West Michigan and GVSU
A few GVSU Theatre Students 2011-12
Joe Cox in Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT 2010
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. Click here to visit our academic information page.
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.
GVSU is unique among Michigan's schools for several reasons important to drama students. First and foremost, we have the lowest student-to-faculty ratio of any state university. This means that all our theatre classes are taught by faculty who are readily available for consultation, academic advising, and independent studies or projects. In addition, our program is entirely undergraduate, which means that GVSU can guarantee that students won't be crowded out by grad students. On the contrary, they'll receive hands-on experience with equipment, facilities, and opportunities for performance & production from the very first semester they arrive. Finally, GVSU offers well respected overseas programs and theatre-related career specialty programs that are critical for success in today's entertainment industry: film & television, advertising, and public relations to name a few.
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, arts museums and galleries, two improv companies and numerous community theatres which perform year-round to more than 80,000 people. Three professional stages operate within an hour's drive of the campus. The BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing is one of the nation's major regional companies, the Mason Street Playhouse in Saugatuck serves the summer "resort" audience; and the Hope Summer Repertory in Holland has been presenting top quality professional shows to enthusiastic audiences for more than two decades.
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.