Our students receive experiential learning opportunities daily by being part of our theatre ensemble and working multiple production jobs throughout their undergraduate career. In addition, thanks to the Mikulay Family Fellowship, we bring in guest artists and artists in residence and host multiple workshops each year to give our students the opportunity to learn from and create with top industry professionals.
- John Cariani – Almost, Maine, cul-de-sac, Last Gas, and Love/Sick (world premiere at HPU) playwright and Tony Nominated Actor (Fiddler On The Roof)
- Daniel Baldwin – Film, television actor, Award-winning screenwriter/director
- Jessica Dickey – award-winning American actor and playwright most known for her play The Amish Project
- Ian Gallanar – Founding Artistic Director, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
- Brandon Burk – Professional actor/playwright
- David Wells – Hollywood film and TV actor
- Michael Lilly – Award-winning Los Angeles director/producer
- Bruce Graham – Award-winning playwright and screenwriter
- Don Wildman – Host of History Channel’s Cities of The Underworld
- Brad Battersby – Feature film director/writer
- Pat Green – Three time Emmy Award-winning writer and producer
- Brenda Lilly – TV producer/writer and creator of ABC Family Channel’s State of Grace
Playwright John Cariani and Professor Jay Putnam host a talkback after the opening of John’s play cul-de-sac
The Department of Theatre and Dance regularly hosts visiting professionals from the entertainment industry to teach workshops and to share their talents and experiences with our students. During one academic year alone, the Department of Theatre hosted ten guest artists who conducted over 60 classes and workshops with our students! Workshops are offered each semester in such topics as:
- Artistic directorship
- Career advice and mentorship
Professor Jay Putnam winds up a Shakespeare workshop in advance of auditions for As You Like It, 2017.
Artists in Residence
Artists in Residence often spend 4-5 days with our students, but when our department collaborates with playwrights they come to campus once a semester for 1-2 years, working with students and faculty as the play(s) are developed. For example, John Cariani came to HPU at least 6 times over 3-4 years during our 2 collaborations with him (for Love/Sick and Cul-de-Sac). Students had the opportunity to develop a working relationship with him, and many have been able to work with him or connect after they graduated. Playwright Brandon Burk came for 3 semesters while working with our department on developing/writing his one-man play, INVENTION.
Artist in Residence Jessica Dickey speaking to students and having a table read of her newest play
John Cariani with students before rehearsal for cul-de-sac
Click to read the article in the HPU magazine about our collaboration with John Cariani.
We are proud to offer an exclusive and permanent relationship with the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore, Maryland where our students work during the summer. This partnership has been around since 2013, and over 10 of our students have been offered summer employment either as performers or in technical roles. Each spring Ian Gallanar, the founding artistic director, comes to our campus to interview and audition students. We offer a housing stipend of up to $1,500 to assist with costs for our students. We are the only university that CSC has guaranteed positions for each year and this partnership has provided many opportunities for our students and alumni, such as:
- Roxanne Daneman (’16) played Louisa in the Fantasticks, May 2017
- Molly Feinstein (’17) performed in The Tempest, June-July 2017
- Lauren Engler (’13) is employed as a stage manager, performer, and scenic painter
- Jay Burgin (’17) is employed as sound designer/board operator
Featured Student Internship:
Cara Kramer, ’16 – marketing and editorial intern for Samuel French Inc. in New York City
Responsibilities include editing scripts, creating social media posts, attending shows on behalf of Samuel French and reviewing scripts to determine if they are ready for publication.
Do I have to audition or present my portfolio to get into the program?
No – but we encourage auditions/portfolios as an assessment tool and for scholarship considerations.
Do I have to be a major to be involved?
No! Non-majors are welcome to audition and participate in all aspects of production.
Are there scholarships?
Yes – there are theatre scholarships available. We have two freshman scholarships available that are up to $1,000. All incoming students are automatically considered after being accepted and completing their freshman audition (2 contrasting monologues of no more than 1 1/2 minutes in length each plus a resume). Scholarships are renewable at the end of the year (with the possibility of an increase or decrease in the size of scholarship) following the End-of-the-Year-Review and is based upon production and academic work during the freshman year and the maintenance of a 3.5 GPA.
Upperclassmen are also eligible for department scholarships that are awarded at the end of the academic year for the following year.
What minors do you offer?
We offer a Theatre minor, a Dance minor, and a minor in Musical Theatre.
What are your facilities?
We perform in the 500-seat Pauline Theatre, a proscenium stage, and The Empty Space, a flexible black box theatre. We have a large and well equipped scene shop, costume shop, and dance and acting studios.
What distinguishes your department?
An emphasis on new works and a strong collaboration with industry professionals.
Provide your details here and we’ll happily send you some more information about our department!