Theatre Arts Groups, Clubs & Organizations
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 or staff mentorship. These organizations promote creativity and leadership
while fostering actors, directors, playwrights, designers, dancers and comedians.
Learn more about Fine Arts student organizations.
The Phoenix Theatre is a small black box theatre located in The Memorial Center, through the Ideas Center. Each year, the Phoenix board of directors hears proposals for a production season. Up to 15 pieces are produced each year ranging from Shakespeare, musical theatre, performance art and original plays. The possibilities are endless. This is a great place for first year students to spread their wings. The staff sponsor is Armie Thompson.
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 seen musicals in a concert setting. With just over a week of rehearsals, actors perform with the script in-hand, backed by a full orchestra and concert production. The group was founded by David Ruben '09 and Diane Teng '09 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. Music Theatre Society is a great opportunity for first year students to perform.
Illinois Wesleyan's original 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 intermittently throughout the year for anyone interested in learning more about the art. Alumni from this group have gone on to pursue careers in film and television, plus working with improv groups such as The Second City and The Groundlings. Auditions are required.
Each year in the Phoenix Theatre, we put on a quick and dirty cabaret boot camp, giving students of all majors a chance to hone their skills singing for an intimate crowd.
Shringara (n.) The sanskrit word for love and acceptance of all.
Shringara is IWU’s multicultural theatre company. Our mission is to produce art that depicts multicultural characters and stories, as well as creating a safe space for people to come together as a community. Shringara promotes acceptance through the artistic medium of theatre. The plays produced by Shringara have consisted of playwrights from many different cultures and backgrounds and we have hosted events such as a play reading festival and student-written and produced work. Along with a central board, Shringara has a small group of members dedicated to producing queer theatre. Any IWU student is welcome to join.
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.