Illinois State University offers students a rich diversity of extracurricular and co-curricular activities. There are a number of specific Registered Student Organizations affiliated with the School of Theatre and Dance.
Black Actors League (BAL)
The Black Actors League is one of Illinois State University's newest Registered Student Organizations. Our fundamental purpose is to educate, enlighten and entertain the students of Illinois State University and members of the Bloomington/Normal community through performance of the works of African American playwrights. We are a strong ensemble of actors, designers, stage managers and directors who produce plays and shorter pieces written by African American playwrights. The Black Actors League debuted in February 2008 with a showcase entitled Portraits of Color: A night of scenes and monologues by African American Playwrights. This production included the works of such playwrights as George C. Wolfe, Lanie Robertson, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Gregory S. Carr and Illinois State student playwright Mylka Valcin.
Please e-mail Professor Leslie Sloan Orr,
Associate Professor, Playwriting and African American Drama,
or call (309) 438-2895
for more information.
FreeStage is a student-driven production program. Each year we produce, direct, design, and act in numerous productions on and off campus. FreeStage has a long and honored history in the School of Theatre and Dance, providing free admission to great shows.
This registered student organization provides small budgets and technical support for directors, choreographers, actors, dancers and designers who wish to shape projects that will stretch their creative abilities.
The FreeStage committee is made up of several students and two faculty advisors. The committee accepts student proposals at the beginning of each semester. Experimental pieces and original scripts are encouraged, as are works by women and minorities. From these proposals, the committee selects the FreeStage season.
The FreeStage production program culminates at the end of each semester with the FreeStage Festival.
FreeStage is proud to partner with other student organizations, including Improv Mafia, the Women's Project and Guerilla Theatre. FreeStage is able to provide such groups with facilities and technical support and also supports the M.F.A. Experimental Theatre Program in the School of Theatre and Dance.
Please e-mail faculty advisor
if you are interested in participating in upcoming projects.
Dance Association (DA)
Dance Association is a student-run organization that supports a variety of dance activities and events each year. Our mission is to promote continuous development of the interests, knowledge and exposure to dance within our community and promote collaboration between performing-arts student organizations on campus. DA is open to all students. We maintain 50 to 60 active members and are run by five elected student board members and one faculty advisor. DA holds a number of annual fundraisers to support the group’s many activities and events, including:
- Production of the spring-semester Dance Inventions Concert. This production is choreographed, performed, designed, and stage-managed completely by students. Auditions to cast the show are held during the second week of classes each fall semester.
- Production of the RSO Showcase in the Bone Student Center. This event showcases the talents of numerous performing-arts student organizations, all in one exciting show.
- Sponsorship of the Dance Workshops! program, which assists in bringing guest dance teachers to campus, in addition to holding a weekly Friday company class for DA members.
- Hosting Guest Artist Residencies in both the fall and spring semesters. These events include new choreographic works, master classes, presentations, and Q & A sessions with the artists.
Please e-mail faculty advisors Sara Semonis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Darby Wilde (email@example.com) if you are interested in being a member of Dance Association.
Illinois State Dance Theatre (ISDT)
Illinois State Dance Theatre is the pre-professional concert dance company organized through the School of Theatre and Dance. Their mission is to provide students with professional-level dance performance experience and the opportunity to work in a company atmosphere.
Dance Theatre holds open auditions during the first week of classes in both the fall and spring semesters. Company members are involved in two productions showcased in the Center for the Performing Arts, in addition to other local and regional performance opportunities. Those selected for Dance Theatre are required to enroll in at least one dance technique course in addition to attending the weekly Company Class, held each Friday. For more information contact Artistic Director, Sara Semonis at (309) 438-8021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois State University Theatre Association (ISUTA)
ISUTA is a student service organization dedicated to taking theatre into the community and to encouraging community attendance at School of Theatre and Dance events. The organization has hosted a number of events, including an on-campus bake sale and a face-painting event at Wal-Mart that helped increase community awareness of our program while raising money for theatre scholarships.
In existence since 1998, the Improv Mafia bills itself as the best improvisational comedy group on campus. The troupe presents weekly performances, providing serious doses of silliness for a campus-wide audience. In 2008, the Improv Mafia took first in the nation in college improv comedy. In 2010, they were second in the nation. Regular performances are Tuesday evenings at 8 p.m. in room 145 of ISU's Center for Visual Arts (CVA 145).
The Normal Humor
The Normal Humor is a place where you can do sketch comedy, improv, stand-up, and dare to fail in a friendly and comfortable environment. This is a place where you can express yourself in any comedic form. We have no preference. If you think it's funny and it makes you happy, then we will encourage you to do whatever it is your funny bone is telling you to.
The Normal Humor is a studio-based open group that holds workshops based on the idea of discovering and understanding comedy. We will be producing a sketch show each semester to showcase the different forms of comedy.
Please contact Vanessa Garcia, president of The Normal Humor, at email@example.com.
Theatre Education Association (T.E.A.)
T.E.A. (Theatre Education Association) is a registered student organization committed to educational outreach in schools in the Bloomington/Normal area as well as within the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State. T.E.A provides an outlet for theatre teacher education students to get hands-on experience, bringing theatre into the lives of young people, before we enter the professional world as educators. Though T.E.A. originated as an organization for theatre teacher education majors, it is open to the participation of ANYONE interested in supporting its cause.
Theatre of Ted
Theatre of Ted provides a positive, unedited forum for artistic expression and encourages a strong sense of community among students in the arts. This student organization hosts regular late-night “open-mike” performances and special events, including the Mock Prom and Winter Ball.
Since its beginning in 1990, Theatre of Ted has offered students an outlet to experiment and express themselves artistically outside the confines of a classroom structure or a formal production season. The organization values all forms of artistic expression and applauds the creation of original works and the use of fresh approaches. Theatre of Ted encourages students to take risks, to aim high and to dare to fail. Theatre of Ted was the winner of the 2003-2004 Outstanding Social/Entertainment Program of the Year award at Illinois State University.
Theatre of Ted's regular performance event is held every Saturday night at midnight in Centennial West 301. It is open to all students, and anyone can perform by simply showing up a few minutes early and signing up. Original poetry, song, skit, performance art, dance, whatever you can imagine — totally uncensored. (Please limit your piece to 5 minutes or less.)
In October, Theatre of Ted sponsors The Rocky Horror Picture Show, live and on film, in ISU's Capen Auditorium.
In April, Theatre of Ted sponsors the annual Four-Square marathon for student scholarships, and they offer their own scholarship to continuing involved students who take creative risks.