GVSU and West Michigan Culture

Chuck Fortenbacher, RHINOCEROS, 2010

Chuck Fortenbacher, RHINOCEROS, 2010

Twelfth Night

Joe Cox in Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT 2010

Joe Cox in Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT 2010

WEST MICHIGAN AND GVSU.

Whether your interests lie in theatre, the world of film & television, the multidisciplinary arts area, or in some combination of these, GVSU has a lot to offer.

GVSU is unique among Michigan's schools for several reasons important to drama students. First and foremost, we have the lowest student-to-faculty ratio of any state university. This means that all our theatre classes are taught by faculty who are readily available for consultation, academic advising, and independent studies or projects. In addition, our program is entirely undergraduate, which means that GVSU can guarantee that students won't be crowded out by grad students. On the contrary, they'll receive hands-on experience with equipment, facilities, and opportunities for performance & production from the very first semester they arrive. Finally, GVSU offers well respected overseas programs and theatre-related career specialty programs that are critical for success in today's entertainment industry: film & television, advertising, and public relations to name a few.

Of special interest to theatre students is the range of area cultural activities of which the University is a part. Grand Rapids, Michigan's fastest-growing city with a population of more than 700,000, boasts professional organizations such as Opera Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet Company, The Grand Rapids Symphony, Broadway Grand Rapids, arts museums and galleries, two improv companies and numerous community theatres which perform year-round to more than 80,000 people.

GVSU theatre students participate in these activities in many forms. Paid internships in directing, management, and technical production are sponsored by many of west Michigan's stages. The drama program sponsors trips each year to local and regional theatres such as Chicago's off-Loop stages and the American College Theatre Festival regional competitions. And many drama students participate onstage and backstage at Grand Rapids' community theatres during the regular year and in the summers.

West Michigan also boasts paid professional production and internship opportunities with several regional theatres nearby. The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre in Holland has been producing nationally-recognized shows with local and national talent for the past forty years. The same holds true for the Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck, the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company in Muskegon, and the Barn Theatre in Augusta.  Our enrolled students and recent graduates have worked on all these stages over the years.