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USM Theatre- New Student Info Packet

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  • pg 1
									          UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE
                                  Welcome!
       Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Southern Maine and
 welcome to the Department of Theatre! This packet is designed to answer some of
   the basic questions you might have about what to expect during your time as a
 theatre major. It is also to help educate you about the opportunities available in the
                    department in the various disciplines of theatre.




                           Table of Contents
                   About the Program                           2
                   Russell Hall                                4
                   Opportunities for Students at USM           7
                         Acting                                7
                         Directing                             8
                         Stage Management                      9
                         Properties Design                     9
                         Sound Design                          10
                         Scenic Design                         10
                         Costume, Hair, and Make-up Design 11
                         Lighting Design                       11
                   Independent Projects/ Internships           12
                   American College Theatre Festival           12
                   The Student Performing Artists              13
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
How many shows does the Department of
Theatre put on each year?
        The main stage season consists of four straight
plays, one musical or opera, and one dance show every
season. There is a student group on campus called The
Student Performing Artists (SPA) that puts on two
fully-produced shows in the black box space of Russell
Hall, a cabaret night, and a student-written ten minute
play festival. The department also offers their black
box space to any student wishing to reserve it for set
“black box slots”. The hope of the department is that
interested students will utilize these “slots” to foster                       Russell Hall Theatre
student-run workshop productions of original plays,
oral interpretation, creative drama, and performance art, as well as previously published plays.
Can I be an acting or a technical theatre major?
        The theatre degree that is offered at USM is a general Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. It is designed to train
well-rounded theatre practitioners capable of working in any capacity in the professional world. There is
currently no way to “declare” a specialty in performance or technical theatre, but students are able to tailor their
course loads and production assignments to focus on the aspect of theatre that most interests them. There are
also ample opportunities for students to step into leadership roles within the department and as a part of
productions, such as directing, designing, or stage managing main stage shows. To find out how to qualify for
these positions...just keep reading this packet!
What are “slots”? And what shows exclude me from working on others?
        Every year the theatre department follows the same basic timeline when determining the order of
productions. A show’s numeric order in the main stage season is referred to as its’ “slot”. For example, the first
play of the season is called the “slot one” show. The second show is deemed the “slot two” production, and so
on. There are also the “SPA slots” and “black box slots” each semester. These are referred to by name, not
number.
        If you are working on a show in a significant capacity, it is usually safe to assume that you cannot work
on the shows that occur immediately before or after it, as the production schedules will most likely overlap.
Many times the rehearsal schedules will exclude you from being a part of another production, but it is
ultimately up to the director and production staff to decide if you can work on two simultaneous shows.
When are auditions for the shows?
         Auditions for each of the productions are held separately, and at different times throughout the school
year. Due to an extremely short production schedule of just under four weeks, the first play of the year is cast
during the spring semester of the previous school year. So if you are an incoming freshman or transfer student
you cannot audition for the first production as it has already been cast. Auditions for the “slot two” show and
the Student Performing Artists’ show are generally held during the first two weeks of the fall semester. If you
are planning to audition and you have a job off campus, it is advisable to ask for Monday-Friday evenings off
for the first two weeks of school so you can be free attend any auditions or callbacks you choose. The auditions
for the musical or opera, dance show, and later productions occur later in the school year.


                                                                                         Page 2
Where can I find out the exact dates, times, locations,
and expectations of auditions?
         Russell Hall, the theatre building on the USM
Gorham campus, is the home-base of the theatre department
and the best place to find out information about what is
going on in the theatre. Normally at the beginning of the
year you will see flyers posted all over the theatre advertising
the dates, times, locations, and what is expected from the ac-
tors at the various auditions. In the lower level of Russell
Hall there are also “callboards” which are used to post
                                                                 Students Mike Johnson, Ian Carlsen, and Johnny Speckman
official information for various productions and classes in the                rehearse a scene in the lobby
theatre department. SPA usually advertises the dates of
their auditions on their website: www.freewebs.com/studentperformingartists.
Do I need to memorize a monologue?
       Auditions are usually conducted in a cold-reading style (though there are always exceptions), meaning
you do not need to have a monologue memorized to audition. In a cold reading audition, you will be handed a
scene or monologue by the stage manager to read for the director. There is often time for the actor to read the
scene or monologue before they actually audition.
What should I wear to an audition?
        Professionalism is vital to a successful theatrical career, whether you are an actor, stage manager,
director, or designer. While you don’t need to put on your finest formal wear for an audition, it is suggested that
you dress in a professional manner. If you take the time to present yourself well, the director will see that you
take yourself and the opportunity they are providing seriously.
Where can I find out what plays are happening in the upcoming season? And are there any copies of
                                         the scripts available for students to read before auditions?
                                                                The production schedule for the following year is set at the
                                                         end of every spring semester. If you are local, you can stop by
                                                         Russell Hall and look for the flyers hanging up that announce the
                                                         line-up for next year’s season. The department of theatre website
                                                         can be viewed at www.usm.maine.edu/theater, and that
                                                         information is often available here as well. For the Student
                                                         Performing Artist’s show information, check out their website at
                                                         www.freewebs.com/studentperformingartists.
                                                                It is always advisable to read a play before auditioning for
                                                         it whenever possible. Scripts are usually available for perusal in
                                                         the theatre office, located in the lower level of Russell Hall. Also,
                                                         if you are a theatre major, you are required to take a class called
                                                         Theatre Workshop. The USM Libraries allow teachers to place
                                                         material online for their students to access. When you attend
                                                         your first Theatre Workshop class, if the teacher has placed the
                                                         script on electronic reserve, they will tell you the password and
                                                         guide you through accessing it online.
 Professor William Steele directs students Slaney Rose
      Jordan and Bobby Trask during a rehearsal
                                                                                                                   Page 3
                                                                     RUSSELL HALL
                                                                     WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

                                                                      Russell Hall on the USM Gorham Campus is the
                                                                         home-base of the theatre department. Any
                                                                       information you may be seeking about events,
                                                                       auditions, classes, tickets, etc. can probably be
                                                                      found within these walls. But you need to know
                                                                         where to look! Here is a quick overview of
                                                                        important places you need to be familiar with
                                                                                     inside Russell Hall.

The Callboards
The callboards are the official posting place of important information for various
classes, productions, and student groups in the theatre building. They can be found
in the lower level of Russell in the hallway that connects to the costume shop. As a
theatre major you must check these boards regularly to stay up to date with what is
happening in the department.
  Information that gets posted on the callboards include:
  • Production Assignments– find out what show and in what position you are committed
    to each semester.
  • Cast Lists– after auditions are over, the director or stage manager will post the official
    cast list on the callboard designated for that production.
  • Contact Sheets– contact information for the cast, crew, designers, etc. for the various
    shows.
  • Production Calendars– the calendar for the entire season is always posted on the wall
    and the stage managers for each production will post and update the rehearsal and tech
    schedules so you always know when your call time is.
  • Rehearsal Reports– at every rehearsal the stage manager records what is accomplished,
    this includes reminders about fittings or notes for the production team. If you are a part
    of a production it is important to read these reports.                                       Students Casey Turner and Colin Whitely
                                                                                                  check the Theatre Workshop callboard



                                                         The Theatre Office
                                                         The theatre office is also located in the lower level of Russell Hall,
                                                         across from the make-up room and black box theatre. Inside the
                                                         theatre office you will find the theatre faculty and staff mailboxes,
                                                         several faculty members’ offices, and the photocopier. Lillian
                                                         Campbell is the administrative assistant for the theatre department
                                                         and is a wonderful resource for information. If you have any
                                                         questions about the program you can always call the theatre office at
                                                         780-5480 and ask to speak with Lil. She can also be reached by
       Shawna Houston, a work study student, busily
                                                         email at lillianc@usm.maine.edu.
       working at the front desk in the theatre office
                                                                                                                        Page 4
The “Black Box” or “Lab” Theatre
        In the lower level of Russell Hall is the black box, or lab theatre.
The black box is used as a classroom for many theatre classes. It is also
a 40-seat performance space. The Student Performing Artists produce
their shows here and any black box slots also perform in this space. In
2008 SPA purchased new chairs to replace the former aluminum chairs
in the seating area. When taking classes in the lab theatre, be careful
not to stand on the chairs or use them in any way that might damage
them, and we’ll have comfortable seating for years to come!

                                                                                    The new chairs in the black box theatre, purchased by
                                                                                          The Student Performing Artists in 2008



                                                    The Make-up Room
                                                    The make-up room, also located in the lower level of Russell
                                                    adjacent to the black box, is used as a classroom as well as the
                                                    dressing room and green room for actors during productions.




    Performers get ready in the make-up room

The Costume Shop
If you are ever cast in a show, or are interested in constructing or designing
costumes at USM, the costume shop is the place for you! Located in the
lower level down the hall from the callboards, this is where you will attend
costuming practicum and go in for fittings. A tip– if you are ever going to be
late for a fitting, call ahead at 780-5280, and bring chocolate when you finally
get there!



                                                                                              Cate Goetschuis works diligently in the
                                                                                                          costume shop

                                          The Scene Shop
                                          Do you enjoy carpentry? Or perhaps you like to paint? Or maybe
                                          rummaging through troves of old props to find the perfect one? Then you
                                          should become familiar with the scene shop! Located on the main level of
                                          Russell, this is where all of the sets for the productions at USM are
                                          constructed. You will also take your stagecraft practicum in this space.




           The scene shop
                                                                           Page 5
                                              The Box Office
                                                     So, you are working on a production and want your friends and
                                              family to get tickets to come see it. The box office is where all tickets are
                                              sold and picked up to see shows at USM. It is located on the main floor
                                              of Russell Hall, down the hall from the lobby. To make a reservation
                                              you can stop by the box office during regular office hours (which should
                                              be posted outside the box office door) or call 780-5151 and speak to a
                                              box office employee or leave a message.
                                                     Every theatre major receives one complimentary ticket to each
                                              show at USM, except for the shows put on by the Student Performing
                                              Artists and the musical or opera. To see the musical or opera for free,
                                              theatre students may attend the open dress rehearsal, the night before the
                                              show opens. Student tickets for SPA shows are $5 and help keep the
                                              group afloat. If you don’t have enough money to pay for a SPA ticket,
                                              speak to someone in the group about volunteering to house manage or
The hall to the theatre box office at USM     help in some way, and they can work with you to ensure that you see the
                                              show.

The Main Stage
       The main stage is where the performances for the USM Department of Theatre take place. Located on
the main level of Russell Hall, it also doubles as a classroom for several theatre classes, including theatre
workshop. The average theatre major will spend many hours in this space, and it becomes a home for many of
us. Other events that occur on the main stage include the Student Performing Artists cabaret and awards
ceremony at the end of the season.




                                  Equus by Peter Shaffer, Fall 2006--Scenic Design by Brian Hapcic

                                                                                                     Page 6
           OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
      LEADERSHIP ROLES AVAILABLE IN THE THEATRE DEPARTMENT
                         Whether your interest lies in acting, directing, stage
                      management, or design, there is an opportunity for you to
                    pursue it in the USM Department of Theatre. The next section
                     of this packet is a step-by-step guide to achieving your goals
                                           within the program.

                                                                       Acting Opportunities
                                                                               Each year the USM theatre community
                                                                       puts on over eight productions ranging from
                                                                       straight plays, to musicals, to operas, to dance
                                                                       shows, to completely student-run productions. As
                                                                       an actor, there are ample opportunities to be in-
                                                                       volved in multiple shows each season. Here is the
                                                                       breakdown of what is available each year:
                                                                       • 4 straight main stage productions
                                                                       • 1 musical or opera on the main stage
                                                                       • 2 fully-produced shows in the lab theatre put on
                                                                         by the Student Performing Artists
                                                                       • Up to 4 black box slots performed in the lab
                                                                         theatre
                                                                       • A cabaret night
           The cast of Urinetown the Musical– Spring 2007              • A student-written 10-Minute Play Festival

          There are no prerequisites to be an actor on the main stage or in the black box at USM. All you need to
do is audition! For more information and answers to commonly asked questions about auditioning, please refer
to pages 2 and 3 of this packet. Remember– auditions for the first few shows of the fall semester usually occur in
the first two weeks of school, so be sure to ask for time off from work
before school starts so you are able to attend!
          Every main stage show, and many SPA shows, participate
in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, or
ACTF. Respondents from ACTF attend the shows and then
nominate outstanding students to compete at the annual festival.
Students acting in USM productions can be nominated to compete
for the Irene Ryan Scholarship competition. For more
information about ACTF and the Irene Ryans, please see page 12
of this packet.
          Classes in acting at USM range from Acting for Non-
Majors to Performance Art. There are three basic acting courses,
Acting I: Stage Movement, Acting II: Stage Voice, and Acting III:
Scene Study, that every theatre major is required to take. There is
also Advanced Scene Study, Contemporary Methods, Acting for
the Camera, Performance Art, Topics in Acting and Performance,               Student Tarra Haskell performs in SPA’s production of
and a Michael Chekhov Summer Institute offered on a regular                          Five Flights by Adam Bock– Fall 2007
basis.
                                                                                                  Page 7
Directing Opportunities
         Being a director requires a vast knowledge of multiple areas of theatre. A director needs to have the vocabulary
and experience to communicate effectively with designers, actors, stage managers, and the production team. They also
need to be organized and confident to help the rehearsal and tech process proceed smoothly.
         There are several ways for students interested in directing to pursue it at USM. Directors on main stage
productions will often be willing to take on a student as an assistant director. The Student Performing Artists put on one
fully-produced show each semester that is
completely student run– including the director.
There are also four black box slots available
every year that motivated students can take
advantage of and put on their own shows.
There is even the chance to direct on the main
stage, after completing a number of
prerequisites.
The prerequisites required to be considered to
direct on the main stage are as follows:
You must:
  • Complete the Production Management
     class
  • Complete the Directing class
  • Assistant stage manage a show
  • Stage manage a main stage show
                                                          A still from To Gillian on her 37th Birthday by Michael Brady– student
  • Assistant direct a main stage show                           directed by Kristen Peters on the main stage in Spring 2008
  • Direct a SPA show or a well-organized
     black box slot
It usually takes at least three years to complete all of these steps, so if you think you may be interested in directing on the
main stage before you leave USM, you should start crossing these bullet points off as early as possible.
         After you have completed all of the requirements, you must submit a proposal to the faculty detailing why you
feel you are qualified to direct on the main stage. In this proposal you should detail what shows you worked on and if
you received stellar grades in directing or production management. You should also emphasize any applicable
leadership experience you have that would help you be a successful director. They may ask you to choose three shows
you would be interested in directing, and include a brief outline of what your concept would be for each show. It is also
advisable to express clearly that you are open to other play selections, as the shows you choose may or may not mesh
                                                                       well with the other plays that have been
                                                                       selected for the season. As each upcoming season is
                                                                       chosen in the spring of the previous year, it is a good
                                                                       idea to make your desire to direct on the main stage
                                                                       known to the faculty by no later than February of the
                                                                       year before you would like to be considered. This will
                                                                       ensure that they can review your materials and include
                                                                       you in the season if you are chosen to direct.
                                                                               To direct a show for SPA, you need to write a
                                                                       proposal detailing what play you want to produce, the
                                                                       cast size, your budget for the show, and why you think
                                                                       it would work well for the group. There is a plethora
                                                                       of information on the SPA website about directing.
                                                                       Go to www.freewebs.com/studentperformingartists
      A still from Lysistrata by Aristophanes– student directed by
                                                                       and click on the “get involved” link to read more
            Ariel Francoeur on the main stage in Spring 2005
                                                                       about it!
                                                 Page 8
                                            Stage Management Opportunities
                                                  Stage managers are the glue that hold the entire theatrical team together.
                                           They have to be organized, focused, and prepared to take charge in any situation.
                                           Stage management is a tough job, but it is also incredibly rewarding, and the skills
                                           learned while going through a production process from start to finish are directly
                                           applicable to many jobs outside the theatre world.
                                                  All of the stage managers in the USM Department of Theatre are students.
                                           Every show that is performed in Russell Hall, be it through SPA or the Department
                                           creates an opportunity for one stage manager and up to two assistant stage
                                           managers. In order to stage manage for the department, you must take the
                                           Production Management class and assistant stage manage a main stage show.
                                           Natural leadership and organizational abilities are also a plus. There are no
                                           prerequisites for assistant stage managing, so you could become an ASM your first
                                           semester of freshman year if this is something you know you would like to pursue.
                                                  On a few occasions in the past some outstanding student stage managers
                                           have become the Production Stage Manager for the season. The Production Stage
         USM alum Kristin Kurz-
       stage manager extraordinaire        Manager is in charge of overseeing the season and helping train the stage managers
                                           for the individual shows. After you have stage managed several shows, if this is a
position you may aspire to, speak to your advisor about it and they will guide you through the process of applying.



Properties Design Opportunities
         Properties, or props, are the little, often essential knick knacks that can be responsible for taking a show to another
level. They dress the set, give the actors something to play with, and oftentimes a specific prop is essential for moving the plot
of a play forward.
         It takes a special kind of creative talent to design props for a show. The props master or mistress must work closely
with the director and scenic designer to ensure that there is cohesion between all the elements onstage. They must also battle
small budgets and tackle sorting through USM’s immense props loft.
         The only prerequisite to become a
props designer at USM on the main stage is
to have taken the Production Management
class. There is often the choice for the
student chosen to do props to be the props
master or mistress for the entire season.
This enables that student to become very
familiar with the layout, contents, and
organization of the props loft. This person
must be organized and dedicated. If you
would like to become the props designer for
a show, or for the entire season, express
interest in theatre workshop, and you may
be working on props sooner than you think!




                                                         Casey Turner and Jessica Dummich surrounded by a mountain of props in
                                                                   Human at Heart by Stacy Ann Strang– Spring 2007



                                             Page 9
Sound Design Opportunities
        Sound designers help create the atmosphere of a show. Whether
through the pre-show music setting the tone for an audience before a single
actor steps on stage or by a well-timed sound cue right in the middle of a scene,
a great sound design is key to a solid production. Most of the sound designs
you hear at USM are created by students.
  To sound design on the main stage you must:
   • Complete the Designing for the Performer class
       (commonly called “D for the P”)
   • Complete the Sound Design class
   • Be the sound board operator for a main stage show
   • Assistant sound design a main stage show
As with all of these design and leadership positions, if you know you are
interested early on, meet with the professor in charge of that area at USM and let
them know. They will be more than happy to help get you to where you’d like to          Student sound designer Colin Whitely
be as soon as possible! Also, every SPA show is completely designed by students                   in the sound booth

with no prerequisites, so there are at least two opportunities to gain valuable experience each year before you
apply to design on the main stage.



Scenic Design Opportunities
        Scenic designers create the world that the characters of a play inhabit. They are in charge of dreaming up
the playing space that the director and other designers will have to work with. A visually stunning set can instantly
transport an audience to a specific place in time and add immensely to the quality of a production.
  To be considered to design a set for a main stage production you must:
   • Complete the Designing for the Performer class
   • Complete the Stagecraft and Stagecraft Practicum classes
   • Complete the Scene Design class
   • Assistant design a main stage show
                                                                                It is also highly recommended that
                                                                                you scene design a SPA show or a
                                                                                black box slot, though it is not
                                                                                required.
                                                                                       Any chance you get as a
                                                                                student to gain as much experience
                                                                                as possible before you ask to be
                                                                                placed in a leadership or design
                                                                                position for a main stage show will
                                                                                be to your benefit. Meet with your
                                                                                advisor early on to discuss
                                                                                opportunities like working in the
                                                                                scene shop so you can become
                                                                                acclimated with the scenic and
                                                                                design process as soon as possible.


                           Proof by David Auburn– Fall 2007
     Scenic Design by student Jesse Pilgrim and Sound Design by student Peter White
                                                                                                  Page 10
                                          Costume, Hair, and Make-up Design
                                                  Costume designers need a flair for fashion, an eye for color, and strong
                                          research abilities. From historical dramas to outlandish 80’s attire, the costume
                                          designer must decide what on earth the characters in a show are going to wear.
                                          They must work closely with the entire production team and be able to meet
                                          deadlines.
                                                  At USM there are many opportunities to design costumes, as well as hair
                                          and make-up for SPA, Dance USM, black box slots, or even the main stage.
                                             To costume design on the main stage you must:
                                              • Complete the Designing for the Performer class
                                              • Complete the Costume Design and Practicum classes
                                              • Assistant design a main stage show
                                              • It is highly recommended you design a SPA show or a Dance USM piece,
                                                 but it is not required
                                          If you are interested in costume design, meet with your advisor when you first
   A still from SPA’s production of The
Underpants by Carl Sternheim– Spring 2008 come to USM to talk about these opportunities.
  Costume, Hair, and Make-up Design by            To design hair and make-up on the main stage, all you must do is
           student Cate Goetschius        complete the Make-up class. You may be required to be on a “make-up crew”
   for the run of a main stage show and help the actors prepare their make-up as a test run before designing on the
   main stage, but this is not always the case.

  Lighting Design
            Lights have the ability to evoke strong sensory reactions from an audience. They can make a room feel
  freezing cold or swelteringly hot, communicate time of day or season, or take us to another plane of existence.
  Most of the lighting designs seen on the USM main stage are done by professional faculty members, but some
  outstanding students have been chosen to design after completing the set requirements.
     To light design on the main stage you
     must:
      • Complete the Designing for the
           Performer class
      • Complete the Lighting Design and
           Practicum classes
      • Be the light board operator (LBO)
           for a main stage show
      • Assistant design a main stage show
      • Design a dance piece in Dance
           USM
  It is also highly recommended that you
  design a SPA show or black box slot,
  but it is not a requirement. As with
  everything else, speak to your advisor
  as soon as you think you may be
  interested in designing on the main
  stage during your time at USM, and
                                                       A still from To Gillian on her 37th Birthday by Michael Brady– Spring 2008
  they will help guide you through all the          Lighting Design by student Nick Cyr and Costume Design by student Kate Caouette
  steps to make your dream come true!


                                                                      Page 11
       INDEPENDENT PROJECTS
          AND INTERNSHIPS
        So, now you know about all of the leadership opportunities
available to students in the USM Department of Theatre. But did you
know that you can turn these intensive and time consuming projects into
upper-level class credit? You can– with an independent project!
        Once you have completed all the requirements to design, direct,
or stage manage on the main stage, and your application has been
approved by the faculty, you can then submit an independent project
proposal to receive three credit hours for your work on the show. You must submit this paperwork and have it
okayed before beginning the production, however, or it will not be counted.
        Independent project proposal guidelines can be found in the theatre office. Follow the steps listed on the
sheet in constructing your proposal. Be as specific as possible with what your project will entail, and what you will
be held accountable for. There is usually a daily log, some sort of paperwork such as a prompt script for a director or
stage manager, or the appropriate design work for a designer, and a ten page paper due by the last week of the
semester. Your final portfolio will be reviewed by a grading committee that will be responsible for determining how
well you did.
        Also, if you are doing an internship in the area in the summer or during the school year, you can apply to
have that count for credit as well. You would need to work out the specifics with an advisor. As with the
independent projects, credit cannot be applied to an internship retroactively once you have started it, so be sure to
work out the details before you begin.



                                THE KENNEDY CENTER
                       AMERICAN COLLEGE THEATRE FESTIVAL
                                                  The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) is
                                           a national theatre education program geared towards honoring and
                                           encouraging excellence in college-level theatre productions. All main stage
                                           shows and many SPA shows at USM are entered into ACTF. A
                                           respondent from the organization will come and watch the show, hold a
                                           response session with the cast, crew, designers, and director and give
                                           feedback to what they have seen, and nominate outstanding students for
various awards and competitions. The slot two show at USM is usually entered as a “participating” production,
which means that if the respondent feels the production is stellar, there is the possibility it could be chosen to
perform at the festival, and compete to go on to the national level.
        The actual festival is a week-long event hosted by a university or college somewhere in the region. USM is
part of Region I which includes the Northeast United States. Nominated students can then compete for scholarships
and a chance to move on to the national level in a plethora of categories including acting, design, stage management,
directing, and playwriting. There are also opportunities to compete at the regional level with unrealized designs. If
you create a masterful design in a lighting or costume class and want to receive feedback and possibly win an award,
you can create a display board and bring it to ACTF.
        A week long festival that includes a hotel stay and a lengthy commute can be expensive, but never
fear– SPA is here! The Student Performing Artists sponsor any student wishing to go to ACTF and offset almost the
entire cost of the hotel stay. The Department of Theatre also helps make ACTF a realistic possibility for many
students by footing half of the registration fee.
                                                                                      Page 12
                                              THE
STUDENT PERFORMING ARTISTS
        The Student Performing Artists, or SPA, is an
entirely student-run theatre ensemble based in the black
box of Russell Hall. They are committed to creating
opportunities for students not normally given until
much later in a theatrical career such as directing,
designing, and stage managing. As you have just read,
there are often many prerequisites to fill these positions
on the main stage, but there are no requirements for
any of those jobs in SPA.



                                                                      A still from Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang
                                                                                         Spring 2007

                                                      SPA hosts many events each year including:
                                                      •      2 full-length plays completely directed, designed,
                                                             built and acted by students
                                                      •      a cabaret night
                                                      •      a student written 10-minute play festival
                                                      •      an awards show at the end of every year
                                                      •      an annual trip to the American College Theatre
                                                             Festival
                                                      •      and various events such as bottle drives, bowling,
                                                             and community nights at local businesses

    USM alum Kate Law with her gaggle of SPA awards
                                                         Every show put on by SPA is an opportunity for
student leadership. Many designers, directors, and actors in SPA events move on to do the same on the
main stage. The experience gained by working on these productions is invaluable to any theatre student
or theatre enthusiast at USM.


 SPA’s regular meeting time is at 3:30pm in
     the Russell Hall Make-up Room
          after Theatre Workshop


For more information, including a calendar of
    events, audition dates and times, show
 information, and ways to be more involved,
             visit their website at:

www.freewebs.com/studentperformingartists

                                                              A still from Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman
                                                                                   Fall 2006
                                 Page 13

								
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