Major Spotlight: Theater Arts


Ben Edwards

Actors rehearse lines for the upcoming production of “War of the Worlds.”

Of all of the majors that Vincennes University offers, there are some that stand out more than others. There are also some that people don’t realize that VU offers. One of those majors is Theater Arts. 

The Theater Arts major is a two year program at VU. It provides hands-on training starting with the first semester, with many classes taking place in the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. This program gives students the theoretical, technical, interpretive, and the performance aspects of theater. When they complete this program the students will have been trained in general theater and will be fully prepared to transfer their skills to a different school. 

Kendra Clauser is the program chair for Theater Arts. She has taught theater for a few years at VU. She has been doing theater for her whole life and wanted to change it up. She got her master’s degree and has worked at a few museums and history sites. When an opportunity to teach came up, she was excited. This allowed her to get involved with theater again. 

At VU, the theater arts program produces about three shows a year. They also work on a few original pieces that are written by students on campus, or by alumni or members of the Vincennes Community. They are in rehearsal a lot of days through the year, Monday through Thursday 6-9 p.m. 

“Our kids get very close. It’s like a family,” Clauser said. 

Clauser encourages students to go see theater productions in other places. 

Some of the classes that students can take as a major range from acting, to costuming, scenery, make up and theater history. It allows them to have a broad range of classes. 

There are a lot of careers a student can go into as a theater arts major. It can be from acting on stage to backstage work. With technology being such a big part of acting now voice over work is becoming very popular. Clauser has had students be very prominent in commercials. 

Clauser said that the most rewarding aspect is seeing kids grow and develop over time. She added that it’s also exciting to see kids come in thinking they are going to be an actor and find other things they are good at along the way. 

The first show that will be performed this semester is an adaptation of Orson Welles radio production of “War of the Worlds,” which was adapted from a novel by H.G. Wells. 

They will have an audience in the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center and the play will also be live streamed. 

The performance will be February 17-19 at 7 p.m., and on February 20 at 2 p.m. 

They are still in the process of choosing a spring show. 

Clauser said that when students come into this major they don’t expect people to have the experience when they come in. They want to be able to teach them about theater. Like theater appreciation, fundamentals of acting, stagecraft, and make up. 

“Every job I have had whether it be theater or not, my theater skills have definitely come in handy in helping me better at that job,” Clauser said. 

For more information about the theater arts major you can click on the link below: