West Chester’s theatre department has a lot to celebrate this semester. The department, which was previously housed on the cramped first floor of Anderson Hall, now is housed in the new and improved E.O. Bull Center, along with the Art and Dance departments.
“We’ve been waiting for the E.O. Bull Center to be opened,” Joanna Volpe, publicity representative for the Department of theater and dance, said. “It’s nice to finally have a home, a place where we can all be together.”
The E.O. Bull center features brand new studios for both dance and art. The center will also open two new theaters; the main stage and the studio theater.
“The building is really nice! All the classrooms are ready, and the hallways are really nice, and there are lockers for the students to put their belongings in,” Volpe said.
The theater students also have the treat of having most of their major classes in the E.O. Bull Center, and also their professor’s offices as well. “Before the dance professors were on south campus, the theater professors were on the fourth floor of Anderson and our classes were held on the first floor of Anderson. The music professors were in Swope,” Volpe said. “It was hard for students to go from one place to another.”
As for new and improved features, Volpe noted that the “dance studios are gorgeous.”
“The dance studios are bigger, the floors are new, and there are big mirrors. We have two different spaces for dance now when before there was not enough space for dance classes and practice,” Volpe said. The dance studios have new flooring, which makes it easier for students to dance on.
The Department of Theatre and Dance is also gearing up for their season this year.
“The first show to be in the studio theatre will be our spring musical,” Volpe said. However, the student written one acts will take place in Brandywine.
The department is now getting ready for their fall musical, Cabaret, which is being directed by professor Emily Rogge.
The department has also brought on a new faculty member, assistant professor Larry Smiglewski. “He was selected last year to be the new Musical Theater and Directing professor and he is great!” Volpe said. “He is fantastic and he knows so much about his field.”
Smiglewski will also be directing the musical in the spring. The Theatre and Dance Department also has cause to celebrate one of their biggest accomplishments. WCU’s Theater and Dance Department is now accredited by the National Associations of Schools of Theatre.
The department is also excited about their new class of students.
“They are very talented! We have a number of new students that are cast in Cabaret and one of our new students is one of the supporting leads in Cabaret,” Volpe said. There is also a new alumni group for graduated students, which was brought together by WCU alumni, Andrew Lowy.
The Department of Theatre and Dance is ready for their new semester in their new home. Volpe encourages students to see the shows that the department of theater and dance are holding.
Angela Thomas is a fifth year student majoring in English with a minor in web technology. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu.