Department of Theatre

Contact Us

Department Chair

Dr. Tom Reed
Chair, Departments of Music and Theatre, Professor of Music
206, Center for the Arts
419.289.5158
treed@ashland.edu

Artistic Director

Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames
234 Center for the Arts
419.289.5821
tdurbin@ashland.edu

Auditions and General Information

Brittany Kohut
Administrative Assistant
419.289.5100
music@ashland.edu

Programs

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA

Develop your performance skills in singing, dance, and music in the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre - Musical Theatre program at Ashland University.

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA

Are you interested in exploring the performance, design, or management areas of theatre? Look no further than Ashland University’s Theatre Studies program.

Curriculum

Brochures, Course Rotations & Four-Year Guides

Each department provides information specific to its majors and programs to help ensure you choose exactly which major is right for you. Use the supplemental material below to assist you in finding a major that most interests you.

COURSE ROTATIONS & FOUR YEAR GUIDES

CURRENT CATALOG DOCUMENTS
B.A. Musical Theatre Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
B.A. Theatre Studies Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
2016-2017 CATALOG DOCUMENTS
B.A. Musical Theatre Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
B.A. Acting Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
B.A. General Four Year Guide: Even / Odd

Department News

Mamma Mia! Pre & Post Show Activities

Opening Night is quickly approaching and we want to give you a heads-up on what to expect at Mamma Mia! From the minute you walk into the Hugo Young Theatre lobby, we will help you escape from cold, gray Ohio in February to the sandy beaches and blue waters of Greece and "having the time of your life.”Take your photo at "Sophie & Sky's Wedding Photo Booth" where we will have plenty of props to make your image unique and memorable. This is a FREE opportunity, but be sure to tag #AUTheatre on your social media posts.Before the show begins, StarGrams and carnations will be sold by a donation of at least $1 each for you to send some love and support to the cast and crew. Proceeds support AU Theatre's Alpha Psi Omega Honor Society.During intermission and after the show, come back to the lobby to vote on the question everyone will be asking: Who’s the Daddy? Whether you’re convinced it’s Sam, Bill, or Harry, stop by and donate your loose change to cast your vote in the corresponding container. All contributions will be donated to the Safe Haven Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Ashland. Make sure to check the Ashland University Theatre Facebook Page after the Feb. 22nd show to see if your favorite father won!On Opening Night ONLY, join us immediately following the show in the lobby to greet the cast and crew with an Opening Night Reception featuring AU's famous gourmet cookies.If you don't have tickets yet, it isn't too late. HERE is the link to purchase online or call the AU Box Office at 419.289.5125
Feb. 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. | Feb. 16 at 2 p.m....Read more

Mamma Mia! Guest Artists Converge at AU from NYC to OLO


AU Theatre has been collaborating with several guest artists since October even though they are scattered across the country with credentials from NYC to Wooster's Ohio Light Opera as well as an alumnus. With the use of technology, production meetings are held on a weekly basis through Skype and other electronic sources. Eventually, all of the guest artists will arrive on campus to put the finishing touches on their designs, choreography and music direction in direct collaboration with the theatre students. 
D. Justin Bilewicz, III, Costume Designer, has theatrical credits which extend across Northeast Ohio, working as a costume designer for community and academic theatre. He is also the costume shop supervisor for Ashland University. Justin is the co-drama advisor for Marion L. Steele High School in Amherst, and co-runs The Palace Youth Theatre in Lorain, Ohio. Justin's costume design credits include Mothers and Sons (Beck Center for the Arts); Carrie, the Musical and Grease (Sandstone Summer Theatre); Waiting For Lefty (Case Western Reserve University); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Fine Arts Association); Willy Wonk, Parade and Annie (French Creek Theatre); The Trojan Women, Little Women (Ashland University); Beauty and the Beast (Sandstone Summer Theatre); and Patrick Barlow's A Christmas Carol (French Creek Theatre).
Daniel Huston, Lighting Designer, is a freelance lighting designer who lives in New York City. Some favorite designs include: Candide, Iolanthe (Ohio Light Opera), Assassins (University of South Dakota), SEX! (The Dirty Blondes, NYC). He is also the resident lighting designer for Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theatre (NYC) and the Ohio Light Opera. Daniel currently is adjunct professor and staff master electrician at Montclair State University. Daniel is very excited for the opportunity to work at Ashland University.
Richard Ingraham, Sound Designer, is a freelance sound designer and AV systems designer for Charcoalblue. He has worked at numerous theatres, schools and attractions in the Cleveland area and throughout...Read more

Mamma Mia! Opens Feb. 14

Ashland University Theatre continues its 2019-2020 Season of Stories of Courage with the musical, Mamma Mia!, featuring ABBA's greatest hits, opening on Valentine's Day, with 7:30 p.m. performances on Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 22, and a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 16 in Hugo Young Theatre.

Directed by Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, Associate Professor of Theatre, with music direction by Deborah Logan, the show uses the storytelling magic of ABBA's timeless songs which propel this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. This sunny and funny story unfolds on a Greek island paradise on the eve of Sophie Sheridan's (Macy Campbell, Genoa) wedding. She is on a quest to discover the identity of her father and brings three men -- Harry, Bill and Sam (Nathan Roblin, Mansfield; Will Taylor, Fairborn; Tristan Peterman, Canton, respectively) to the island. They last visited the island 20 years ago with Sophie's mother, Donna (Mia Kardotzke, Clyde).

Donna's friends and fellow singers from their former group called the Dynamos -- Tanya and Rosie (Syd Genter, Mansfield; Emily Schordock, Westlake), reflect on their younger days in the 70s. In contrast, Sophie, her fiance, Sky (David Tomlinson, Parma Heights) and the other twenty-year-olds from the 90s (Katie Snell, Sandusky; Kailee Shaver, Westlake; Jacob Cain, Rocky River; Mark Gorsuch, Ashland) pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Other cast members include Bethany Double (Farmdale), Jenny Fleck (Findlay), Sarah Graham (Kettering), AnnMarie Hill (Mansfield), Lila Wolfe (Mansfield), Luke Martin (Beaver Fall, PA), Matt Plumb (Elyria) and Hayley Thacker (New Philadelphia).

With theatre credits strewn from New York City to Cleveland and Wooster's Ohio Light Opera, the show's designers include guest artists Kiah Kayser, scenic designer; AU alumnus D. Justin Bilewicz, III, costume designer; Daniel Huston, lighting designer; Richard Ingraham, sound designer; while Katie Gibson is the...Read more

3rd Annual 24-Hour Theater Project: Just Clowning Around


Written by Noah C Gore on December 1st, 2019

On November 8th thru 9th Ashland University students gathered for the 3rd annual 24-Hour Theater project. From writers to actors, costume designers to makeup artists, anybody can participate in this event no matter what department you come from. In fact, while the majority of those involved were, in fact, CFA students, the 24-Hour Theater Project hosted students from English & Creative Writing, Ashbrook, JDM, Computer Science, and more.

Miranda Bielawski, Ivey Buffenmyer, Eric Breeden, and I were all involved with writing the libretto for the play. Ivey acted as lead editor and will proudly stand by the fact that this year’s performance was based on an odd occurrence the morning prior at 2:00am; as she phrases it, she woke up in a cold sweat and thought to herself, “Existential Clown College.” For whatever reason this happened, it must have been fate, for this was the obvious choice for this production.

This year’s performance was announced prior that we would be attempting to write a musical, as well. Though many were skeptical and even a bit hesitant, we pressed onward. Starting at 7:30pm Friday and ending around 4:30am the following morning, we (including scriptwriters and music coordinators) had successfully written and scored* the script, lyrics**, songs, and stage directions for our production. It was decided then that we would call in all the actors that had auditioned, and by 5:30am, the first table read was underway.

The play follows Josh (a.k.a. John, a.k.a. Jason, etc.) as he stumbles into the biggest mix-up in his life; what he thought was an acceptance letter from Brown University turned out to be a one-way ticket to Clown University. However, this clown college is not like other clown colleges. Those that find themselves here...Read more

Faculty

Teresa Durbin-Ames
Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames
Artistic Director of Theatre, Associate Professor of Theatre
235, Center for the Arts
419.289.5821 / tdurbin@ashland.edu
Department of Theatre
Robert Sean Parker
Robert Sean Parker
Assistant Professor of Theatre
240, Center for the Arts
419.289.5655 / rparker6@ashland.edu
Department of Theatre
Dr. Tom Reed, Chair, Music and Theatre, Professor of Music
Dr. Tom Reed
Chair, Departments of Music and Theatre, Professor of Music
206, Center for the Arts
419.289.5158 / treed@ashland.edu
Department of Music , Department of Theatre
David Steinmetz
David Steinmetz
Technical Director

419.289.5890 / dsteinm2@ashland.edu
Department of Theatre

Current Season, Events & Tickets

Arts Guide

2019-2020 Arts Guide. Coburn Gallery, Music, Theatre

Download the latest copy of the Ashland University Arts Guide, featuring upcoming events in the Coburn Gallery, Music and Theatre.

Spring 2020 updates music schedule cover

Download the latest music schedule for Spring 2020.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Department Chair

Dr. Tom Reed
Chair, Departments of Music and Theatre, Professor of Music
206, Center for the Arts
419.289.5158
treed@ashland.edu

Artistic Director

Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames
234 Center for the Arts
419.289.5821
tdurbin@ashland.edu

Auditions and General Information

Brittany Kohut
Administrative Assistant
419.289.5100
music@ashland.edu

Programs

Programs

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA

Develop your performance skills in singing, dance, and music in the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre - Musical Theatre program at Ashland University.

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA

Are you interested in exploring the performance, design, or management areas of theatre? Look no further than Ashland University’s Theatre Studies program.

Curriculum

Curriculum

Brochures, Course Rotations & Four-Year Guides

Each department provides information specific to its majors and programs to help ensure you choose exactly which major is right for you. Use the supplemental material below to assist you in finding a major that most interests you.

COURSE ROTATIONS & FOUR YEAR GUIDES

CURRENT CATALOG DOCUMENTS
B.A. Musical Theatre Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
B.A. Theatre Studies Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
2016-2017 CATALOG DOCUMENTS
B.A. Musical Theatre Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
B.A. Acting Four Year Guide: Even / Odd
B.A. General Four Year Guide: Even / Odd

Department News

Department News

Mamma Mia! Pre & Post Show Activities

Opening Night is quickly approaching and we want to give you a heads-up on what to expect at Mamma Mia! From the minute you walk into the Hugo Young Theatre lobby, we will help you escape from cold, gray Ohio in February to the sandy beaches and blue waters of Greece and "having the time of your life.”Take your photo at "Sophie & Sky's Wedding Photo Booth" where we will have plenty of props to make your image unique and memorable. This is a FREE opportunity, but be sure to tag #AUTheatre on your social media posts.Before the show begins, StarGrams and carnations will be sold by a donation of at least $1 each for you to send some love and support to the cast and crew. Proceeds support AU Theatre's Alpha Psi Omega Honor Society.During intermission and after the show, come back to the lobby to vote on the question everyone will be asking: Who’s the Daddy? Whether you’re convinced it’s Sam, Bill, or Harry, stop by and donate your loose change to cast your vote in the corresponding container. All contributions will be donated to the Safe Haven Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Ashland. Make sure to check the Ashland University Theatre Facebook Page after the Feb. 22nd show to see if your favorite father won!On Opening Night ONLY, join us immediately following the show in the lobby to greet the cast and crew with an Opening Night Reception featuring AU's famous gourmet cookies.If you don't have tickets yet, it isn't too late. HERE is the link to purchase online or call the AU Box Office at 419.289.5125
Feb. 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. | Feb. 16 at 2 p.m....Read more

Mamma Mia! Guest Artists Converge at AU from NYC to OLO


AU Theatre has been collaborating with several guest artists since October even though they are scattered across the country with credentials from NYC to Wooster's Ohio Light Opera as well as an alumnus. With the use of technology, production meetings are held on a weekly basis through Skype and other electronic sources. Eventually, all of the guest artists will arrive on campus to put the finishing touches on their designs, choreography and music direction in direct collaboration with the theatre students. 
D. Justin Bilewicz, III, Costume Designer, has theatrical credits which extend across Northeast Ohio, working as a costume designer for community and academic theatre. He is also the costume shop supervisor for Ashland University. Justin is the co-drama advisor for Marion L. Steele High School in Amherst, and co-runs The Palace Youth Theatre in Lorain, Ohio. Justin's costume design credits include Mothers and Sons (Beck Center for the Arts); Carrie, the Musical and Grease (Sandstone Summer Theatre); Waiting For Lefty (Case Western Reserve University); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Fine Arts Association); Willy Wonk, Parade and Annie (French Creek Theatre); The Trojan Women, Little Women (Ashland University); Beauty and the Beast (Sandstone Summer Theatre); and Patrick Barlow's A Christmas Carol (French Creek Theatre).
Daniel Huston, Lighting Designer, is a freelance lighting designer who lives in New York City. Some favorite designs include: Candide, Iolanthe (Ohio Light Opera), Assassins (University of South Dakota), SEX! (The Dirty Blondes, NYC). He is also the resident lighting designer for Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theatre (NYC) and the Ohio Light Opera. Daniel currently is adjunct professor and staff master electrician at Montclair State University. Daniel is very excited for the opportunity to work at Ashland University.
Richard Ingraham, Sound Designer, is a freelance sound designer and AV systems designer for Charcoalblue. He has worked at numerous theatres, schools and attractions in the Cleveland area and throughout...Read more

Mamma Mia! Opens Feb. 14

Ashland University Theatre continues its 2019-2020 Season of Stories of Courage with the musical, Mamma Mia!, featuring ABBA's greatest hits, opening on Valentine's Day, with 7:30 p.m. performances on Feb. 14, 15, 21 and 22, and a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 16 in Hugo Young Theatre.

Directed by Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, Associate Professor of Theatre, with music direction by Deborah Logan, the show uses the storytelling magic of ABBA's timeless songs which propel this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. This sunny and funny story unfolds on a Greek island paradise on the eve of Sophie Sheridan's (Macy Campbell, Genoa) wedding. She is on a quest to discover the identity of her father and brings three men -- Harry, Bill and Sam (Nathan Roblin, Mansfield; Will Taylor, Fairborn; Tristan Peterman, Canton, respectively) to the island. They last visited the island 20 years ago with Sophie's mother, Donna (Mia Kardotzke, Clyde).

Donna's friends and fellow singers from their former group called the Dynamos -- Tanya and Rosie (Syd Genter, Mansfield; Emily Schordock, Westlake), reflect on their younger days in the 70s. In contrast, Sophie, her fiance, Sky (David Tomlinson, Parma Heights) and the other twenty-year-olds from the 90s (Katie Snell, Sandusky; Kailee Shaver, Westlake; Jacob Cain, Rocky River; Mark Gorsuch, Ashland) pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Other cast members include Bethany Double (Farmdale), Jenny Fleck (Findlay), Sarah Graham (Kettering), AnnMarie Hill (Mansfield), Lila Wolfe (Mansfield), Luke Martin (Beaver Fall, PA), Matt Plumb (Elyria) and Hayley Thacker (New Philadelphia).

With theatre credits strewn from New York City to Cleveland and Wooster's Ohio Light Opera, the show's designers include guest artists Kiah Kayser, scenic designer; AU alumnus D. Justin Bilewicz, III, costume designer; Daniel Huston, lighting designer; Richard Ingraham, sound designer; while Katie Gibson is the...Read more

3rd Annual 24-Hour Theater Project: Just Clowning Around


Written by Noah C Gore on December 1st, 2019

On November 8th thru 9th Ashland University students gathered for the 3rd annual 24-Hour Theater project. From writers to actors, costume designers to makeup artists, anybody can participate in this event no matter what department you come from. In fact, while the majority of those involved were, in fact, CFA students, the 24-Hour Theater Project hosted students from English & Creative Writing, Ashbrook, JDM, Computer Science, and more.

Miranda Bielawski, Ivey Buffenmyer, Eric Breeden, and I were all involved with writing the libretto for the play. Ivey acted as lead editor and will proudly stand by the fact that this year’s performance was based on an odd occurrence the morning prior at 2:00am; as she phrases it, she woke up in a cold sweat and thought to herself, “Existential Clown College.” For whatever reason this happened, it must have been fate, for this was the obvious choice for this production.

This year’s performance was announced prior that we would be attempting to write a musical, as well. Though many were skeptical and even a bit hesitant, we pressed onward. Starting at 7:30pm Friday and ending around 4:30am the following morning, we (including scriptwriters and music coordinators) had successfully written and scored* the script, lyrics**, songs, and stage directions for our production. It was decided then that we would call in all the actors that had auditioned, and by 5:30am, the first table read was underway.

The play follows Josh (a.k.a. John, a.k.a. Jason, etc.) as he stumbles into the biggest mix-up in his life; what he thought was an acceptance letter from Brown University turned out to be a one-way ticket to Clown University. However, this clown college is not like other clown colleges. Those that find themselves here...Read more

Faculty

Faculty

Teresa Durbin-Ames
Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames
Artistic Director of Theatre, Associate Professor of Theatre
235, Center for the Arts
419.289.5821 / tdurbin@ashland.edu
Department of Theatre
Robert Sean Parker
Robert Sean Parker
Assistant Professor of Theatre
240, Center for the Arts
419.289.5655 / rparker6@ashland.edu
Department of Theatre
Dr. Tom Reed, Chair, Music and Theatre, Professor of Music
Dr. Tom Reed
Chair, Departments of Music and Theatre, Professor of Music
206, Center for the Arts
419.289.5158 / treed@ashland.edu
Department of Music , Department of Theatre
David Steinmetz
David Steinmetz
Technical Director

419.289.5890 / dsteinm2@ashland.edu
Department of Theatre

Current Season, Events & Tickets

Current Season, Events & Tickets

Arts Guide

2019-2020 Arts Guide. Coburn Gallery, Music, Theatre

Download the latest copy of the Ashland University Arts Guide, featuring upcoming events in the Coburn Gallery, Music and Theatre.

Spring 2020 updates music schedule cover

Download the latest music schedule for Spring 2020.

Setting the Stage

Do you have a passion for acting, musical theatre, directing, or stage management? Ashland University’s Theatre Department offers you the opportunity to master the skills necessary for a career in theatre.

Theatre Department Differentiators

  • Learn from outstanding, accomplished faculty determined to help you succeed

  • Benefit from a small-sized program that will engage you early in your college career to set you up for future success

  • Take part in an intensive production schedule and curriculum that prepare you for the rigors of the theatre profession

Many graduates of the Theatre Department move directly to work in professional theatre, television, or film or study at top-rated graduate programs around the nation.

Explore our two theatre tracks for the specialty that best fits your future career.

Scholarships

We offer talent-based, renewable scholarships that require an audition and interview.  Theatre Scholarships are available to students who wish to pursue theatre as a major, minor or program participant.  Students can audition and interview live on campus or upload a video audition and schedule a Skype interview. All scholarship audition application materials must be submitted via Acceptd regardless of in-person or video audition.

GetAcceptd.com

For more information please contact us at 419.289.5100 or theatre@ashland.edu, or read more about the scholarship auditions and interviews.

AU Theatre: Jump In Feet First

Facilities

Ashland University has two theatre spaces: the Hugo Young Theatre and the Studio Theatre. Hugo Young Theatre is a proscenium house that seats 724 and is used for many of the Theatre Department's main stage and student productions, the Music Department's major concerts, occasional Ashland Symphony Orchestra performances, and other campus and community activities. The Studio Theatre is a black box space which seats about 75 in a semi-permanent thrust configuration.

Read more about Ashland's Theatre facilities!

Drop of a Hat Players

Drop of a Hat Player 2020 Spring Showcase

Ashland University Theatre’s Drop of a Hat Players, a traveling musical revue troupe, accepts bookings throughout the academic year from September through the beginning of May based on performer availability. Performing classic and contemporary Broadway show tunes with a pianist, the troupe is available to perform at banquets, meetings, parties, civic group engagements or other special events.

Drop of a Hat Players must be booked at least two weeks in advance of the requested event.  Due to students' busy class, rehearsal and production schedules, shows are scheduled around their on-campus responsibilities usually in the evenings or on weekends.  Performances are 20 to 60 minutes in length depending upon need.  Donations for the performances are customary and encouraged.   Founded in the early 1990s as an outreach program for the Ashland University Theatre Department, the group also provides a performance training opportunity for students.

For more information or to book Drop of a Hat Players, contact Robert Sean Parker at 419.289.5655 or rparker6@ashland.edu.

The theme for the 2019.2020 Season is "Antagonist Anonymous" as the performers select pieces based on the villains of musical theatre.

The 2020 annual showcase will be held on Sunday, May 2 at 2 p.m. in the Studio Theatre. Get your free reserved-seat ticket at the AU Box Office: 419.289.5125.

Theatre Alumni

Support the Department of Theatre

By donating any amount you're making a big difference in our department's future. To designate your gift to the Department of Theatre , select “Other” in the "Designated Options" and type the department's name in the associated box.

Veteran Services

Veteran Services