On March 4–7, 2015, IUP Theater professors April Daras and Rob Gretta taught three exciting and well-attended workshops at the Southeastern Theater Conference (SETC) annual convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
SETC is a gathering of over 4,000 actors, professional company representatives, design and technical professionals, theater educators, students from universities and high schools, commercial exhibitors, university representatives, community theater producers, and participants coming together to celebrate and learn more about theater. This year’s convention was bigger and more exciting with more job opportunities, workshops, networking opportunities, and schools and companies. Since 1949, SETC has hosted the nation’s largest theater convention each year during the first week of March.
Daras, recipient of this year’s Innovative Teaching Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 2, taught a workshop titled “The Simulated Patient: Act, Earn Income, and Serve Others.” The fast-paced, informational presentation for actors and educators introduced opportunities for applying acting skills to the training of future healthcare practitioners, business executives, and counselors.
Gretta taught two workshops. The first, titled “College Audition Prep Workshop,” offered high school students and their parents a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for college musical theater and theater program auditions. The second presentation, “Musical Theatre Auditions: Preparation, Process, and Performance,” was an audition workshop taught by professionals with extensive experience and designed for college and high school musical theater students.
The 2015 SETC convention also offered an amazing opportunity to four IUP musical theater students to audition for more than 100 professional theater companies hiring for their summer and yearlong seasons. Participation of IUP theater students in SETC professional auditions is a real-world, effective way of assessing the students’ training as well as to celebrate the Department of Theater and Dance.