Unsurprisingly for many of us, WashU has a decent number of students on campus that were considered “Theater Kids” in high school; the awkward kids who belted out the Wicked soundtrack in their bedrooms or cried themselves to sleep listening the Hamilton circa 2017. These are the real nitty gritty salt of the Earth theater kids, who even though are now probably studying Psychology and English with a minor in Anthropology, are still yearning for the chance to dedicate an extra fifteen hours of their week to singing and dancing with their fellow students. A new year has finally arrived and with it, audition week. A week filled with students humming in the halls and practicing their sight reading in the practice rooms located in the basement Park/Mudd. Whether it’s one of our improv clubs, student theater groups, dance companies or our notorious A Capella Advisory Council, WashU has different places for all different kinds of performers.
For all kids who dream of pursuing musical theater here in college the fall season is going to be where you’ll hit your stride. WashU’s department is putting on Legally Blonde this October in the Edison theater and just after that one of our student groups “Cast N’ Crew” will be putting on a musical of their choice in the Village Black Box which has yet to be announced. For those more into the nontraditional theater scene WashU’s oldest theater group “Thyrsus” specializes in putting on experimental productions pushing the boundaries of what we know as theater. Our last group “All Student Theater”, of which I am lucky enough to serve as a board member, puts on one larger production in the Spring semester, so if you don’t get placed in a production in the Fall, all hope is not lost.
When I was a first year I was cast in the PAD’s production of the Rocky Horror Show in the Fall and later became involved with All Student Theater in the Spring. I’m not going to try to sugar coat this next part: it’s a lot of work. It is genuinely an additional fifteen hours a week of work which everyone is expected to balance on top of any school work or job or personal relationships. I’m the kind of person who genuinely thrived from having a busy schedule upon entering my first year. It was helpful for me to have somewhere to be every day so I wasn’t just being anti social in my room after classes. Theater is one of the most effective ways to meet other students on campus and no one would participate in any of the productions if all they wanted was one measly credit. My advice, just go for it. Show up to auditions and find out what’s the place for you. If you’re unsure try it all. Go out for WUHHU, WuSauce, KARL, Cast N’ Crew, Mama’s Pot Roast, PAD or one of our dozen (yes DOZEN) ACappella groups. Whether you’re a hip hop dancer or an opera singer, an equity actor or just someone who played charades once and thought it was cool, WashU has a place on its campus for you to procrastinate doing your GenChem assignments.