Beyond the Classroom: Theatre Arts
A theatre internship is a requirement for a BA degree in Theatre. We encourage our students to take on at least two internships, as we fully subscribe to, and support, the idea that experience is the best teacher.
In the past, our students have interned at the Synetic Theater, Imagination Stage, Faction of Fools, the Theatre Lab, the Warner Theatre, Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Theater de la Jeune Lune, Deaf West, Cleveland Signstage Theatre, and the Smithsonian.
Our theatre program's partnership with Faction of Fools (FoF), --currently in residence with us as one of Washington, DC's 80+ active theatre companies, not only fits within the framework of the philosophy guiding the direction of our program AND coincides with the University's new emphasis on developing relationships beyond its campus, but it is also a conscious, outside-the-box effort to address the historic, ongoing professional networking difficulties facing d/Deaf people seeking to work in the mainstream theatre circuit. The new agreement between FoF and our theatre department stipulates that in order for FoF to use our space for rehearsals and performances, they must incorporate an average of 1-2 Gallaudet theatre majors/minors in their productions. We are trying to improve the odds for Gallaudet theatre students with a proactive model of career networking within a "safe" environment-if Gallaudet Theatre Major X is in the same FoF production as Artist Y, who is active with 2-3 other DC-area theatres, this potentially improves the odds of Major X finding work with those same theatres.
Additionally, they provide specialized training workshops to Gallaudet theatre majors/minors in Commedia dell'Arte, breathing techniques, acrobatics, and other skills-a sampling of skills which strengthens our average student's theatre resume prior to graduation. That will be invaluable in such a student's quest for professional work in theatre and/or film, or his/her application to a MFA program anywhere in the United States.