Theatre and Dance

Tyler Herald   BA Production/Design option  Herald   


Why did you choose WIU for your college education?

I was really determined in pursuing my interest in the arts. I had heard that Western was very well known for its strong arts program, especially its theatre program. I'd even seen a few productions myself and they were outstanding. I chose Western mainly because it offered a strong arts program. Western also had a lot else to offer me. It was relatively close and affordable. I also wanted to live on a campus that wasn't huge.

How much do you get to do design or technical work on productions at Western?

A lot! Through a talent grant, I am able to work in the scene shop at Western. I get to work on every set for the mainstage shows that Western produces. Each show is different and exciting. This semester I am also designing makeup and hair for the mainstage shows. I also got to design a set for a studio show! I feel very fortunate to have even been placed in a situation which I am. Freshman usually don't get to design sets and makeup and do all that I've done their first year. I feel very lucky that I've been given these opportunities. And really, if opportunities don't present themselves to you, make them and ask! It's amazing what that will do!  

If you work a lot on productions, when do you study for classes?

Balancing classes and theatre can be tricky. Working on shows can overtake your entire life, if you let them. My academics are first to me. I make myself study and specifically set time to study for a class if I need to. If I can, I do all of my work and studying as early as I can. I keep reviewing little by little when I can and eventually it's the end of the semester!

What has been your favorite theatre class so far?

I really can't say because I love all of my theatre classes. Stagecraft was fun because I got to learn lots of things like costuming and lighting and well as work on my construction skills. Analysis was great because it introduced me to a lot of plays. At the moment I'm taking a Voice Techniques class and it really is my favorite part of the day. I'm learning a lot and the atmosphere and general nature of the class is very relaxed and stimulating.