Many graduates from the WMU Music Theatre Performance (MTP) program have graced the stages of Broadway, Chicago, National Tours and major regional theatres. It is always exciting to graduate and to have your theatre dreams come true. In addition to these opportunities, many music theatre students have taken their talents to the high seas. Performing as a cast member on one of the numerous cruise line has become a very lucrative and exciting way for young music theatre graduates to see the world and jumpstart their careers. While life on a cruise ship may not be for everyone, it is certainly an experience worth exploring.
The halls are once again filled with energy, campus is reawakened with bustling students, and spring semester has officially begun. But as we open up new textbooks and enter another exciting season of events and activities, let's not forget that it is still a time for the arts.
Why? We asked a few of our students to share their take. Here's what they had to say:
Meet Palmer Jankens, a self-proclaimed entertainment sound nerd and this year's Distinguished Alumni Award honoree for the Department of Theatre. From designing for prestigious theatre companies and productions throughout Chicago to mixing shows around the world, Palmer has built a career doing what he loves. And by the sounds of it, the experiences he was afforded during his time in the Department of Theatre's design and technical production program had a lot to do with his success. Hear all about it here:
You know those experiences where you leave and think to yourself, “That was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. When can I do it again?”? That is how I felt when I left College Audition Advantage just a couple weeks ago, right as the Berkshires were starting to feel like home.
This past May I packed up my car with the barest essentials for a three-month adventure and made the move to Chicago, Illinois. This would be a solo adventure, and I would be lying if I said I was without trepidation. My destination was reached in three hours and thus began a summer like no other: a summer interning with Victory Gardens Theater.
Victory Gardens Theater offers a transformative space for young arts professionals, and I was lucky to have this door opened for me when I attended the National Arts Marketing Conference last November in Austin, Texas. I was able to network with people from the Chicago theater industry and ultimately land this internship and make my vision of speaking truth and affecting change through the art I love a reality.
The College of Fine Arts is beginning the 2017-18 academic year with a simple message: Now is a time for the arts.
The arts have long been a vital part of the human experience. Whether watching the Kabuki of Japan or classic ballet of France, taking in works showcased at MoMA, or absorbing the distinctive sounds of jazz, the act of engaging with the arts provides us an opportunity to examine our lived experiences and encourages us to be more creative, more observant and more aware.
Hello from Naples, Florida! First let me answer an obvious question: Yes, it is very hot here in the summer! My Midwestern body has been trained for the arctic, so transitioning into this new weather was tough, but it’s been two months and I’m still alive! I consider that a victory.
I am the Stage Management intern for the Naples Players, and this is without a doubt the biggest adventure I have ever been on!
Here are a few of my favorite things about my time here:
My name is Adam Stocker, and I recently graduated from WMU's Department of Theatre as a technical production theatre major with an emphasis in costume construction. I grew up in Warren, Michigan, and I will soon be moving to New York City to pursue all of my dreams and goals.
I spent my summer as a stitcher at The Glimmerglass Festival, an opera company in Cooperstown, NY. I worked here last year as an intern, and I came back this year as staff. The show I specifically worked the most on was Oklahoma! (Glimmerglass produces 1 musical and 3 operas each summer). I work 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. about six days a week, and I spend that time working in the costume shop, sewing away and building costumes. As a stitcher, my primary job is to construct the garments via a sewing machine.
London, England. Home of High Tea, Queens and royalty, the West End theatre district, and of course Sherlock Holmes. I have wanted to visit London ever since I was a child and my dad and I ran around my neighborhood pretending we were Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, and my desire to visit grew larger as my passion for BBC television and theatre expanded. Finally this summer, I had the opportunity of a lifetime: Three weeks in London! But not just an ordinary three weeks, my mom and I tagged along with my dad, a piano professor at Goshen College in Indiana, and 45 Goshen College students for their May-Term course, “The Arts in London”.
Spending three weeks in London to immerse myself in the arts?! UM, COUNT ME IN!
By the end of the trip I had seen 15 arts events, mostly plays and musicals, along with incredible classical concerts. There is so much I could say, but I thought I would make my own guide to London, specifically for explorers who love the arts (and food). Here is everything you must see if you are planning a trip to London in the future!
This week, alongside the 52nd International Congress of Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University will host the inaugural Mostly Medieval Theatre Festival. This new biennial event, designed to increase the availability of high-quality performances to public audience and Congress attendees alike, will feature regionally-produced music and theatre, as well as touring performances by universities and other theatre and music troupes. Given this festival is in its first year, we're sure that audiences have some questions.
What is the Mostly Medieval Theatre Festival? Why is this happening at WMU? What can audiences expect?
Artistic director of the festival and Department of Theatre professor Lofty Durham provides some answers in the discussion below.
Topics: Department of Theatre