Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with a theatre major or a dance minor?
Students have gone on to successful careers both inside and outside their concentration. With the broad liberal arts education all students receive at Wake Forest, graduates emerge as strong critical thinkers prepared to face life’s many challenges. From our disciplines, performers, directors, designers, stage managers and choreographers learn clear self-expression, and therefore develop their ability to communicate well with others orally, visually and in writing. They also learn about themselves and develop self-confidence, organizational and analytical skills, and creative approaches to problem-solving. Theatre majors and dance minors have become actors, directors, dancers, stage managers, designers, theatre artistic directors, professors, cabaret singers and members of comedy troupes. Others have made careers as journalists, architects, lawyers, teachers, doctors, department store buyers, art directors and more. Many graduates also serve on boards for civic arts organizations. Whether you decide to work in theatre, dance or another profession, you will be well-prepared.
How can I join the Wake Forest Dance Company?
Membership in the Wake Forest Dance Company is by audition. Auditions are held in the fall. Former company members must audition each year, and each company member is required to enroll in one technique class during the semester in which he or she performs. Students are not required to minor in dance. The company is generally comprised of more experienced student dancers. The company produces two concerts a year: the Fall Faculty/ Guest Artist Concert and the Spring Student Choreography Concert.
What opportunities are available in dance?
The Wake Forest Dance Program offers a minor in Dance, opportunities for performance, and a wide range of dance classes—from beginning to advanced levels in classical ballet, modern, jazz, and social dance. Students interested in dance are invited to register for introductory courses; advanced levels require permission from the instructor. The talent and commitment of our dancers, as well as the rich and varied backgrounds of our faculty members, have earned the program a reputation for quality. Guest artists, choreographers and professional performing companies also enrich the dance experience at Wake Forest.
Do I have to be a theatre major, theatre minor or dance minor to get involved?
No. While there are a few opportunities and resources available only to majors, some of our most active performers and technicians come from other disciplines. Students majoring in finance, biology, music, sociology, chemistry, philosophy and art have performed major roles and worked backstage on Wake Forest productions in the past few years.
What kinds of classes will I get to take?
Theatre classes include Acting (Acting I & II, Period & Style, Shakespeare, On- Camera Acting), Theatre History, Design and Production, Playwriting, Lighting and Sound Design, Makeup, Costume Design, Theatre Education, Dramatic Literature, Stage Management, Theatre Management, Voice and Movement, Directing and more. Workshops and guest artist master classes supplement classroom learning. Dance offerings include Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Social Dance, Dance History and Composition. See the Undergraduate Bulletin for complete details.
Are there student-directed and student-produced shows?
Student productions are abundant. Many senior theatre majors direct a one-act play, supported by student designers, actors and staff, as well as a faculty mentor. Our active student theatre group, the Anthony Aston Players, sponsors entirely student produced plays; recent offerings have included This Is Our Youth, Sylvia, Steel Magnolias, God Of Carnage, Independence, The Mistakes Madeleine Made, and many others. Brazilian Jambush was a recent student production featuring poetry, live music, and tap dancing under the umbrella of Brazilian inspiration and arts.
Will I get to direct?
Directing is part of the core curriculum for the major. Our students find opportunities to direct through the Studio Series of one-acts, Anthony Aston Players, or Living Parables. You might also stage independent productions outside the department. We are supportive of all theatrical activity on campus.
Do I need to audition for the program?
No. Involvement in our program is open to all students. Students do not have to major or take classes to audition for roles or volunteer for production assignments. At Wake Forest, students don’t declare a major until the end of their sophomore year though you can certainly enroll in classes and get involved in productions from your first semester at Wake Forest.
How can I get involved in theatre and dance?
It’s easy. Take a class or get involved by seeking out other students who are also interested in what we do. When you arrive on campus in the fall, watch for the Theatre and Dance Open House, e-mail anyone in the department, or drop by the second floor of the Scales Fine Arts Center. Watch for auditions for the Dance Company, and also keep your eyes open for “New Faces”— a fun workshop that lets you get to know current theatre students, faculty and other newcomers. Anthony Aston meetings are also a good way to meet other theatre devotees; just drop by the Ring Theatre at 4 p.m. any Monday. You’ll be welcomed by both students and faculty.
Will I get to perform?
Almost certainly! Unlike larger schools, where you might compete with graduate students or a huge number of undergraduate majors, Wake Forest’s relatively small department and large number of classes and productions makes performance possible for almost everyone.
Will I get to design?
If you show proficiency in design, you will find plentiful outlets for developing your talents. You will also be encouraged to design for student productions in the Ring Theatre, and if you show a particular aptitude for set, costume, lighting or sound design, you could even design a Mainstage production. Our design professors are available for mentoring on every design project you undertake.
Will I get to work backstage? Yes. Everyone is encouraged to learn the workings of the theatre from all sides! Board operators, stage managers, assistant stage managers, grips, wardrobe and makeup assistants, painters, publicists, carpenters, stitchers, and electricians are always needed and appreciated.
What kinds of shows will I get to do?
A balanced array of plays and dance styles is presented each year. During your time at Wake Forest our productions will include a range of classical and contemporary works from a variety of cultures and backgrounds working in a number of different styles and genres. Dance concerts may include jazz, ballet, modern, tap, and social dance pieces. Guest choreographers create pieces for dance students each year, and student members of the dance company are invited to choreograph for the spring concert.