Frequently asked Questions
theater & Dance Program

Dance

In order to be admitted into the dance program do I need to audition?
Auditions are not required to be admitted into Ursinus College’s dance program. Any student interested in dance as a major or minor need not audition.

What differentiates Ursinus from other programs?
The Dance program at Ursinus is directed by Chris Aiken and Cathy Young, both nationally recognized as performers and teachers. Because we are a small school students receive personalized, individual attention from faculty and there are many opportunities to perform, choreograph, and produce work. In addition, our Guest Artist program brings between two and four cutting edge choreographers to Ursinus every year to create dance pieces for our students, working in many different dance forms and styles including hip hop, ballet, tap, ballroom, modern, jazz, and African dance.

What is the typical class size?
A typical class size is between 5 and 25 students depending on the course.

What performance opportunities are available?
Each semester Ursinus College Dance Company (UCDC) presents one large dance show that is choreographed by department faculty and noted guest artists. Also, there is a student run dance company, Escape Velocity. Escape Velocity performs two times a year and all pieces in the shows are created for students, by students. Additionally, there is a dance team on the campus.

If I do not plan to major in dance but I would like to take dance classes, what are my options?
Regardless of your major, Ursinus students are welcome to take a variety of dance classes. You can also perform in the Escape Velocity dance company as well as UCDC depending on your ability.

What dance techniques are emphasized?
The Dance curriculum at Ursinus consists of the fundamentals of dance, jazz dance, modern dance, improvisational dance, and ballet as well as other forms of dance offered each semester. Courses range to accommodate beginners up to advanced levels. Also, guest artists teach various forms of dance which varies each semester.

What are the specialties of the dance professors at Ursinus College?
Chris Aiken is a leading international artist in the field of dance improvisation as a performance art and the duet form of contact improvisation. He teaches workshops throughout the world in composition, design, performance and dance technique. As a performer, Chris has worked with many of the leading artists in his field including Steve Paxton, Nancy Stark Smith, Kirstie Simson, Andrew Harwood, and Simone Forti.

Cathy Young is nationally recognized as a master teacher of jazzdance, and has taught at over 30 colleges around the country, as well as at major US festivals including Bates Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival, and the international Open Look Festival, in St. Petersburg, Russia. As a performer, Cathy has danced with a number of companies including Zenon Dance Company and Danny Buraczeski’s JAZZDANCE!, touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, and performing in prestigious venues such as the Joyce Theater in New York and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.


Theater

In order to be admitted into the theater program do I need to audition?
Auditions are not required to be admitted into Ursinus College’s theater program. Any student interested in theater as a major or minor need not audition.

What differentiates Ursinus from other programs?
What makes our theater program unique is that all of our full-time professors are practicing theater and dance artists. Our proximity to Philadelphia enables us to network with “Philly” area theaters allowing us to produce shows with the assistance of professional designers and technicians. Not to mention our state-of-the-art facility, the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center which houses two high-tech theaters. Equally important is the fact that because we are a small department, students have the opportunity to work very closely with professors. Students are encouraged to develop their own interests, with the potential of creating an independent study and honors project that they can tailor in preparation for graduate level work.

What is the typical class size?
A typical class size is between 5 and 25 students depending on the course.

What performance opportunities are available?
Each semester our theater professors present two plays that are directed by department faculty. Past productions include: The Real Inspector Hound, Gilgamesh, The Sisters Rosensweig, Two Gentleman of Verona to name a few productions. Also, there is a student run acting group, Breakaway Student Productions. Breakaway performs two plays a year and all shows are produced, directed and designed by the students.

If I do not plan to major in theater but I would like to take acting classes, what are my options?
Regardless of your major, Ursinus students are welcome to take courses in theater. You are free to audition in the two plays each semester as well as in the Breakaway Student Production performances.

What type of theater classes do you offer?
The theater curriculum at Ursinus consists of Introduction to Theater, Acting I, Acting II, Stagecraft, and many other courses that are offered including Introduction to Design, Voice & Speech, History of Theater, Scenic Design, Asian-Asian American Theater as well as other special topic classes.

Tell me about your theater professors at Ursinus College.
Beverly Redman is an Assistant Professor of Theater & Dance at Ursinus since the fall of 2006. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego having completed her dissertation on the history of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. She also holds an M.F.A. in directing from UC Irvine and an M.A. in Composition and Rhetoric from Georgetown University. Bev has taught at Charles County Community College, Georgetown University, University of California, Irvine, Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at El Paso. At Ursinus, she teaches voice and speech, theater history and literature, and she also directs for the department.

Domenick Scudera is an Associate Professor of Theater since 1999 and received his B.A., with honors in English and in Fine Arts from Colgate University and his M.F.A. in Directing from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to teaching acting, directing and theater history and audition technique he has been an active professional theater artist since 1987. In Philadelphia he regularly directs plays for many theaters including the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival. He has served in the administrations of several area theaters as well, including many years as Casting Director for the Wilma Theater. He is also a playwright whose work has been performed thousands of times by Historic Philadelphia Incorporated. As a performer, he has premiered his original work at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and performed nationally at various venues.

ON YOUR VISIT


When scheduling your campus visit, we also recommend that you ask to meet with a Theater or Dance faculty member. Our Admissions Office can assist you with scheduling a time on the day of your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions