September 28, 2018 at 11:30am
Dane Lisser

2018-2019 Production Season opens with "Julius Caesar"

A nationally-recognized program, Millikin University's School of Theatre and Dance offers an approach to education that provides students valuable insight and hands-on experiences that prepares them for professional success.

In addition to its six degree programs, the School of Theatre and Dance offers engaging opportunities from working with professional writing teams to immersing in international culture, from being a part of a student-run theatre company to engaging in social entrepreneurship. These unique programs provide Millikin students invaluable Performance Learning opportunities rich in transferrable skills.

It's no secret that there's a consistent pattern when it comes to the success of Millikin theatre students, especially alumni. Nationwide, Millikin's respected theatre alumni are routinely hired for projects in television, film and live theatre, including top Broadway shows. National theatre publications are also taking notice of this pattern.

Millikin Audition Week

This past August, Millikin University's Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting degree program was named among the Top 25 BFA acting/performance programs in the country for 2018-2019 according to a recent survey published by the online theatre news and review blog OnStage. The survey ranks Millikin University as one of the best institutions in the country to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Millikin University was ranked No. 11.

In a recent interview with WAND-TV, Marissa Garcia, a sophomore musical theatre major, says she's trying to follow in the footsteps of the many Millikin alumni who have gone on to have successful careers on Broadway and elsewhere.

"I'm hoping for Broadway. But I'm just here to share stories and entertain," said Garcia.

Millikin School of Theatre and Dance

Millikin University's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting degree program was also recognized as one of the Top 10 BFA Acting Programs in the country for 2017-2018 according to a survey published by OnStage. OnStage also named Millikin as one of the best institutions in the country to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, and named Millikin's School of Theatre and Dance as one of the 10 Most Underrated Theatre Colleges in the Midwest. 

In 2016, College Magazine named the program one of the best in the country as did the Community for Accredited Online Schools in 2017.

"We want to see our students thrive and grow while they're here at school and then take what we teach and grow on their own," said Sean Morrissey, recruitment coordinator for the School of Theatre and Dance.

The program is also continuing to grow as Millikin broke ground on its new Center for Theatre and Dance on May 18. Construction on the project has been ongoing since the summer with the goal of completion by fall 2020. The new Center will offer a centralized, focused location for creativity to be taught, fostered and displayed, and will also provide a new venue for Millikin performing arts to delight, inform and inspire audiences who will come from throughout the region to see Millikin's nationally recognized excellence.

The $29 million project will feature a 260-seat flexible theatre which includes an orchestra pit, balcony and tech gallery with a tension wire grid. The new building will also feature lighting and sound labs, a costume studio, a costume classroom, collaboration spaces, and offices and support facilities for current staff and room for growth.

"The School of Theatre and Dance has long been a shining star among the many strong programs at Millikin University, and now with the new Center for Theatre and Dance, we will keep our program at an extremely high level," said Millikin President Dr. Patrick White. "The new Center will allow room for growth, to expand what we can accomplish, not only for the actors and dancers, but also to provide growth in the rapidly developing areas of arts technology, lighting and sound and costume design."

Millikin Theatre and Dance

Looking ahead, the School of Theatre and Dance kicks off its 2018-2019 performance season on Thursday, Oct. 4 with William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." The show runs Oct. 4 - Oct. 7 at Albert Taylor Theatre inside Shilling Hall on Millikin's campus. The production is a sharp new retelling of the classic tragedy.