Excite the imagination

Theater at WRA is a professional and dynamic program, and it continues to entice and inspire performers and audience members alike. WRA thespians acquire an understanding of contemporary theater and knowledge of dramatic history. They develop both the sensory awareness necessary to convey moods and emotions, and the ability to apply energy, movement and concentration to their roles. Students of dramatic technology acquire the know-how to support every aspect of a dramatic performance, including the fundamentals of lighting, sound and set design.

A Preview of our Theater Program

Program Highlights

  • Three major productions each year
  • 400-seat flexible audience space
  • 40-foot-wide proscenium stage and orchestra pit
  • Full height fly system with 20 line sets
  • Costume, prop and dressing rooms

Highlights from the 2023-2024 Theater Season

Fall Play | The Laramie Project

2023-2024 Theater Course Offerings

Acting: This course uses both improvisational work and scene study to teach the student-actors how to effectively prepare for and perform a theatrical role. It introduces the basic idea of acting being grounded in utilizing an individual’s inner and outer resources. Coursework will focus on the same characterization development as explored in Stanislavski’s method of physical action. The course is also grounded in textual analysis and the development of certain physical techniques to create a character.

Advanced Acting: This course in acting will use scene study as the principal vehicle by which to continue exploring and expanding upon the concepts and methods introduced in Acting for the Stage. Using contemporary methodologies and eclectic techniques, such as the Uta Hagen and Stanislavski methods, direction and guidance will be individualized and based on the needs of each individual student actor. Depending on the number and attributes of the students enrolled in the course, there may also be a segment devoted to ensemble acting--a student driven performance of a chosen one-act play that will incorporate the entire class. This course will provide a place for those students who would like to experience a more intensive, serious approach to learning the craft of acting. Prerequisite: Acting for the Stage or departmental approval (audition). This course may be repeated for credit.

Costume Design: Students will learn the elements of costuming including organization, design, and construction, and participate in a living Costume Shop. Focus is on preparing or making garments and accessories for theatrical productions on campus. Focus is on sewing, where students will learn how to cut and alter a pattern, operate a sewing machine, and adjust existing garments. Students will also assist in costume maintenance and care. More advanced students may be involved in designing costumes or working backstage. This course may be repeated for credit.

Stagecraft 1: This course blends theory with practice regarding the technical aspects of live events, and provides an opportunity to learn skills in carpentry, painting, lighting, sound, shop safety and design techniques. Students will explore the similarities and differences of mounting and enhancing performances of Theater, dance and music, and then experience these distinctions first hand as they help prepare for events in the Knight Fine Arts Center.

Stagecraft 2: This course offers a fully hands-on production practicum experience for students interested in the theater arts. Throughout the semester, participants will learn and apply scenic construction and painting techniques as they engage in the process of preparing the full school musical. Additionally, students will explore lighting and sound production for both theater and dance

Musical Theater Performance: In this semester-long course, students will study the history of Musical Theater, will experience live theater and/or video performances of important pieces, and will study some of theater’s superstars. The real purpose of this workshop, however, is actual performance informed by contextual study! Singers, actors, and dancers will prepare solos and/or ensemble pieces for performance and critique. The workshop will culminate in a showcase open to the public.

Advanced Musical Theater Performance: Musical Theater Intensive is designed to provide an opportunity for serious Musical Theater practitioners to deepen their experience. In addition to revisiting all of the genres performed in the Performance class (with different repertoire), students taking MT Intensive will be expected to participate at an advanced level by creating their own Showcase.They will also be expected to participate in masterclasses with guest artists, prepare mock auditions, and develop a portfolio. Prerequisite: Musical Theater Performance performances. They will discover the practical nuances inherent to these two companion art forms as they assist in mounting multiple live events in the Knight Fine Arts Center. Prerequisite: Stagecraft I