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frydryc2@illinois.edu Feb 19, 2018 2:58 pm

Two recommendations for the Theatre aspect, specifically.  For context, I hold an MFA in the field, and have been involved with the professional theatre for many years, a good bit of that as an Equity actor.  Having trained at a conservatory program in a major city that was closely integrated with both the profession and the surrounding community, I think that there might be much to be gained from making the walls of the silo here a bit less firm (rather than expanding its footprint through a formal campus-wide laboaratory).  It is still possible to maintain a conservatory "aura" outside of a formal hierarchy of class requirements and production purposes.  Assuming sufficient institutional support to create and publicize the projects, project-based engagements led by the creative forces tend to be more rewarding.  (A Shakespeare festival that I and some others there founded on a university lawn is still playing many years later, and now tours to the entire region.)  Second, I would examine the audiences for the performances to determine how many of the students were required to be there by an intro-level class.  While the ticket revenue is surely welcome, this dependency will invariably cause artistic atrophy.  A vital artistic community rarely arises by direct mandate.  Best of luck with the statement.

Reply to frydryc2@illinois.edu at 2:58 pm

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