If indeed “all the world’s a stage,” the Theatre Major offers many ways to successfully “make an entrance”.
The major provides students with the classroom instruction and real-life experiences necessary to develop the skills needed for producing excellent theatre. Areas of study include acting, directing, design, management, history, and dramaturgy, among others. The department's curriculum also fosters the skills associated with life-long learning: creativity, collaboration, self-expression, problem-solving, and self-confidence.
Theatre is both a profession and an art, and Theatre students at Monmouth College graduate prepared for post-secondary study, working in the profession, teaching, or using their knowledge in applied contexts like public relations, media, law, etc. Theatre majors will possess the skills to navigate their professional lives, and the tools for offering creative solutions to life’s challenges.
There are two options for performance auditions:
OPTION 1: This audition consists of the presentation of one monologue (timing at 90-120 seconds) and one song from the musical theatre repertoire (16-32 bar cut, student must provide an accompaniment track: CD or mp3 file). Acceptable monologue selections:
- Classical (pre-1890)
- Examples: Greek (e.g. Sophocles), Roman (e.g. Plautus), English Renaissance (e.g. Shakespeare), French Renaissance (e.g. Molière), English Restoration (e.g. Wycherly)
- Modern (1890-1950)
- Examples: Chekov, Glaspell, O’Neill, Miller, Hansberry, Hellman, Albee, Williams, etc.
- Contemporary (1950-present)
- Examples: Suzan-Lori Parks, David Lindsay Abaire, Lauren Gunderson, Branden Jacob Jenkins, Christopher Durang, Vogel, Kushner, etc.
*The monologues must come from published plays
*The monologue and the song must both be memorized for the audition
*Students need to slate at the top of the audition. Ex: Hi! I am Vanessa Campagna and the monologues I will perform two are Lady Macbeth from Macbeth and Ruth from And Baby Makes Seven. OR Hi! I am Vanessa Campagna and I will perform Lady Macbeth from Macbeth, and then sing a portion of “Woe is Me” from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
OPTION 2: This audition consists of the presentation of two contrasting monologues, each of which time at a minimum of 90 seconds and a maximum of 2 minutes. By contrasting it is meant that:
- one monologue is classical (pre-1890) and one monologue is contemporary (post-1890)
- Ex: Antigone from Antigone by Sophocles, and Margie from Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire
- one monologue is from the dramatic genre and one monologue is from the comedic genre
- Ex: Hester from In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks, and Masha from Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang
- or some combination of the above (e.g. one monologue is a contemporary comedy, and
the other monologue is a classical drama)
- Ex: Masha from Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, and Antigone from Antigone by Sophocles
* The monologues must come from published plays and must be memorized for the audition.
*Students will need to slate at the top of the audition. Ex: Hi! I am Vanessa Campagna and the monologues I will perform two are Lady Macbeth from Macbeth and Ruth from And Baby Makes Seven.
Technical auditions consist of the presentation of a portfolio. The portfolio can be in hard copy or electronic form. The contents of the portfolio should include:
- Programs from productions you have worked on
- Photos from productions you have worked on
- Documentation from your production processes. This might include the following:
- Props list
- Costume list
- Cue sheet
- Light plot
- Sound plot
- Blocking notes (if you were the Stage Manager or Student Director)
- Pre-production/Post-production technical checklist
Department Facilities and Equipment
The Wells Theater, is a state-of-the-art facility featuring computerized lighting control, intelligent lighting fixtures, a counterweighted fly system, large scenic and costume shops, lighting and scenery design labs with a CAD system and large format printer, and computerized front-of-house operations. Additionally, the new downtown “Fusion” experimental (Black Box) theatre allows substantial opportunities for student directing, playwriting, acting, and designing. This 150-seat facility has computerized lighting, a modern sound system and allows for flexible staging and seating to broaden the student’s performance opportunities.
As the technical changes of the music and film industry have blended with the world of theatre, theatre majors are encouraged to use the Computer/Media laboratory in Wallace Hall. The facility has Windows-based design and editing stations for 20 students, including computers equipped with software for audio/video editing, multi-media production, graphic design, web authoring and other applications.
Internships & Independent Study
Internships and Independent Studies are an integral part of the Theater Major. All majors are required to complete an internship experience or an Independent study project.
Internships can be taken in a wide variety of job settings, from stage management at a local theatre company, to publicity, assistant directing, or teaching youth theatre classes. A listing of recent internships in the department can be viewed on our web site’s internship page.
The internship experience usually occurs in the junior or senior year or in the summer between. Theater faculty routinely advise and assist students in finding good internships. An internship is normally a .5 course. Typically students spend between 125 and 150 hours at the internship site, averaging 8 to 10 hours per week.
Activities & Involvement
Crimson Masque, the department’s drama society, involves well over 100 students each year in four faculty directed productions.
Alpha Psi Omega, a national theatre honor society, recognizes the dedication of those theatre students who show exceptional dedication to the creation of theater at Monmouth College. Students regularly attend the American College Theatre Festival, competing with their regional counterparts in the areas of acting, critique, stage management, directing and design.
- Technical Director
- Dialect Coach
- Stage Management
- Broadcast Technology
Recent Theatre Graduates
Melissa Thompson ‘95
Assistant Professor of History
Michigan State University
Melissa Metz ‘09
Drama and Performing Arts Teacher
Chicago Public Schools
Kyle Anderson ‘03
Technical Director and Stage Manager
Second City (Chicago)