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Students may pursue a theatre major, musical theatre major, theatre concentration within the humanities or interdisciplinary studies major, or a minor in theatre.
Academic groundwork in theatre prepares students for careers as performers, theatre managers, stage managers, technical designers, theatre critics, writers or educators. Theatre training also provides an excellent foundation for a host of other careers, including radio and television, music, advertising, marketing, law, public speaking, and ministry.
The Rochester College theatre program combines a strong foundation in the liberal arts with a broad understanding of all facets of theatre. Students practice skills in acting, directing, writing, design, and stagecraft under close supervision by theatre faculty in an environment that encourages students to integrate their faith with their academic study. Our vision extends outward to the campus and local community in a quest to pursue truth and bring richness to life through the creative arts.
The mission of the Rochester College Theatre Program serves the academic mission of the college both in the classroom and in public performance. An academic program is one that calls its participants to think critically about the self and the world by experiencing the theatrical piece. We encourage students to confront difficult questions and ponder the plight of humanity in a community of Christian faith. Dramatic works explore the gamut of human nature. We find characters who exemplify the greatness of humanity: those who demonstrate courage and self-sacrifice; we also find characters who exemplify the worst in humanity: those who lie, steal, cheat, and kill. By presenting these characters to the audience through a live production of a play, the Rochester College theatre program is neither advocating the choices made by characters depicted in our productions nor glorifying the behavior. Plots are driven by conflict as wills collide and characters are put to the test under extreme pressures. There is nothing like a crisis to bring out the best… or the worst… in people.
We select plays which engage truthful explorations of the human condition, are of high literary and artistic merit, and provide opportunity for performers and technicians to learn and grow their craft. With each play selection, the theatre faculty considers the degree of potentially offensive content and how that content might affect performers and audience members. Most plays, unless they specifically target child or family audiences, do contain some material that is potentially offensive. Our goal is not to avoid difficult material, but to present plays with worthwhile themes, values, and messages to the campus community. The theatre faculty makes decisions about play selection and editing in conjunction with an advisory committee of Rochester College faculty, staff, and administrators. We do not edit all materials which might offend. First, we are often limited by copyright laws; second, we believe that it is necessary to explore the realistic truths contained in plays as they are written. All editing decisions are made with the utmost sensitivity to our performers, our audiences, and the playwright. In order to adequately prepare our audience for a performance, disclaimers appear in our advertising to alert patrons when a play contains potentially sensitive material.
- Students will be able to analyze a play script using a variety of interpretive strategies.
- Students will be able to synthesize a script analysis into artistic expression through the visual, oral, kinesthetic, and written modes of communication found in acting, design, directing, and dramaturgy.
- Students will be able to describe how theatre can reflect, promote, and challenge its cultural context with special attention to its Christian heritage.
- Students will be able to articulate a sense of vocation in theatre that embodies their personal beliefs values, attitudes, skills, and habits.
The theatre department serves each of the five Institutional Learning Goals of Rochester College. Through the entire process, from play selection to rehearsal to performance, we enthusiastically engage our institutional objectives as outlined below:
Institutional Learning Goals
Information Literacy – Students will be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and ethically use information, research tools, and methods across disciplines.
Quantitative Literacy – Students will be able to analyze, interpret, and apply quantitative information and methods for problem-solving.
Cultural Literacy – Students will be able to understand, appraise, and respectfully engage with their own and others’ histories, practices, artifacts, and belief systems.
Communication Literacy – Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of written, oral, and artistic forms.
Theological Literacy – Students will be able to evaluate the sources and meanings of the Christian story in order to embody their vocation of service in God’s world.
About The Program
The Rochester College Theatre produces 5-6 plays on campus each academic year. We choose works ranging from classical to contemporary with diversity in styles. We often take our performances into the community. We have toured productions to schools, churches, and even museums such as the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington and the Museum of African-American History in Detroit.
Each year we partner with the music department to produce a musical. Additionally, Rochester College sponsors the Pied Pipers, an improvisational children’s theatre troupe which travels to local schools and churches performing stories and songs for young people. Auditions are open to the entire student body. Students must be in good standing with both the Academic Services and Student Development offices to be eligible to participate. Scholarships are available to those who qualify.
On occasion the Rochester College theatre department opens auditions and/or participation in campus productions to people outside of the student body. This makes it possible for Rochester College to produce large-cast plays which would not otherwise be feasible for the size of the student acting pool at a small liberal arts college. Another reason to open auditions beyond the student body would be to fill a role that is outside the age range of traditional college students, such as a young child or an older adult. At other times, the theatre department might invite a guest artist to fill a pre-cast role. Students are then invited to audition for the remaining roles. This provides students a special opportunity to work with a respected member of our community. Furthermore, the Rochester College theatre program welcomes volunteers from our campus community who wish to participate in a technical role at any time. Our mission is educational theatre, and we include all who are willing to join us in that endeavor including, faculty, staff, and members of our church and local communities. We believe that there is great educational value in involving our alumni and other members of community in productions with students. We ask anyone who participates in theatre at Rochester College to abide by the Standards of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook found at the following website: https://warriornet.rc.edu/Common/download_file.php?id=357
Support Rochester College Theatre
You can help support the theatre program with your tax-deductible contributions. All contributors will be acknowledged in upcoming programs and some will enjoy such amenities as season tickets.
- Helper ($1-24)
- Friend ($25-$99)
- Supporter ($100-$199)
- Patron ($200-$299)
- Two tickets to the show of your choice (or one ticket to two shows)
- Sponsor ($300-$499)
- One season ticket to all shows for the following academic year
- Benefactor ($500 and above)
- Two season tickets to all shows for the following academic year
Advertise in theatre programs and reach hundreds of people.
- 1/4 page – approx. 3.5” x 2.5”
- $25 donation (single production)
- $125 for the RC theatre season (5 productions)
- $150 for the RC theatre season and RC Shakespeare Festival (6-7 productions)
- 1/2 page – approx. 3.5” x 2.5”
- $50 donation (single production)
- $200 for the RC theatre season (5 productions)
- $250 for the RC theatre season and RC Shakespeare Festival (6-7 productions)
- 3/4 page – approx. 4.5” x 3.5”
- $75 donation (single production)
- $300 for the RC theatre season (5 productions)
- $350 for the RC theatre season and RC Shakespeare Festival (6-7 productions)
- Full page– approx. 7.5” x 4.5”
- $100 donation (single production)
- $400 for the RC theatre season (5 Productions)
- $450 for the RC theatre season and RC Shakespeare Festival (6-7 productions)
We accept cash, checks (payable to Rochester College, in memo section: THEATRE), and credit cards. Please contact Julayne Hughes at (248) 218-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you for your support!
Our Shakespeare Summer Camp and Musical Theatre Camp 2015 was a great success! Check back for details about our 2016 offerings.
Working without sets or props and with little scripted material, the Pied Pipers’ performance style inspires children’s imaginations. Children enjoy active involvement in the theatre, so the Pied Pipers invite them to participate in the stories. Every child who comes to a Pipers show is greeted personally by a member of the troupe. Stories, songs, and poetry from around the world and across cultures help instill in children a love of reading, and appreciation of the arts, and a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them.
ONE TWO THREE ONCE UPON A TIME…
Part of the excitement of a pipers show is that no two are alike. As the troupe performs throughout the year for schools, churches, birthday parties, libraries, and other organizations, they draw from a large repertoire to provide a unique, entertaining experience for each audience. The troupe offers a fresh and exciting performance that can be adapted to most audiences and venues. Although the Pipers’ intended audience is children, people of all ages enjoy their performance.
Want to book Pied Pipers? Click here to fill out a booking request form.
For further information about the Pied Pipers, please email email@example.com
Check back for updated information about Theatrefest 2015, featuring a production of our fall play Our Town!
Saturday, November 14, 2015
About Theatre Fest
Southeastern Michigan middle and high school students are invited to attend the Rochester College TheatreFest. It features workshops with theatre professionals, faculty, and Rochester College theatre students on various topics including acting, auditioning, musical theatre, technical theatre, and stage combat. Workshops will be followed by dinner and a complimentary performance of Our Town.
Check back for registration information.
The fee for Rochester College Theatre Fest 2015 is $20 per person (teachers and chaperones attend free of charge).
Check back for information on payment via PayPal.
You may also pay at the door by cash, check (made payable to Rochester College), or credit card.
Schedule of Events
12:30 p.m. Arrival and check-in
12:45 p.m. General session
1:00 — 2:15 p.m. Workshop session I
2:30 — 3:45 p.m. Workshop session II
4:00 — 5:15 p.m. Workshop session III
5:30 — 5:50 p.m. Wrap-up session
6:00 — 6:45 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. House opens
7:30 p.m. Our Town
Workshop Sessions in 2014 included:
This workshop will keep you sharp and on your toes. Improvisation helps you learn to work “in the moment” and be flexible with and attentive to your acting partners.
“But what does it mean?!?” The playwright has given you the tools you need to bring a script to life. Learn some basic techniques to unearth the meaning of a play.
Fights, slaps, hair-pulls and chokes – all those things your mother told you never to do – we’ll teach you how to do safely in this session on hand-to-hand combat. Please wear clothes in which you can move easily and comfortably.
Think you would love to direct a play? Learn some basic tools for using the three-dimensional performance space through the dynamic power of both movement and stillness.
Sometimes real life is the best drama out there. Learn the tools for staging the stories of real people in their own words for unforgettable theatre experiences.
SINGING FOR MUSICAL THEATRE
Musical theatre directors are looking for people who can “act a song.” This workshop session will teach you how to act the character while singing. NOTE: Participants must bring a prepared piece (with sheet music) for the song they wish to workshop.
Learn the tools to help you create a three-dimensional character by discovering clues in the text, connecting with your scene partner, and making good choices.
Learn how to bring your stories to life in your own unique way. We’ll discuss how to come up with ideas, how to structure your scripts, and, most importantly, how to find your own voice.
SCENE PAINTING TECHNIQUES
Wood, wallpaper, stone, trees, and landscapes – all these things can be created on stage with paint. Learn several scene painting techniques and try it out for yourself. Please wear old clothes in case of paint splashes.
BA/BS in Musical Theatre
|General Education Core||49|
|Foreign Language (BA only)||6-8|
|Musical Theatre Major||68|
CHOOSE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING EACH SEMESTER UNTIL 5 HOURS ARE COMPLETED (Repeat any given class no more than 3 times):
|MAJOR CORE: TAKE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
|CHOOSE 6 HOURS FROM THE FOLLOWING
|Electives (BS 11 hours or BA 3 hours)||3-11|
|TOTAL CREDIT HOURS FOR MUSICAL THEATRE MAJOR||128|
BA/BS in Theatre
|General Education Core||49|
|Foreign Language (BA only)||6-8|
CHOOSE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING EACH SEMESTER UNTIL 7 HOURS ARE COMPLETED (Repeat any given class no more than 3 times):
|MAJOR CORE: TAKE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
|CHOOSE 10 HOURS FROM THE FOLLOWING
|Electives (BS 11 hours and BA 3-5 hours)||3-11|
|TOTAL CREDIT HOURS FOR THEATRE MAJOR||128|
A theatre concentration is available in the interdisciplinary major. Click here for more information.
Students may select 18 hours from the following courses to complete the theatre minor. No more than three total hours in any combination from the following: THE 1011, THE 1021, THE 1031, THE 1041, THE 1051, THE 4601. Additional courses for a theatre minor are THE 1103, THE 2103, THE 2113, THE 2213, THE 3113, THE 3303, THE 3603, THE 3413, THE 4113, THE 4143, THE 4813, THE 4893, THE 4613.
Courses required for a minor cannot concurrently apply toward courses within the degree core, major, concentration or track. With department approval, students may use other courses, within the area of study, to substitute duplicate requirements.
THE 1001 Introduction to Theatre Studies
An overview of the requirements and expectations of theatre and musical theatre majors
THE 1011 Production Practicum
Technical theatre laboratory experience. Assigns students to a technical role in a Rochester College theatre production: lighting, makeup, costumes, props or set construction. Assignments based on experience and/or interest and job availability. May require up to 75 hours of work. Students have one week from casting to add this course to their schedules. Requests received after the first week require approval from the Vice Provost and are subject to a $25 add/drop fee.
THE 1021 Performance Practicum
Laboratory experience/credit for performing in a Rochester College theatre production. Selection for roles is based on audition. PR: PI. Students have one week from casting to add this course to their schedules. Requests received after the first week require approval from the Vice Provost and are subject to a $25 add/drop fee.
THE 1031 Ensemble Acting
Theory and practice in the dynamics of group performance. Requires membership in touring performance ensemble. PR: PI. Students have one week from casting to add this course to their schedules. Requests received after the first week require approval from the Vice Provost and are subject to a $25 add/drop fee.
THE 1061 Unarmed Stage Combat
Explores a variety of aesthetic guidelines, safety principles, and practical techniques utilized in the staging of unarmed sequences of staged combat. Also listed as PED 1011.
THE 1071 Armed Stage Combat
Explores a variety of aesthetic guidelines, safety principles, and practical techniques utilized in the staging of armed sequences of staged combat. Also listed as PED 1011.
THE 1081 Dance for Musical Theatre
Introduction to basic musical theatre terminology and dance techniques. Numbering accounts for level of study: THE 2081, 3081, 4081.
THE 1091 Dance Styles
Students select from the following styles: Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Irish, Tap offered through Second Street Dance Studio. Course fee $162-192. PR: Placement Audition
THE 1103 Acting I
An introduction to acting, including theory and application involving voice, movement, improvisation, script analysis, and scene studies.
THE 1112 Introduction to Technical Theatre
Instruction in the basic skills, tools, techniques required for technical theatre including set construction, lighting, and make-up
THE 2003 Theatre Appreciation
significance of the dramatic arts throughout history from ancient greek to postmodern theatre; roles of playwright, director, actor, designer, and critic are explored. Fulfills general education appreciation requirement for students not majoring in theatre.
THE 2103 Acting II
Continuation of the work begun in acting i. Physical, vocal, and emotional approaches to characterization for a variety of roles in the theatre. PR. THE 1103 Or PI.
THE 2113 Technical Theatre
Basic principles of stage design, set construction, lighting, properties, costumes, and makeup in relation to the production concept of a particular genre. Includes laboratory experience in a Rochester College theatrical production.
THE 2213 Musical Theatre Workshop
Laboratory performance course in which students prepare selections from the musical theatre repertoire. Includes preparation of both solo and ensemble pieces, along with a basic introduction to movement and dance.
THE 2222 Voice For the Actor
An introduction to voice for the stage as a primary intrument of communication, with special emphasis on the Linklater technique.
THE 2232 Movement For the Actor
An introduction to movement for the stage using the body as a primary instrument of communication, with special emphasis on the Lugaring technique..
THE 2603 Play Analysis
Introduction to formal analysis of plays for actors, directors, and designers, and instruction in research and writing for the theatre.
THE 3102 Advanced Acting
Explores advanced actor training methodologies, relying heavily on the Meisner Technique and Practical Aesthetics..
THE 3113 Theatre For Young People
Explores cognitive and emotional characteristics of young audiences and age-appropriate dramatic material. Explores variations of dramatic literature for child and adolescent audiences. Discusses performance of literature adaptation as well as text creation from improvised scenes. PR: ENG 1123.
THE 3212 Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop
Advanced laboratory performance course in which students prepare selections from the musical theatre repertoire and includes preparation for professional musical theatre auditions.
THE 3242 Acting Shakespeare
An introduction to Shakespearean acting with emphasis on scansion, poetic devices, builds, playing through lines, and finding a physical and emotional life in the language.
THE 3303 History Of Western Theatre
A one-semester survey of major historical periods of the theatre from the Greeks to the present.
THE 3313 History of Western Theatre: Greeks to the Renaissance
Exploration of major historical periods of theatre practice from the fifth century BC until 1642.
THE 3323 History of Western Theatre: Renaissance to Present
Exploration of major historical periods of theatre practice from 1642 until the present.
THE 3412 Design For The Theatre
An overview of the design process, including scenic, costume, lighting and sound design. From the first reading of a script to production, students learn and gain practical experience in the steps necessary for a creative design for the theatre.
THE 3423 Production Of The School Musical
Understanding the logistics and process of producing musicals in schools. Includes practicum in a local school working on a current production. Also listed As MUE 3423. PR: MUS 1213 Or PI.
THE 4102 Audition
Instruction in audition techniques for monologues and cold reads with strong emphasis on Michael Schurtleff’s “guideposts.” PR: THE 2103 and PI.
THE 4113 Directing
Process of play direction from production concept to performance. Includes written play analyses, conducting auditions, casting, rehearsing, and working with technical staff. Students required to direct scenes or one-act plays, possibly in conjunction with a campus theatre production. PR: one of the following: THE 1103, 2103, 2113, 3213, 3303 or 3603.
THE 4123 Advanced Directing (on demand)
Practical directing project for Rochester College theatre production. Students work under close faculty guidance. Course is offered on demand. PI.
THE 4143 Theatre and the Christian Faith
Surveys the historical relationship between theatre and religion including pagan worship, liturgical presentations and mystery plays. Discusses current conflicting views regarding the role of theatre in the 21st century church, including drama in evangelism and in the teaching of children and Christian participation in secular theatre. PR: any THE course.
THE 4412 Advanced Design
Practical design project for a Rochester College theatre production. Students work closely under faculty guidance in one of the following: scenery, costumes, lighting, properties, or sound. Course is offered on demand. PI.
THE 4601 Senior Seminar In Theatre
Capstone course in theatre. Includes preparation for post-graduation life and theatre program assessment. PR: senior status.
THE 4603 Dramatic Theory Criticism
Critical writing approaches used to analyze both theatre performance and dramatic literature. PR: any THE course.
THE 4613 Special Topics in Theatre
Special topics in theatre based on faculty or student interest such as a focus on a writer, a theatrical period in history, or a style of performance or design.
THE 4743 Studies in Genre: Drama
Survey of ancient to contemporary drama with a focus on literary and formal analysis. Also listed as ENG 4743. PR: ENG 1123.
THE 4813 Senior Project In Theatre
Preparation of a major creative or research project in an area of the student’s interest. PR: senior status and theatre or performing arts interdisciplinary studies concentration.
THE 4893 Theatre Internship
Supervised field experience in a theatre context with application of theoretical knowledge. Includes outside reading and a written report. PR: junior status.
Click here to purchase or reserve your tickets.
Tickets are $5 for students and $10 in advance ($12 at the door). Seating is general admission – first come, first served. For group sales (10 or more) or more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (248) 218-2149.
Dancing at Lughnasa
by Brian Friel
directed by Robert Arbaugh
Fri-Sat, Sept 25-26, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Sept 27, 2:00 p.m.
Thu-Sat, Oct 1-3, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Oct 4, 2:00 p.m.
Dancing at Lughnasa is a beautiful memory play as seen through the eyes of a young boy, an illegitimate child of one of five unmarried sisters eking out a living in a small village in Ireland in l936. Their spare existence is interrupted by brief, colorful bursts of music from the radio that they acquired at the time of the festival of Lughnasa. Widely regarded as Friel’s masterpiece, this haunting play is his tribute to the spirit and valor of the past.
by Thornton Wilder
directed by Brandon Langeland
Fri-Sat, Nov 13-14, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Nov 15, 2:00 p.m.
Thu-Sat, Nov 19-21, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Nov 22, 2:00 p.m.
Described as “the greatest American play ever written,” and winner of the 1938 Pulitzer Prize, Our Town follows the lives of the Webb and Gibbs families, residents of the small town of Grover’s Corners, as they grow up, grow old, fall in love, and experience the heartbreaks and wonders of life itself. Watch as the ordinary becomes extraordinary and learn more about what it is to be alive.
by John Patrick Shanley
directed by Dr. David Keller
Thu-Sat, Feb 11-13, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Feb 14, 2:00 p.m.
Is it ever too late to find happiness in love? Can middle-aged farmers Rosemary Muldoon and Anthony Reilly – whose only inheritances are the stone walls of a resistant Irish earth, a painful jilting, a personal grudge, and a long-standing property dispute – find the resilience to risk the promptings of their hearts to find a life together “outside Mullingar”? The author of Doubt and Moonstruck revisits his Irish heritage.
A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical
by Jill Santoriello
based on the novel by Charles Dickens
directed by Dr. Catherine Parker
Thu-Sat, April 7-9, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, April 10, 2:00 p.m.
Thu-Sat, April 14-16, 7:30 p.m.
Sun, April 17, 2:00 p.m.
A Tale of Two Cities is based on Charles Dickens’ classic story of love, revolution, and redemption. Two men in love with the same woman, two cities swept up in revolution, and one last chance for a man to redeem his wasted life and change the world. This new musical adaptation by Jill Santoriello premiered on Broadway in 2008 and was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Outstanding New Broadway Musical in 2009.
The Winter’s Tale
by William Shakespeare
directed by Robert Arbaugh
April 21-24, 2016
Pied Pipers: Children’s Improvisational Theatre Troupe
Directed by Cathie Parker
Shows: Spring 2015
- Dr. Catherine L. Parker, associate professor of theatre and director of theatre, has been leading the theatre department since 1997. She completed her M.A. in theatre arts at Eastern Michigan University in 1999 and completed her Ph.D. in directing at Wayne State University. Catherine is also a 1996 Rochester College alumna.
- Dr. David Keller, dean of the Rochester College School of Humanities and professor of interdisciplinary studies, has been with the theatre department since 2006. He completed his M.A. in theatre arts at Villanova University.
- Robert Arbaugh, MFA, adjunct theatre professor and production manager, joined the RC Theatre Department in 2011. He completed his MFA in acting at Regent University in 2010. Robert is a professional working actor and director and serves as the artistic director of Uncovered Theatre Company.
- Brandon Langeland, MA, adjunct professor, joined the RC community in 2011. He received his M.A. in theatre ministry from Regent University in 2011. Brandon is a professional actor, singer and writer. He also serves as director of ministry for UnCovered Theatre.