Future GVSU Theatre Students
Premiering in Fall 2017!
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Come an Join Us!
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Why Study Theatre at Grand Valley?
- Starting in their first semester on campus, students can be meaningfully involved in theatrical productions.
- Opportunities to participate in our annual Shakespeare Festival in all facets of the productions as well as scholarships, workshops and keynote addresses by visiting scholars, our touring Bard To Go show, our special high school performances and many other opportunities to become involved.
- All theatre classes are taught by faculty who are readily available for consultation, academic advising, and independent studies or projects.
- Faculty and staff with professional experience teach all theatre classes and guest professionals provide an exciting complement to the major.
- Students may take courses outside theatre or pursue a minor or even double major in other disciplines to expand their opportunities.
- Balanced coursework with production work.
- Students participate at every level and they graduate with good overall training and experience.
- Free master classes and workshops led by guest artists from around the nation.
- While master classes do not offer academic credit, they are presented in our Allendale performing arts studios & performance spaces and do have pre-registration requirements because space is limited.
GVSU is unique among Michigan's schools for several reasons important to drama students.
- We have the lowest student-to-faculty ratio of any state university.
- Our program is entirely undergraduate.
- GVSU offers well respected overseas programs.
- Theatre-related career specialty programs are critical for success in today's entertainment industry: film & television, advertising, and public relations.
- The program is flexible with a strong core of theatre requirements and multiple elective offerings to allow students to pursue their own particular interests.
- Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.
Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students - Thinking of attending GVSU? GVSU has been named "Best Buy" for the 20th year in a row and one of America's 100 Best College Buys by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc. in Georgia!
Please follow the informational tabs to various links to find the information you may be looking for and contact us for a visit. Schedule a tour, talk to a professor, and see one of our shows for free! We will gladly offer free tickets to one of our productions for prospective students and accompanying family to experience our Theatre program.
We want to make certain you are on the most efficient path to graduation and there are many areas of expertise within the University that will assist you. We require no auditions to declare yourself a Theatre major or minor and you will gain experience in all aspects of the theatre. Grand Valley State University is an exciting place to study theatre. The program prepares students for careers that require skills in communications, creativity, and problem-solving, including careers in the entertainment industry. It provides professional orientation and background within a broad liberal arts framework, the cornerstone of GVSU.
It's Not Just Fluff!
There is no weakness in having a theatre background. There is only strength. Here are just a few skills that a theatre degree gives in business (author unknown):
- Advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills: taking a script and translating it into a finished production is a colossal exercise in critical thinking. You have to make tremendous inferences and intellectual leaps, and you have to have a keen eye for subtle clues.
- You’re calm in a crisis: You’ve been on stage when someone dropped a line and you have to improvise to keep the show moving with a smile on your face, in front an audience. Your mic died in the middle of a big solo musical number. You just sang louder and didn’t skip a beat.
- You understand deadlines: Opening night is non-negotiable.
- You have an eye on audience perception: You know what will sell tickets and what will not. This is a very transferrable skill, and lots of theatre people underestimate this, because they think of theatre as an ART, and not as business. Theatre is frequently one of the few academic departments on campus that teaches selling to the public.
- You’re courageous: If you can sing “Oklahoma” in front for 1,200, you can do anything!
- You’re resourceful: Producing any show on a budget teaches how to get a lot of value from minimal resources and to stay on budget.
- You’re a team player: there are truly no small roles, only small actors. The show will fail without everyone giving their best, and even a brilliant performance by a star can be undermined by a poor supporting cast. Working together teaches you how to leave your ego at the door and how to collaborate.
- You’ve versatile: You can probably sing, act, and dance. But you can also run a sewing machine, a table saw, rewired lighting fixtures, did a sound check, use a paint brush and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty for the benefit of the show.
- You’re flexible: You’ve worked with some directors who inspired you. Others left you flat, but you did the work anyway. Same goes with your fellow actors, designers and stagehands. Some were amazing and supportive, some were horrible and demoralizing. You’ve worked with them all and learned something from every one of them.
Make an investment in yourself that will last a lifetime!
Please click here to see our suggested Theatre major courses.
Please click here to see our suggested Theatre minor course.
Theatre students study a variety of topics, including:
- Costume construction
- History of theatre
- Play analysis
- Theatre production
Versatility is the single most important factor in obtaining work as a graduate of the drama program. Grand Valley theatre students have successfully completed programs in graduate schools and professional conservatories. They have found work in schools and recreation departments, repertory theatre companies, modern dance companies, and arts organizations as:
GVSU Theatre students may also participate in many organizations in and outside the Theatre program such as ReACT!, Bard-To-Go, Performance Studio Series, Greenshow, GV Shakespeare Festival, Alpha Psi Omega, S.T.A.G.E., Opera Theatre, Spotlight Productions, Student Senate, and many other opportunities to enhance your education.
GVSU students participated in the world premiere of several productions and are now published in Max Bush's new play, AN IDENTIFIED ENEMY, first staged a GVSU in 2012. Click here to read about GVSU's Alumn, Max Bush's newly published play by Dramatic Publishing, and how GVSU Theatre students participated.
WEST MICHIGAN AND GVSU. Grand Valley State University is a four-year liberal arts school with an average enrollment of more than 24,000 students. We're located on the banks of the Grand River in the village of Allendale, minutes away from Michigan's second largest city of Grand Rapids.
Whether your interests lie in theatre, the world of film & television, the multidisciplinary arts area, or in some combination of these, GVSU has a lot to offer. We're the fastest- growing university in the state, and our graduates have found their degrees useful as general liberal arts experiences, or as preparation for advanced study and work in post-graduate professional training programs. No auditions are necessary for students to enter the Theatre program at GVSU.
Of special interest to theatre students is the range of area cultural activities of which the University is a part. Grand Rapids, Michigan's fastest-growing city with a population of more than 700,000, boasts professional organizations such as Opera Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet Company, The Grand Rapids Symphony, Broadway Grand Rapids, Dog Story Theatre, arts museums and galleries, two improv companies and numerous community theatres which perform year-round to more than 80,000 people.
GVSU theatre students participate in these activities in many forms. Paid internships in directing, management, and technical production are sponsored by many of west Michigan's stages. The drama program sponsors trips each year to local and regional theatres such as Chicago's off-Loop stages and the American College Theatre Festival regional competitions. And many drama students participate onstage and backstage at Grand Rapids' community theatres during the regular year and in the summers.
West Michigan also boasts paid professional production and internship opportunities with several regional theatres nearby. The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre in Holland has been producing nationally-recognized shows with local and national talent for the past forty years. The same holds true for the Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck, the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company in Muskegon, and the Barn Theatre in Augusta. Our enrolled students and recent graduates have worked on all these stages over the years.
Follow the links below for more information:
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Submit GVSU application
View catalog information
View the Theatre major requirements
Types of Theatre schorlarship opportunities
Schedule a University visit with Admissions
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