Theatre department braces for new season

Alexandra Scicchitano – General News Reporter

The theatre department prepares for its shows a whole semester before they are set to take place, said Kaia Monroe Rarick, the theatre department chair, and an associate professor of theatre.

The department has to plan their curriculum around the shows to get the university on board with the proposal, she said.

“We don’t adjourn for the summer until we have our season completely planned out,” said Rarick.

The department’s page on Southern’s website read’s, “Welcome to SCSU Theatre, where our mission is to provide theatre education and professional training within a liberal-arts setting. Classes in the Theatre Department stand at the crossroads of all the arts – literary, performing, visual, digital and electronic – and are open to all students. Whether you are looking for professional training or for a place to explore your artistic side, our classes and productions will strengthen your art and craft, and deepen your understanding and appreciation of your own creativity.”

“We have a strong program here,” said Larry Nye, an associate professor of theatre.

The theatre department have four full-time faculty and many adjunct professors, said Rarick.

“It’s a small department so we all have to wear a lot of hats,” said Rarick.

To be part of the shows, the individual also doesn’t have to be a theatre major or minor, said Kyle Kleinschmidt, a sophomore anthropology major.

“Preparation once we’re in the year all overlap while we are in rehearsal for Addams Family. We will be in preparation for the second show and our designers will start working on the second show, which can be a lot if you’re a designer,” Rarick said.

Putting up one show, prepping for the other show, making design choices for the first show, getting sketches in for the second show, it can be pretty crazy, said Rarick.

“We are an academic department, but we are also a producing agency,” Rarick.

“Here it’s 4 weeks out from something, we have to plan all small steps between then, which is why a lot of our students go into event planning,” said Rarick.

All together last year, 127 students working on the shows last year, said Rarick.

To be part of the shows, the individual also doesn’t have to be a theatre major or minor, said Kyle Kleinschmidt, a sophomore anthropology major.

“I absolutely love the theatre program here. I think it’s wonderful that you don’t have to be a major to get involved in their shows,” said Kleinschmidt.

“So, we start planning the season months in advance and then over the summer the designers start designing the first show because we have very short rehearsal periods,” Rarick said with the window only being about three weeks.

Being in part of the shows in the theatre department helps to stop procrastination because there is less time to slack off, said Kleinschmidt.

Theatre is a top priority in Kleinschmzt’s life, he said, and is also a great way to meet friendly people.

“We do a lot for the campus, and also for our majors,” said Rarick. “We strike the balance between serving our majors and serving the campus at large.”

Photo Credit: Alexandra Scicchitano


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