Theatre Home

Frequently Asked Questions

Four student actors in a scene
From White Plains (2014)

Can students double major with Theatre/Musical Theatre?

Yes, and we encourage our students to double major or minor in another discipline. Here at Xavier, we believe someone becomes the best artist possible based upon all of their interests.  

Can freshmen audition for productions?

Absolutely — and actually, for our performance majors (musical theatre and theatre), it’s a requirement!  Freshman students have frequently been cast in both ensemble and lead roles, sometimes within a few weeks of being on campus!

What is the one word you would use to describe your students?

Supportive.

I'm planning on visiting Xavier University.  Can I arrange to sit in on a class?

Yes! Availability and variability of classes will vary depending on when you visit campus, but we will do our best to arrange a schedule for you. You may be able to sit in on an acting class, a dance class, have your own voice lesson, or meet with current students! Please reach out to Stephen Skiles at skiless1@xavier.edu.

What is the difference between theatre-performance emphasis and theatre-tech emphasis?

Students focusing on performance choose from a variety of acting-based classes to complete their major requirements. They also audition for shows and look for opportunities to be on stage. In a similar manner, students focusing on technical theatre and design take more design-oriented courses to round out their majors, and participate in a number of different backstage and design roles on productions.  

Do MT students have the same voice teacher all four years?

Yes and no! Some MT students do stay with the same teacher over their four years. However, changes can be made depending on compatibility and pedagogy issues that may arise. Regardless, Theatre faculty are focused on ensuring the best possible vocal training for all of their students!

Is there a strong alumni network for theatre specifically?

There is an extremely strong alumni network for theatre! Past students frequently come back to lead workshops, mock auditions, work on productions, or just to say hello.

What is the average class size for theatre classes?

Our average class size for any class at Xavier University is ~20, with a student-faculty ratio of 12:1. Theatre classes tend to cap around 16 students, with most major-specific classes consisting of students within the same year.

Are MT students placed in levels for dance classes? What styles are covered? How often do MTs dance?

Freshman MT students are all placed in the same introductory levels of ballet and musical theatre dance to ensure they all receive the same base training and begin to build a sense of community.  Musical theatre students are required to take ballet, musical theatre dance, tap and jazz, as well as two elective courses.  Xavier also offers world fusion dance, modern, ballroom, and stretch.  MTs can dance as frequently as they wish within their class schedules. On average students tend to enroll in two dance classes per semester their first year.

Can theatre students take dance classes?

Yes! Class availability may vary by semester, but yes, theatre students may and do take dance classes.

How many students, in total, are enrolled in the program?

We currently have approximately 80 students enrolled across our three majors (theatre, musical theatre and theatre education).

Can students direct, stage-manage, etc?

Yes!  Students are highly encouraged to participate in tech and leadership roles.  Students wishing to stage-manage or direct must first take ASM or AD positions, but by senior year will have had the opportunity to lead several productions.  Students also have the opportunity to design lights and sound, and students are required to hold crew positions during their Xavier Theatre career. Students tend to hold one tech position each year (run crew, costume crew, follow spot, light-op, etc.).

How many plays and musicals does the department perform each year?

Exact numbers differ from season to season, however, traditionally Xavier University tends to produce three musicals and four-five plays per year.

Are there paying jobs in the department for students?

Absolutely!  Students can work in the scene, costume shop and box office on campus.  Interviews are required and position availability may vary.

Is the musical theatre major prioritized over the theatre and theatre-education majors?

Never.  Each major is given as much attention and opportunity as the others.  Students are not competitive or cliqued between majors, due to each major being specifically tailored to a different set of goals.  All three majors largely take classes together, with only a few classes (such as THTR 196) being major specific.

What is the relationship between theatre students like?

The Xavier Theatre community is extremely close and supportive.  Competition between students is discouraged and we try to foster a cooperative, supportive and team-oriented community.

What is the relationship between theatre students and faculty like?

Faculty are incredibly supportive of our students, and take the time to get to know them on an individual basis. We treat each other as colleagues, and want to understand how to play to each person’s strengths, while also helping them to identify and improve in areas that are not in their wheelhouse.

What are your performance spaces?

Here at Xavier University, we have two major performance spaces: the Gallagher Student Center Theater and the Gallagher Student Center Studio Theater.  

The GSC Theater is our main space which seats 360 at maximum capacity. However, seating is occasionally altered to fit specific productions, with some productions housing the set and audience on the stage together. 

The Studio Theater is our experimental space, which can seat up to 100 audience members in a variety of different stage configurations

Do you offer a senior showcase?

Currently Xavier Theatre does not offer a senior showcase. Rather, we bring in professionals to work with our students in both classes and productions. This offers the opportunity for our students to work closely with theatre professionals, each week, at the regional and professional level. These relationships have often helped our students to secure professional theatre positions after (and sometimes before) graduation.

Do you offer a minor?

Yes! We offer both a theatre and musical theatre minor. 

How many students audition for theatre majors each year?

We received approximately 150 applications in 2022.