, Lighting, Costume, Sound, Media), Production Technology & Management (Technical Direction, Stage & Production Management), Directing, Dramatic Writing Profile: The School of Drama presents an intense conservatory training ground for students who want consistent individual attention leading to a career in professional theatre. A faculty of professional designers and technicians provides a hands-on education. By graduation, students are wellplaced to move directly into the industry in all areas. Contact: Dick Block CATAWBA COLLEGE 2300 W Innes St Salisbury, NC 28144 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts; BS: Theatre Arts Management; BFA: Musical Theatre, Performance (Acting, Directing), Technical Theatre (Lighting Design, Set Design, Costume Design, Technical Theatre) Profile: Catawba College is ranked ninth in the nation for “Best College Theatre” according to The Princeton Review’s 2017 edition of “The Best 381 Colleges.”


We have a large production season and three wonderful theatres. Scholarships are available. Contact: Lisabeth Slate 704-637-4440; CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA Drama Department 620 Michigan Ave NE Washington, DC 20064 Degrees: BA: Drama (Performing Arts Management, Digital Art & Design, Video Production and Digital Storytelling); BA/MA: Accelerated degree in Drama & Theatre Education; MA: Theatre History & Criticism, Theatre Education (MATE); MFA: Acting, Directing, Playwriting Profile: CUA’s BA offers a liberal arts education with opportunities for performance and technical work. The MFA provides professional theatre training. The MA provides advanced theatre studies. The MATE provides training for theatre in education. Students work with professional companies as they transition into the professional world. Significant scholarships are available for MFA. Contact: Matt Ripa 202-319-5358; CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY 1 Avenue of the Arts Newport News, VA 23606 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Ar ts Administration, Design/Technical Theatre, Directing/Dramatic Literature, Music Theatre/Dance, Theatre Studies); Minor: Dance Profile: Dedicated to undergraduate, professional-level training, CNU offers a dynamic, challenging program of theatre study. Located in the Ferguson Center for the Arts, Theater CNU enjoys state-of-theart facilities. All instructors are professionals in their fields. Small class sizes ensure oneon-one attention. Scholarships available for all grade levels, including incoming freshmen. Contact: Gregg Lloyd 757-594-8793; CLEMSON UNIVERSITY Department of Performing Arts 221 Brooks Center Clemson University Clemson, SC 29634-0525

& Training Program Directory Degrees: BA: Performing Arts (Theatre, Music, Audio Technology) Profile: An interdisciplinary program in which students focus on a specific concentration within performing arts, while learning skills that integrate all areas. The program combines aspects of performance, design and playwriting. Department productions are staged in our black box and proscenium/road house. Affiliated with SETC, USITT, KCACTF, and London’s Rose Bruford College. Contact: Matthew Leckenbusch 864-656-6961; COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre PO Box 261954 Conway, SC 29528-6054 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre, Acting, Physical Theatre, Design & Production Profile: A nationally accredited program with working graduates in the industry. Steeped in traditional studies and innovative training methods, the accomplished faculty guide students into the profession through intense classroom study and contributions from guest artists and a rigorous production season. Contact: Monica Bell 843-349-2287; COKER COLLEGE Department of Dance, Music and Theatre 300 E College Ave Hartsville, SC 29550 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Writing, Musical Theatre, Performance, Technical Theatre), Music (Piano, Voice, Music Education), Dance (Dance Education, General); BFA: Dance (Performance, Choreography); Minor: Dance, Music, Theatre Profile: A major in the arts isn’t a choice – it’s a calling. If you want to succeed, it also takes dedication, practice and training. Coker’s Department of Dance, Music and Theatre is designed to help you put all these pieces together, so you can turn your passion into a career! Contact: Angela Gallo; Joshua Webb 843-383-8381; 843-383-8378; COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON Department of Theatre and Dance 66 George St Charleston, SC 29424 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Theatre, Per-

formance, Costume Design & Technology, Scenic/Lighting Design & Technology, Theatre for Youth), Dance (General Dance Studies, Performance); MAT: Performing Arts – Theatre Profile: CofC provides broad instruction in theatre and dance in a liberal arts setting, as well as in-depth instruction and experience in the practice of theatre and dance. The melding of theory and practice stimulates the skills necessary for a successful life both in and out of the professional arts. Contact: Janine McCabe 843-953-6306; DELL’ARTE INTERNATIONAL 131 H St PO Box 816 Blue Lake, CA 95525 Degrees: MFA: Ensemble-Based Devised Physical Theatre; PTP (One-Year Professional Training Program): Movement, Devising, Character, Neutral Mask, Commedia Dell’Arte, Melodrama, Clown; Summer Intensive; Study Abroad in Bali: Mask Carving, Mask Dance, Shadow Puppetry Profile: Dell’Arte International is the North American center for theatre training, research and performance for the actorcreator. Nestled in the heart of the redwood forests on California’s North Coast, we offer an MFA in Ensemble-based Physical Theatre, one-year certificate program, studyabroad Bali program, summer intensives and workshops throughout the year. Contact: Pratik Motwani 707-668-5663;

EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY School of Theatre and Dance Messick Theatre Arts Center Greenville, NC 27858-4353 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts; BFA: Theatre Arts (Professional Actor Training, Musical Theatre, Stage Management, Design and Production, Theatre for Youth), Theatre Arts Education Profile: Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, our programs emphasize real-world practical preparation. Our grads are ready to go to work and compete in the professional theatre, film and entertainment world at any level. Contact: 252-328-6390; EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance PO Box 70626 Johnson City, TN 37614 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Design/ Production, Musical Theatre); Minor: Theatre, Dance Profile: We prepare students for careers in performing arts, theatre education and

DICKINSON COLLEGE Department of Theatre and Dance Box 1773 Carlisle, PA 17013 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting/Directing, Dance, Design/Technology, Dramatic Literature) Profile: Dickinson offers a comprehensive liberal arts education in theatre. In addition to many performance and production opportunities, students are encouraged to explore connections between theatre and other fields of interest. Dickinson’s program offers students both internship and study abroad opportunities. Contact: Sherry Harper-McCombs 717-245-1239 theatre& theatre-and-dance


2020 SETC College, University advanced graduate or conservatory study, providing a broad foundation in theatre, musical theatre, design/technical theatre and dance through individualized mentoring. Scholarships are available. NASTaccredited. Contact: Karen Brewster 423-439-5827; ELON UNIVERSITY Department of Performing Arts 2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244 Degrees: BA: Theatrical Design & Production, Drama & Theatre Studies, Arts Administration; BS: Dance Science; BFA: Acting, Dance Performance & Choreography, Music Theatre Profile: Elon offers conservatory-style training and professional-quality productions at a supportive liberal arts institution. Our alumni are extremely successful because we teach “the business” as well as the art. Contact: Kimberly Rippy 336-278-5600; 252.328.6390

FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY Visual & Performing Arts Department 285 Madison Ave M-DB0-01 Madison, NJ 07940 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts (Acting, Musical Theatre, Directing, Design & Technical Production) Profile: This degree program features practical learning experiences, international theatre studies and the opportunity to study with highly accomplished theatre professionals. Five concentrations are offered: Acting, Musical Theatre, Directing or Design & Technical Production. An audition is required – dates and times can be obtained from the Admissions office. Contact: Stephen Hollis 973-443-8467; FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY 11200 SW 8th St WPAC 131 Miami, FL 33199 Degrees: BA; BFA Profile: We offer both BA and BFA degrees in theatre, and students may focus on acting, costume design, set and lighting design, or technical theatre. We have a broad curriculum taught by experienced faculty who continue to work professionally in acting, directing, design and playwriting. Contact: Lesley-Ann Timlick 305-348-2895; FLORIDA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS St. Johns River State College 5001 St. Johns Ave Palatka, FL 32177 Degrees: AS or AS+AA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance, Stage Management, Theatre Technology (Costume Design, Scenic/ Lighting Design), New Media Design, Photography, Studio Arts, Animation; Certificate: Stage Technology Profile: “FLO” is a two-year, state-supported, professional arts school offering intense creative instruction in the classroom combined with many practical opportunities during our rigorous production schedule of plays, musicals, dance events, exhibits and a new film festival. Admission is by audition or portfolio review only. Contact: Kitty Clarke 386-312-4304;


FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr Lakeland, FL 33801 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts, Dance; BFA: Performance, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, Dance Profile: Ranked in the top 20 college theatre programs by Princeton Review, FSC is a four-year, private liberal arts college that emphasizes one-on-one instruction, hands-on experience and a high degree of professionalism. A theatre major has opportunities to perform major roles freshman year; design students will see their work produced sophomore year. Contact: Paul Bawek 860-680-4184; FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY School of Theatre 239 Fine Arts Building Tallahassee, FL 32306 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Acting, Music Theatre; MFA: Acting, Costume Design, Directing, Technical Production, Theatre Management; MS: Theatre Education; MA: Theatre Studies; PhD: Theatre Studies Profile: The School of Theatre at FSU offers a comprehensive education in theatre. In addition to its academic offerings, the school presents a six-show season, including two musicals, on its three stages annually. Also, an active student theatre association presents a number of shows annually. Contact: Michele Diamonti 850-644-7234; FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Program PO Box 100547 Florence, SC 29502 Degrees: BA Profile: We are a small theatre program “big” on giving students experience; students are given the opportunity to participate in all facets of production. Francis Marion University is a fully accredited institution with the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). Contact: Glen Gourley 843-661-1538; FURMAN UNIVERSITY 3300 Poinsett Hwy Greenville, SC 29613 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts Profile: Furman is a private liberal arts

& Training Program Directory institution founded in 1826 and is nationally acclaimed for its academic excellence, Engaged Learning program and campus beauty. The Theatre Arts Department offers dynamic coursework with the primary goal of producing graduates who excel in all areas of the theatre world. Contact: Jay Oney; Maegan Azar 864-294-2128; 864-294-2127; GAINESVILLE THEATRE ALLIANCE PO Box 1358 Gainesville, GA 30503 Degrees: AA: Theatre; BA: Theatre (Performance, Design/Tech, Directing, Theatre Education, Playwriting, Theatre Management); BFA: Acting, Design/Tech, Musical Theatre; One-Year Certification: Technical Theatre Profile: The Gainesville Theatre Alliance is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between the University of North Georgia, Brenau University and theatre professionals who work together to create a dynamic educational/training program. Students learn from a rigorous academic curriculum while building solid resume credits working with industry professionals from across the country. Contact: Jim Hammond 678-717-3624; GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY 4400 University Dr, MS 3E6 Fairfax, VA 22030 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Design/Technical, Theatre Studies/Playwriting & Dramaturgy); BFA: Stage & Screen Studies (Performance, Musical Theatre, Design/Technical); Accelerated MA: Arts Management; Graduate Certificate: Teaching Theatre Arts PK-12 Profile: Located near the vibrant DC arts community, we encourage our students to engage their artistic and academic skills in regional and global communities. Theatre at Mason blends excellence and rigor using state-of-the-art resources to provide a professional approach in a liberal arts environment. Contact: Kevin Murray 703-993-1120; THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 800 21st St NW, Suite 227 Washington, DC 20052

Degrees: BA: Theatre, Dance, Design/Production; MFA: Production Design (Costume, Lighting, Scenery), Dance; Certificate: Exhibit Design Profile: The George Washington University’s Program of Theatre and Dance, part of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, is located in the heart of rich, cultural Washington, DC. Students develop and showcase their creative talents immersed in this exciting community studying with professionally engaged and experienced faculty. Contact: Carl Gudenius 202-994-8072; GEORGIA COLLEGE & STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre, CBX 119 Milledgeville, GA 31061 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Minor: Theatre, Dance; Certificate: Film Production Profile: Georgia College is Georgia’s designated Public Liberal Arts University. The Department of Theatre produces a variety of theatrical works, hosts acclaimed guest artists and offers a number of performance, design and directing opportunities for students. The Department of Theatre is located in the renovated historic Campus Theatre in downtown Milledgeville. Contact: Karen Berman 478-445-1980;

Degrees: BA or BS: Theatre (Acting, Costuming, Design/Technical, Directing, Musical Theatre, Stage Management, Teacher Education) Profile: We provide many production opportunities for freshmen (no graduate students competing for roles/designs or teaching courses), and individual end-ofsemester and production evaluations. We host the state theatre festival and SETC’s Summer and Outdoor Theatre Auditions and make internships available at the local Equity theatre. Contact: Perry Morgan 336-272-7102 x5744 HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY School of Music and Theatre 310 E Market St Tiffin, OH 44883 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Musical Theatre, Production); Minor: Theatre Profile: At Heidelberg University, we provide professional theatre training within the liberal arts tradition. Students learn the art and business of theatre through intense

GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY 2434 Southern Dr Sanford Hall, Box 8091 Statesboro, GA 30460 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Minor: Theatre Profile: The award-winning theatre program at Georgia Southern University is an institutional member of NAST and has a longstanding reputation for excellence in artistic achievement among industry professionals. Students have the opportunity to perform, design and direct in four state-of-the-art performance facilities on two campuses. Contact: Kelly Berry (Statesboro campus); John Wright (Savannah campus) 912-478-0106; 912-344-2705; theatre     GREENSBORO COLLEGE 815 W Market St Greensboro, NC 27401


2020 SETC College, University hands-on experiences. Our students become writers, designers, directors and actors who fully understand how to navigate the professional theatre world. Contact: Stephen Svoboda HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY 833 Montlieu Ave High Point, NC 27262 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Technical, Collaborative), Dance; Minor: Theatre, Dance, Musical Theatre Profile: Students can expect active participation in personal transformation, as our expert faculty (professional artist-mentors) “walk the walk” with everyone. Theatre & Dance students become self-motivated, courageous, and decisive company members in a welcoming, supportive environment. Choose a journey spurred by unlimited opportunities, exceptional resources, and many ways to be involved. Contact: Doug Brown 336-841-4525;


Little Women (2019), photo by Nina Donville

Acting, Costume Design, Costume Technology, Directing, Dramaturgy, Lighting Design, Playwrighting, Scenic Design, and Theatre Technology


Musical Theatre Contemporary Dance


Theatre & Drama Nationally Recognized Faculty Member of URTA & USITT NAST Accredited Professional Summer Theatre D-8

HOLLINS UNIVERSITY 7916 Williamson Rd Box 9602 Roanoke, VA 24020 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Minor: Theatre; MFA: Playwriting (Applied Theatre, Dramaturgy, Plays with Music, Plays for Youth, Performance, Directing) Profile: The Hollins Theatre Institute provides classroom instruction and experiential learning in acting, directing, playwriting, design, stage management, musical theatre and technical production for undergraduate women. Playwright’s Lab is a unique highintensity/low-residency MFA coeducational graduate program (six-week sessions over four to five summers), also offering professional certificates in directing and performance. Contact: Anna Goodwin 540-362-6313; ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY School of Theatre and Dance Campus Box 5700 Normal, IL 61790 Degrees: BA or BS: Acting, Dance Education, Dance Performance, Design/ Production, Theatre Education, Theatre Studies (Cinema Studies, Creative Drama, Directing, Dramaturgy/History, Integrated Performance, Theatre Management); MA or MS: Theatre History, Criticism; MFA: Acting, Design/Production, Directing Profile: The School of Theatre and Dance has an over 40-year legacy with many distinguished alumni, including the founders of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Extensive production opportunities are available in three diverse performance venues and include student-produced work. Student internships are available for the nationally recognized Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Contact: Janet Wilson 309-438-8783; ILLINOIS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY School of Theatre Arts 2 Ames Plaza E PO Box 2900 Bloomington, IL 61701 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts; BFA: Acting, Design/Tech, Music Theatre; Minor: Theatre Arts, Dance, Arts Management Profile: Illinois Wesleyan theatre students receive pre-professional training in a liberal arts setting and frequently work individually

with professors while developing artistry as theatre practitioners. Contact: Theatre Recruitment Office 309-556-3944; INDIANA UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance 275 N Jordan Ave Suite A300U Bloomington, IN 47405 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre, Contemporary Dance; MFA: Acting, Directing, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Theatre Technology, Costume Technology, Playwriting Profile: In addition to an outstanding faculty, the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University has over 25 guest artists and scholars on campus each year. The department is housed in state-of-the-art facilities and also operates the Indiana University Summer Theatre, a professional summer theatre. Contact: Linda Pisano 812-855-0809; INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA Theater and Dance Department 401 S 11th St Indiana, PA 15705-1065 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Design/Tech/Management, Theory/Criticism), Musical Theatre, Dance Arts; Minor: Theatre, Dance Profile: Offering breadth and depth of study with great individual attention, IUP’s programs balance classroom learning with active participation in Theater-bythe-Grove and IUP Dance Theater. Freshmen are eligible to audition for mainstage productions. Approximately 20 studio productions each year provide opportunities for student playwriting and directing. Contact: Brian Jones 724-357-2965; JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY Division of Theatre and Dance 2800 University Blvd N P111 Jacksonville, FL 32211 Degrees: BA or BFA: Theatre (Performance, Technology) Profile: The Theatre Program is housed in the College of Fine Arts, which includes a SACS-accredited, rigorous BFA pre-

& Training Program Directory

JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY School of Theatre and Dance 147 Warsaw Ave MSC 5601 Harrisonburg, VA 22807 Degrees: BA: Dance, Musical Theatre, Theatre (Performance, Design & Technology, Theatre Studies, Theatre Education); Minor: Dance, Theatre Profile: We provide professionally focused training within the context of a broader university liberal arts experience. Numerous student-directed, student-choreographed, student-designed, student-acted and student-danced productions complement mainstage faculty- and guest-directed/ choreographed productions in the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Interview/ audition or portfolio review is required for entrance to the majors. Contact: School of Theatre and Dance 540-568-6342; JUILLIARD SCHOOL Professional Apprentice Program 60 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 10023 Contact: Helen Taynton 212-799-5000 x7102 KD CONSERVATORY COLLEGE OF FILM AND DRAMATIC ARTS 2600 N Stemmons Fwy Suite 117 Dallas, TX 75207 Degrees: AAA: Acting Performance, Musical Theatre Performance, Motion Picture Production Profile: KD gives students a fast-paced path into the world of professional acting, musical theatre or film production. Our faculty of working professionals provides the same passion and desire that we ask of all our students. In 15 months, students prepare for a successful career in the entertainment industry. Contact: 214-638-0484

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY School of Theatre and Dance B141 Center for the Performing Arts Kent, OH 44242 Degrees: BA: Theatre Studies (Performance, Production, Management, Theatre & Society), Dance Studies; BFA: Musical Theatre, Dance Performance, Design & Technology; MFA: Acting, Lighting Design, Scene Design, Costume Design, Theatre Technology, Acting for the Returning Professional Profile: The School of Theatre and Dance offers individual mentorship; low student/ teacher ratio; close proximity to professional theatre, opera and dance companies; an established guest director series; and the award-winning summer professional Porthouse Theatre. Contact: Eric van Baars 330-672-0102; KING UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre 1350 King College Rd Bristol, TN 37620 Degrees: BA: Theatre Profile: King University’s theatre program offers a small program with individualized attention and instruction; students can pursue independent studies in acting, directing, design, theatre ministry, theatre for young audiences, radio drama, playwriting and more in a hands-on environment. Contact: Alaska Reece Vance 423-652-4839; aspx LAGRANGE COLLEGE 601 Broad St LaGrange, GA 30240 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Production & Design), Musical Theatre Profile: Our undergraduate program focuses on providing students with the mentorship and production experience they need to succeed in professional and academic theatre after graduation. LaGrange College’s committed liberal ar ts program, small class sizes and professionally active, full-time faculty offer students a quality education that is unique in the Southeast. Contact: Kim Barber Knoll

LEE UNIVERSITY 1200 N Ocoee St Cleveland, TN 37312 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BAT: Musical Theatre, Theatre Education, K-12 Profile: Our theatre program is designed to educate the whole theatre student for a variety of options in the theatre world. Because we provide students with many opportunities, both onstage and offstage, including opportunities for leadership, design and directing, graduates from our program are well-equipped to move on to the next step in their theatre careers. Contact: Christine Williams 423-614-8227; LEES-MCRAE COLLEGE PO Box 128 Banner Elk, NC 28604 Degrees: BA or BS: Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre, Theatre Arts, Theatre Arts Education (K-12 Teacher Licensure); Minor: Theatre Arts, Technical Theatre Profile: Lees-McRae is a small, private college located in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Lees-McRae educates


professional degree. Our students enjoy small class sizes, one-on-one instruction, hands-on experience, the opportunity to perform major roles in their freshman year, individual mentoring and a high degree of professionalism. Contact: Deborah Jordan 904-256-7349;

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2020 SETC College, University and inspires students to approach life and work from a creative, collaborative and critical perspective. Focus of study is on the integration of artistic, technical, performance, management and historical perspectives. Contact: Danielle Curtis 828-898-3478; musical-theatre/index.htm LESSAC TRAINING AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE 60 Seaman Ave, New York, NY 10034 600 S Locust St, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN 46135 Certifications: Practitioner; Certified Trainer Profile: The Lessac Training and Research Institute, a worldwide organization devoted to the pursuit, growth and evolution of Arthur Lessac’s Kinesensic Voice and Body Training, offers participants in workshops and students at select university programs an opportunity to earn certification. Contact: Sean Turner

KDSTUDIO.COM | 214.638.0484 | DALLAS, TX



LIBERTY UNIVERSITY 1971 University Blvd Lynchburg, VA 24515 Degrees: BA/BS: Theatre Arts; BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre Profile: With eight productions a year, four being musicals, we emphasize storytelling and the development of skills required for employment in the industry. Students have opportunities to gain hands-on experience, hone their craft and jump-start their careers by earning professional credits with the Alluvion Stage Company, the department’s resident professional company. Contact: Linda Cooper 434-582-2078; LIMESTONE COLLEGE 1115 College Dr Theatre Dept Gaffney, SC 29340 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Theatre/English, Musical Theatre; BFA: Theatre (Tech/ Management/Design, Performance), Musical Theatre (Performance); Minor: Theatre Profile: Limestone College is one of the few academic institutions in the area to offer a BFA within the framework of a liberal arts education. We are committed to the artistic development of both major and non-major students in the performing arts and offer students the undivided attention of our faculty. Contact: Vandy Scoates 864-488-8234; LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY 1 University Park Dr Nashville, TN 37204 Degrees: BA: Theatre Education, General Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre, Acting, Directing, Design/Production Profile: We are a Christian university in the heart of Nashville, TN, committed to leading the future in arts education through rigorous training, interdisciplinary collaboration and faith-focused community. With 60 students in the department, five main productions each year and several second-stage opportunities, we offer strong, individualized training and mentorship. Contact: Nat McIntyre 615-966-5187; LONDON ACADEMY OF MUSIC & DRAMATIC ART (LAMDA) 155 Talgarth Rd London, W14 9DA United Kingdom


Degrees: BA: Professional Acting; MA: Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre; MFA: Professional Acting; Semester Programme: Classical Acting (study abroad); Shakespeare Summer School (8 weeks); LAMDA Short Courses: Shakespeare (4 weeks), Audition Technique (2 weeks), Introduction to Screen Acting (2 weeks), Introduction to Drama School (2 weeks), Acting in English (2 weeks) Profile: A world leader and pioneer, LAMDA provides exceptional vocational training in the dramatic arts. Our outstanding new facilities provide creative spaces where students can take the risks necessary to explore their potential. Located in West London, LAMDA, the UK’s oldest drama school, has been training artists since 1861. Contact: Brian Nocella 917-720-3836; LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY/POST (LIU POST) College of Arts, Communications and Design, School of Performing Arts, Department of Theatre, Dance and Arts Management 720 Northern Blvd Brookville, NY 11548 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Production & Design, Arts Management, Directing, Playwriting, Dance Studies; MFA: Acting, Directing, Playwriting Profile: We offer opportunities to train with professional New York City theatre artists on a beautiful suburban campus 30 miles from Manhattan, with low student/ teacher ratios, individual mentoring and vast performance resources, preparing students to enter the profession with a variety of skills and professional connections. Generous scholarships are available. Contact: Cara Gargano 516-299-2353; LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY School of Theatre 105 Music and Dramatic Arts Building Baton Rouge, LA 70803 Degrees: BA: Arts Administration, Design/ Technology, Film/Television, Performance, Physical Theatre, Theatre Studies; MFA: Acting, Costume Technology & Design, Properties Technology & Design, Scenic Technology & Design; PhD: Theatre/History/ Literature/Criticism Profile: LSU Theatre is one of only a handful of departments in the country that supports a full-time, year-round professional

& Training Program Directory theatre, Swine Palace. Many students are Equity-eligible by graduation. Our entire physical plant was renovated in 2009. Contact: Kristin Sosnowsky 225-578-4174; LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY School of the Performing Arts PO Box 8608 Ruston, LA 71272 Degrees: BA: Communications (Theatre); MA: Theatre Profile: The Department of Theatre, School of the Performing Arts, is one of five unique areas of excellence at Louisiana Tech University, offering specialized expert training in stage combat, stage management, acting, directing and playwriting. Contact: Cherrie Sciro 318-257-2930; LYNN UNIVERSITY 3601 N Military Trl Boca Raton, FL 33431 Degrees: BFA: Drama (Acting, Musical Theatre Performance) Profile: Our BFA is a concentrated acting and musical theatre training program that prepares students to be professional actors in theatre, movies, television and musicals. The unique and comprehensive curriculum blends traditional and contemporary theatrical training methods through innovative approaches that keep pace with the demands of the industry. Contact: Adam Simpson 561-237-7461; MARS HILL UNIVERSITY 100 Athletic St Mars Hill, NC 28754 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre Performance Profile: The study of theatre at Mars Hill University engages students in an exploration of the world from multiple perspectives; develops artistic skills and cultivates their capacities for collaboration, critical thinking, creative problem-solving and effective communication; and provides real-world career opportunities at our in-house professional theatre (Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre). Contact: Sue Fair 828-689-1377;

MARSHALL UNIVERSITY 1 John Marshall Dr Huntington, WV 25755 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Performance, Production; Minor: Theatre, Dance Profile: As one of the oldest theatre programs in West Virginia, MU Theatre operates in one of the largest and bestequipped theatre facilities in the Southeast region. All BFA students participate in a professional internship experience. All students are invited to explore regular regional theatre and study abroad experiences. Contact: Lang Reynolds 304-696-2546; MARY BALDWIN UNIVERSITY 101 E Frederick St Staunton, VA 24401 Degrees: BA: Performing Arts (Theatre, Music, Film); BA or MLITT: Shakespeare & Performance; MFA: Shakespeare & Performance; Accelerated MFA (as part of a professional internship with American Shakespeare Center) Profile: Coed undergraduate program; intimate black box theatre; undergraduate season produces five plays per year. Coed graduate program; MFA company model focuses on collaboration and ensemble practices; graduate productions perform at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. Contact: Doreen Bechtol METROPOLITAN STATE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER 890 Auraria Pkwy Denver, CO 80204 Contact: Scott Lubinski 303-615-0768; MICHAEL HOWARD STUDIOS The Professional Acting Studio for Theatre, Film and Television 152 W 25th St 10th Floor New York, NY 10001 Degrees: Certificate: Summer, One-Year and Two-Year Conservatories (Theatre, Film, Television, Business of Acting) Profile: Michael Howard Studios has guided Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Kerry Washington, Lea Michele and others into successful careers in theatre, film and television. Our philosophy is to help actors

develop a technique that is their own. Conservatories provide real-world exposure while training actors with the tools for a professional career. Contact: Jessica Corn 212-645-1525 MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY Campus Box 43 Murfreesboro, TN 37132 Degrees: BS: Theatre, Theatre Teacher Licensure; Minor: Entertainment Arts Design, Dance, Musical Theatre, Theatre Profile: Located 30 miles from Nashville, Middle Tennessee State University offers diverse training options for undergraduates only, in areas such as acting, design, directing, youth theatre, musical theatre and dance. MTSU features 130 undergraduate majors, 15 full-time faculty, two theatres and a full complement of state-of-the-art production facilities and technology. Contact: Jeff Gibson 615-898-2640;

ROCK THE BARD A RENAISSANCE EDUCATION IN RENAISSANCE DRAMA MLitt/MFA in Shakespeare & Performance at Mary Baldwin in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center


2020 SETC College, University MIDWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY 3410 Taft Blvd Wichita Falls, TX 76308 Degrees: BFA: Acting, Design Tech, Teacher Certification; Minor: Theatre Arts Profile: We offer a hands-on, practical approach to learning. Small class sizes mean students receive personal attention. From first semester, students are involved in all aspects of production and have ample opportunities to apply skills onstage and offstage. Graduates are well-equipped to work in the professional world. Scholarships available. Contact: Christie Maturo 940-397-4395; MILLIGAN COLLEGE 1 Blowers Blvd Milligan College, TN 37682 Degrees: BA: Musical Theatre, Music Performance, Fine Arts (Theatre) Profile: Milligan College is a Christian liberal arts college in Johnson City, TN, whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. Intimate class sizes allow students to explore all aspects of music


and theatre while thriving in an encouraging environment. Contact: Carrie Klofach 423-461-8793; MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY 130 McComas Hall 216 President’s Circle Mississippi State, MS 39762 Degrees: BA: Communication (Theatre) Profile: Aligning with the mission of MSU, the Theatre Concentration in the Department of Communication is dedicated to inspiring and nurturing theatre audiences, developing professionalism and self-expression in student theatre artists, and offering university, local and regional communities with theatre experiences that entertain while promoting thoughtful dialogue that is culturally relevant. Contact: Cody Stockstill 662-325-7954

MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Global Language and Theatre Arts 106 Fine Arts Bldg Murray, KY 42071 Degrees: BA or BS: Theatre, Theatre/Musical Theatre, Theatre/Film; Minor: Theatre, Performance, Musical Theatre, Design/Tech Profile: Our students practice skills in a liberal arts context that will assist them with employment opportunities in the entertainment industry and beyond. The department offers four to six productions each academic year, with students participating in all facets of theatre production, including acting, dance, management, technical theatre, design and directing. Contact: Brent Menchinger 270-809-4421

MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN 1100 College St, Box W-1619 Columbus, MS 39701 Degrees: BA: Theatre (can include Teacher Certification); MFA: Theatre Education Profile: The MUW Theatre Program offers complete coursework in theoretical and practical aspects of the art of making theatre. Hallmarks of the program are a rigorous production schedule, individual attention throughout the training process and first-rate production values. Contact: David Carter (Undergraduate); Lee Crouse (Graduate) 662-329-7353; 662-329-7260;

NATIONAL THEATER INSTITUTE AT THE EUGENE O’NEILL THEATER CENTER 305 Great Neck Rd Waterford, CT 06385 Degrees: Certificate: National Theater Institute, National Music Theater Institute, Advanced Directing, Advanced Playwriting Semester, Theatermakers Summer Intensive, Moscow Art Theatre (up to 20 hours college credit per semester) Profile: With a singular schedule and an unmatched breadth of training, our six semester-long programs offer students a springboard to the professional world. NTI’s credit-earning theatre intensives, taught by industry professionals and master teachers, train actors, singers, directors, dancers, designers, playwrights and composers. Contact: Brittany Ayers 860-443-7139;

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance 901 S National Ave Springfield, MO 65897 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BS: Theatre, Theatre Education; BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Design/Stage Management, Dance Profile: Conservatory-style training in a supportive liberal arts setting. Nationally competitive programs and top-notch faculty contribute to the significant success of MSU graduates. Program houses an Equity (AEA) affiliate theatre. Contact: Joseph Price 417-836-5268;

THE NEIGHBORHOOD PLAYHOUSE SCHOOL OF THE THEATRE 340 E 54th St New York, NY 10022 Degrees: Certificate: Performing Arts, Acting Profile: Our conservatory offers individualized and concentrated training designed to prepare graduates for the professional demands of theatre, film, TV and new media. Each rigorous curriculum offered incorporates movement, voice and performance technique classes in tandem with rigorous Meisner Technique training. The second year culminates in performances and an industry showcase.

& Training Program Directory Contact: NP Admissions 212-688-3770 NEW YORK CONSERVATORY FOR DRAMATIC ARTS Film + Television + Theater 39 W 19th St New York, NY 10011 Degrees: AOS: Film and Television Performance, Musical Theatre Performance; Summer Musical Theatre Training Program (four-week musical theatre intensive on voice, dance and acting) Profile: Film & Television program offers intensive acting and business training to develop professionals ready to compete for work. Musical Theatre program focuses on acting, while offering dance and private voice lessons to develop the voice into a powerful storytelling tool. Working faculty and business classes prepare actors for the industry. Contact: Office of Admissions 212-812-4080; NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY 17 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004 3300 Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505 420 Lincoln Rd Suite 200, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Degrees: AFA, BFA or MFA: Acting for Film, Filmmaking, Producing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Broadcast Journalism, Documentary Filmmaking, Photography, Graphic Design, Illustration, 3D Animation, Game Design; One-Year and Two-Year Musical Theatre Conservatory Profile: NYFA is designed for a new generation of storytellers: artists who share a mutual passion and want to “learn by doing.” Our practical experience trains students to be the best filmmakers, visual artists and performers they can be, achieving more in less time than at other film or acting schools. Contact: Blake Babbitt 212-966-3488 x214; NORTH GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre PO Box 1892 Tigerville, SC 29688 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Musical Theatre, Design/Tech, Applied Theatre) Profile: Christian university providing excellent liberal arts education designed to

develop well-rounded individuals and accomplished artists. Coursework includes a core of fundamental theatrical knowledge, advanced classes in chosen track, experience onstage and backstage, audition coaching, internships and opportunities for community outreach. NGU supports KCACTF, Alpha Psi, CITA and a student-run improv team. Contact: Amy Dunlap 864-895-1580; NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY School of Theatre and Dance DeKalb, IL 60115 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Acting, Design and Technology, Dance Performance; MFA: Acting, Design and Technology Profile: NIU provides intensive artistic and academic training for students preparing for careers in theatre and theatre-related areas. The course of study is rigorous and realistic, designed to develop, challenge and broaden the skills and attitudes of all theatre students, especially highly motivated students who take responsibility for their own growth. Contact: 815-753-1334

Profile: Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe is a private liberal arts college that unites a close-knit campus community with big city culture. Oglethorpe offers an active theatre program with connections to Atlanta’s professional theatre and film scene. Contact: Matt Huff 404-504-3409; OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY 525 S Main St Ada, OH 45810 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: International Theatre Production, Musical Theatre; Minor: Dance, Arts Administration Profile: ONU offers a dynamic liberal arts education with a strong international focus. Opportunities include: auditioning your first semester; being cast as a freshman; small classes with personalized attention from dedicated faculty; 30-35 national and international guest artists each year; internships; and international study abroad. Talent awards available. Contact: Kathe DeVault 419-772-2049;

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; School of Communication, Media and the Arts 3301 College Ave Davie, FL 33314 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting for Stage and Screen, Musical Theatre, Design and Technical Production, Film and Dramatic Media), Dance, Music, Art and Design Profile: NSU is a private not-for-profit university located on 300 acres in Davie, FL. Students have performance opportunities, with coursework in acting, technical theatre, directing, design, dance and musical theatre. Students are fully prepared for theatre careers and graduate study. Professional internships are available to all students. Scholarships are available. Contact: Shanti Bruce 954-262-7632; OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY 4484 Peachtree Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30319 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Minor: Theatre, Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies


2020 SETC College, University THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY 1849 Cannon Dr Columbus, OH 43210 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Undergraduate Minors: Theatre, Musical Theatre, Media Production & Analysis, Video Arts; MA: Theatre Studies; MFA: Acting, Design; PhD: Theatre Studies; Graduate Minors: Theatre & Performance, Cinema/Video Profile: Our program develops original work from writing/devising to production, and exploring new media in live performance. We are committed to training students who are civically engaged through performance. We provide our students numerous opportunities in performance and design with a six-show season and a student-driven theatre lab producing 15 shows a year. Contact: J. Briggs Cormier 614-292-8241; OHIO UNIVERSITY School of Dance, Film and Theater Theater Division 307 Kantner Hall 1 Ohio University Athens, OH 45701


Professional Training Programs B.F.A. Performance – Acting Performance – Musical Theater Playwriting Stage Management Production Design & Technology B.A. Theater SCHOOL OF THEATER

Kantner Hall 307 1 Ohio University Drive Athens, OH 45701 740.593.4818 • Ohio University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, URTA Member School


Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Production Design and Technology, Performance, Stage Management; MA: Theatre; MFA: Acting, Production Design and Technology, Directing, Playwriting Profile: Our programs are aimed at students interested in professional careers. We blend classroom training and production to produce a mainstage series, studio productions, play readings and a new play festival. Undergraduates enter on the BA degree and interview/audition for BFA programs at the end of the first year. Contact: Michael Lincoln 740-593-4818; OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY Theatre Department 2501 N Blackwelder Ave Oklahoma City, OK 73106 Contact: Brian Parsons 405-208-5720; PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY 901 S Flagler Dr West Palm Beach, FL 33416 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts (Musical Theatre, Acting for Stage and Screen) Profile: PBA is a private Christian university located in beautiful South Florida. First-year students may audition for any of our four productions staged annually. Theatre majors spend 65-66 credit hours in their concentration, which enables us to offer more extensive and specialized BA training positioning our graduates for successful careers. Contact: Allen McCoy 561-803-2487; PIEDMONT COLLEGE 1021 Central Ave Demorest, GA 30535 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre and Design, Theatre for Youth, Theatre Education (Georgia Teaching Certificate, grades PK-12); BFA: Arts Administration Profile: We are a small, private college located 60 miles north of Atlanta in the northeast Georgia mountains. Our students experience rigorous academic training as well as professional training. We offer four to six shows a year, plus various student showcases. Contact: William Gabelhausen 706-778-8500 x1320 POINT PARK UNIVERSITY Conservatory of Performing Arts 201 Wood St Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts (Performance and Practices); BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Theatre Production (Technical Design/Management, Stage Management, Design [Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound]) Profile: As one of the top programs in the country, Point Park’s Conservatory provides real-world experience and rigorous training with nationally and internationally recognized master teachers, directors, designers, managers and technicians. Over 15 shows/season are performed each year in our brand-new, state-of-the-art Pittsburgh Playhouse facility located in downtown Pittsburgh. Contact: Troy Centofanto 412-392-3452; COPA POWERHOUSE THEATER AT VASSAR COLLEGE 124 Raymond Ave Box 225 Poughkeepsie, NY 12604 Profile: A training program for theatre artists since 1985. Students from around the country participate in this program for actors, directors and writers. Explore theatre with peers and professionals alike by living, breathing and creating theatre every day. Contact: Ed Cheetham; Michael Sheehan 845-437-5907; PROFESSIONAL ACTOR TRAINING PROGRAM AT CHATTANOOGA STATE 4501 Amnicola Hwy Chattanooga, TN 37406 Degrees: AFA: Theatre Arts (Performance, Design/Tech); AA: Theatre Arts; AS: Theatre Arts; Certificate Profile: A two-year program for students pursuing careers in theatre, television and film. Unique. Intensive. Affordable. Modeled after The New Actors Workshop (New York City) founded by three theatre visionaries: George Morrison, Mike Nichols and Paul Sills. Free tuition for Tennessee Promise students. Contact: Rex Knowles; Sherry Landrum 423-697-3246

& Training Program Directory RADFORD UNIVERSITY School of Dance and Theatre Box 6969 Radford, VA 24142 Degrees: BS or BA: Theatre (Performance, Directing, Design and Technical Theatre); BA: Dance; BS: Dance Education; BFA: Dance (Performance) Profile: The School of Dance and Theatre offers liberal arts and pre-professional studies. Students of cinema, dance and theatre receive instruction rich in diverse perspectives and cross-disciplinar y experiences. Dance, theatre and cinema departments are supported by strong programs which contribute to the cultural life of the university and community. Contact: Richard Dunham 540-831-5012; RANDOLPH COLLEGE Theatre Department 2500 Rivermont Ave Lynchburg, VA 24503-1555 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Directing, Design, Management, Technical Production); BFA: Theatre; Interdisciplinary (Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Film, Creative Writing) Profile: Randolph College is a small, liberal arts college nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, with vibrant guest artist programs and personalized instruction. Students explore all areas of theatre, collaboratively producing a three-show season and uniquely earning key production positions as their capstone experience. Contact: Stephanie Holladay Earl; Ken Parks 434-947-8563; 434-947-8564; REGENT UNIVERSITY 1000 Regent University Dr, COM 240 Virginia Beach, VA 23464 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts; BFA: Acting; MA: Theatre; MFA: Acting; Certificate: Theatre Practices Profile: From our foundational BA program to our Professional Actor Training Program (MFA), our professionally active faculty offers a cutting-edge education in the synthesis of theatre artistry, culture and faith. Contact: Office of Admissions 888-777-7729; REINHARDT UNIVERSITY 7300 Reinhardt Cir Waleska, GA 30183

Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Technical, Academic); BFA: Musical Theatre Profile: Reinhardt University offers a conservatory-style approach to its theatre training in a small liberal arts setting. Class size remains small, and individual instruction is provided by faculty that have all been professionals in the performance community. Contact: David Nisbet 770-720-5860; ROLLINS COLLEGE Department of Theatre and Dance 1000 Holt Ave #2735 Winter Park, FL 32789 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Minor: Dance Profile: We offer a liberal arts degree which provides students with a well-rounded education. Students study all aspects of theatre, including directing, performing, musical theatre, design, technical and history/criticism. We hold auditions once a year for scholarships for high school seniors. The Priscilla Parker Scholarship offers up to $10,000 per year. Contact: Alexandra Feliciano 407-646-2501; ROWAN UNIVERSITY College of Performing Arts Department of Theatre and Dance 201 Mullica Hill Rd Glassboro, NJ 08028 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance-Theatre, Design/Technical, Pre-Teaching), Dance; MA: Arts Administration (online); BA/MST: Theatre Education Profile: We educate students in the contemporary practice of theatre and dance within a liberal arts curriculum. Accredited by the NAST, Rowan offers a broad-based education that integrates physical, vocal, technical and performance skills with the intellectual development necessary for lifelong learning, as well as master classes and productions with visiting artists. Contact: Elisabeth Hostetter 856-256-4500 x3314; SAMFORD UNIVERSITY 800 Lakeshore Dr Homewood, AL 35229 Degrees: BA: Acting/Directing, Technical/ Design; BFA: Musical Theatre; Minor: Theatre, Dance, Film Production Profile: The Theatre and Dance Depart-

ment aspires to be a leader in undergraduate theatre and dance education, with a commitment to the artist as a community partner and contributor. At the core of the department’s mission is a commitment to character, ethics and artistic excellence. Contact: Katie Overturf 205-726-4111; SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN PO Box 2072 Savannah, GA 31402 Degrees: BA; BFA: Production Design, Performing Arts, Dramatic Writing, Film; M.Arch; MA; MAT; MFA: Production Design, Performing Arts, Dramatic Writing, Film; MUD Profile: SCAD prepares students for professional careers, emphasizing learning through individual attention in a positively oriented university environment. Program offers performance opportunities and classroom training in new media, digital media, film, TV and live theatre. SCAD has an inhouse casting office and hosts an annual agent showcase with New York agents.


Audition for us at SETC in Louisville!

212-689-0087 |


2020 SETC College, University Contact: Admissions 800-869-7223; SEWANEE: THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH 735 University Ave Sewanee, TN 37383 Degrees: BA: Theatre; Minor: Theatre, Dance Profile: The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the Tennessee Williams Center, a state-of-the-art performance facility. Sewanee offers the students a strong foundation in all areas of theatre: acting, directing, design, dance, playwriting, history, literature and performance theory, while studying in a unique liberal arts program. Contact: Jennifer Matthews 931-598-1126; SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY 1460 University Dr Winchester, VA 22601 Degrees: BFA: Musical Theatre, Acting, Theatre Design and Production (Stage


General BA–Performance/Design/Production and BFA–Musical Theatre PARTICIPATE IN

Over 300 opportunities each year as a writer, actor, technician, designer, running crew, stage manager, dramaturge, or director 5 fully mounted annual productions, numerous showcases, 4 year-long touring companies 2 state-of-the-art performance facilities and 3 state-of-the-art production facilities Annual participation in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival


Management, Costume Design, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Sound Design & Reinforcement, and/or Technical Design) Profile: We provide comprehensive, preprofessional, undergraduate training at one of the country’s leading conservatories, with a dedicated faculty of active professionals in theatre, music and dance. Contact: William Ingham 540-665-4558; SHORTER UNIVERSITY 315 Shorter Ave Rome, GA 30165 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Design/Technical Theatre); BFA: Theatre, Musical Theatre Performance; Minor: Dance, Theatre, Musical Theatre Profile: Placing equal importance on academic and artistic excellence, we focus on every student, offering performance opportunities to first-year students and a high percentage of professional and graduate placements. The black box theatre, completed in 2019, features LED lighting and updated design equipment to better prepare students for the field. Contact: Tara Warfield 706-233-7362; SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA Theatre Department 214 University Union Slippery Rock, PA 16057 Degrees: BFA: Acting (Musical Theatre Performance, Theatre Performance); BA: Theatre (Design & Technology, Acting, Theatre Arts Management, Theatre Studies); Minor: Theatre Profile: World-class education and training – at state university prices! Students in SRU Theatre programs develop their artistry through hands-on experiences beginning year one. A brand-new performing arts center, professionally run shops, biennial trips abroad to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and small classes all contribute to the solid training SRU students receive. Contact: Rebecca Morrice 724-738-2333; SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance 1 University Plaza, MS 7850 Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Degrees: BFA: Acting, Dance, Design/ Technology, Musical Theatre; BA: Theatre, Dance Profile: NAST- and NASD-accredited. We prepare students for professional theatre/ film/television careers. Programming is divided into three areas: technique training, production and career preparation. We have world-class facilities, 18 full-time faculty and 220+ majors. Annual productions include six mainstage, four second-stage, multiple one-acts and showcases, Fault Line Film Festival, River Campus Summer Arts Festival, and both NYC and LA Showcases. Contact: Kenneth L. Stilson 573-986-6818; SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre Mail Code 6608 Carbondale, IL 62901 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Design, Production, History, Dramaturgy); BFA: Musical Theatre; MFA: Directing, Scene Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Technical Direction, Playwriting; PhD: Interdisciplinary with Speech Communication in Theatre History, Criticism, Dramaturgy, Performance Studies Profile: SIUC blends scholarship with practice in an intensive production program and maintains a professional summer stock theatre company. Contact: Admissions 618-453-2121; SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY PO Box 750356 Dallas, TX 75275 Degrees: BFA: Theatre (Acting, Theatre Studies) Profile: Our undergraduate BFA program has two tracks: Acting and Theatre Studies. The Acting track is designed for those students who choose to train in solely acting skills during their junior and senior years. The Theatre Studies track is designed for those students who wish to connect their acting study with other disciplines in the theatre arts, e.g., directing, playwriting or stage management. Contact: Benard Cummings 214-768-3932;

& Training Program Directory SOUTHERN UNION STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 750 Roberts St Wadley, AL 36276 Degrees: AS: Performance Profile: With a curriculum geared toward transferring, our program has excelled in matriculating students into college and university theatre programs. Our small size allows students to immerse themselves in all aspects of theatre, from set construction to performance. Auditions are held in March. Contact: Michael Williams, Jr. 256-395-2211 x5811 STAGECRAFT INSTITUTE OF LAS VEGAS 2232 S Nellis Blvd #112 Las Vegas, NV 89104 Degrees: Certificat de reussir: technical training for live entertainment industry; Seal of Qualification: Audio, SFX Special Effects, Lighting Technology, Lighting Systems and Programming Profile: SILV offers a one-of-a-kind, handson approach to training for live entertainment at levels required today for state-ofthe-art technologies. SILV is dedicated to teaching by doing. Instructors are working professionals dedicated to sharing their experiences with the next generation. Industry partners ensure that the most current gear is available to support training. Contact: Jane Childs 702-388-7458; STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT FREDONIA 280 Central Ave 212 Rockefeller Art Center Fredonia, NY 14063 Contact: Lisa Schrantz 716-673-3596; STELLA ADLER STUDIO OF ACTING 65 Broadway, Floor 2 New York, NY 10006 ART OF ACTING STUDIO 1017 N Orange Dr Los Angeles, CA 90036 Degrees: BFA: Acting (through NYU); Certificates: Three-Year Conservatory, Two-Year Evening Conservatory, Two-and-a-Half-Year LA Conservatory Program, Summer Training Profile: Since 1949, the Stella Adler Studio has trained some of the most important

American actors and has evolved into one of the most culturally rich environments in NYC and now LA. In addition to the Conservatory, the studio offers a BFA through its partnership with NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Contact: Ryan Chittaphong 212-689-0087; STUDIO SCHOOL 1201 W 5th St Suite F-10 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Degrees: BFA: Acting (Film and Television), Film and Digital Content, Commercial Dance, Contemporary Musical Theatre and Film Profile: Studio School is shaping the entertainment professionals of tomorrow by fostering an educational experience rooted in collaboration and innovation. Our programs inspire excellence in a projectoriented learning environment designed to unleash the imagination and bring creative ideas to fruition under the mentorship of industry professionals. Contact: Addy Green 800-762-1993; TEMPLE UNIVERSITY School of Theater, Film & Media Arts 1301 W Norris St Philadelphia, PA 19122 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Design and Production, Directing, General Theatre Studies); BFA: Musical Theatre; BA and MEd: Theatre Education 4+1; MA: Musical Theatre Studies Profile: Temple’s distinguished faculty is dedicated to professional training within a rigorous liberal ar ts foundation by challenging students to learn and create in a variety of classroom and production settings. Opportunities are plentiful on campus, in the community and in Philadelphia, one of the most vibrant of America’s theatre centers. Contact: Paury Flowers 215-777-9135; TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY 601 University Dr San Marcos, TX 78666 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre, Theatre (Acting, Performance and Production, Technical Production, Teacher Certification), Dance (Dance Studies, Performance and Choreography, Teacher Certification);

MFA: Theatre (Design, Directing, Dramatic Writing) Profile: Our department offers a diverse range of degrees in theatre and dance, allowing students to find a program suited to their skills and interests. Eight major productions, along with workshops and lab performances, offer excellent opportunities to work on professional skills. Faculty are active professionals working in the industry. Contact: 512-245-2147 TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY School of Theatre and Dance Box 42061 Lubbock, TX 79409 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Dance; BFA: Acting, Design, Musical Theatre; MA: Dance, Theatre Arts; MFA: Performance and Pedagogy, Design, Playwriting, Arts Administration; PhD: Fine Arts; Minor: Dance Profile: Seasons consist of 10-13 productions a year, festival of new student work, Wildwind Performance Laboratory and the Marfa Intensives for Devised Theatre. We cast undergraduate and graduate students and assign student designers/choreogra-

The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance offers comprehensive training in musical theatre, theatre, and dance. Mainstage season and studentproduced works. Scholarships available. Education abroad opportunities.



2020 SETC College, University phers to mainstage productions. Fine Arts PhD is a unique interdisciplinary program combining scholarship and practice. Contact: 806-834-1683 THEATRE OF ARTS College for the Contemporary Actor 1536 N Highland Ave Hollywood, CA 90028 Degrees: AOS: Acting Profile: Founded in 1927, Theatre of Arts’ actor training programs for theatre, television and film are taught by currently working and experienced actors, directors and casting directors. Conservatory training offers 700 hours of on-camera scene work designed to prepare the student for professional casting and auditions. Contact: Harrison Butler 323-463-2500; TOUCHSTONE THEATRE AT MORAVIAN COLLEGE 1200 Main St Bethlehem, PA 18018

It’s love. Not a lark.


Degrees: MFA: Performance Creation Profile: Part arts incubator, part apprenticeship. This full-time, two-year (yearround) program is a unique opportunity for artists to earn a degree steeped in both the practical and the theoretical. Students will be taught by and work alongside the awardwinning, working professionals of Touchstone Theatre (Bethlehem, PA). Contact: LaKeisha Thorpe 610-625-7716; TROY UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance Malone Hall 132 Troy, AL 36082 Degrees: BS/BA: Theatre (Performance, Musical Theatre, Design, Technical Theatre, Management, Playwriting/Dramaturgy); BSE: Theatre Education (Grades P-12); BFA: Dance Profile: Troy offers a competitive program that is demanding and nurturing, with highly qualified faculty in the framework of three performance spaces and a high level of collaboration and integration between Theatre and Dance. Departmental talentbased scholarships, student staff and leadership opportunities available. Troy offers lucrative academic, leadership and opportunity scholarships. Contact: Department of Theatre and Dance 334-808-6142; TULANE UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance 215 McWilliams Hall New Orleans, LA 70118 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Design, Performance Studies); BFA: Musical Theatre, Dance, Design; MFA: Design, Dance; Minor: Performance, Producing, Dance Profile: TUTD offers seven mainstage shows a year. Faculty and majors from all areas work on all shows. Set in a city famous for art and music, we break forms yet still demand rigor and provide a solid grounding in technique which allows emerging artists to develop their unique voices. Contact: Antony Sandoval; Barbara Hayley 504-314-7760;

THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA Department of Theatre and Dance Box 870239 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Musical Theatre, Dance; BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Design and Technical Production; MFA: Acting, Arts Management, Costume Design/ Production, Directing, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Technical Direction, Dance Profile: UA offers comprehensive academic and practical training on a liberal arts foundation to prepare students for professional success. Contact: Nancy Calvert 205-348-5283; UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM ASC 255 1720 2nd Ave S Birmingham, AL 35295-1263 Degrees: BA: Theatre (General, Performance, Design/Technology); BFA: Musical Theatre Performance Profile: A production-oriented program with a liberal arts foundation. We provide professional training in musical theatre, acting, design/technology and management while expanding students’ cultural and aesthetic awareness, developing their research and communication skills and fostering critical thinking, discipline and collaboration through practical application of learned skills and theoretical study. Contact: Kelly Allison 205-934-8776; UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE 342 Morton Hall 301 Sparkman Dr Huntsville, AL 35899 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Technical, Dramaturgy) Profile: UAH Theatre is dedicated to providing both a broad and a deep dive into the world of theatre. With four productions per season, our students are able to gain employable skills in all the different areas of theatre, providing them with an entrepreneurial mindset to take into the industry. Contact: David Harwell 256-824-6871;

& Training Program Directory UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA 12488 Centaurus Blvd Orlando, FL 32816 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Acting, Musical Theatre, Design/Tech, Stage Management; MA: Theatre; MFA: Acting, Youth Theatre Profile: BFA and MFA programs are highly selective, rigorous, professional training programs that emphasize theatre theory, practice and preparation for a successful career in theatre. UCF is the country’s second largest university, and productions occur year-round. MA and BA in Theatre provide more generalized degree programs. Contact: Michael Wainstein 407-823-2519; THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA Department of Theatre and Film Studies Fine Arts Building Athens, GA 30602 Degrees: BA; MFA; PhD Profile: The department offers rigorous training in all traditional areas of theatre performance, design and scholarship, coupled with training in interactive media, computer animation and robotics. Contact: David Z. Saltz 706-542-2836; UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY Department of Theatre and Dance 114 Fine Arts Bldg Lexington, KY 40506 Degrees: BA: Dance, Theatre (Performance, Design/Technology, Playwriting); Minor: Dance, Theatre; Certificate: Musical Theatre Profile: Students get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional theatre faculty. Our liberal arts focus is coupled with career counseling for successful transition to professional life. Students are encouraged to find their passion and pursue it – with most students pursuing internships and study abroad opportunities. Contact: Nancy C. Jones 859-257-3297; UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE Department of Theatre Arts 2314 S Floyd St Louisville, KY 40292 Degrees: BS: Theatre, Production, Performance; MFA: Acting/Performance; Graduate Certificate: African-American Theatre; Minor: Black Performance Studies

Profile: The department trains students in the fine art of theatre, voice, movement, scene study and design, and also teaches the historical and literary context of the theatre as a humanist and liberal art. Contact: Nefertiti Burton 502-852-8445; UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS Department of Theatre & Dance 144 Theatre Building Memphis, TN 38152-3150 Degrees: BFA: Theatre (Performance, Design and Technical Production, Musical Theatre, Dance); MFA: Theatre (Directing, Design and Technical Production) Profile: We offer quality mentoring, dedicated individual advisors, a richly varied production program, a state-of-the-art design lab, a new musical theatre curriculum and casting opportunities beginning your first year. Contact: Kristin Shupe 901-678-2523; UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI PO Box 1848 Isom Hall Room 110 University, MS 38677 Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts; BFA: Acting for Stage and Screen, Musical Theatre, Design & Theatre Production, Film Production; Minor: Theatre Arts Profile: Comprehensive training, rigorous academics and great performance, design, and film opportunities prepare students for professional employment or graduate study. Individualized attention is provided by a professional and dedicated faculty. Courses and practical experiences ensure that every student can create, learn and discover their artistic path at Ole Miss! Contact: Michael Barnett 662-915-5816;

over 100 majors providing numerous handson training opportunities, including a very diverse production season and guest artist workshops on and off campus. We train students for professional careers within the context of a first-rate liberal arts education. Contact: David Callaghan 205-665-6210; THE UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION 1972 Clark Ave Alliance, OH 44601 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Musical Theatre, Design/Technology) Profile: Recognized as the No. 1 college in the Great Lakes region for “return on investment,” Mount Union combines smallschool accessibility with the opportunities of larger institutions. An $11.7-million performing arts center opened in January 2015, with two theatres, costume and scenic shops, and recital hall. Performance and technical scholarships available. Contact: Kevin P. Kern 330-823-3875;

UNIVERSITY OF MOBILE 5735 College Pkwy Mobile, AL 36613 Contact: 251-442-2896 UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO Station 6210 Theatre Montevallo, AL 35115 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Musical Theatre, Acting, Directing, Design (Scenic/ Lighting, Costume) Profile: UM Theatre is a department of

Urinetown, The Musical

Photo by Michael Bailey


2020 SETC College, University UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS Department of Theatre 4505 Maryland Pkwy, Box 455036 Las Vegas, NV 89154 Degrees: BA: Stage and Screen Acting, Design-Technology, General Studies; MFA: Performance, Design-Technology, Stage Management Profile: UNLV offers a diversified curriculum allowing students to train in all aspects of theatre, while taking advantage of the entertainment richness of Las Vegas. In the classroom, onstage or in TV/film acting, we foster creative development and growth that prepares students for the world’s stage in entertainment. Contact: Norma Saldivar 702-895-3666; UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHAPEL HILL CB 3230, Center for Dramatic Art Chapel Hill, NC 27599 Degrees: BA: Dramatic Art; MFA: Acting, Technical Production, Costume Production Profile: The BA program offers a student-





driven production schedule with the flexibility to also pursue a second major. The MFA programs work closely with PlayMakers Repertory, a professional (LORT/AEA) theatre named by the Drama League of New York as one of the 50 best regional theatres in the country. Contact: David Navalinsky 919-843-9857; UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHARLOTTE 9201 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28223 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Applied Theatre, Design/Tech, Directing, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Writing, Performance, Theatre Education leading to NC State Licensure); Certificate: Musical Theatre Profile: UNCC faculty work closely with students as mentors in classroom and production settings, emphasizing collaboration, critical thinking and leadership skills. Our alumni work as actors, directors, designers, technicians, playwrights, dramaturgs, teachers, teaching artists and arts administrators, as well as in a host of positions outside the arts. Contact: Lynne Conner 704-687-0237;

tomation, Stage Properties, Wig & Makeup Design, Sound Design, Technical Direction Profile: UNCSA is a conservatory that trains the whole artist for professional careers in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, music and visual arts. Contact: Admissions Office 336-770-3290; UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH 1617 Cathedral of Learning 4200 Fifth Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15260 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Technical Theatre, History/Literature/ Criticism); MFA: Performance Pedagogy; PhD: Theatre Profile: Our program seeks to provide the widest possible spectrum of practical and educational opportunities to the theatre artists and scholars of the future. We pursue our mission through rigorous course work, combined with direct practical experience in theatre research, performance, design and production as occasions for selfdevelopment and artistic challenge. Contact: Gianni Downs

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA GREENSBORO PO Box 26170 406 Tate St 201 Taylor Theatre Bldg Greensboro, NC 27402 Degrees: BA; BFA; MFA Profile: UNCG offers programs in Acting (including concentration in musical theatre), Directing, Theatre for Youth, Design/Technology Production and Theatre Education. Contact: John R. Poole 336-334-4112;

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA 5751 USA Drive S Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Room 1052 Mobile, AL 36688 Degrees: BA: Dramatic Arts; BFA: Theatre (Performance, Design & Technology, Music Theatre) Profile: We offer distinctive options for degrees within a department devoted exclusively to a balance between production experience, training and achieving preprofessional skills and expectations. Contact: Lars Tatom 251-460-6305;

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Schools of Drama and Design & Production 1533 S Main St Winston-Salem, NC 27127-2188 Degrees: HS Diploma: Acting, Directing; BFA: Acting, Directing, Costume Design & Technology, Scene Painting, Stage Properties, Lighting, Sound, Scenic Technology, Scene Design, Stage Management, Wig & Makeup; MFA: Costume Design, Costume Technology, Production & Project Management, Scene Design, Scenic Art, Stage Au-

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AIKEN 471 University Pkwy Aiken, SC 29801 Degrees: BA: Fine Arts (Theatre) Profile: Dedicated to giving students a comprehensive theatre education, we offer the opportunity to explore all areas of theatre, both onstage and offstage. A professionally active faculty, strong classes, internships and a cutting-edge production program prepare students for the theatre of the 21st century.

& Training Program Directory Contact: Dewey Scott-Wiley 803-641-343; UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA COLUMBIA Longstreet Theatre 1300 Greene St #402 Columbia, SC 29208 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Dance (Performance/Choreography, Dance Education); MA: Theatre; MAT: Theatre; MFA: Theatre (Acting, Directing, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scenic Design); Minor: Theatre Contact: Stephanie Milling 803-777-4984; UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA School of Theatre and Dance 4202 E Fowler Ave, TAR 230 Tampa, FL 33620 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting/Performance, Design/Technical Theatre, Theatre Arts); Minor: Theatre Profile: This program is committed to facilitating artists and scholars through training in the studio, classroom and performance. The program, with 3-5 mainstage and 2-3 black-box productions a year, provides the opportunity for intensive study in performance, design and theatre arts that prepares students for graduate school or the professional world. Contact: Nadine Niforos 813-974-1739; UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN INDIANA 8600 University Blvd Evansville, IN 47712 Degrees: BS or BA: Theatre Arts (Performance, Design & Technology); Minor: Music Performance Profile: The department has five fulltime faculty members who actively work in theatre. Facilities include a 299-seat mainstage teaching theatre (four-show season, including one musical) and a 100seat black box (student-produced work). USI manages and partners with New Harmony Theatre, where students gain professional experience and membership in Actors’ Equity’s EMC. Contact: Eric Altheide 812-464-1750;

THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI Department of Theatre 118 College Dr #5052 Hattiesburg, MS 39406 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Performance, Design/Technology; MFA: Performance, Directing, Costume Design, Scenic Design, Lighting & Sound Design Profile: The Department of Theatre offers undergraduate major and minor degrees and graduate programs in theatre. The program provides the student with sound theory and intensive practical training as well as opportunities for extensive performance experiences and exposure to visiting professional artists. Scholarship opportunities are available for undergraduate majors. Contact: Sandra Whittington (Undergraduate); Erin Sessions (Graduate) 601-266-4161; 601-266-6877; UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE CHATTANOOGA Department of Performing Arts Theatre Division 615 McCallie Ave Chattanooga, TN 37403 Degrees: BA: Theatre Profile: Located in the beautiful city of Chattanooga, UTC Theatre offers students an opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff in fully equipped shops and performance facilities in an active, challenging, hands-on theatre program within the context of a liberal arts education. Our school is NASTaccredited. Contact: Steve Ray 423-425-4374;

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA Department of Drama 109 Culbreth Rd Charlottesville, VA 22903 Degrees: BA: Drama; MFA: Acting, Lighting Design, Costume Design & Technology, Scenic Design & Technical Production; Minor: Dance, Drama Profile: Our undergraduate and graduate students learn from accomplished faculty and guest artists, as well as experience hands-on learning in our mainstage productions and dance concerts in our state-of-the-art facilities. Many of our MFA students gain professional experience working with Heritage Theatre Festival and Virginia Repertory Theatre. Contact: Colleen Kelly 434-924-3326; UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA Theatre Department 11000 University Pkwy Pensacola, FL 32514 Degrees: BA: Acting, Performance Studies, Design & Technology; BFA: Musical Theatre

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE KNOXVILLE Department of Theatre 206 McClung Tower Knoxville, TN 37996 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Acting, Design & Technology, General); MFA: Acting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scene Design, Sound & Media Design Profile: The department is affiliated with a LORT (professional) theatre, the Clarence Brown Theatre Company. Contact: Terry Weber 865-974-6011;


2020 SETC College, University Profile: The UWF Theatre Department is an undergraduate-only program. Students work closely in classes and on the stage with faculty who provide training and experience to accelerate students to the next level. The quickly growing program affords the opportunity to hone your craft with industry professionals. Contact: Charles Houghton 850-474-2149; UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA Department of Theatre Martha Munro and Old Auditorium 1600 Maple St Carrollton, GA 30118 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Theatre (Acting, Design/Technology); BIS: Film (Performance, Design/Production) Profile: The UWG Theatre Department trains and inspires students in all areas of theatre arts. Our accomplished faculty offers students a professional and supportive environment with outstanding facilities, technology and opportunities. Students regularly perform, design, manage and devise productions. The program often

employs professional guest artists and has been NAST-accredited since 2003. Contact: Shelly Elman 678-839-4700; VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY 1500 N Patterson St Valdosta, GA 31698 Degrees: BFA: Theatre (Performance, Production, Musical Theatre, Theatre Management), Dance Profile: Our NAST-accredited program has a six-production season and produces Peach State Summer Theatre, “The Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia.” Scholarships are available; auditions/ interviews are in early spring. Contact: Jacque Wheeler 229-253-2914; VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY 800 E Lancaster Ave Villanova, PA 19085 Degrees: MA: Theatre Profile: Our flexible, comprehensive degree program prepares students from a variety of disciplines to succeed as directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, performers and educators. The comprehensive MA can be completed in two years full-time or at your own pace as a part-time student. Scholarships and assistantships are available to qualified applicants. Contact: Program Coordinator 610-519-4760 VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY 922 Park Ave, PO Box 842524 Richmond, VA 23284 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Performance, Scene Design, Lighting Design, Costume D e s i g n , S t a g e M a n a g e m e n t ; M FA : Pedagogy, Scene Design, Costume Design Profile: The theatre program at VCU offers pre-professional training in a liberal arts setting with highly qualified faculty and staff working professionally in their field. Contact: Bonnie McCoy 804-828-1923; VIRGINIA TECH School of Performing Arts Department of Theatre 250 Henderson Hall E (0141) Blacksburg, VA 24061


Degrees: BA: Theatre Arts (Performance, Design/Tech, Cinema Studies/Production, General); MFA: Theatre Arts (Directing & Public Dialogue, Stage Management, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scene Design, Props Design, Technical Direction, Arts Leadership) Profile: Uncommon experiences and unexpected opportunities await you in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Nationally recognized faculty and professional ties help make us a highly successful and innovative theatre program rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Students reap the benefits of a small, close-knit department within a large, comprehensive university. Contact: Natasha Staley 540-231-5335; WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY Box 7264 Reynolda Station Winston-Salem, NC 27109 Degrees: BA: Theatre Profile: With high academic standards, professional faculty and staff, numerous guest artists, exceptional production values, numerous production opportunities and a low student-teacher ratio, WFU equips theatre and dance students for future success in theatre or another profession. Study abroad, interdisciplinary programs and multiple major/minor courses of study offer additional value. Contact: Nina Lucas 336-758-5294; WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance 4841 Cass Ave Suite 3226 Detroit, MI 48202 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BS: Dance; BFA: Acting, Dance, Design & Technology; MFA: Performance, Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Theatre Management, Stage Management; MA: Arts Administration, Theatre & Dance Pedagogy Profile: Professional faculty, new stateof-the-art production and performance facilities, eight rehearsal/dance studios, four performance venues, scholarships including in-state tuition, talent and housing awards, and graduate stipends. Comprehensive, hands-on training with 19 productions. Interact with guest directors, choreographers, renowned alumni and artists in Detroit’s vibrant art scene and five Broadway touring theatres.

& Training Program Directory Contact: 313-577-3508 WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY School of Theatre & Dance Creative Arts Center PO Box 6111 Morgantown, WV 26506 Degrees: BA: Theatre; BFA: Theatre (Acting, Design & Technology, Puppetry/ Creative Dramatics); MFA: Theatre (Acting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scene Design); Minor: Dance, Theatre Profile: Fully NAST-accredited, WVU offers undergraduate and graduate training in acting, theatre studies and design and technology with a challenging production season that includes theatre, opera, musical theatre and dance. The faculty members are dedicated industry professionals teaching a rigorous curriculum in modern and wellequipped facilities. Contact: Joshua B. Williamson 304-293-2020; WEST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE 59 College Ave Buckhannon, WV 26201 Degrees: BA: Musical Theatre, Theatre Arts (Acting/Directing, Technical Theatre/ Design, Pre-Drama Therapy); MBA: Arts Administration/Theatre Profile: Freshmen regularly perform on the mainstage. We offer personalized classroom instruction, and a major emphasis on marketing skills ensures that our graduates have an edge. Contact: Thomas Schoffler 304-473-8810; WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY School of Stage and Screen 389 Centennial Drive, Belk 278 Cullowhee, NC 28723 Degrees: BA: Stage and Screen (General Theatre); BFA: Theatre (Acting, Musical Theatre, Entertainment & Design Technology), Film and Television Production Profile: At WCU, immerse yourself in dynamic academic programs that offer a variety of undergraduate degree concentrations and minors. You’ll combine your chosen discipline’s concepts and theories with hands-on experience, both inside and outside the classroom, through faculty-student collaborations, internships, cooperative work experiences and productions – both onstage and in film.

Contact: Jayme McGhan 828-227-7491; WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance 101 Browne Hall Macomb, IL 61455 Degrees: BA: Theatre (Performance, Production/Design); BFA: Musical Theatre; MFA: Acting, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design; Minors: Dance, Theatre, Stage Combat Profile: WIU creates 15-20 productions a year. Our liberal arts and pre-professional programs are led by dedicated and experienced faculty in acting, movement, stage combat, dance, design, management and production (fully NAST-accredited). WIU serves approximately 10,000 students at its Macomb, IL, campus. Acting and Directing MFAs recruiting for 2020. Contact: 309-298-1543; WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre & Dance 1906 College Heights Blvd #71086 Bowling Green, KY 42101-1086 Degrees: BA: Theatre, Dance; BFA: Performing Arts (Acting, Musical Theatre, Theatre Design and Technology) Profile: WKU’s Department of Theatre & Dance offers conservatory-style training in a liberal arts environment. Contact: David Young 270-745-5845;

Scholarships are awarded annually based on audition/portfolio review. Contact: Daniel Gordon 803-323-2287; THE YORK THEATRE Musical Theatre Training Program 619 Lexington Ave New York, NY 10022 Degrees: Winter Intensive for College Students; Summer Intensive for 6th to 12th Grade Students Profile: Off-Broadway’s York Theatre company offers a Musical Theatre Training Program drawing from its vast network of connections to NYC’s most successful theatre artists as teachers and guest artists. We offer the unique opportunity of classes and showcase performances on an actual off-Broadway stage near the heart of NYC’s theatre district. Contact: Michael Unger 212-935-5824 x220

WILKES UNIVERSITY 84 W South St Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 Contact: Joseph Dawson 570-408-4431; WINTHROP UNIVERSITY Department of Theatre and Dance 115 Johnson Hall Rock Hill, SC 29733 Degrees: BA: Theatre Performance, Theatre Design/Tech, Theatre Education, Dance, Dance Education, Musical Theatre Profile: Fostering students’ aesthetic, intellectual and creative development within the context of a liberal arts education, we afford opportunities for students to develop significant competency in one emphasis in theatre or dance. Production program includes 10-12 shows per year, including musicals.


Audition for Graduate School Programs in Fall 2020 7th Annual LiNK AUDITIONS & INTERVIEWS November 2020 u Atlanta, GA SETC and USITT partner each fall to bring graduate theatre degree programs together with people considering options for advanced education in one convenient, affordable location, where they can conduct interviews and exchange information. Discover your dream graduate school or recruit talented candidates.

LiNK auditions and interviews will be offered in: acting, directing, arts management, stage management, production management, technical direction, stage technology, scene design, lighting design, lighting technology, costume design, costume technology, sound design, makeup & wig design, media design and properties design.

Schools that recruited at the 2019 LiNK included: Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University Boston University California Institute of the Arts Carnegie Mellon University Florida State University Hollins University Illinois State University Indiana University Long Island University/ Post Campus Louisiana Tech University Mary Baldwin University and American Shakespeare Center Minnesota State University, Mankato Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre Northern Illinois University The Ohio State University Penn State University Purdue University

San Diego State University Savannah College of Art and Design Southern Illinois University Southern Methodist University Texas State University Theatre of Arts Touchstone Theatre/ Moravian College The University of Alabama University of Arkansas University of California San Diego University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music University of Georgia University of Idaho University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign University of Memphis University of Missouri- Kansas City

University of Nebraska University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of North Carolina School of the Arts University of Southern Mississippi University of Tennessee, Knoxville University of Texas at Austin Utah State University Villanova University Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Tech Wayne State University West Virginia University Western Illinois University Winthrop University Yale School of Drama

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2020 SETC College, University & Training Program Directory Published by Southern Theatre Quarterly magazine of the Southeastern Theatre Conference 1175 Revolution Mill Drive, Studio 14 Greensboro, NC 27405 336-272-3645 • • Follow SETC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS THROUGH SETC Apply for a Scholarship SETC awards more than $20,000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in theatre. SETC’s Scholarship/Awards Fund supports each award. Apply now for 2020-2021 scholarships. More info:

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(Continued from Page 24) the field. Greater attention from other the-

According to Brunner, some members of

or making too many technical demands for

the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) are

its current staffing level? Are the actions of

atre professionals and faculty who rely on

starting to restructure their technical direc-

other employees – such as designers miss-

the work performed by TDs may be needed

tion and management areas to address this

ing deadlines – putting an undue burden on

to remedy the situation. Fair pay and decent

issue. “Some have moved to hiring more

the TD? Are there other ways an organiza-

working conditions for the technical direc-

than one TD (splitting up responsibilities

tion could support and encourage a TD? Do

tor and other technical theatre staff should

between multiple theatre spaces), or [creat-

they ever provide resources or time off to

be issues of concern to everyone working

ing] co-TD arrangements,” Brunner said.

allow a TD to attend a conference or other

in theatre. It is worth considering: How

“Others have added multiple assistant TDs

professional development opportunities?

much do you depend on the knowledge

in the past 10 years, and [some are] even go-

Matthew Leckenbusch, technical direc-

and skill of your TD? What would you do

ing to assistant and associate TD structures,

tor at Clemson University, recommends

if you couldn’t hire one?

all in an effort to spread the load out more.

that theatres take steps proactively to ad-

So, what can theatres do to help solve

Other LORT theatres have added specialty

dress the issues. “Talk to your TD, and [do]

the problem? “One place to start might be

positions that dedicate expertise to scenery

not wait for there to be a problem,” he said.

a standardization of what is expected of

automation or 3-D drafting.”

“Take them out to lunch. Back them up if

a TD,” said Nunnally. This would make

Even if organizations are not able to add

they make a decision about a show. If the

it more apparent that an organization is

more staff, they can take a careful look at

TD is saying they need help, figure out a

expecting a single individual to perform

the TD’s work schedule and opportunity

way to do that. Start setting up ways for

more than one job and help make a case

for time off and make adjustments. Is the

succession, [such as] having an assistant

for additional hires.

organization producing too many shows

TD to help alleviate the pressure and give your TD a sounding board to work issues

FORMER TD Michael Katz

Retired Technical Director Former TD at Boston area professional

on shows with. Hire one that could possibly step into the position one day.” Recognizing the job’s importance also is key. Day suggested theatres might try altering “where the TD falls on the organi-

theatres, MIT and UMass Boston

zational chart. At universities, they often

If you are no longer a TD at a theatre,

a separate category like maintenance staff.

why did you leave the position? I worked for over 40 years as a TD before retiring. Do you believe there is a shortage of people to fill TD positions? If yes, why do you believe there is a shortage? Yes. Disrespect by producers and department chairs for the role of the TD. That results in low pay and ridiculous hours. If yes, what do you believe should be done to alleviate the shortage? Increase pay. Respect the position for all of the responsibilities it encompasses, including life safety, facility maintenance, artistic and applied engineering responsibilities, scenic construction and management. What advice do you have for young people about this career? It is an amazing and wonderful career, but burnout is high as well. What advice do you have for those educating future TDs? Teach engineering principles, management principles, theatre literature, construction techniques and an understanding of the skills needed by the rest of the production team. What advice do you have for theatres looking to fill TD positions? Good luck. Look for someone who is passionate about the kind of theatre you do, not just the most experienced on-paper candidate. 26 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

fall at the bottom of the design staff. Or, in I would be curious to see the TD alongside the production manager or theatre directing faculty.” Respondents to the SETC surveys, whether TDs or people searching for TDs, overwhelmingly cited low pay as a hindrance to recruitment. Raising the pay for the typical TD position would likely improve applicant pools, retention and job satisfaction. However, this can be a challenge for a university theatre department, particularly those whose institution puts a greater emphasis on faculty salaries. TDs in staff positions may have salary levels set in relation to facilities or custodial staff, rather than in relation to theatre department faculty. At the least, concerned colleagues can advocate on behalf of TDs with decision makers, urging them to provide adequate compensation for the important TD position. At many colleges and universities, the

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TD is not a tenure-track position, limiting

that job candidates can take their skills

opportunities for advancement. Nunnally

elsewhere could potentially create change.

suggests that is one area where a change

Looking to the Future

could make a major difference. “I am a

Professors, company managers and

strong advocate for converting academic

current and former TDs made some

staff TD positions to tenure/tenure track”

additional suggestions of steps that could

to improve compensation and to “recognize

be taken to address the shortage:

the TD as an academic equal,” he said. Even

• Companies could pay interns, summer

when a TD position remains classified as a

workers and apprentices enough so that

staff position, tenured and senior faculty

it is possible for them to gain experience

members may be able to exert influence

• The theatre industry, including com-

means, such as revising a job description

mercial producers and professional

or explaining to college administrators the

trade groups, could promote potential

unique skills and contributions of a TD.

technical theatre careers to middle and

Of course, hiring TDs on tenure track

high school students.

lines is only a solution if there is a reason-

• Training programs could put greater

able path to tenure. Brinker noted, “We as

emphasis on technical theatre careers

institutions of theatre have accepted that

rather than focusing primarily on design.

TDs are going to come and go, so we don’t

• Undergraduate students interested in

have to make conditions better for them.

K-12 education could be encouraged to

We’ll just get somebody cheaper after a

gain more training in technical theatre,

few years.” Perhaps if qualified technical

and perhaps a teaching certification in

directors grow even more reluctant to ac-

technical theatre could be developed, so

cept low-wage, burnout positions, more

more high school teachers can execute

theatres will figure out ways to improve compensation and working conditions. Individual TDs can influence their

and teach basic technical theatre skills. • More high schools could be encouraged to have a technical director.

circumstances through frank discussions

• Formal mentoring programs could be

with employers about working hours and

developed to help professionals new to

what can be safely accomplished within

the field develop their skills.

resources, including time. Individuals can

• Career guidance could be provided for

also take their skills elsewhere if the salary

members of underrepresented com-

they are offered is not commensurate with

munities, such as women and people of

the demands of the job. Martell advised

color, who may lack information about

early-career TDs to “choose jobs that stretch your skills, but are otherwise the right size

how to enter the field. • All theatres could be encouraged to

for you right now. You’ll be better off in the

adhere to IATSE contract rules.

long run. Too many employers take advan-

With increased attention to the issues

tage of young TDs by hiring them right out

and more efforts to address known prob-

of school at low pay. If it doesn’t work out,

lems, the technical director drought can

they too often blame the employee, rather

be reversed and skilled TDs can thrive at

than looking inward at the company or the

jobs where they contribute significantly to

job. Additionally, taking bad jobs encour-

the well-being of theatre in this country. n

ages employers to keep posting them.” Of course, not everyone is in a position to be choosy about their employment, and the entire burden of improving working conditions should not fall on people who need a job. However, greater recognition 28 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

without going further into debt.

to raise the TD salary through various

J.K. Curry is an associate professor of theatre at Wake Forest University in WinstonSalem, NC, and the chair of SETC’s Publications Committee.

Louisville, Ky

SETC Annual Convention


Feb. 26 - March 1, 2020

Connecting You to Opportunities in Theatre Nationwide

Should You Join a Union? Explore When, Why, Which and If One Is Right for You by Stefanie Maiya Lehmann


One hundred years ago, in August 1919, war broke out between actors and producers when Actors’ Equity Association declared a strike and actors walked out of their theatres. For 30 days, theatres went dark, scheduled productions were abandoned, and millions of dollars were lost. The public rallied behind their beloved entertainers to the point that restaurants provided free meals, landlords let rent payments slide, cab drivers ferried picketers to strike locations (and were known to kick out strike breakers and producers), and even a dentist got in the act, offering free treatment to striking members. What began with only New York City walkouts soon spread to major cities nationwide and Equity membership exploded from just a few thousand to 14,000. The 1919 “revolt of the actors” is a perfect example

IATSE: For Behind-the-Scenes Workers

of how unionization can bring about major change.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage

Each of the previously powerless and isolated actors

Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and

had been left at the will of the Producing Managers’

Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and

Association, like a single fish subject to larger prey.

Canada (IATSE or The IA) was founded by 17 men

The union, however, gathered all those small fish into

in 1893 as the National Alliance of Theatrical Stage

a large, synergized school of fish that stuck together, swimming in the same direction. Equity reminds its members today that it continuously relies on their collective agreement, saying, “Unions work on a foundation of solidarity.” Theatrical unions are now a major component of the theatre industry nationwide. Just about every type of individual necessary to mount a production has access to some kind of protective trade or union organization. But many young professionals find themselves confused on which unions might be right for them. New entrants to professional theatre may easily feel as if they are wading through an alphabet soup of union acronyms, leaving them asking: “What do they mean? Will they really help me? And how do I even join?” Although many industry organizations can touch a theatrical professional’s career (see sidebar at right), there are four must-know trade associations and unions that represent different groups: behind-thescenes workers, actors, stage managers, directors, choreographers and playwrights: • IATSE. • Actors’ Equity Association. • Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. • And, although not an actual union but rather a professional organization, the Dramatists Guild of America. These organizations have become instrumental forces in the protection, support and direction of the American theatre.

Alphabet Soup: The Industry Labor Acronyms You Should Know Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) Represents actors and stage managers in the live theatrical performance industry. American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Represents musicians for orchestras, backup bands, festivals, clubs, theatres, film, recording and television. American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Represents singers, production personnel and dancers at principal opera, concert and dance companies. American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) Represents performers working in variety entertainment, such as circuses, Las Vegas showrooms, cabarets, comedy showcases, dance revues, magic shows, theme park shows, and arena and auditorium extravaganzas. Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, IATSE (ATPAM) Represents company managers, house managers and press agents. Dramatists Guild of America (DGA or the Guild) Represents playwrights, composers and lyricists. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE or The IA) Represents technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry. Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) Represents actors and artists working in film, digital, television, commercials, video games and radio. Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) Represents theatrical directors and choreographers on Broadway, national tours, off-Broadway, and in resident, regional, stock and dinner theatres. United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, IATSE (USA 829) Represents scenery, costume, lighting, sound and projection designers and craftspeople. Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 31

Employees to unite a number of protective

are commonly recognized:

ing nonunion jobs

associations for stagehands that had been

• Association of Theatrical Press Agents

vary by local, often

developed in the 1880s in response to

and Managers.

due to the region

unfair and unsafe treatment. According to

• Theatrical Wardrobe Union.

or market where it

IATSE, in 1893, the highest-paid stagehands

• United Scenic Artists.

is located. For ex-

“worked for about 50 cents a day, if they

• Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists.

ample, a large local

were lucky enough to get paid,” and were

• Treasurers and Ticket Sellers.

will likely insist on

“expected to work around the clock, doing

• Stage Employees.

your working under

whatever was asked of them.”

• Studio Mechanics.

IATSE agreements,

Joseph Oshry

Today, IATSE has more than 140,000

• Motion Picture Projectionists, Opera-

whereas a smaller local may be more flex-

members. They work in all areas of the

tors, Video Technicians and Computer

ible and only require payroll reporting. By

entertainment industry, including theatre,


becoming a member, you agree to obey the

film and television production, trade shows

Each IATSE local is its own independent

union’s overall goals and values, so if a

and exhibitions, broadcasting, concerts, and

entity. This means that the application for

potential job conflicts with or undermines

equipment and construction shops. Virtu-

membership, minimum requirements,

those objectives, you would need to turn

ally every “behind-the-scenes” production

constitution/bylaws, dues structure and

down the work.

job is represented by IATSE.

negotiated labor contracts regarding

Joseph Oshry, a lighting designer based

There are more than 375 IATSE “local”

wages, benefits, work rules and grievance

in central Florida, has been a member of

unions organized by geographic location

procedures all vary from local to local. This

IATSE Local 412 in Sarasota for over 30

and craft jurisdiction. Depending on your

also means that an individual may need

years. When he decided to join the union,

region and your area of production, you

to become a member of multiple IATSE

Oshry says he was attracted by the high-

could have one local or several locals to

locals if they wish to work across a variety

quality work opportunities offered to

consider. The following are just a small

of fields or focuses.

members, with guaranteed pay. “Local 412

sample from the long list of local types that

Limitations and policies on accept-

provided many work opportunities with

Setting the Stage

for a Professional Career University of Southern Indiana Performing Arts Department  812-465-7047

32 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

IATSE Example 1: Local 479, State of Georgia Film Industry

MAJOR BENEFITS: • Collective bargaining guaranteeing minimum rates, calls, overtime provisions and workplace conditions. • Employer-paid pension, annuity, health and welfare fund (medical coverage). • Emergency relief fund. • Disability/life insurance. • Training and scholarship funds.

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES: Art Department, Craft Services, Electrical, Rigging, Construction, Props, Greens, Special Effects, Grip, Paint, Plaster, Wardrobe, Set Décor, Sound/Video, and Miscellaneous (Medic, Tutor, etc.). REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN: Prospective new members must have four references, two of which come from members of Local 479 in good standing, as well as have a Local 479 member agree to sponsor the application. In addition, they must complete the application packet and attach a resume, a license showing proof of residency, and any relevant certifications. INITIATION FEES: $100 application fee, plus $1,400 initiation fee. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES: $68 quarterly. Working dues: 3% of salary.

IATSE Example 2: Local 122, San Diego and Imperial Counties Stage Employees MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES: Audio, A/V, Carpentry, Electrics and Rigging. REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN: Although “cold applications” may be submitted, the recommended path to membership is to first sign up with Local 122 to be added to the call list. This automatically enters a stagehand in the Pre-Apprentice Program. Once the required hours are met, the Pre-Apprentice takes the Apprenticeship exam. If that exam is passed, the individual becomes an Apprentice member. Six months prior to the completion of the three-year Apprenticeship period, the member is invited to take the Journeyman exam, although it is possible to petition to take the exam early. Applicants must pass the Journeyman exam with a score of over 70%. If Pre-Apprentices show exceptional promise, they may be “invited” into membership early. INITIATION FEES: $1,000 initiation fee. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES: $65 quarterly. Working dues: 4% of gross salary.

Collaborate. Create. Contribute. LEE NEIBERT (864) 503-5987 LNEIBERT@USCUPSTATE.EDU WWW.USCUPSTATE.EDU/THEATRE Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 33

decent pay and continues to do so,” he

He notes that “829’s leadership is ex-

the nebulous “unbecoming conduct,” and

said. In addition, he valued the ability to

tremely helpful in providing information

requirements that actors pay for their own

learn from veteran professional stagehands,

regarding contract negotiation. The local’s

costumes were standard practices. Eventu-

saying, “Working with a local union pro-

concern is that a member candidate be

ally, the unfair compensation, uncontrolled

vides educational opportunities as well as

able to generate work in approved contract

scheduling demands and unsafe working


scenarios. This helps keep pension contri-

conditions that actors were subject to be-

butions coming in and lowers the overall

came untenable and, in 1913, a small group

costs of health insurance.”

of 112 actors met and founded Actors’ Eq-

The union also provides an opportunity for networking and camaraderie with others in the field, which helps avoid feelings

Joshua Davenport, a lighting specialist

uity Association. Today, Equity negotiates

of isolation, Oshry said: “It’s great to know

based in New York City and a younger

compensation and working conditions and

one is not alone in a big industry: to be one

member of IATSE who is affiliated with

provides a range of member benefits for

of a voice of many for the betterment of all.”

the organization’s Associated Crafts and

over 51,000 professional actors and stage managers nationwide.

Oshry also is a 28-year member of an-

Technicians (ACT), says “the most sig-

other IATSE affiliate, United Scenic Artists

nificant benefits to membership are edu-

Equity has more than 40 national and re-

(also known as Local USA 829), which is

cational aspects and devotion to safety. I’m

gional contracts covering work performed

dedicated to the protection of designers,

never expected to take a risk to get the job

as a principal actor, chorus member or stage

artists, craftspeople and department coor-

done, and there are enough people for the

manager. The contracts aim to protect mem-

dinators. “The decision [to join] was made


bers’ financial and personal well-being.

in order to allow me access to potential

Actors’ Equity Association (Equity)

The first rule on the back side of a

work opportunities that regularly employ

For an actor in the early 1900s, harsh

member’s Equity card is: “Under no cir-

USA designers,” Oshry said. “My affiliation

working conditions and exploitation by

cumstances may you rehearse or perform in

with 829 has provided work in situations

producers were a part of daily life. Un-

any company without a properly executed

where I wouldn’t otherwise be considered

paid workdays, no holidays, steep fines

and signed Equity contract.” This strict rule


for anything from talking too loudly to

is often a deterrent for young professionals

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Jacqueline Springfield

considering union

auditions, protection from bad work con-

health and pension

membership. When

ditions and membership discounts for

benefits, and vari-

a young profession-

entertainment and travel.”

ous employment

al opens the door to

Jayson T. Waddell, a stage manager

protections, which

the opportunities

based in Atlanta who also is a seven-year

are negotiated and

provided by Equi-

member of Equity, says he particularly

administered via

ty, the door to the

appreciates the many protections afforded

nine collectively

large pool of non-

by the union. “Having a guaranteed day

bargained employ-

union jobs closes.

off, good pay for good work, and know-

ment agreements

with over 1,000 employers nationwide.

Marisa Levy

It is worth noting,

ing that the cost of living increase is in the

however, that nonunion venues such as

books is always deeply comforting,” he

According to Marisa Levy, SDC’s associ-

universities, nonprofit community theatres

said. In addition, he said, “it feels nice to

ate director of member services, the union’s

and nonprofit groups operating within

be part of a group of people who are all

mission is “to foster a national community

an educational or community framework

focused on common goals – the view that

of professional stage directors and choreog-

are able to apply for special Guest Artist

the individual does better when the group

raphers by protecting the rights, health and

or Special Appearance Agreements so

does better.”

livelihoods of all our members; to facilitate

that they may hire a limited number

Stage Directors and

the exchange of ideas, information and

of union actors under special contract

Choreographers Society (SDC)

opportunities, while educating the current


Founded in 1959, the Stage Directors and

and future generations about the role of di-

Jacqueline Springfield, a New York-

Choreographers Society is a theatre union

rectors and choreographers; and to provide

based actress and voice/speech instructor,

that provides representation for more than

effective administrative, negotiating and

says the most significant benefit she has

4,300 stage directors and choreographers

contractual support.”

seen from her seven-year membership in

across America. SDC has established

SDC also is dedicated to preserving the

Equity is “having access to union-only

minimum standards for compensation,

rights of members to own their creative

Capture your horizon BFA Theatre Arts Education BFA Theatre Arts BA Theatre Arts 36 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

The Three Musketeers 2018-19 Season

Actors’ Equity Association

MAJOR BENEFITS: • Equitable salary and job security standards. • Access to pension and health plans. • Equity-enforced work rules for safety, sanitation, exposure, rehearsal commitment, media promotion and publicity. • Wage and benefit bonds to guarantee salaries and benefits from employers. • Audition and exclusive notice board access.

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES: Principal, Chorus and Stage Manager. REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN: There are three pathways: • Join while employed under a valid Equity contract. • Join through membership in a sister union (e.g., Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) or American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA), where you have held membership for at least a year and have worked as a performer under one principal contract, under one “under-five” contract or under three extra contracts. • Join by earning points in the Equity Membership Candidate Program (EMC). After gaining work at a participating theatre and payment of a $200 nonrefundable registration fee, paperwork can be submitted for the EMC Program. Actors and stage managers must complete 25 weeks of EMC creditable work. Upon completion of the program, candidates have five years in which they are eligible to get their Equity card. INITIATION FEES: Initiation fee of $1,700 must be paid in full within two years. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES: Basic dues of $86 are paid twice a year, in May and November. Working dues of 2.5% (effective 11/2019) of your salary are automatically deducted from your paycheck by your employer on your behalf.

products. In 1972, the union secured the

choreographers’ work.

agreements with SDC. Therefore, SDC

first “property rights clause” in a contrac-

SDC’s contracts include options for

members are able to work with any theatre

tual agreement, designed to protect the

participation with theatres and produc-

or producer that is willing to sign a contract.

intellectual property rights of directors’ and

ers that do not have collective bargaining

Pirronne Yousefzadeh, a theatre director

• Hone your craft as an actor • Serious musical theatre “triple-threat” training in acting, voice and dance • Learn the business of the Biz • Sink your teeth into production design and management skills • Enjoy master classes and coaching taught by agents and industry professionals • Production and performance opportunities from day one

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Dean College — School of the Arts 99 Main Street, Franklin, MA 02038 1-877-TRY-DEAN •

Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 37

and the associate artistic director/director

As Alley transi-

of engagement at Geva Theatre Center in

tioned from a ca-

Rochester, NY, has been a member of SDC

reer as an actress

since 2016. “Beyond the invaluable sense

to working as a

of protection the union offers in regards to

teacher, director and

my livelihood, wages and health insurance,

choreographer, she

SDC truly fosters a sense of community

sought out a union

and the open exchange of ideas through

that would match

countless outlets for artistic development,”

her career goals and


she said. “Moreover, in these ever-changing

“support those of us on the other side of the

General BA–Performance/Design/Production and BFA–Musical Theatre

times, SDC remains in constant dialogue

table.” She also notes the value of having

with the issues of our cultural moment and

an advocate for your vocation, explaining,

continually advances the values of equity,

“Because it is often hard to understand

diversity and inclusion.”

what we as directors and choreographers


Over 300 opportunities each year as a writer, actor, technician, designer, running crew, stage manager, dramaturge, or director 5 fully mounted annual productions, numerous showcases, 4 year-long touring companies 2 state-of-the-art performance facilities and 3 state-of-the-art production facilities Annual participation in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Stacy Alley, head of musical theatre at

do, I appreciate the organization’s efforts

the University of Alabama, decided to join

to not only ‘define’ it but to recognize and

SDC many years ago after attending a panel

defend it.”

discussion led by SDC’s former president

SDC offers two membership levels:

on the benefits of union membership. “At

associate and full member. An associate

this point in my career, the protection SDC

membership provides access to some of the

provides puts me at ease, but the decision

educational opportunities and discounts

to join was initially about a sense of com-

that a full member receives, making it “a

munity and pride in what we do as artists

perfect stepping stone for young profes-

and collaborators,” Alley said.

sionals,” Levy said.




"Be who you are made to be ... "


"The most respected acting school in the country and first among all professional training programs." - The Cambridge Guide to Theatre

38 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Stacy Alley

- Sanford Meisner ¾

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

MAJOR BENEFITS Associate Membership: • Access to fellowship opportunities and other programs. • Access to the SDC Contract Affairs Department. • Access to Actors Federal Credit Union. Full Membership: • Contract protection wherever you work. • Eligibility to participate in the negotiation of collectively bargained agreements. • Ability to qualify for a pension and for coverage under a health plan. • All associate level benefits.

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES: Associate and Full Membership. REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN: To apply, submit an application and a current resume. For Full Membership, applicants must provide proof of paid prior engagement as a stage director or choreographer for any theatrical production or for companies organized under Actors’ Equity, American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA), American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), or Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). INITIATION FEES: Associate: $325. Full: $2,000. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES: Associate Annual Dues: $75. Full Annual Dues: $240, plus working dues of 2.5% on all fees and royalties earned under SDC contracts.


Vastly different. BA | BFA | MA | MFA | PHD

Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 39

Emmanuel Wilson

Sell tickets & classes, manage marketing & members, and everything in between.

Paul Donnelly

Denise Simon

Dramatists Guild (DGA or the Guild)

resources, gatherings to connect with fellow

The Dramatists Guild of America was

writers both locally and digitally, educa-

founded in 1919 as the first and only trade

tional opportunities and the only national

association for American theatre writers.

publication devoted to the business and

The Guild describes itself as a community

craft of playwriting, The Dramatist.

of writers for writers, uniting over 8,000 members nationally and internationally.

Andrea Lepcio, a playwright based in Maine, is a member because “they are dili-

Although the Guild provides some of

gent at protecting my rights. My career has

the same benefits that a union might, it

advanced because of their work to solidify

was purposely formed as a trade associa-

my contracts. I am proud to be among so

tion – not a union. This is because the Guild

many great fellow dramatists. The Dra-

emphasizes copyright ownership – that

matists Guild is a wonderful community.”

playwrights’ work is truly their work. As

Paul Donnelly, a playwright based in

a consequence, the Guild explains, “Play-

Tallahassee, FL, says “the Guild can rep-

wrights are viewed by the law as prop-

resent my interest and concerns far better

erty owners who license the use of their

than any playwright could on their own. I

property, rather than employees entitled

value the Guild’s legal resources and the

to collectively bargain for the conditions

fact that the Guild offers educational op-

of their labor.” Although the Guild does

portunities online to serve those of us who

not provide union benefits, it does work

don’t live in New York.”

as a collective that provides advocacy, assistance and standards.

40 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Eric C. Jones

The support that the Guild provides to dramatists living outside of New York is

“We are making sure that we are the

also important to Eric C. Jones, a librettist

thought leaders on how writers should be

and lyricist in Houston, TX. “When I joined

treated and how writers should treat them-

the Dramatists Guild, I finally found a voice

selves,” said Emmanuel Wilson, director of

that would defend my artistic integrity,” he

membership for the Guild.

said. “This is an organization where I can

Wilson says many playwrights miss out

express my art as a musical theatre librettist

on opportunities by turning down work or,

and lyricist in a state that is not known for

conversely, by accepting opportunities that

original musical theatre writing. The Guild

undervalue them because they don’t have

encourages me to know that I am not alone,

the knowledge centers and support teams

doing what I do and love.”

to make decisions and protect their work.

Wilson says the Guild helps writers

“Our goal is to make sure that writers can

in their quest to strengthen community

write, that they can make a living, that they

and connect to a larger purpose. “You are

can make new and interesting work that

following in the footsteps of every writer

is great for actors and good for directors,”

that has done this before you and will come

Wilson said. “To write without fear.”

after. It’s not a writer alone, it’s a writer in

The Guild’s goal is to provide the tools

a community of other writers that has been

that a playwright needs to thrive. That

building over a hundred years and will

includes providing sample contracts, legal

continue for the next hundred.”

Dramatists Guild of America

MAJOR BENEFITS Associate: • Searchable listing in Member Directory. • Access to sample contracts. • Access to Business Affairs Department. Member: • Searchable DG profile. • Discounted membership to the New Play Exchange. • Access to all associate level benefits.

MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES: Associate Member and Member. REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN: Associate: Complete the online application. Applicants must have written a full script. Submit the completed script or a program from a reading or workshop. Member: Complete the online application. Applicants must have had a theatre production performed in front of a paying audience or a script published by a recognized publishing/licensing house. The application must include a program, a poster, a review link or a link to the published work. INITIATION FEES: None ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES: Associate: $90. Member: $130. Student Rate: 50% discount on dues while in school.

To Join or Not to Join: That Is the Question Many young professionals find them-

learning opportunities in the profession.”

selves asking, “Should I join?” or “Am

Being in the union doesn’t automatically

I ready to join the union?” The benefits

open doors, she warned: “Membership in

are certainly attractive and many of the

the union doesn’t give someone preferential

work opportunities restricted to union

treatment as far as agents, managers or cast-

membership are exciting. However, part

ing directors are concerned. Industry pro-

of the nature of being exclusive is that you

fessionals are interested in talent and actors

are not available to others. In the case of

who will make their project successful.”

union membership, that means you are not

Rachel Hirshorn-Johnston, an assistant

available to employers who are unwilling

professor of voice and speech at Texas Tech

or unable to contract under your union’s

University, emphasizes the importance


of building your resume, experience and

Denise Simon, a New York-based acting

network before joining a union. “Building

coach and author of Parenting in the Spot-

up a body of work, a positive creative repu-

light, How to Raise a Child Star Without Screw-

tation, and a solid relationship with area

ing Them Up, often is called on to consult

casting is really key to getting consistent

with young actors about joining the union.

union contracts,” she said. “If you join the

For actors, Simon says level of experience

union before these elements are in place,

should be the most important factor: “Ac-

you’re asking the theatre to take a risk on

tors need to be skilled, and the best train-

someone they don’t know and pay them

ing comes through working hard, along

union rates.”

with stage and screen experience. There is


a lot of nonunion work available and, if a

ston also points out

young actor joins too soon, they will miss

the significance of

wonderful learning opportunities.” For

location: “If the city

example, she notes that “gaining experience

or town you live in

in student and independent films, local and

has no professional

community theatre and even web series

theatre available,

adds experience to a resume and provides

and you don’t plan

Rachel HirshornJohnston Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 41

on moving, obviously don’t join the union,

want to join if you are still building your

– folks are investing significantly in you

until/unless your area theatres become

resume with nonunion work,” she said.

and your ability to story-tell. You have to

union houses.” Also, if you are new to a re-

“You also may not want to join if you do

make sure they have return on their invest-

gion, you may not be able to compete with

not have representation yet, since you will

ment by taking care of yourself (physically,

other union members who have already

be limited in being able to self-submit for

mentally, emotionally, creatively). It’s a

built relationships or gained recognition

projects. Most of the union breakdowns will

business now.”

in that market, Hirshorn-Johnston noted.

come from agents and managers.”

Making the Call

Davenport, the New York-based light-

However, if you are ready to pursue only

Debates between union and nonunion

ing designer associated with IATSE’s ACT

union work, Equity can open the door to

artists are often as impassioned as the de-

local, urges potential union members to

greater compensation, Springfield said: “I

bates between liberals and conservatives.

“consider the cost of joining versus the

have worked less since becoming a member

In deciding whether union membership

benefits of membership. Do your research

of both unions (Equity, SAG-AFTRA), but

is for you, consider where and for whom

and have enough contacts to keep yourself

I am able to audition for and book much

you want to work, opportunities for union

employed, and be willing to learn.”

more lucrative acting work.”

work in your location, and the level of

Waddell, the Atlanta-based stage man-

Hirshorn-Johnston found that beyond

support and benefits you require. Balance

ager who is an Equity member, recom-

the obvious positive career impact, her

that against the costs of joining. In the end,

mends against joining the union for just one

Equity membership impacted her own per-

union membership is a personal choice

job. “If you believe your first union gig will

ception of the responsibilities of a life-long

based on your needs and career goals. n

be a one-off, it might be worth waiting till

artist. “Being a union member, there’s a real

later in your career to join,” he said.

ownership of your craft, a confidence, and a

As an actress and Equity member,

professional responsibility that comes with

Springfield seconds that advice, suggesting

the card,” she said. “You are paid more, get-

that actors should make sure they are ready

ting taken care of professionally, medically,

to pursue only union work. “You might not

creatively. This is a whole new ballgame

Stefanie Maiya Lehmann is business manager of Lincoln Center Concert Halls in New York City and a member of the Southern Theatre Editorial Board. Nationally Recognized Faculty Member of URTA & USITT NAST Accredited Professional Summer Theatre


Acting, Costume Design, Costume Technology, Directing, Dramaturgy, Lighting Design, Playwrighting, Scenic Design, and Theatre Technology


Little Women (2019), photo by Daniel Meeks

Musical Theatre Contemporary Dance

42 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020


Theatre & Drama IU Midsummer Theatre Camp for High School Students

From High School to College: Be Ready for the First Day of Class by Matthew Miller


What do high school students need to know prior to beginning their first year of college as a theatre major? And what types of preparation are many of them not receiving? I set out to answer those questions by posing the following query to more than 300 current college theatre freshmen, recent college graduates, current college faculty, freelance designers and professional actors, with feedback and experiences spanning several decades: Going into your first semester as a freshman theatre major (no matter what year that was), what were a few topics/lessons/skills you wish you would have known? In other words, what do you wish your high school drama program (or drama classes) had taught to prepare you to be a theatre major? Here are some key insights from that survey that should be helpful to both high school students and their teachers: Every Student Entering a College Theatre Program Should Have:

reading plays (not just Shakespeare, which is empha-

• An elevator pitch.

plays) would have been a great help: Strindberg, Ibsen,

At orientation and during the first few days of

sized too much in high school, but classic and modern O’Neill, August Wilson, current playwrights, etc.”

classes, college freshmen are going to meet a lot of

A faculty member stressed: “Students should have

people. Students should be able to tell a professor

a basic knowledge of the arc of history from caveman

or peer who they are, where they are from and why

to spaceman. They don’t need to know everything

they decided to pursue theatre as a major in a few

– they don’t need to be theatre historians – but any


major should know what the Theatre of Dionysus is

• A general understanding of the theatre industry.

and the historical movements and timelines of drama

A college professor noted: “I wish my drama theatre was different from academic and professional theatre.” A current student said: “I wish I had known what exactly each department in a company does. As a high schooler, I had no idea that working in theatrical admin (marketing, development, production management, etc.) was even an option!” A graduate student reported that, when she was in high school, she wished that she “knew more information about the business and the many people and positions in it.” s


The best way for high schoolers to learn about the industry is to talk to people in the industry. If their teachers are connected to professional settings, great! If not, reach out to a local professional company. If your school is in a remote area, contact the nearest company – even if it’s a great distance away – and ask for a Skype session. I find that most people in our industry have a soft spot for passing knowledge on to the next generation. • Knowledge of theatre history and literature. A recent graduate of my program noted: “I think

in Europe.” s

teachers would have specified how my high school


Create a summer reading list for seniors. Or make it a research-based final semester project for them. When you stress the value of having a broad base in history and literature before entering college to a dedicated soon-to-be theatre major – and put the onus on them to study it – you will set them on a trajectory for success.

Actors Should Know How to: • Find appropriate audition material. By the time freshmen get to fall mainstage auditions, faculty have been through audition season for admission to their program and have seen every cliché monologue and 16 bars ever used. Be unique. Try to find underutilized monologues and music that show you’ve done some research. Be sure the piece is appropriate for you and pay attention to the director’s instructions, if any, regarding choice of material. • Use basic acting skills. These include objectives, actions, characterization,

Opposite Page: Whether they act or work behind the scenes in high school plays, students need help from teachers to be ready for collegelevel productions. At left: University of Alabama students Desirée Wilkins, Cindy Spitko, Melaina Corey Rairamo, Anne Dillon Loflin and Joelle Gill (left to right) appear in the school's November 2018 production of Little Women, book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. The play was directed by Elizabeth Kirkland, scenic design was by Jordan Bohl, lighting design was by Therrin J. Eber and costume design was by Andrew L. Haueter, all of whom were MFA candidates at the time of the production. Photo by Porfirio Solorzano.

motivations, positions, basic movement and vocal work. One actor who has been out of school a few years wrote: “One thing I wish I had a stronger grasp on is the basics. In high school, they didn’t teach us Winter 2020 x Southern Theatre x 45

those things. We just learned choreography

body, pace, mood, feel). This role-play will

is an expectation that they’ve already

and music, and if you were good, you were

greatly enhance student actors’ abilities to

built some scenery and hung some lights.

good. If you weren’t, you weren’t. This was

land roles.

Students should know the basics of how

similar with the acting. If you knew how

Design/Tech & Stage Management Students Should Know:

to read scale; the industry’s drawing and

to deliver a line and follow basic direction, you were good! If not, you weren’t. We never learned any technique or skills – we just used what we had.” • Do warm-up exercises for the body and the voice. While classes at the college level often period, that’s usually not the case with productions. The cast is expected to show up at call time ready to move/dance/speak.

of stagecraft; essentials of lighting design; basics of QLab, the most common sound design program; and introductory costume design information. Often in high school settings, the parents

safety; tech theatre vocabulary; electricity; how to analyze a script from a production point of view; and the path a production takes from page to stage (departments involved, design process, budgeting a show – even if only learned in paper projects). s

include warm-ups at the top of the class

• The tools, materials and basic methods

drafting standards; shop and backstage


or teachers do all the construction work,

TEACHERS: If you have a tech-minded

and students either just handle the paint-

student, let them take on some leadership during build and backstage time. Have

while someone else executes the set. One

them do more than back-paint flats and

TEACHERS: Acting teachers should send

graduate told me: “How to operate any of

hold things for others. Show them the pro-

students into their final spring semester and

the basic power tools that come with shop

cess (paperwork, drawings, and more). n

senior summer with solid monologue ma-

work is essential. Getting at least a little

terials, which students will need the first

comfortable with the basics will put them

week of school to audition. As part of a class

miles ahead in their Welcome Backstage or

activity, the teacher should play the role of

Stagecraft-type class.”


ing or are relegated to holding scenery


director and challenge the student to per-

In other words, if someone is going to

form a monologue in a different way (voice,

college to pursue technical theatre, there

Matthew Miller is an associate professor of technical theatre and head of theatre education at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and a freelance designer. He taught high school drama for five years.

OHIO UNIVERSITY THEATER M.F.A. Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Production Design & Technology B.F.A. Performance – Acting, Performance – Musical Theater, Playwriting, Stage Management, Production Design & Technology M.A.

General Theater



SCHOOL OF THEATER Kantner Hall 307 1 Ohio University Drive Athens, OH 45701 740.593.4818

TANTRUM THEATER ARTISTS: TANTRUM THEATER IS OHIO UNIVERSITY’S PROFESSIONAL THEATER Rick and Christian Sordelet, Fight Directors, Broadway Chuck Smith, Resident Director, Goodman Theatre Jason Ardizonne-West, Scenic Designer (Emmy Award: NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live) Robert Barry Fleming, Artistic Director, Actors Theatre of Louisville Marc dela Cruz, Actor, Hamilton on Broadway Melanie Chen Cole, Sound Designer Alan C. Edwards, Lighting Designer Lex Liang, Costume Designer And many others!

Ohio University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, URTA Member School 46 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Index for Southern Theatre, Volume LX Volume LX, Number 1, Winter 2019

Volume LX, Number 3, Summer 2019

Ross, Zackary Hot off the Press Plays About Social Division LX/1/2019/4

Ross, Zackary Hot off the Press Plays By, For and About Women LX/3/2019/4

Reynolds, Matthew Outside the Box: Design/Tech Solutions Cable Management: Hang Cables with Materials You Already Have LX/1/2019/6-7

deCelle, F. Randy Outside the Box: Design/Tech Solutions Mirror, Mirror on the Set: Which Is the Fairest Alternative to Standard Shrink Mirror Products? LX/3/2019/6-7

Hayes, Scott Digital Branding Lehmann, Stefanie M. To Tour or Not to Tour Geffken, Andy Make Your Best Impression on Potential Is Life on the Road or Open Seas for You? Employers LX/3/2019/8-15 LX/1/2019/8-21 Taylor, Jonathon Dare to Dream as a Designer H. Duke Guthrie Could Theatre Management, Arts Advice from SETC’s 2019 Administration or Arts Leadership Be the Distinguished Designers Career for You? LX/3/2019/16-23 LX/1/2019/24-36 DeTitta, Tom Outdoor Theatre Reynolds, Matthew Theatre Etiquette Historical Dramas, Shakespeare Festivals 10 Principles to Help You Avoid Offstage Weather a Changing Climate Faux Pas LX/3/2019/24-32 LX/1/2019/38-43 Unbylined Index to Volume LIX LX/1/2019/44 Unbylined

2019 SETC College, University & Training Program Directory LX/1/2019/D-1 – D-28

Volume LX, Number 2, Spring 2019 Ross, Zackary Hot off the Press Plays About Human Connections LX/2/2019/4 Carnley, Edith Outside the Box: Design/Tech Solutions Reusable Cast: Create the Look of a Broken Ankle Without ‘Breaking the Bank’ LX/2/2019/6-7 Doty, Kim Betsey Horth Managing an Organization at the Intersection of Creativity and Leadership LX/2/2019/8-14 Jeffers, Gaye

Muriel Miguel Tell Stories That Are Important to You LX/2/2019/16-19, 22-23

Unbylined Celebrating SETC’s 70th in Knoxville LX/2/2019/20-21 Cuomo, Amy Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Work LX/2/2019/24-29 DeTitta, Tom Levi Kreis Embrace What Makes You Different LX/2/2019/30-34 Horth, Betsey Esthere Strom Honored with SETC’s 2019 Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award LX/2/2019/35 Braem, W. Riley Hop on the Cart Making Theatre the Oily Cart Way LX/2/2019/36-39 Ates, Alex Gadsden, Kenya

2019 SETC Young Scholars Award Winners LX/2/2019/40

48 x Southern Theatre x Winter 2020

Volume LX, Number 4, Fall 2019 Ross, Zackary Hot off the Press Plays Featuring Complex Roles for African American Actresses LX/4/2019/4 Leckenbusch, Matthew Outside the Box: Design/Tech Solutions Need to Create a Curved Hard Cyc? Use an English Wheel as a Roll Bender LX/4/2019/6-7 Wilder, Elyzabeth G. Women's Work Doors Are Opening (Slowly) for Female Playwrights LX/4/2019/8-18 Becker, Becky K. In the South, STEAM Is on the Rise LX/4/2019/20-29 2019 Charles M. Getchell Award King, Laura The Playwright Getchell Award Winner Mark Cornell Explores the Unbreakable Bond of Identical Twins in The Other Half LX/4/2019/30-31,34 Cornell, Mark The Play An excerpt from The Other Half, the 2019 winner of the Charles M. Getchell Award, given by SETC to recognize a worthy new play, is published. The entire play is available for reading online at LX/4/2019/32-33 St. Peter, Richard Words, Words, Words … Review of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America LX/4/2019/36

Southeastern Theatre Conference 1175 Revolution Mill Drive, Studio 14 Greensboro, NC 27405

Non-Profit Org. US Postage Paid Auto Greensboro, NC Permit No. 744

Are you a playwright interested in social justice, human frailty, and the trauma caused by social isolation?

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Southern Theatre, Vol. 61, Issue 1  

Please enjoy the Winter 2020 edition of Southern Theatre, a premier magazine covering theatre in the Southeastern United States and beyond.

Southern Theatre, Vol. 61, Issue 1  

Please enjoy the Winter 2020 edition of Southern Theatre, a premier magazine covering theatre in the Southeastern United States and beyond.

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