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The theatre program at Midwestern State University is devoted entirely to undergraduate instruction. As a result, motivated, capable students find themselves quickly involved not only in the classroom but also in production work on stage and backstage. The program emphasizes the importance and interrelatedness of all aspects of theatre: performance, design, technical theatre, and scholarship. The theatre faculty members seek to cultivate an atmosphere of collaboration, ensemble, and mutual respect.
While the program is broad enough to cover the essential areas of the discipline, it also allows for specialization. Theatre majors are required to complete a basic core of courses covering theatre history, dramatic analysis, acting, directing, design, and technical theatre. They then select an emphasis in performance or design/technology. Majors can also choose to complete their theatre degree with teacher certification. MSU is one of only three schools in Texas to offer a B.F.A. in Theatre with teacher certification. Also, MSU is the only college in Texas to be a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
Every year, principles studied in the classroom are applied in a season of three or four major productions. These productions offer performance, design, and technical opportunities for all majors — freshmen as well as upperclassmen. For each production, majors are assigned to a specific production crew. Periodically, student assistantships are available in the areas of costume construction, set construction, and publicity/box office. In the spring, student-produced one-act plays afford additional cast and crew positions for majors. Occasionally, the departments of Theatre and Music join forces to produce musicals.
Productions also give majors diverse experiences with various playwrights, time periods, and styles.
MSU Theatre participates regularly in American College Theater Festivals, where it has won Critic's Choice and/or Directors' Choice Awards at both the state and regional levels. The department has also played host to American College Theater Festivals numerous times at the state level. Most years, design/technology students are encouraged to attend the annual USITT-Southwest conference with faculty members for both learning and presentation purposes. MSU Theatre proudly represents the Pi Delta chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, honorary theatre society.
The department has retained a Texas Educational Theatre Association institutional membership since 1960, and it became accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre in 2013.
Students are able to compete constructively for roles, crew positions, and design opportunities while also connecting and working well together to achieve the passion and common goal of theatre production; every theatre major is offered an opportunity to contribute to that goal. Majors are motivated daily to challenge themselves and to open their minds. They enjoy small class sizes that lead to dynamic discussions and one-on-one support from faculty members. Midwestern State University students often share a common feeling of belonging, as though the university is home for them; our theatre program is no exception.
If you're interested in our program and would like to learn more or see one of our upcoming productions, contact Elizabeth Lewandowski, our department chair, or Emma Brown, our secretary.
We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Bradley Wilson, assistant professor of Mass Communication and adviser to The Wichitan, for helping us document some of our recent productions. Many of Dr. Wilson's photos appear on the theatre department's webpages.
The theatre department's webpages are managed by Emma Brown, the department secretary. If you experience problems with any of the pages, their links, or their display, please contact her by email to notify her of the problem(s).