Where the Theater Never Closes and the Curtain’s Never Down

“Oh, you’re a theater major? So you, like, play all day? Lucky!” The common response to one stating that they are, indeed, a theater major. Before I graduate, even if nothing else that I’ve ever written “sticks,” I’d like to at least make it very well-known the plethora of work that theater majors, regardless of concentration, actually do. All students at CNU are extraordinarily busy and lead very active and fulfilling lives, and this is my one insight into one of the most demanding majors that the University has to offer. Listed below is a typical schedule of my day while in a production:

8:00 – Wake up. Stare at the ceiling and wonder why I can’t have the ability to stop time just so I could sleep some more.
8:01 – Roll out of bed (literally), shower and scramble around trying to find clean athletic gear for my armed combat class.
8:30 – Grab coffee or a Diet Coke and drive to campus, regrettably hitting every red light on the way there. Spend most of the drive trying to find a radio station that isn’t playing commercials.
9:00-9:50 – Beat people with swords. Kinda. Theater 438: Armed Combat (Rapier and Dagger) with Professor Gregg Lloyd. A wonderfully small class that allows extensive one-on-one attention with the professor, we learn fight choreography to eventually test to become certified by the Society of American Fight Directors (meaning we are recognized as proficient in stage combat – looks great on a resume) and continue using combat in the professional theater world.
9:50-10:30 – Change out of athletic gear, put my face on for the day (makeup), review the readings from the night before for my next class and meet up with my roomie to head to McMurran for class.
11-11:50 – English 423: Major Authors – Virginia Woolf. Read, analyze, interpret, dissect, rip apart, reinterpret again and continue discussing a large portion of Woolf’s novels, essays and short stories. Prepare for upcoming panel discussion and paper proposal leading to the final literary analysis paper due in a few weeks.
12-2:30 – The lengthy “break” time – typically includes lunch, working on lines for either “The Odd Couple” or “The Taming of the Shrew,” senior thesis paper on the production of “The Odd Couple,” archive press releases for a book I’m assisting a professor with, and if it’s a really good day – A NAP!
2:30-3:45 – Theater 430: Scene Study. Williams, O’Neill, Shaw, Wilde, SHAKESPEARE. Presenting specific scenes from these great playwrights, in-class work dissecting different beats during the Shakespeare section of the class. Work on character work, guideposts, tactics, scansion, paraphrase, ground plans, etc. (Yes – I’m probably speaking a foreign language to some).
3:45-5:00 – Rehearsal for “The Taming of the Shrew.”
5:00-6:30 – Dinner. Eat anything and everything in sight.
6:30-11:00 – Rehearsal for “The Odd Couple.”
11:00-12:00 – Finish up homework, attempt to ignore the drastic need for a cookie, realistically spend an hour doing nothing before passing out.

Additionally, you think we have a weekend? Oh, wait. Nope! Rehearsals Friday nights and Sunday afternoon/evenings. Saturdays are the most treasured of all days. This type of schedule goes on for about 2 ½ months until the production is complete and then the rehearsals stop … until it’s time for the next production. Or finals. Or both. Usually both. TheaterCNU – we don’t sleep.

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