Theatre

Mission Statement
Theatre, as an art form, has a responsibility to enlighten and inspire. For our audiences, and the education of our students, we present a selection of plays from diverse genres, styles, and cultures. For the theatre student, the major is designed for those interested in developing self-expression skills through performance or in pursuing a career or avocation in acting, directing, technical theatre, theatre design or management. Aware that a strong foundation in performance technical theatre, and front-of-house operations best prepares a student for work in the theatre, the department provides courses and practical experience in all areas. Emphasizing the collaborative nature of theatre production, students work closely with faculty and staff to gain an appreciation of the integrative process of theatre craft. Students in the baccalaureate program in theatre will actively participate in all aspects of play production.

Upon graduation, the theatre major will:
  • Identify the historical events and developments, which have influenced contemporary theatre and articulate the fundamental theories and conventions that helped shape it.
  • Demonstrate the fundamental skills and techniques required of a modern theatre practitioner: performer, designer, technician or manager.
  • Work in an environment of collaboration in a variety of production experiences.
  • Apply critical thinking and analytical skills to dramatic literature as it applies to production, performance, design or management.
Departmental Goals
Students completing the baccalaureate program in theatre will:
  • Foster more of an interest in our students for continuing theatre training.
  • Find the best usage of the black box theatre for our students' benefit.
  • Increase the diversity of our majors.
  • Continue to update technical production elements.
  • Initiate the theatre management concentration.
  • Encourage student attendance of professional productions.
Opportunities
Lewis University's Philip Lynch Theatre not only provides a strong education in the classroom, but also offers many opportunities to learn the many varied hands-on crafts that comprise the art of theatre.


Scholarships
Students who meet the requirements for various scholarships may apply for them yearly. Applications are available in the Office of Financial Aid for the following:

Thomas Gullet Scholarship

St. Genesius Scholarship (Talent)

Marnie Cavanaugh-Wyatt Scholarship

Br. David Delahanty Scholarship

Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Binder Scholarship

Thomas Secor Scholarship

Students wishing to apply for these and other scholarships should check the ever-changing board outside of the Office of Financial Aid, or see Keith White for more information.

Student Employment
There are four areas of available student employment: Federal Work/Study, Part-time Student Employment, Summer Staff, and Arts & Ideas events.

Federal Work/Study
By completing your FAFSA, the Office of Financial Aid can determine your eligibility for a work/study position in the department. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine your situation and review information found in the Lewis University Student Employment Manual.

Part-time Student Employment
Students ineligible for Federal Work/Study may be able to obtain a job on a part time basis depending on job availability within the department. Contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine your situation.

Summer Staff
Summer Staff is a contingent of full-time summer positions at the Philip Lynch Theatre. A stipend is paid for the 10-week positions that begin the third week in May and end the first week in August, a few days after the completion of the summer musical. It is a ten-week commitment. It is required that employees are available for the entire run of the summer show since they are running crew and front of house staff. A student is able to audition for the musical after the second year of working summer staff. Contact the theatre manager in March or April before the summer you wish to be employed as a summer staff employee to fill-out an application.

Arts & Ideas Events: Employment
An hourly wage is available to those students who work on the various Arts & Ideas Touring Shows that come through our theatre. Sign-up sheets for available employment on an Event will be posted outside the Box office a week before an Event.

Contact the theatre manager for more information about Arts and Ideas employment opportunities.

Arts & Ideas Events: Calendar
An Arts & Ideas Events calendar is published and distributed campus wide at the start of each semester. On average there are four performances scheduled on the stage of the Philip Lynch Theatre per semester. Theatre majors and minors are encouraged to view productions and are often asked to view them for classes. Tickets for Arts & Ideas Events are free to Lewis students with a valid I.D.

Internships
Students often obtain internships over summer break, but internships can also be done during a semester. Internships are further discussed in Part II of the Theatre Manual "Classes and Practicums." Please refer to the Internship description and the Professional Prep Practicum description for specific information.

Stu.F.F.
The Student Fringe Festival, or Stu.F.F, for short, is a student driven performance festival that can be produced any semester the students show interest and initiative in its production. Stu.F.F is a combination of musical acts, poetry readings, scenes, monologues, dance, and other art forms put together by the students, for the students. It is open to students of all majors, and typically needs a willing leader to coordinate the production aspects, publicity, and logistics of the production. Contact the Director of Theatre if you are interested in creating a production of Stu.F.F.

AlphaBet Soup Productions
AlphaBet Soup Productions is the professional children's theatre company in residence. Past productions include The Christmas Toy Shop, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Alice in Wonderland. The productions travel to other colleges, universities, and museums in the area. Interested students should watch for audition notices early in each semester and typically need their mornings free of classes and work until 1pm. Alphabet Soup Productions pays both actors and crew. Contact the AlphaBet Soup Office for more information at (630) 932-1555.

Heritage Theatre Company
Heritage Theatre Company (HTC) is Lewis University's alumni theatre company. Many alumni direct, stage-manage, act, and design the productions, however auditions are open to anyone in the community. Current students are encouraged to audition or inquire about production staff practicum positions. Presently, Jo Slowik is the president of HTC, and actively involved in Heritage Theatre Company's productions, including but not limited to, the annual Christmas show, outdoor Shakespeare plays, new works, staged readings, and various productions and events throughout the year.

KC/ACTF
KC/ACTF, or the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, is a program in which our main stage productions are entered during the academic year. A faculty respondent from a fellow KC/ACTF university or college views a performance of each of our entered productions and remains for a post-show discussion with all members of the cast, crew and artistic staff. In addition, the respondent and the show's director nominate actors to participate in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Competition, held at a regional festival that the department attends in January of each year. The respondent and director can also nominate student designers or stage managers to attend the competitions in their areas.

For more information on KC/ACTF, contact Dr. Kevin Trudeau.

Alumni Speak

  • Theatre
    Chad Tallon '08
    Resident Actor Red House Theatre, NY

    "The dedication of the faculty and the support of all those at the university pushed me to strive for the best and never give up on my dream. It didn’t take long to realize that I had absolutely made the right decision in coming to Lewis and that the PLT was the place to get a fantastic, well-rounded theatre education that would suit me best to become a professional actor."

  • Theatre
    Kay Cannon
    Writer and co-executive producer New Girl, writer of Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2

    "I'm not going to say something cliché like, ‘love what you do.’ But you should at least like what you do. And stop comparing yourself to others. Compare yourself only to where you want to be and what you need to do to get there."

  • Theatre
    Jason Aguirre '08

    "The deep-rooted passion I have for performance and the creation of theatre is a direct result of the training I received at Lewis University. Learning from Lewis faculty does not simply develop skill, it develops an appreciation for the craft of theatre."

  • Theatre
    Guinevere Grana McGahan '08

    "My favorite memories are those at the Philip Lynch Theatre. There was nothing better than living, breathing and being part of the theatre program."

  • Theatre
    Rick McCallum '77

    Shortly after graduating from Lewis University, Rick moved to California to build his career in Hollywood as a stunt man – and from his impressive resume, he has unquestionably succeeded. He has worked on more than 70 films with more on the horizon.

  • Theatre
    Kayce Alltop '00

    "Some of my fondest memories at Lewis encompass the preview receptions after rehearsing a show for weeks. The faculty served as my role models, and helped to shape me into the performer I am today."