Theatre and Dance

Shannon Fields     



Why did you choose wiu's BFA program?

I chose to attend WIU after auditioning for the BFA. I had visited other schools, and I often felt unwelcome. It seemed like they had already decided that they didn't want me in their programs before I even had the opportunity to inquire about the degrees they offered. At my audition for Western, it was very different; I felt like the faculty was hoping for me to succeed instead of waiting for me to fail. Another important deciding factor was that I wouldn't have to wait until junior or senior year to be cast in a production. Everyone has the opportunity to audition and perform right from the beginning.

What is it like living in Macomb?

Macomb is a beautiful small town, and it can be wonderful on some days and challenging on others, just like anywhere else. The biggest complaint people have about Macomb is that there is not much to do outside of classes. This can often be a blessing in disguise because it helps everyone stay more focused on schoolwork, it makes it easy to not spend money unnecessarily, and most importantly, it promotes a feeling of community because people usually end up spending time with each other. However, not having something to do is not a frequent occurrence in the Department of Theatre and Dance. There is always work to be done, rehearsals to attend, skills to practice, or shows to see. We don't usually have to go looking for something to do; it will find us.

Do you work closely with the faculty?

Absolutely! The biggest strength of this department is the people. The faculty is always willing to meet, talk, answer questions, run scenes, or work one on one. Everyone in this department is busy, but if you ask for help, the members of the faculty will find the time. Also, it doesn't take weeks or months for them to schedule an appointment. It is often within a week (or sometimes a day) that they will set time aside to help. All of that only accounts for time outside of class. In class, the faculty are always supportive, engaged, and focused on the individual journey and growth of every student.

How do you manage class work, a graduate assistantship, rehearsals and performance schedules?

I consult my planner for everything. Everything gets written down, and I make sure to note the times and locations. It can be challenging to manage a schedule like this, but I just take it one day at time. It gets crazy sometimes with everything that has to get done, but that is why I am going to college. I have a short amount of time to learn and do as much as I can. The busy schedule allows me to get the most out of this educational experience.