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Students, faculty attend VA Theatre Association Conference
Two faculty members and nineteen students from the Department of Theatre spent the last weekend of October, 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia attending the Virginia Theatre Association’s annual conference. Assistant Professor Molly Hood attended as a recruitment representative for Radford’s theatre department. During her time at the conference, she viewed high school auditions and reviewed portfolios, keeping an eye out for students who would be a good fit for the university and its theatre program. Prospective students were invited to the Department of Theatre’s exhibition table where they could chat with current students, review literature about the program, and discuss scholarship opportunities. While in attendance, Professor Hood also conducted a workshop about the process of understanding and preparing a monologue for those seeking to audition for Shakespeare productions.
In addition to serving as ambassadors for the Department of Theatre’s exhibition table, the nineteen Radford students in attendance went through a screening audition for a chance to audition at the Southeastern Theatre Conference. Southeastern Theatre Conference is North America’s largest theatre association and provides, according to the organization’s website [https://www.setc.org/about/mission-a-vision/] “services, publications, and products [that] contribute significantly to the careers of emerging artists, seasoned professionals and academicians.” The Radford University Theatre students who pass through the state-level screening will have the opportunity to be seen by some 200 companies in the large combined audition at the SETC annual convention next year.
Professor Wesley Young, himself a past president of Virginia Theatre Association, also attended the conference. The association invited Young to participate as an adjudicator for the High School Theatre Festival. From among many of the best high school productions in the Commonwealth, adjudicators select two to represent Virginia at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in March 2019. Young also adjudicated for the one-day middle school festival.
The conference is highly beneficial to theatre students, as they have access to workshops with industry professionals, Broadway actors, Tony Award winners, and practitioners from a variety of institutions. The conference is also an important tool for the theatre department’s recruitment efforts. “This gives our program direct exposure to high school students who are considering majoring in theatre. It allows us to go to them, so that we can have contact with a large body of students at once,” said Hood.