Performing arts offers opportunity for all

By Haley Warnecke
warneckeha@mnstate.edu

Drama isn’t only for theater majors, but for anyone looking to get on stage. Though almost all MSUM productions are fronted by theater majors, performing in plays is an experience open to the Dragon community.

How to get involved
Getting involved comes down to one thing — auditions. Audition announcements are typically made available in the Center for the Arts, and on the Blackfriar student arts organization Facebook page. Before English freshman Fate Maxon auditioned for “The Musical of Musicals,” she knew she had to prepare.
“I went to the library and picked my own material,” she said.  “Memorization is important. But when in doubt, email the directors.”
At her audition, she was expected to have a one-minute monologue ready and sing parts of two different songs in three minutes.
“I’ve auditioned a decent amount for theater,” Maxon said. “But it was a little intimidating. I had to perform in front of a panel of judges.”
Theater freshman Ben Stoddard also auditioned for “The Musical of Musicals.” He had a small role in the production.
“Auditions are super fun, but nerve-wracking,” Stoddard said. “Sometimes they let you finish or they make you stop. This isn’t always a bad thing; they need to see a lot of people.”

Why join theater?
Students say experience in theater helps in other aspects of their lives. Many report an improvement in interaction with others and an increase in confidence. Another benefit, they say, is meeting new people.
“The theater kids are just crazy in the best possible way,” Stoddard said. “They are high energy, welcoming, and pulled me right in. I didn’t have time to be nervous.”
Stoddard said not being a theater major is no excuse to avoid trying out.
“There is a good number of people that don’t have the major that are involved,” Stoddard said.
Maxon agrees.
“Everyone is really outgoing,” she said. “And it’s easy to become friends because of the interest everyone shares. They were really accepting and welcoming to me, even though I wasn’t a theater major.”

Finding time
The only complaint of non-major students is finding the time needed to stay involved in the performing arts. Production involvement for theater majors is easy — it’s a part of their classes.
“It’s a commitment,” Maxon said. “We met for the musical Sunday through Thursday nights. It was a decent amount of work, but when you’re passionate about it, it pays off performing.”
Maxon made that commitment for her love of performing and being on stage. She advises those with similar interests to do the same.
“Don’t let life kick you into an adult you are supposed to be,” Maxon said. “Don’t give up your interests, but you also have to be realistic.”

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