As the Auburn Theatre gets ready to perform Hamlet, there is one question on incoming students' minds: to be or not to be a theatre major?
For some, this major is a natural choice. “I’ve always loved being on the stage,” freshman Christopher Herrly said. Herrly is currently in the basic theatre program, but hopes to move on to a more selective program at the end of his sophomore year. “Right now I’m just taking one theater class and some core classes,” he said.
Auburn’s theatre program is perhaps less well known than some of the other academic programs on campus. Still, it offers students a variety of degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performance, musical theatre, design/technology, or management. A 2.0 GPA is required to participate in the B.A. program, while a 2.7 GPA must be maintained in the area of emphasis for any of the B.F.A. programs.
Junior Houston Mahoney is one student in the B.F.A. for performance program. His entrance to the program was dependent upon an audition. “I had to perform two contrasting monologues, so one had to be dramatic while the other was comedic, and one also had to be modern while the other was classic.” The program faculty were his judges. Auditions are required for the performance-based majors, while portfolios are requested from the non-performance majors.
“There are not a lot of people who come out for [the program],” Mahoney said. “We have nine people in my class.” These students, as performance-based majors, are also required to audition for every performance that the department puts on. With such requirements, the department manages to stay small, but Mahoney emphasized that it is still a very strenuous program.
“Like any other theater program or major, it will take the majority amount of your time,” he said. “I’ve been locked away in the theater all day memorizing monologues or songs. It’s a lot of fun, but you do need to know what you’re getting yourself into.”
Still, Mahoney encourages interested students to look further into the program. “If you want to come to a school where you can do more than just theater, then Auburn’s a great place to be. If you know this is what you’re really passionate about, then go for it,” he enthused.
Going for it is exactly what Herrly intends to do. “I’m not sure what monologues I’ll audition with yet,” he said, “but I’m definitely excited about the whole thing.”
Both Herrly and Mahoney can be seen onstage by any Auburn students. All of the department’s shows are free with presentation of a valid student ID.
More information regarding the academic requirements for Auburn Theatre or showtimes and performance dates can be found online.