Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Theatre Arts creates a tight knit, family-like
atmosphere that nurtures amazing relationships. Two of my best friends in the world
were classmates of mine at IWU. I will forever be grateful for the time we spent
together on and off campus."
-- Christine Moore, BFA Theatre '95 "True Blood" season 4; Disney's "Jesse"; "HawthoRNe";
"90201"and"That 70's Show"
At IWU there are countless ways to be involved in theatre other than in class and
on stage. Below are descriptions of the many groups formed and governed by students
with faculty mentor-ship. These groups promote creativity, leadership and foster actors,
directors, playwrights, designers, dancers and comedians.
Masquers is the student service organization for the School of Theatre Arts. Masquers
is involved in several fundraising activities through out the year including concession
sales, recycling drives and are responsible for the yearly school t-shirt sales.
The funds raised are used to host the Holiday Celebration in December, (a wonderful
evening of food and entertainment for the School of Theatre Arts students and faculty.)
and an annual toy and clothing drive for a family in need living in the local area.Staff
sponsor is Kelly Ullom.
The Phoenix Theatre is a small black box theatre located in The Memorial Center. Each
year the Phoenix board of directors hears proposals for a production season. Typically
1-15 pieces are produced each year ranging from Shakespeare, musical theatre, performance
art and original plays. The possibilities are endless. Previous productions include
History of America Abridged, Peter Pan, Demon Baby, Affluenza, Dog Sees God, the musical Thrill Me, Country Club and Almost Maine. This is a great place for freshmen to spread their wings. Current Phoenix manager
Music Theatre Society
lllinois Wesleyan University's Music Theatre Society takes its roots from the City
Center Encores! series in New York and the Reprise series in Los Angeles, which produces
lost or rarely produced musicals in a concert setting. With just over a week of rehearsals,
actors perform with the script in hand backed by a full orchestra Concert production
.The group was founded by David Ruben (IWU BFA Music Theatre Graduate 2009) and Diane
Teng (IWU BA Theatre Arts Graduate 2009) in 2007. Previous Music Theatre Society productions
have included: Reefer Madness! The Musical, Do Re Mi, Tenderloin, Funny Girl, Big: The Musical and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Another great opportunity for freshmen to perform.Faculty sponsor is Scott Susong.
Wesleyan's improv comedy troupe, Jm7*, started in 1995 and has been performing ever
since. With a range of 6-9 members, JM7* does all forms of improv and performs every
3-4 weeks. JM7* teaches open improv classes every Monday for anyone interesting in
learning more about the art.Alums form this group have gone on to pursue careers in
film and television and work with improv groups such as Second City and The Groundlings.
This is an auditioned group. Faculty sponsor is Scott Susong.
Each year the students have an opportunity to attend cabaret Boot camp. Students
discover the world of cabaret singing by working with faculty to choose appropriate
songs, write patter for their selections and mic holding techniques. Performing a
song in an intimate environment differs greatly from performing a role in a musical
or play. Learning cabaret singing skills assist students with making a personal connection
with an audience through the interpretation of song and lyric. This event is open
to any classification. Staff sponsor is Cristen Susong.
Shringara Theatre Company
Shringara (n.) The sanskrit word for love and acceptance of all. The Shringara Theatre
Company is IWU's newest multi-cultural theatre company. Started by IWU's Rachel Grimes,
Allie Torres, and Chantericka Tucker, we work towards putting on productions that
depict multicultural characters and stories, as well as creating a for multicultural
actors and directors can share their views. We hope to bring world theatre to the
public eye and share diverse cultures through our craft. Past productions include
A Piece Of My Heart by Shirley Lauro, The Wedding Band by Alice Childress, Myth: Spiritual Language Through monologue, scene, and dance and The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket by Peter Parnell. All classifications of students may audition. Faculty sponsor
is Chris Connely.
Grab your Hot pants, Unitards, and Liza wigs, Quickies! Sketch Comedy is coming to
town! We've got some new members added to our team, an animal act, atomic power, and
more glitter than you can possibly imagine. Quickies! Is an entire night full of hilarity,
folly and merriment where we do 60 skits in 60 minutes. Trust us, you haven't laughed
this hard since Mitt Romney won the IL primary. Come on Over after the Promenade tech-
we're saying 11 but, bear with us!- and line up outside the underground! It's gonna
be a great show and you don't wanna miss a thang! Grab you're super soaker! See you
at the Show! This is an auditioned group open to all classifications.
Student Choreographed Dance Concert
Each January the student choreographed dance concert warms the campus with pieces
choreographed and danced by students. The pieces range from contemporary and jazz
to hip hop, tap and other devised styles. It is a highlight of the semester and valued
and appreciated by the student body. Faculty mentors oversee casting and rehearsals
and the concert is performed in the Hansen Student Center. The dance concert is open
to all classifications. Faculty sponsor is Sheri Marley.
Cohesion Dance Company
Cohesion Dance Company is a student directed dance company. They meet regularly
throughout the year to explore dance and choreograph and create dance theatre. The
group presents a concert in the Spring semester. This group is open to the entire
student body, so School of Theatre Arts students can also make friendships and connections
with dance lovers across academic lines. Faculty sponsor is Jessica Riss- Waltrip
Theatre Bible Study
This group meets once a week for an hour for Bible study and fellowship. The group
follows themed studies such as "Bad Girls From the Bible." It is great to know that
there are other Christians in the School of Theatre Arts. This is a wonderful support
group for prayer requests and a place to feel at home away from home with a group
of like spirited students..