- Frequently-asked questions from those new to our department.
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Welcome Class of 2020 and Transfer Students!
Welcome to the Department of Theater and Dance! We invite you to join us on Friday, September 9 at 8 p.m. in Holden Theater to meet with faculty and staff members of the department and senior majors to learn about the department and its upcoming events and auditions. Refreshments will be served.
Prior to our meet and greet, Amherst College Theater and Dance Department is proud to present a concert of new faculty and guest artist dance works to celebrate the beginning of the academic year. A must see showcase of powerful performances by acclaimed NYC dancer Shayla-Vie Jenkins, faculty member Paul Matteson with longtime collaborator Jennifer Nugent, senior Theater & Dance major Lauren Horn, and others. Please join us at 7 p.m. in Holden Theater to enjoy the show!
There are many opportunities for new students of any level of experience to become involved in theater and dance at Amherst. Our curriculum and production activities are designed to develop each student’s interest and skills in many areas of theater and dance, such as choreography, playwriting, directing, design, acting, performance art and video work. Auditions and introductory course offerings are open to new students! Amherst College is a member of the Five College Dance Department through which students may take advantage of the dance offerings and plan a coordinated course of study at Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke and the University of Massachusetts.
We stage productions all year in a variety of spaces. Kirby Theater is a 400-seat proscenium house, and the Holden Theater is a large, fully equipped "black box" flexible space. Smaller scale productions are presented in two technically flexible studio spaces in Webster Hall.
Auditions for the first semester performances will be held during the first week of classes. Check the Department website under this year's season for production and audition information or stop by the office (Webster G27) and check out the bulletin board for exact dates, times and places. First year students always get cast so we encourage you to audition!
Five College Dance Department auditions are also held during the first week of classes. Check the Dance Department website at http://www.fivecolleges.edu/sites/dance. These auditions will also be posted on the bulletin board located outside Webster G27.
We look forward to seeing you!
Special Events During Orientation
Voices of the Class
Tuesday, August 30, Group A 8:30 p.m., Group B 10 p.m., Kirby Theater
Dance Workshop and Discussion of Five College Dance Department
Sunday, September 4, 10 - 11 a.m., Studio 1, Webster Hall
Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7, 7 p.m., Studios 2 and 3, Webster Hall
Auditions for Brecht’s version of Sophocles’ Antigone, Directed by Prof. Ron Bashford. First year students strongly encouraged to audition.
Orientation Dance Concert
Friday, September 9, 7 p.m., Holden Theater
Amherst College Theater and Dance Department is proud to present a concert of new faculty and guest artist dance works to celebrate the beginning of the academic year. A must see showcase of powerful performances by acclaimed NYC dancer Shayla-Vie Jenkins, faculty member Paul Matteson with longtime collaborator Jennifer Nugent, senior Theater & Dance major Lauren Horn, and others.
Theater & Dance Department Orientation
Friday, September 9, 8 p.m., Holden Theater
Meet with faculty and staff members of the department and senior majors to learn about the department and its upcoming events and auditions. Refreshments will be served.
Performance Project & AC Faculty Dance
Monday, September 12, 7: p.m., Studio 1, Webster Hall
Auditions for Performance Project, original dance, theater and video works developed by Five College students as part of their work in Performance Studio taught by Professor Wendy Woodson and auditions for the AC Faculty Dance piece will be held at the same time.
Five College Dance Department Events
The FCDD Advanced Placement Audition is on Friday, September 9 in the Studio Theatre at Mount Holyoke College. Any dancer from any of the Five Colleges who wants permission to sign up for Ballet or Modern/Contemporary levels V and VI on any campus needs to attend this audition. Ballet from 4 - 4:45pm and Modern Contemporary from 5 - 5:45 p.m.
The FCDD Faculty and Guest Artist Audition is Saturday, September 10 in the Totman Gym at UMass. The times have not been finalized yet, but are likely to be something like 1 - 5:30 p.m., with the first couple hours devoted to the initial auditions, and the last couple hours devoted to callbacks.
The FCDD Annual Fall Lecture is on Friday, September 30 at 4:30pm in Kirby. The lecturer is Amherst College visiting scholar Ninoska M'bewe Escobar, and the working title is "Pearl Primus: Race, the Body and Danced Memory." Attendance at this event is supposed to be mandatory for all FCDD dancers.