The Top 10 Things You Might Want to Know about the Theater Program
Here are the Top 10 Things You Might Want to Know about the Theater Program of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges
10. The Theater Program is Bi-College.
9. You can do it.
8. If you want to take a course (or two or six or eight) you can.
7. We’re 20 minutes from Philadelphia by train.
6. There’s a lot of theater here.
5. You can be involved whether you’re an adventurous amateur or someone considering a career in acting, directing, theater design, technical theater, stage management, or arts management.
4. It’s good.
3. We offer a Minor in Theater Studies and Independent Majors in Theater.
2. We are responsive to what is going on.
1. It’s a small program and your involvement with the faculty is intensive.
10. The Theater Program is Bi-College. Which means that students from Haverford generally come to Bryn Mawr to participate, but the program is for everyone. Classes and productions are open to all students. (We teach classes at Haverford, too.)
9. You can do it. Some of the students in the program have lots of experience; some are just beginning to be involved in theater. Casting is routinely done without any preconceived idea about the gender identity, ethnicity, looks, or language-of-origin of the actors who will play specific roles. And all kinds of people work on dramaturgy, stage management, sound, lights, projections, and multi-media (whether they did so in high school or not). It’s easy to get involved! Just ask!
8. If you want to take a course (or two or six or eight) you can. We offer courses in all the sorts of things you’d expect—Acting (beginning and advanced), Playwriting, Directing, Design and Tech Theater. Plus, some things you might not expect: 20th century Theories of Acting and Performance, Shakespeare On the Stage, The Theater of Samuel Beckett. And the Colleges offer some courses in dramatic literature and film, too. And you can take courses at Swarthmore and Penn. (Pandemic rules may apply.)
7. We’re 20 minutes from Philadelphia by train. Students here have the opportunity to explore the work of the 50 or so professional companies in the region. Students often do internships with companies in Philadelphia and in New York (which is two hours away). Recent student internships have been at The Wilma Theater, The Arden Theater, Ping Chong and Company, La Mama E.T.C., Lincoln Center, Theater Exile, and the Santa Fe Opera. And the Fringe Festival in Philadelphia is an amazing resource—and it’s happening soon!
6. There’s a lot of theater here. In addition to the Theater Program, the two colleges are home to a number of student theater groups, each with its own special interests. And, in the unlikely event that nobody is doing the sort of work you want to do, it’s easy to start your own group or to do your own independent project.
5. You can be involved whether you’re an adventurous amateur or someone considering a career in acting, directing, theater design, technical theater, stage management, or arts management. Graduates who have been involved with Theater at Bryn Mawr and Haverford are currently scientists, authors of cookbooks, sociologists, screenwriters, lawyers, photographers, folklorists, and the stars of TV shows. Recent graduates have gone on to some of the most prestigious graduate programs in America: The Yale School of Drama, New York University, Brown University, Columbia University, and Cal Arts. Oh—and Katharine Hepburn. Some of our graduates were Katharine Hepburn. (Well, one of them, anyway.)
4. It’s good. People who are not us say so: “The entire production is as professional—if not more so, simply in the students’ evident commitment to these roles—as anything you might see [in the city].” Our theatrical response to 9/11, called The Play of Embraces, was named one of the 10 best productions on any Philadelphia stage the year it was produced, as was our site-specific Hamlet. One critic says we’re a “best kept secret” in Philadelphia theater.
3. We offer a Minor in Theater Studies, which consists of six courses. Many students have chosen to complete Independent Majors in Theater. These are academic programs tailor-made to meet the needs of interested students. If you’re interested, you should talk to Mark Lord sometime during your first year here. His email address is below. But, anybody can be involved with our productions, whatever class they’re in, whether or not they are a minor or a major. And anybody can take the entry-level courses.
2. We are responsive to what is going on. COVID-19 is still impacting some of what we are able to do, but we are working hard to make sure that your theater experiences are both safe and as thoroughly engaging as they can be. We totally re-imagined our offerings last year and although we are moving back in the direction of “normal,” we’re doing it carefully and sensitively. We always try to be responsive to the needs of our students and whether it’s about COVID-19 or something else, we really want to hear from you. Talk to us. Ask us questions. Give us feedback. We’re all just an email message away.
1. It’s a small program and your involvement with the faculty is intensive. We get to know one another and we work hard together. It is intense… and intensely rewarding.
Email any of us at the addresses below. And stop by and see us in Goodhart. (At Bryn Mawr. It’s the one that looks like a cathedral. Even more than the others.)
|Mark Lord, Director and Professor of the Arts
|Catharine Slusar, Associate Professor of Theater
|Maiko Matsushima, Lecturer in Theater and Resident Designer
|Justin McDaniel, Technical Director
|Amy Radbill, Production Manager