BWW Student Center's School in the Spotlight: Winthrop University
This week's School in the Spolight is the Department of Theatre and Dance at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where students can pursue a B.A. in Theatre with concentrations in Performance, Design/Technical Theatre, or Teacher Certification (K-12).
The B.A. degree in theatre aligns with the university's liberal arts-based vision of education that encourages breadth of knowledge.
Faculty shape class projects and mentor students in production work in a way that promotes collaboration - an essential skill for success in the performing arts and a very valuable skill in any profession. For example, the one-act festivals involve students enrolled in lighting design, stage management, sound design, and advanced directing courses. All theatre majors have opportunities to assume artistic leadership roles during their academic careers in the department. Advanced students take on lead acting roles, design duties, stage management positions, technical direction responsibilities, box office management, direction of one-act dramas. Select students direct their own productions of full-length dramas in the Studio Theatre.
Faculty members mentor all the majors in career development skills. The department offers an annual alumni career forum, where alums currently working in the entertainment industry or K-12 teaching share their wisdom and experience with current students. The department also offers elective courses in auditioning and portfolio development that help students prepare for professional job opportunities. All theatre majors are required to complete a sophomore reivew (in their third semester) and a junior review (in their sixth semester. In these reviews the students present audition monologues or portfolios. Faculty members work with the students to improve their presentation skills and discuss with each student their progress in the program and their future goals. In their final semester, all majors complete an exit interview as a final step to prepare them to secure employment.
Our season of productions typically includes three faculty-directed shows in our mainstage proscenium space: Johnson Theatre. One of these shows will be a musical, often produced in collaboration with the Department of Music. The season also includes two one-act festivals (directed by advanced directing students) and two or more dramas directed by advanced students. All these student productions occur in Johnson Studio Theatre.
Students also may take advantage of the department's special relationship with Actor's Theatre of Charlotte to work in a professional setting during the regular academic year. The department also operates a summer theatre program on campus in partnership with Shakespeare Carolina.
Past shows of the 2012-2013 season at Winthrop include THE LARAMIE PROJECT, GLORY BOX, HAIRSPRAY, MELANCHOLY PLAY. The Department's next production is Oscar Wilde's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST now playing thru Saturday, April 6 in the Johnson Theatre. To buy tickets online, click here. Also upcoming is the Spring One-Act Play Festival taking place April 17 thru 21.
Questions/concerns/suggestions related to BWW's student center can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos and info courtesy of WU.