Theatre explores the dreams and visions of a society. Wesleyan's theatre department offers a wide range of courses, with a commitment to writing plays, performing, and directing; working in technical theatre and theatre management; analyzing dramatic literature; and bringing productions to life. The theatre major helps students grow as artists and scholars. Classes are small. You have close individual mentoring from outstanding faculty. See Academic Catalogue pages for details on our exciting courses.
All theatre productions at Wesleyan focus on strong roles for women. Students can play leading roles or take on important technical jobs as early as the first year. Women do all the back stage work, unlike in a coeducational institution, where men tend to take on those jobs. Wesleyan students build the sets, run or design the lights and sound, and direct the actors. Wesleyan theatre students get solid pre-professional experience on both sides of the lights. They are therefore highly marketable for positions all over the United States and abroad.
The theatre degree enhances career paths that call for collaboration, organizational abilities, effective speaking, problem solving, creativity, and analytical/critical skills. Theatre courses also provide excellent training for lawyers, teachers, social workers, psychotherapists, arts camp leaders, business executives, politicians, professors, community leaders, and ministers, to name just a few -- everyone who needs strong communication skills in dealing with the public.
Wesleyan theatre alumnae include professional actors and stage managers, children’s theatre professionals, film producers, directors of community arts programs, management consultants, and designers.
The 1,200-seat Porter Auditorium boasts a forty-foot proscenium, twenty-line counterweight fly system, orchestra pit, and dressing and makeup rooms. It is a popular venue for local and touring performances. The 80-seat Grassmann-Porter Studio Theatre is an intimate theatre space.
Macon's lively theatre community gives other opportunities. Students act and do technical work for Theatre Macon, Macon Little Theatre, and the Douglass Theatre. In addition, Atlanta's professional theatres are within easy driving distance.
Summer internships often take place at professional companies around the United States and abroad. Local sponsoring organizations that especially welcome theatre students as interns include Macon Little Theatre, the Grand Opera House, Theatre Macon, the Douglass Theatre, Georgia Advocacy for Children, and local television stations.
Frazer Lively Professor of Theatre . B.A. (Theatre and Dance) State University of New York at Buffalo 1983; M.A. (Theatre Performance and Literature) University of Pittsburgh 1987; Certificate in French, Sorbonne (Paris IV) 1993; Ph.D. (Theatre History and Literature) University of Pittsburgh 1997. My areas of interest in theatre history/literature/performance include symbolist theatre, Chekhov, African-American theatre, and modern protest as theatre. As a theatre practitioner, I have expertise in children’s theatre and creative drama, acting, and directing. Porter Fine Arts 119. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Lewis Associate Professor of Theatre and Theatre Department Chair. B.A. Brandeis University (Theatre Arts); M.A. University of California, Berkeley (Dramatic Art); M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles (Directing); Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara (Dramatic Art). I have spent many years as an actor, director, dramaturg, and producer in the professional theatre. My research interests include American theatre, musical theatre, and race, ethnic, and gender studies in theatre and film. Porter Fine Arts 109. email@example.com
Robert Fieldsteel Artist-in-Residence, Playwriting. B.A. Dartmouth College (English: Writing); M.A. Antioch University (Psychology). My plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Also a professional actor, I have acted in more than twenty-five plays, a dozen feature films, and have guest-starred on sixteen television shows. Awards include: Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award - Best World Premiere Play; Backstage West Garland Award – Playwriting; LADCC Award - Ensemble Performance; Dramalogue Award - Performance. Porter Fine Arts firstname.lastname@example.org
Students who wish to audition for a theatre scholarship should be prepared to bring a list of theatre related experiences and have a teacher mail a letter of recommendation. Actors must prepare two memorized monologues of one to two minutes each. For more information, please contact the theater department at (478) 757-5259 or email@example.com.
Outcomes and Postgraduate Opportunities
The Wesleyan student who majors in theatre receives a strong foundation that prepares her for a professional career, apprenticeships, graduate school, or work in a related field. Our students and graduates have recently worked at:
Theatre major Ashley Hare '07 works at the Phoenix (Arizona) Office of Arts and Culture as arts education director developing programs for the city. Serving as a liaison and spokesperson for arts education, she assesses community and school programs and works with various organizations to expand opportunities for citizens to engage in the arts. Read her story.
Theatre major M. Elizabeth Hughes ’06 has wasted no time making a mark in Hollywood – producing or line producing twenty-two films. Her first feature film, Herpes Boy, starred Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men, Donnie Darko), Ahna O’Relly (The Help) and Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer (The Help). The film toured the festival circuit and won several awards, including Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival and Best Comedy at Comic-Con International Film Festival. Read her story.