Rollins Ranked Among Nation’s Top 25 Theater Programs

September 11, 2018

By Luke Woodling ’17MBA

Rollins students perform at the Annie Russell Theatre.
Photo by Scott Cook.

OnStage has ranked Rollins one of the top 25 BA theater programs in the country and the No. 1 program in Florida.

Theater blog OnStage recently ranked Rollins at No. 22 on its list of the 25 best BA theater programs in the nation for 2018–19. Rollins was the top-ranked theater program in Florida.

OnStage’s research staff evaluates theater programs based on seven measures of quality, including facilities, cost and scholarship opportunities, faculty, curriculum, career and alumni support, performance opportunities, and admissions, auditions, and selectivity.

OnStage’s BA research team consisted of a BA theater graduate, an educator, a casting director, and two admissions professionals. In particular, the researchers highlighted the College’s performance opportunities and theater facilities.

Each year, Rollins’ Department of Theatre & Dance stages four student-run plays and musicals in the Annie Russell Theatre, a 360-seat proscenium theater listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The department also hosts a student-produced Second Stage Series in an on-campus black box theater.

Rollins students perform at the Annie Russell Theatre.Rollins students perform at the Annie Russell Theatre.
Rollins’ Annie Russell Theatre combines a rich history with state-of-the-art equipment.Photo by Scott Cook.

In addition to the longest-running theater in Central Florida, Rollins’ theater facilities include a costume studio, design lab, 3,000-square-foot scene shop, and dance studio. The College is planning a new state-of-the-art facility that will include a new black box theater and dance studio.

At Rollins, the Department of Theatre & Dance believes that theatrical productions and classroom study are of equal and complementary value.

“My adventure in the Rollins theater department was a true work-study experience,” says Broadway actor and three-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald ’95. “On one hand, I was exposed to all elements of theater: history, stagecraft, directing, acting, all helping to lay a foundation of learning. On the other, I had this unique opportunity to make theater for a paying audience. The chance to create shows and work with vibrant students and professors was an awakening about how theater is made and what it really takes to do it well.”

In addition to a core set of courses that serve as foundation for the study of theater, Rollins theater majors are encouraged to explore the rich variety of courses on campus. Majors also select an area of concentration to hone their skill sets in one of five areas: directing, design and technical theater, dramaturgy, musical theater, and performance.

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