Theater program embraces off-stage interests

Helen Lee / Photo Editor

The spotlight may shine on actors, but Linfield’s theater program has numerous offstage opportunities that are equally important.

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Resident Director Janet Gupton welcomes anyone who is interested in theater, and encourages students to get involved.

“We are a friendly approachable bunch that loves to spread our love of theatre to others,” Gupton said.

Students are not required to be a theater major or minor to participate in the plays, which makes getting involved in the program easy.

“Auditions for parts are open to the campus. If you want to work backstage, we look for a responsible and conscientious attitude because we are a highly collaborative art form,” Gupton said.

Positions span a wide variety of skill sets and interests.

Students can work in the shops on sets or costumes, stage-manage productions, or even volunteer as an usher.

Volunteer ushers get to see the show that night for free.

Other behind-the-scenes are necessary to theater productions, and “[Theater] also need[s] stage managers, assistant stage managers, properties running crews, costume and make-up running crews who help out during the actual run of a production,” Gupton said.

These jobs within the department provide a way for students to participate in theater without acting onstage.

Gupton is enthusiastic about the chance for shy students to join the program, and said, “I have seen plenty of introverts join on the production team and become part of our family.”

Students who want to engage in the department can contact Gupton or Rob Vaughn, sound expert and technical director.

Additionally, students can talk to set and lighting designer, Ty Marshall.

theater article jennifer laytonSenior Jennifer Layton has worked with the theater program for four years, and participated in several work-study positions in the theater department.

Layton has worked in the costume shop, been the student production coordinator, and worked with the publicity team.

Our majors and minors are required to do a little but of everything in productions and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to do so many different things.

“We’ve definitely had a lot of non-theater major students who’ve done really well with lighting design and other jobs,” Layton said.

Layton commented on the ability of students to get involved with theater in a non-major capacity, stating that some students use theater as an artistic outlet.

“I think our faculty is awesome about helping students identify their interest, and helping them do that,” Layton said.

Overall, the theater department is full of openings for students to partake in productions and offers an opportune way for students to step out of their comfort zones.

“It is a college experience that you are not likely to forget,” Gupton said.

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