Theatre Arts

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.) Can I audition for Main Stage shows as an incoming freshman?
A.) Yes! Main Stage auditions are open to all Drake Students. You are eligible to be cast in a Main Stage production in your first semester at Drake.

Q.) What is the policy for working in shows off campus?
A.) All BFA majors are required to audition for Drake Theatre’s shows first and are required to work on 2 Drake shows a semester. After casting is over and the commitments for 2 shows are filled, we encourage our students to audition for or work on other productions in the community.

Q.) Are there opportunities to work on theatrical productions off campus?
A.) Absolutely! Des Moines has a number of local professional and community theatre companies including Iowa Stage Theatre Company, Des Moines Community Playhouse, Pyramid Theatre Company, Des Moines Young Artists Theatre and Tallgrass Theatre Company. Our students have acted, directed, stage managed, designed and worked crew for all of these area theatres. Our students have also been hired to teach, direct and choreograph at local schools as well.

Q.) Are all students that are accepted into the theatre program given a Fine Arts Scholarship?
A.) No. Not every student who is accepted into the program will receive a scholarship from the Department. Only selected, B.F.A. Theatre majors are awarded a Fine Arts Scholarship.

Q.) Are Fine Arts Scholarships renewable?
A.) Yes. As long as you continue to meet the criteria for maintaining your scholarship, all Fine Arts Scholarship can be renewed each year for four years.

Q.) What other scholarships are available at Drake?
A.) Presidential Scholarships range from $20,000 to $23,000 per year. All prospective students that have applied and been admitted by the priority deadline of March 1 are automatically considered for these awards. Recipients of these tuition scholarships are chosen based on a complete review of the application for admission. The Drake University National Alumni Association awards prestigious scholarships to top students including the National Alumni Scholarship Program

Q.) Are there other resources for scholarships?
A.) Yes. There are resources out there for finding additional scholarships. Many of our students have found a good source of information for scholarship opportunities. We absolutely understand that the cost of higher education can be prohibitive. Please try not to let finances be the only reason not to consider Drake.

Q.) How hard is it to double-major?
A.) For students pursuing the BFA degree, a second major is challenging, but doable. It requires hard work and careful planning to accomplish in four years. The BA degree, however, is specifically designed for students who wish to double-major in theatre and another area of interest.

Q.) Do you have a cap on enrollment?
A.) Given recent increases in the number of students auditioning for the program, the Department has instituted an unofficial cap of 20 BFA students (comprised of 16 performance majors: Acting, Theatre Education and Musical Theatre, and 4 Design/Technology majors) each academic year. This is done to ensure we recruit only the very best students, keep class sizes low and maintain an effective teacher/student ratio.

Q.) Does the Department hold/attend a "showcase"?
A.) No. Instead, we encourage students to attend local, regional and national auditions including UPTA and MWTA. In their senior year, for example, many of our students attend the Unified Professional Theatre Auditions (UPTA's), the region’s largest audition. In preparation for this audition, a Drake alum (and resident company member at Memphis Playhouse on the Square where the UPTA auditions are held every year) coaches our students on their audition material. This opportunity has led to students finding work on Broadway National Tours, regional theatre productions as well as booking agents. 

Q.) What unique opportunities are available for students?
A.) Besides being able to advance your career by getting involved in the Des Moines theatre community, Drake Theatre is also closely connected to the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Our students have the opportunity to spend a semester exchange at the O'Neill center. 

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