By Maverick Lynes, Staff Writer
The USM Department of Theatre have been working on updating their program, especially within the curriculum and a new audition process for participating in a school production. With the spring semester coming to a close shortly, the faculty in the theatre department look toward the start of another school year. While students are excited and eager for summer break, they have been discussing new changes to certain curriculums for the fall semester.
A special aspect regarding the Department of Theatre is the various areas of concentration there are for students. Some of the concentrations USM students can hone in on are, performance, design and technology, stage management and theatre history. The fear of spreading yourself too thin is not a problem within the USM Department of Theatre due to the variety of options they provide. Throughout their undergraduate years, USM theatre students receive valuable mentorship for what is a competitive job market outside of the school.
The theatre department has been adding new components to the program which have been implemented in the last few years. These changes revolve around major changes in the self- study aspect of the theatre program.
The new self-study component came along with three goals for the program. According to Adam Tuchinsky, the Dean of College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the first goal is a reflection of the president’s goal, which is to have students pursue professional options, whether it be local or from study abroad. Faculty wants their students to be as experienced in the theatre as possible which will help them prepare for pursuits after graduation.
Secondly, the theatre program revamped the department with changes that can be seen as updating the program. Tuchinsky also stated that along with the various updates to the program, it was also condensed, which was all in an act to reflect the best programs from across the nation.
The third change that was noted by Tuchinsky was that every student interested in participating in a university production must go through an audition process. The addition of auditions for the students ultimately develops their comfort level in the similar situations they will face while pursuing opportunities after they graduate.
The changes that have been made and are going to be made, are there to ensure that theatre students are getting an essential education which will help them in their future. The changes help prepare the student for post graduation lifestyle while making sure they are receiving valuable guidance during their time in the program. The devoted faculty does their best to ensure the students are receiving proper lessons that will help them achieve their goals.
As someone who went to the theatrical productions put on by the school, I was impressed with each and every production I attended; Not only with the people performing on stage but also the set, the crew and the direction of the performances. It is often that school performances can give off the energy as if the cast and crew are going through motions. The performers have to juggle their school work on top of the memorization of their lines and stages direction and still manage to go on stage and do a remarkable job.
The quality of the sets and the creativity that is brought to every production, goes to show the time and energy that is put into the theatre department. The faculties commitment to the program and the students is evident.
Starting in Oct. from the 19-28, Cary Libkin, a professor in the theatre department, will be directing Tartuffe, a theatrical production originally written by Moliere. A Winter Idyll, directed by Andrew Harris and choreographed by Maria Tzianabos, will be playing from Dec. 6-9. On March 1-10, 2019, from the they will be putting on a production of the musical Unlocked, directed by Sara Valentine and music by Ed Reichert. To end the year there will be the production of The Foreigner by Larry Shue, directed by Michael Boudewyns from April 21-30.