Main Stage Season
The Department of Theatre Arts produces six mainstage shows a year. Typically this includes two musicals, an opera and three plays. Every other year, we produce a dance concert. We strive to produce a Shakespeare every other year as well. Auditions are open to the campus community.
Senior Directing Projects
Each year, the Department of Theatre Arts produces two senior directing projects. These opportunities are open to all senior theater majors. The productions are intended to provide the advanced student director with the opportunity for practical application of skills, theories, and experiences acquired during the course of his/her training. Limited financial, staffing, and technical support is provided for each of these productions. The goal of this work primarily focuses on the director/actor relationship. Further information and application guidelines are available in the Department of Theatre Arts handbook.
The No Bucks Theatre is a student-run venue, featuring student work in acting, directing, playwriting, stage management, and to a certain extent design, primarily lighting design. A student board of directors selects plays based on submissions by student directors and authors. Typically three of these plays are produced every semester. The theater is truly “no bucks” in that the productions are minimal and low-tech in nature, usually using no more than a few chairs and tables, costumes gleaned from students’ closets, and very few lighting instruments. The department pays for royalties and scripts; but otherwise, no money should be spent on production elements.
The goal is to provide opportunities for budding directors, playwrights, and performers to work in small scale with artistic freedom. Plays have ranged from classics and modern classics to cutting-edge contemporary drama, and quite frequently, premieres of work by our own student playwrights. In both spring and fall 2004, for example, an Ithaca College student’s play was produced in small but stimulating venue.
In 2010, the Department of Theatre Arts created the Earl McCarroll Studio Theatre to be the new home for Senior Directing Projects, No Bucks and a new space for developing new plays. This idea is still in its infancy - but were very excited about this program.
On the Verge
Approximately 10 years ago, a play reading series was inaugurated as an interdisciplinary exercise between the theater department and the English department when professors from both departments recognized the usefulness of such a reading series on two levels:
- to aid in the class discussion of particularly difficult texts
- to train budding actors to be able to cold-read plays with only two rehearsals
The series has continued to be a successful, interdisciplinary supplement to dramatic literature classes and to actor training. Students and faculty share the stage, and recently student directors have begun to direct some of the readings. In the last several years, plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Brecht, Shaw, and Chekhov have been read, along with brand new plays, including the Pulitzer prize-winning Anna in the Tropics before it won the prize. In 2000 Frank Wood, who won the Tony Award for best actor in Warren Leight’s Side Man, visited and read his role with a group of our students. Wood so enjoyed this experience that he returned to read roles in Copenhagen and Dancing at Lughnasa, giving student actors and audiences the benefit of his experience. Frequently new plays have been read that were seen by our students during their time in the London program. In spring 2004 a play about disability written by a student with disabilities was read, as well as a play translated from Spanish by one of our theater students. So the series continues to grow in exciting new directions.
Beyond the departmental productions, there is much student generated work. Each and every year there plays being produced in a wide variety venues and through a wide variety of organizations.