Theater department makes concessions for non-majors in plays

By James Herd

Students at Baylor are more than likely to see at least one Baylor Mainstage production in the four or more years while they are enrolled.

The Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center, between North Village and the Baylor Sciences Building, almost always has banners hanging from it that advertise the newest big musical or theater production.

However, auditioning for these productions has more or less been closed to the general public.

Generally, one must officially declare a theater major before auditioning will become a possibility, with a few exceptions.

Non-theater majors cannot perform in a mainstage production until they have successfully completed one semester of work behind the scenes on one of the production crews.

This both ensures that lead roles will be given to those students who strive to perform for a living after graduation, as well as helps weed the non-majors out who don’t really want to put forth the extra effort for the greater good of the various productions.

Dr. Steven Pounders, faculty-in-residence for University House in North Village, suggested that any student who desires to participate in the theater arts, explore the campus for smaller opportunities that may not be as promoted as the mainstage productions.

For example, the workshops put on by the theater department involve mainly theater majors as well, but are more likely to pull in non-majors if a need arises.

“I would say it’s pretty unfair when you compare it to the School of Music, [which] has lots of non-music majors who participate in the ensembles who are sometimes the best players,” said Jordan Tucker, a Brownwood sophomore who said the current rule is not justified by the official statement alone.

“Since theater is so important in high school, there’s got to be a way that they should be able to participate in college and contribute to the theater program,” Tucker said.

“I understand why they do it, because you’re getting people that have done it before that know what they’re doing; that are passionate about it [and] that’s what they’re here for,” said Brian Kort, a Colorado Springs sophomore.

He said he could understand how the larger roles might fall under this rule.

“If they’re serious and they want to do something about it, they just – they want to make [the show] the best they can,” he said