Students Launch Theatre Symposium

Last Fall, a group of Hope Theatre students started Theatre Symposium. The mission is to give students resources to grow as a theatre artists through conversations and workshops with working professionals, new play readings, and audition techniques.

Symposium engages in a holistic, encouraging intra-arts environment by including student artists from a variety of disciplines, bringing them together and connecting them with Hope alumni who are currently working in the arts.   One of the ways Symposium is achieving this is through holding “mock” dance calls.  Symposium has held two such dance calls to date, intended for Theatre and Dance students; with choreography by Hope Dance Department majors.
These audition workshops were monitored by current Theatre Symposium President Katie Joachim.

Theatre Symposium students having a reading and discussion of the new play “Back Cover.”

Symposium highlights this year also include visits from Hope Alumni:

Symposium’s first workshop was with Tiny Breakfast, a Grand Rapids-based improv troupe. Founding members Jake Mate (’17) and Ezra Sprik (’16) led students in various warm-ups and games, and offered tips for how to build and improve strong skills in improv.

Lauren Ezzo (‘15) has become a prominent figure in the audio book industry (recognition incudes an Audie Nomination for her readings in Nevertheless We Persisted and five “Earphone” awards from Audiofile), came and talked about how to succeed in the audiobook industry and find a niche as an artist after college.

Theatre Symposium president Katie Joachim (left) and Voice Actor Lauren Ezzo (right)

The final visit for the year was a skype call with Eric Van Tassell (’08), Lighting Director of the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in Lady Lake, Florida, and former Hope Summer Repertory Theatre Production Manager.  He responded to student questions about technical applications and walked us through resume and cover letter tips.

With elections for next year on the horizon, Theatre Symposium is looking forward to the coming years and how to grow and develop to more fully fulfill its mission. Meetings are held every other Tuesday at 9:30pm in the DeWitt Studio Theater. Please drop by!

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