by Kelli Smith
The theatre: glamour, glitz, name in lights: quite exciting to the audiences. After a dazzling performance, who is responsible for what?
The Kent State School of Theatre and Dance gives students the training to start on the road to the theater.
Amy Fritche, assistant professor, teaches acting and musical theater classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She directs one show a year with or without choreography. Recently, she choreographed Starmites, July 3-19, 2014, at the Porthouse Theatre.
“Being an assistant professor allows me work professionally. I contribute to panels and papers internationally, perform, and choreograph shows,” Fritche said. “Like a professor in any college level class, I expect my students to do the work, show up, and be prepared. I want students to use critical thinking and problem- solving skills, and think outside the box to create real characters. They are still expected to read books and write papers.”
The School of Theatre and Dance runs one play, one musical and one dance concert per year. Student organizations write, perform and produce plays continually throughout the semester.
Rebecca Gates, the managing director, oversees and coordinates house operations in the School of Theatre and Dance. She served as stage manager and was a student at Kent State. A process is in place for the acquisition of plays “by license agreements with different royalty companies,”Gates wrote in an email. “There is a production committee.”
“Members of the performance faculty, tech faculty, undergraduate and graduate representatives have meetings on what they think would be a good season for students, patrons, acting, directing and choreography,” Fritche said. “We put together shows that fit the needs of the students.”
Both Gates and Fritche agree on a challenge in the School of Theatre and Dance.
“There is not enough time in the day,” Fritche said.
“There is not enough time to get everything done,” Gates wrote.
Moving to the business side, Jenna Bice works as the Performing Arts Box Office Manager for the College of the Arts at Kent State. She handles all ticketed events ranging from theatrical productions, to orchestrations, to fashion shows.
“The joys and rewards are watching our students learn the business side of the arts, managerial skills and become leaders in their communities,” she said.
As Noel Coward, composer, novelist, and film director said, “The show must go on.”