Our theatre program is strong, vibrant, and perhaps most importantly, accessible. Hiram theatre students gain experience in every aspect of a production, providing more learning opportunities than are available at larger universities. Majors and non-majors alike participate in performance, and unlike theatre programs at some other colleges, first-year students often earn leading roles in productions.
The Department of Theatre Arts produces two main stage plays every year, one in the fall and one in the spring. In addition, each semester provides opportunities for several student-directed projects, such as 10-Minute play readings, full-length play readings, one-acts, directing scenes and other projects. Students coordinate and manage every facet of these productions, including the publicity, box office, set construction, costuming, and of course, the acting.
In addition to on-campus theatre productions, Hiram students are encouraged to participate in an internship with a professional company. Recently, students have interned with the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Mass.; Kent State University’s Porthouse Theatre; the Cleveland Playhouse; and the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass. Each year, students immerse themselves in theatre culture by traveling with theatre department faculty to renowned festivals, such as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and the George Bernard Shaw Festival, both held in Ontario, Canada. The department also makes occasional theatre trips to Toronto during fall weekend.
The Theatre Arts Department at Hiram College resides in the renovated Frohring Performing Arts Hall.
This location houses the Renner Theater, an intimate and adaptable Black Box performance space, with a computerized lighting system and flexible seating. The building also houses the Lars Fredland Green Room, the “Show Boat,” a small lecture/performance venue where play readings and Acting and Directing Scenes will find a home, as well as office space, a costume shop, a small classroom, and space for the building of scenery.
Additional performance spaces are available in Bates Hall, an historic building constructed in 1936, which houses Drury Hall, and Hayden Auditorium. Drury Hall contains a 50-seat rehearsal theatre and studio classroom, and Hayden Auditorium features a 566-seat proscenium theatre with a flexible thrust stage, a computerized lighting system, and scenery and costume storage.
The array of ensembles and solo performers, along with the number and variety of concerts and recitals, is a measure of the importance of music to the college, the kinds of students it enrolls, the commitment to their music and the enthusiasm they have for sharing it with the entire community.
In addition to learning technique, skill and craft, Hiram art students learn to be "thinking artists" equipped with visual problem-solving, critical thinking, and visual and verbal communication skills. Students often combine their studies in art with interests in music, writing, communications, education, biology, psychology, environmental science and many other fields.
At Hiram College, the study and practice of a craft is paired with an interdisciplinary liberal arts education, providing arts students a variety of career and graduate school options. The photography minor complements many major areas of study and gives students a creative outlet for their passions.
Art History is a perfect discipline for those with broad ranging interests in the liberal arts. While cultural artifacts of the past (architecture, sculpture, paintings, drawing, print arts, ceramics, urban planning, etc) are the primary focus of study, understanding the importance and meaning of these artifacts can lead students into many rich avenues of investigation.