Author Topic: Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes  (Read 5026 times)

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SMuppet

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Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« on: May 12, 2006, 12:47 am »
I am a senior at a private libaral arts (or used to be) university in Arizona. I am currently employed as a federal work study student by the theatre department. The theatre professors, other employees, and myself were informed yesterday that the new management were no longer interested in having a theatre program and were discontinuing the major, the classes, and the theatre season, and would be gutting the theatre to use as a multi-media lecture hall over the next few weeks. Needless to say, the theatre majors and faculty are devastated, many are shocked and hurt, and all are now out of the space that was our home and our family.
All of that is just background to my current question. There are now half a dozen or more theatre majors looking for good schools- some tech, some acting, and myself and another girl are looking for good graduate schools that are affordable. None of us have much and most were on scholarship for one thing or another. If anyone knows of any good programs that wouldnt mind taking some last-minute foundlings for fall, please let us know. Those of us looking for grad schools were counting on our advisors for help in that search, and I know I can read the stage management topics here for info, but Im curious if anyone knows of good acting or general theatre management school.
Sorry for the long post, but we appreciate any help or information, as this is quite a shock and heartbreak for all of us.

loebtmc

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Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2006, 04:02 am »
sorry abt the incredibly messed-up circumstances and correllary last-minute nature of your predicament, and don't mean to sound heartless, but this topic has been hashed and rehashed more than twice and a little scouting around the site will reward you with several lengthy discussions with answers to all your questions

Mac Calder

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Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 07:44 am »
Whilst I cannot help with the OP's post - I just want to chime in and say how atrocious it is that so many places seem to have given theatre the shove. I have seen three relatively large theatres being turned into cinemas in less than 2 years and it is really annoying me. I have also seen 1 university drop their courses on production, and just lump it in with the acting courses. It is atrocious.

smejs

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Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2006, 12:00 pm »
I forwarded your info to a friend of mine in Arizona when I first saw the posting.  Don't know if anything will come about, but he says that now his chair is in contact with the faculty there about having the students transfer to his school.  I won't mention which school in case it doesn't go through, and don't want to get anyone's hopes up too far.  But good luck!

Erin

nikkiec

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Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006, 01:58 pm »
That's awful!!  I'm so sorry!!!  As far as schools go, is there a region/area you and others are looking towards, or is anywhere good?  As far as the grad schools, what area(s) in particular are you looking for?  I've got friends in school, and I just graduated, so I'll help investigate for you as much as I can!

~Nikki
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JenniferEver

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Re: Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #5 on: Jul 05, 2006, 12:34 am »
They actually did the same thing at my college. We were a smaller theatre program, and they had another alrger department, which was kept, but we were shut down for being "miniscule" (that's a direct quote from our provost as told to the Ny Times). I learned so much in this program and got an amazing education I could not have gotten in the larger program. it was really heartbreaking for all involved, so I feel your pain *hugs*

SMuppet

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Re: Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #6 on: Jul 24, 2006, 10:08 pm »
Thanks for the support- it means alot to me! I've been without internet for awhile, so I havent been around. I'm far less concerned for my own degree- I am being gradfathered to it, as I had already completed all but one of my theatre courses and was jsut waiting on my classes for my minor. I will be graduating in December, and i still have a few places to do theatre, although they are not 'home' and not as safe for beginner's mistakes! :) It was heartbreaking, but it seems to be becoming more common. It was interesting that even when management closed our doors, the actors and actresses would come to me for comfort- even as they had when life would take a turn for the worse during productions. I suppose it is good training for later. Many of my friends have transferred or graduated, its only myself and 3 others that chose to remain and complete our degrees where we had started them. In the meantime, i will continue reading the posts on MFAs in stage management. They have proved helpful- so thank you, everyone.

JenniferEver

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Re: Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #7 on: Jul 26, 2006, 01:24 pm »
I'm just out of college, and I started by doing festival work, and I've found that people in the 'real world" even here in NYC are very understanding. You may get yelled at a few times (I did!) but if you can stand your ground and at the same time roll with the punches, you will find the help or info you need, or you'll figure it out. I just finished my first show out of college and I was told at load in that we'd have to strike the set after every performance and rebuild it, and we only had 25 minutes before each perf in the theatre (festivals can be crazy)..and I had no crew, so I had to come up with a plan on the fly, also on that day I was told that i'd be running lights or sound, whcihever I preferred, when until that day I thought we had ops for that..and it was a cast of 19. It was a LOT to deal with, but I did it. I found that as busy as people are and as impatient as they can be when they're under a deadlikne, as we all are, if you really want to do it right and you ask  questions, people will answer them. I only SMed ONE show in college... so don't be too afraid of the less forgiving world after college. My motto has been "you've got to fake it to make it." If I don't know how to do something I ask or I figure it out..and it worked out. Best of Luck

Red Hand Scot

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Re: Theatre program disbanded in a matter of minutes
« Reply #8 on: Jul 28, 2006, 03:07 pm »
Whilst I cannot help with the OP's post - I just want to chime in and say how atrocious it is that so many places seem to have given theatre the shove. I have seen three relatively large theatres being turned into cinemas in less than 2 years and it is really annoying me. I have also seen 1 university drop their courses on production, and just lump it in with the acting courses. It is atrocious.

This is indeed an issue.  My wife is very involved in the performing arts program at the high school in which she teaches.  The administration cares more about athletics than performing arts, despite the vocal music, band and orchestra programs are consistently highly rated in the state of Michigan.  The theatre program has turned into a joke, as the sole drama teacher retired four years ago, and the administration has since outsourced the theatre productions to a local who is the president of the local community theatre.  Attendance and participation is down to the point that administration is considering dropping the program altogether due to continued budget constraints.  It has now become basically up to her (and me by extension) to "save" the theatre program, as she was appointed director of the spring musical.

Priorties are so screwed up in public educational institutions for extracurricular activities.  It pains me to know our situation, and then read Jen's.

Best of luck, girl!!

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