Assistant professor Angela Branneman has been teaching theater arts management in the Department of Theatre Arts since 2007. Before coming to IC, she was marketing manager at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
What attracted you to the theater arts program at Ithaca
The traditional approach to professional development in the field of theater management is “on the job training.” Over the years, I became convinced that there is a need for young professionals to begin their training in a college environment so as to build a solid foundation in all the areas of theater management, and I thought I could make a contribution in this area. It was also important to me to work in an academic department with and among artists, both faculty and students.
How do you approach teaching theater management
A lot of what I do is guide students through experiences they have in the field, where they can take the theory learned in the classroom with me and see what happens when they try to put it to work. I spend time building relationships with regional and commercial theaters so that my students can explore a wide variety of internships, and I mentor students as they learn how to integrate classroom concepts with real-world applications.
What is it that you like about working in the artistic
environment of IC’s theater department?
Working with and among artists, you’re in a dynamic environment, with flexible people excited about adapting to change. My students here are enthusiastic about becoming stewards of the thing they love most. Plus, it’s fun—I’m in my office and people are dancing and singing down the hallway—you don’t get that in a business school environment! Often, I find I’m talking to students about contracts and marketing while they’re in their leotards, right out of dance class.