The Muhlenberg College Theatre Program

Mike Bloom ’11: One of the things that really drew me to this school was MB: …the small class size and the one-on-one interactions that the faculty had with students. Will Porter ’08: What I loved about going here was all the collaborations that happened WP: …between the dance world and the theatre world. WP: …It’s about seeing the whole picture. Kelsey Griffith ’11: Well, I came here looking to major in dance and was KG: …very adamant that I come to a school that allowed me to continue my education. KG: …I felt that was very important that I KG: …continue academics in addition to getting a great dance education. Heather Fox Lavin ’08: The faculty here at Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance is unbelievable. HFL: …Not only are many of them world-renowned HFL: …where you go to another state, another country HFL: …and people will know your professor from Muhlenberg, HFL: …they are worried about the students. Erik Magnus ’10: was always on a first name basis with all of my professors in the Theatre & Dance Department EM: …and really came to rely on them as mentors EM: …and growing as a student and as a professional artist. Jenny Lifson ’01: The space that we were doing it in was JL: …just absolutely incredible. JL: And the fact that we’re an hour and a half from New York City and 45 minutes from Philadelphia JL: …was also very valuable. Karissa Harris ’09: Muhlenberg is a college in which the faculty KH: …takes your strengths and builds on them KH: …and also gives you more strengths. They push you a little bit to take risks and KH: …step outside of your comfort zone KH: …which ultimately makes you a better actress or actor in the end. Troy Dwyer, faculty: I think one of the things that makes Muhlenberg unique TD: …is the fact that it’s a small liberal arts college that has a world-class theatre and dance department. Holly Cate, faculty: I think the intensity of the training that we offer here HC: …is what makes this, as a liberal arts program, unique. HC: … I mean, I think we give a conservatory style training HC: …that’s embedded in a liberal arts
college HC: …which to me is the best of both worlds. James Peck, faculty: We understand our mission to be helping students find and develop their unique and individual voices JP: …so that they can emerge from the program as JP: …thoughtful citizens, responsible, capable adults. Charles Richter, faculty: I think the most important factor that has really CR: moved us to national prominence is the
quality of our teaching faculty. CR: …We have managed to put together a group of
extraordinary artist teachers CR: …who are completely focused on the growth and
development of our students both as CR: …creative artists but also as people. Curtis Dretsch, faculty: It’s always kind of wonderful CD: …to assign a student to a project, CD: …mentor them through that project,
and then stand back near the end CD: …and look at the results that they’ve accomplished and say you know this is really quality stuff. Francine Roussel, faculty: The arts, and theatre in particular, FR: …are really the best tool FR: …to start to take the temperature of the society FR: …and see what change needs to be done, FR: …and to really encourage people FR: …and give people hope that a change can take place. Tim Averill, faculty: We really here at Muhlenberg, we don’t teach undergraduate theatre. TA: …We teach graduate theatre in an undergraduate context. Beth Schachter, faculty: So students find their way through the world BS: …using all of the capacities that they’ve
cultivated here BS: …and sometimes they do theatre as their
primary career and sometimes they do it BS: …as the joy and as the kind of avocation BS: …that they match up with their other careers. Jenny Lifson ’01: And I think the fact that I was able to take JL: …all those other courses JL: …and still get the intensity JL: …that you would get any conservatory JL: …is outstanding. Jeff Brancato ’12: I have a stage managing concentration JB: …being able to work on productions as early as the first mainstage production my freshman year. JB: …I learned right away and was able to work with other experienced stage managers. Erica Cenci ’06: My senior year we would get right on the bus and go to auditions EC: …and just kind of get ready to take that next step right away. Jeffrey Simno ’01: There’s also so much room JS: …for experimentation on Muhlenberg’s campus. JS: …If you want a break all the rules, you can do that. JS: If you wanna JS: …do something way out JS: …of the box, JS: …there’s enough diversity within the student body, everyone says, JS: …”Okay, how can I help?” Will Porter ’08: Students in the theatre department, WP: …first of all, WP: …are your very first network in the outside world. WP: When i moved to New York my starting
networks were WP: …the students who had graduated Muhlenberg years before WP: …and it just keeps building. David Masenheimer ’81: Since graduating from Muhlenberg in 1981, I have done five Broadway shows and a bunch of Off-Broadway shows DM: …and a few national tours. Gabriel Martinez ’10: I saw GM: David Massenheimer do Javert on Broadway when I was in GM: …fifth grade. GM: …I remember thinking at that moment, this is what I want to do with my life. GM: There’s really something to be said for going out into the big scary world and just having an enormous group of people at your back GM: …that you know you can call on at any moment. Erik Magnus ’10: The goal right now EM: …is to support myself being a performer. EM: Right now it’s just navigating
postgraduate life in New York City which is a challenge, but I really think EM: …that Muhlenberg has prepared me for it. Courtney Romano ’06: And everything I’ve learned about CR: …how much I love the career is what I learned here at Muhlenberg. Susan Eileen Johnson ’81: Muhlenberg has always held a very special place in my heart and I hope it always will. Jenny Lifson ’01: It was an incredible, incredible experience.

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