Joan Herrington, Chair
Main Office: 1103 Gilmore Theatre Complex
Telephone: (269) 387-3220
Fax: (269) 387-3222
Lofton L. Durham, III
Matthew A. Knewtson
Greg D. Roehrick
The Department of Theatre offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Students should refer to degree and General Education requirements within this catalog for specifics. The Department of Theatre concentrates on undergraduate programs that stress the interdependency of academic and production experiences, the importance of a broad theatre background, and the mastery of theatre fundamentals in preparation for the more advanced theatre training offered in graduate schools or professional theatre internship/apprentice programs or entry into the professional theatre.
Opportunities for participation in the production program begin with the freshman year. The Department presents nine faculty-directed productions in the season, all in the Irving S. Gilmore Theatre Complex. Additional student-directed plays are presented in the Footlights I and II Series and in the directing classes. All regularly enrolled students in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or above) are eligible to participate in these productions.
The Department of Theatre is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). The requirements for entrance and for graduation are in accordance with the published guidelines of NAST.
Admission as a Major
Admission to Western Michigan University is granted only by the Office of Admissions for undergraduate students. Application forms may be obtained by writing to the Office of Admissions, 2240 Seibert Administration Building, or via the Web at www.wmich.edu.
Enrollment in a Theatre or Music Theatre curricula is contingent upon admission to the University and approval of the Department of Theatre. Department approval is obtained through the theatre audition or interview process. The student may proceed by making application to the University, at which time notification will be sent about the audition/interview program in the Department, or a request may be made for an opportunity to audition prior to making application to the University by completing an on-line Audition/Interview Application from the Department of Theatre via the Web at www.wmich.edu/theatre. The student is urged to commence application procedures early in the senior year of high school, or in the final year at a community college.
Approval to become a Theatre or Music Theatre major is based upon the student’s capabilities, as demonstrated by the audition or interview, upon academic abilities reflected in grade point average, various scholastic test scores as they are available, a resume, and letters of recommendation.
Further information regarding admission to the Theatre or Music Theatre major may be obtained via the Web at www.wmich.edu/theatre. The department welcomes the opportunity to confer with prospective students, parents, and counselors regarding educational goals and plans.
Advisor: Debra Gambino
1104 Gilmore Theatre Complex
The Theatre Academic Advisor will assist any student enrolled in the University with course selections in theatre. Appointments are made by calling (269) 387-3220. Theatre majors and minors must confer yearly with the theatre advisor who will help them plan their program.
All students are reviewed by the faculty in their respective majors during their fourth and six semesters of study within the Department of Theatre. The purpose of the review is to assess the students’ progress toward completion of the major and to discuss upper level coursework, fourth-year projects and post-graduate planning. Satisfactory review is required for continuation in the program.
A grade of “C” or better is required in all courses within the major. If a student receives a grade lower than “C”, the student is required to retake the class. If a second grade of lower than “C” is received, the student will be dismissed from the major.
It is department policy to accept no more than 18 hours of transferred credit toward a major and 9 hours toward a minor.
Students transferring into the Performance program will be assessed at the time of their audition and will be placed into the program at the level of study deemed appropriate by the Performance faculty.
The Department of Theatre offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in: Theatre Performance, Music Theatre Performance, Theatre Design and Technical Production, and Stage Management; a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies, available for those students who require a more flexible course of study; and a liberal arts theatre minor.
Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement
Theatre students should take THEA 3700: Theatre History I to complete the Baccalaureate-Level Writing requirement. Students who have chosen the Music Theatre Performance degree program will satisfy the Baccalaureate-Level Writing requirement by successfully completing THEA 3720: Music Theatre History Script Analysis II.
A student must complete all the General Education requirements as outlined in this catalog including a minimum of six (6) of these general education courses by the end of the sophomore year or the student will be placed on probation which may impact casting and production assignments.