Listed below are a few different areas of study:
Students who pursue acting at Kansas State will receive solid training in performance based on the Stanislavski method. They will also have the opportunity to study a variety of other acting practices including, the Meisner technique, improvisational theatre, intensive scene study, and acting for camera.
Our active production program allows numerous opportunities for on-stage experience beginning in the freshman year.
• Fundamentals of Acting-script analysis and scene work
• Intermediate Acting - further analysis and scene work
• Stage Movement - techniques
• Dance Technique: Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Musical Theatre
• Shakespeare - acting verse
• Meisner Technique and Introduction to Camera work
• Advanced Movement - various topics explored
• Practice in Acting - one act plays in Lunchbag Theatre• Topics: Advanced Improv, Stage Combat, Acting for the Camera, Acting in Original Scripts, Scene Study
• Performances are presented in three spaces - Nichols Theatre, McCain Auditorium and the Purple Masque Theatre (see facilities).
• 5 Main Stage Productions - modern & contemporary plays, classical drama, comedy, musical theatre, opera
• 3-4 Studio Productions of student-directed full-length plays
• 2 Dance concerts
Design and Technical Theatre
The theatre design program at KSU offers training in the areas of scenery, costumes and lighting design. Students may choose to concentrate in one or more of these areas.
The beginning design student will learn the basics of design and construction through a series of courses offered in the various areas. Once a concentration is chosen the student will work one-on-one with the faculty member in that area to devise a program of study which will advance the student's skills as a designer.
All design students are encouraged to work on construction crews, production crews and run crews beginning in their freshman year. This practical experience is essential to understanding the work of the designer.
The advanced design student will have opportunities to design full-length plays in the Purple Masque Theatre and when selected, Main Stage selections.
There are many behind-the-scenes theatre jobs which are essential to every production company. Theatre students at KSU will have the opportunity to explore these numerous production positions which may lead them to a career choice. These include: Technical director, master carpenter, master electrician, sound technician, props artisan, scenic artist, cutter/draper and costume crafts person.
The K-State Technical Theatre program is ideal for either the student wishing to concentrate in a single area of Technical Production (scenery, prop, or costume construction; lighting; sound; scenic art) or those wishing to explore different areas in order to find their niche or attain a holistic technical theatre education. Our faculty is well versed in their areas of concentration and the modern techniques involved, and our facilities are among the best in the state, including a fully functional costume shop, scene shop, paint shop, and prop construction area. In addition, guest artists are brought in regularly to assist on larger productions and give the students the perspective of real, free-lancing professionals. Our students learn to work collaboratively with the faculty and their peers to design, manage, and produce theatrical productions and many students are assigned positions on main-stage productions in their first year.
The K-State Theatre Scene Shop, located adjacent to McCain Auditorium, is a fully functional, modern facility in which all scenery for K-State Theatre productions is created. A full-time, faculty Scene Shop Supervisor oversees a staff of student workers as well as students in the Fundamentals of Technical Production course. It houses a moveable paint frame which allows us to paint full-size backdrops, a complete set of up-to-date woodworking and metalworking equipment, and a paint storage and mixing area with an exhaust system.
Students interested in directing may take courses in Fundamentals of Directing, Advanced Directing (LunchBag Theatre) and Directing Seminar as well as take on various directing projects as they progress through their studies.
It is important for the directing student to be familiar with all areas of theatre and is therefore recommended that they diversify their studies by taking classes in acting, directing, design, stage management, technical theatre, theatre history and theatre literature. These studies may be supplemented by related courses offered in other departments such as Introduction to Shakespeare and Dramatic Literature in the English Department.
The advanced directing student will take part in LunchBag Theatre which produces a number of one-act plays in the spring semester. Selected students will be allowed to direct full length plays in the Purple Masque theatre.
The playwriting program gives students in-depth training as writers and also offers them the opportunity to have their work produced at the university. Student-written original plays have often been presented in our Purple Masque Theatre season as well as in our Practice in Directing/Practice in Acting (Lunchbag Theatre) class. These plays are frequently entered in the American College Theatre Festival original play competitions. In 2006, THE LAST BLACK PLAY, by Nathan Jackson, was selected for presentation at the national festival at the Kennedy Center, where his play won the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award. Nathan's play, BROKE-OLOGY, was produced at the 2008 Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lincoln Center, Kansas City Rep, and other theatres nationally. His play AS I CAME TO DIE has been produced at Lincoln Center and Kansas City Rep. He has written for a number of TV shows and currently is Playwright in Residence at Kansas City Rep.
Students wishing to concentrate in this area will receive extensive hands-on training as well as classroom instruction. Opportunities for assistant stage management positions are possible in the freshman year with advancement to stage management of student productions and mainstage productions in the sophmore year for the student who shows promise in this area. Stage management students are encouraged to seek internships with professional summer theatres after their sophmore year.
The head of stage management will assist the talented stage management student in this pursuit. Many K-State students have reached their goal of becoming professional stage managers within years of graduation. Alums in stage management have worked on and off Broadway, in numerous Chicago theatres as well as top regional theatres and opera companies across the country. Our alums often come back to K-State to share their knowledge and also to assist our students on their path to a career in the professional theatre.
Please direct questions about the stage management program to Marci Maullar