If you were a student at West Chester University in fall 2015, you may remember hearing about the theatre kids and their extravagant Haunted House. You may have dared to enter the haunted rooms yourself. Indeed, last year’s Halloween brought over 100 WCU students through the halls of the E.O. Bull Center for the event.
The Annual Haunted House is just one of the many exciting events held by the Department of Theatre and Dance’s two student organizations, University Theatre and the University Dance Company (more commonly called UT and UDC). For any creative student interested in being part of the creative team that makes such theatrical spectacles for the university, I strongly recommend these two organizations.
The Haunted House in particular was produced by University Theatre, which, like the University Dance Company, is open to the entire West Chester student body.
UT and UDC are run by an elected council of students and are made up by a collection of enthusiastic and creative individuals looking to be involved and have a fun time with friends doing what they love. This includes actors, dancers, singers, writers, visual artists, technically skilled students, student designers and anyone who wants to learn something about the collaborative world of the Arts. Students come from all majors around the university and can often be found in other performance groups as well, such as various a cappella groups and the improv team.
UDC may be most famous in the eyes of the non-performing arts community on campus because of its incredible dance pieces in the WCU Homecoming Parade every year. UDC has won the dance competition portion of the parade several times. In addition to showing their Ram pride every year, UDC students are well-known for performing in the spectacular dance concerts at the university.
Both UT and UDC are wonderful student organizations and, it is a great way to gain some dance experience from either a faculty member or an advanced student for free!
The University Dance Company rehearses in the E.O. Bull Center for the dance concerts weekly. University Theatre meets every Monday night, and since many students participate in both groups at the same time, it is important to understand the difference between the two organizations. UDC caters to people extraordinarily dedicated to specifically movement art and dance creativity.
In contrast to this, UT often gives less time developing one specific part of the arts to its most advanced level and instead involves its students in a wider variety of artistic opportunities. It all depends on a student’s interests and preferences.
It’s safe to say UT and UDC may hold some of the most creative and “outside the box” artistic thinkers at WCU.
University Theatre holds open events every month, including open mic nights, holiday parties, picnics, performance workshops, Theatre and Dance Alumni Day, and the Annual AIDS Benefit Fundraiser.
UDC holds free master classes at 10 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre of the E.O. Bull Center and is the second largest student organization on campus. It is the producing organization behind all of the Theatre and Dance department’s productions.
This semester in particular, UT, UDC, and the Department of Theatre and Dance will be staging “Once Upon a Mattress” from Oct. 14-16 and 20-22, the fall dance concert, “Veer, To Alter a Direction or Course,” on Nov. 11 and 12, and “The Long Christmas Ride Home” from Nov. 16-20.
More information on these shows and how to purchase tickets can be found on the Department of Theatre and Dance homepage at http://www.wcupa.edu/arts-humanities/theatreDance/.
Olivia Damore is a student majoring in musical theatre with a minor in English writing. She can be reached at OD805556@wcupa.edu.