The mission of the Department of Theatre and Dance at High Point University is to inspire personal and artistic development and challenge students to lead lives enriched by curiosity, expression, and empathy. The department uniquely prepares students for creative careers by emphasizing a collaborative company philosophy, faculty mentoring and the fostering of new works.
In the department of Theatre and Dance at High Point University, we value:
Work ethic – accountability, discipline, integrity, timeliness, preparation, and the mutual respect of our colleagues.
The creative process – taking artistic risks, making choices, being willing to fail, and pride in product and completion.
Creative problem solving – intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, questioning, and investigation.
An examined life – social awareness, the liberal arts tradition, inter-disciplinary study, and well rounded citizens.
Theatre students at High Point University…
Receive individual mentoring from a faculty advisor
Learn by doing in our an active and challenging productions program
Collaborate and work with renowned guest artists on new work
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
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:
Career advice and mentorship
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.
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.