Smith's Theater program

<p>How strong is Smith's theater program and how does it compare to the other consortium colleges?</p>

<p>I think it depends what you mean by “strong”, in the sense that having a strong theater program could speak to a lot of things. Can you give some more specifics about what kind of program you’re interested in? Are you primarily interested in acting/directing/playrwriting? Are you interested in technical theater? Do you want a program that’s all theater all the time or something that allows you more versatility?</p>

<p>My D is a firstie theater major. She is looking forward to participating in the five-college theater scene, but was unable to get into the acting class for majors her first semester because it was already full. She was advised to take on a tech class (for a credit or two–don’t remember which), in order to get into the productions. Smith has an impressive costume archive, a drama library, and several theaters in their performing arts center. As a student at Smith, you will be able to audition for plays at all five colleges, and the theater department tells us that students from Smith do often participate in performances at all five colleges. Because of the 5-college offerings you can get a really diverse bunch of classes–puppetry for example, at UMass.</p>

<p>And, Ginger, I believe Puppetry has also been proven to be extremely good training for Smith women in their proper handling of politicians, spouses, and the combination of the two. While notable Smith alumnae could perhaps done better had they taken formal Puppetry training within the Five colleges, given what they were working with, Ms. Bush and Ms. Reagan must be given credit for their inherent mastery -clearly helped by their overall Smith experience </p>

<p>Good luck in your journey. Smith is truly a great school, and the 5 Colleges provide a wide range of theatrical opportunities. That combination should move you forward in your career and your life.</p>

<p>I’d just like to add that the theatre department itself is strong (with especially strong professors in costumes as well as tech), but there are also a bunch of non-department opportunities on-campus, ranging from a student-run musical theatre group to a student-run Shakespare troupe to Vagina Monologues to others I’m sure I’m forgetting.</p>

<p>There’s also a LOT of opportunity to participate in productions on other campuses. When I was doing a department-run production at Smith, I would say maybe a third of our cast were non-Smithies. Many Smith theater students I knew spent a lot of their time doing productions large and small, department and student run, established and experimental at the other campuses in the system. Not because the Smith offerings weren’t good, but you’re just not realistically going to be cast in every single play. One of the major benefits of the 5 college system is that there are tons of opportunities to act and direct, so you can keep working no matter what. Also, there’s a professional theater company called New Century Theater that uses the Smith theater facilities in the summer (the theater facilities at Smith, both the stages, the enormous technical shop, and the great costume shop are very high quality, top notch), and I know some theater students have worked there, if not as actors then as interns, stage hands, etc. I also know some that performed in the summer outdoor shakespeare festival that takes place nearby campus.</p>

<p>My D is involved in a New Century production right now, as a firstie at Smith.</p>

<p>And Brie, I didn’t expect to get snarked so sharply on my comment about puppetry. It was included in information from the tour of the Performing Arts Center, just so you know.</p>

<p>Mustang: Sorry, my attempt at humor often just exposes my ignorance, but that’s how I learn. As my family would attest, this is a life long education for me --but I hope not to graduate early!</p>

<p>Brie, No problem. Message boards have a way of distorting intention. I will admit puppetry might have seemed like a silly thing to point out, out of context! This is the context–we were on a revisit tour with a theater professor and conversation turned to the trend, on Broadway, of using puppets in plays. And the prof point out that even though Smith is a smaller school, because of the five colleges, one theater major even took a puppetry class at UMass–that’s the kind of options you can have. Kind of like–you can have the best of both worlds–small school, big choices, as a theater major.</p>