The Theatre Program at Idaho State University
The ISU Theatre and Dance Division within the ISU School of Performing Arts provides a well-rounded curriculum that is both basic and innovative. Theatrical productions range from classics to contemporary, from intimate to large-scale, and from student-directed to faculty produced. Dance productions range from jazz to ballet to hip-hop to modern. The program is structured to provide a rich mixture of academic, design, and performance courses, coupled with a broad array of electives, enabling ISU students to pursue theatre and dance as a profession or an avocation.
The goal of ISU Theatre and Dance is to help students obtain a level of achievment appropriate to entry-level professionals in their specialty areas, or to use the confidence, expressiveness, and cooperative skills gained through their theatre and dance studies at ISU to succeed in a diverse range of non-performance related careers. Students may choose to focus on performance (acting, directing, dance, and choreography), technical theatre, dance education, or achieve an Education degree with certification to teach theatre. All ISU Theatre and Dance students are expected to gain a broad-based knowledge of all major aspects of production, and a solid grounding in the history, theory, and literature of their art. Students selecting a performance emphasis will focus on their own physical, vocal, and intellectual abilities, as well as, gain an aesthetic, analytical, social, and cultural understanding of theatre and dance. Students focusing on technical theatre may further specialize in costume, lighting, and scenic design. Students pursuing an Education major with Theatre teaching certification or a dance education emphasis should emerge confident in their abilities with all general aspects of theatre and dance. Internships with professional theatre and/or dance companies are strongly encouraged. In addition to specific knowledge and skills, all ISU theatre and dance students should acquire the communication and interpersonal skills to work collaboratively within an ensemble art.
Many careers develop directly or indirectly from a theatre background. Some of the more widely recognized careers include acting, directing, stage management, scene, costume, and properties construction and design, theatre management and publicity, playwriting, dance, and high school and college teaching. Other careers for which theatre is an excellent background include public relations, sales, advertising, radio, and television announcing, and, many other vocations in which successful inter-personal skills are necessary. Theatre students gain discipline, confidence, and a strong sense of team-building, all key skills in today’s economy.