Theatre  
 

AQ Difference

 
The AQ Theatre Program is a hands-on learning experience. You will see your resume expand greatly when you begin your studies here.
 
Mention that theatre is your major and the response is sometimes a smirk.  "That's great, but that won't get you a real job!"  At Aquinas, our theatre majors know that their potential for employment is vast, because their AQ training and education gives them skills that employers are looking for in the community, American theatre and beyond.
 
AQ Theatre Recognized at the 2013 Grand Awards

Once again, AQ Theatre represented itself well at The Grand Awards, which celebrate excellence in Grand Rapids area college and community theatre. AQ Theatre garnered an impressive twelve out of twenty-four possible nominations in six categories. This is a record number of nominations for Aquinas! In addition, AQ nabbed all three of the nominations in the lead actress category.

 

AQ Theatre won three 2013 Grand Awards:

  • Best Lead Actress in a Collegiate Play: Rachael Varley
  • Best Director of a Collegiate Play: Paul A. Dreher for "Amadeus"
  • Best Collegiate Production: "Amadeus"

 

In addition, Aquinas student Christopher Van Der Ark won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Cornerstone University's production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

 

Program Director Randy Wyatt's original script "The Mystic Tale of Aladdin," directed for Magic Circle by Aquinas alumna Mackenzie McElroy, won the Grand Award for Best Production for Young Audiences.

 
The AQ Theatre Difference
  • Aquinas Theatre students enjoy small class sizes.  We limit the Directing 1 class to only ten students, so that each student can get plenty of hands-on experience.  AQ Theatre students work on up to eight projects in a semester, rather than the only one or two offered at larger universities.
  • Our students participate in four mainstage productions each year, many of which are regional or even national premieres of new and exciting work. 
  • Whenever possible, the AQ Theater Program brings playwrights to campus to work with students and collaborate with the program.
  • Our faculty represent many aspects of theatre and have credentials regionally and nationally as actors, directors, playwrights, designers, fight choreographers and scholars. 
  • The theatre shop, box office and general theatre office offer part time work-study opportunities for students.
AQ Theatre also boasts a touring children's production that visits underserved student populations in the Grand Rapids area. This very popular program gives students experience as performers and technical staff on a tour that performs for hundreds of satisfied audience members every fall. 
 
Combine that with the annual student-directed production in our studio theatre space, and that's six productions a year that need actors, designers and technicians. Opportunity to get involved abound from the moment you step foot on campus!
 
The AQ Theater Program is well connected in West Michigan. 
Our students consistently win regional awards and perform or work at local theatres.   
  • AQ theatre students gain experience through internships, assistant directorships and other positions with Actor's Theatre of Grand Rapids, Circle Theatre, Civic Theatre, Jewish Theatre GR, Heritage Theatre Group and other regional theatres including Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Mich., and the Boar's Head Theatre in Lansing, Mich.
  • The AQ Theatre program is consistently honored at the annual Grand Awards, celebrating excellence in West Michigan college and community theatre.
  • AQ theatre students and alumni have appeared on stage in numerous performances at Civic Theater, including: The Foreigner and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Circle's Guys and Dolls, Noises Off and The Frog Prince, Jewish Theatre's The Value Of Names, and Actor's Theatre's Living On The Edge series. 
The Performing Arts Center is a collaboration between AQ, Circle Theatre and the League of Catholic High Schools.
  • Students can network and get valuable experience working with any or all of these producing organizations during the four years they are here, shadowing some of the finest designers in the area, and learning from each new show they work on.
With Michigan's film industry, our students are well prepared to work with new and developing scripts. AQ Theatre even offers free seminars called "Help! I'm a theatre major!" that teach students how to turn their theatre degree into a career, whether it be in the performing arts, arts advocacy and community arts, or in the traditional workplace.
 
Theatre majors have drive. They know what they want and they can envision themselves doing it.  Drive and innovation are coveted qualities in today's workforce.  At AQ, we encourage that drive and give foundations to your dreams.  So whether you find yourself in an audition or a job interview, you can confidently and happily say "Yes, I was a theatre major." 
 
Questions about the AQ Theater Program?
Our program director, Randy Wyatt, would love to talk with prospective students about how Aquinas can help them realize their career and personal goals!  Drop him a line at rew001@aquinas.edu.