The Clarence Brown Theatre and the Ula Love Doughty Theatre have a rich history of providing fine classical and contemporary theatre. Additionally, the Carousel and Lab Theatres house productions selected to emphasize training and student opportunities. For the undergraduate major, the program and opportunities are unique. The major is a general theatre major (BA, Theatre), based in the liberal arts curriculum. Our belief is that the best theatre artist is one who is exposed to a broad range of disciplines. In addition to the undergraduate program, UT is home to a professional faculty and staff as well as professional (MFA) training programs in Acting, Costume Design, Lighting Design and Scene Design. Undergraduate students often perform alongside seasoned professionals, gaining unique insights into the workings of the national theatre community. The productions at UT are selected with care in order to serve all students and resident professionals. Historically, undergrads have filled over 50% of acting roles on the stages of the UT theatre, and the opportunities for gaining technical production experience are even greater.
Performing at UT
CBT Season Shows. Auditions for most Clarence Brown Theatre shows, including the LORT (professional) shows and university shows will be held at the beginning of each semester. The requirements for every audition vary, and may require prepared monologues, prepared music, readings from the script, improv, or dance. The department encourages all actors to have at least 1 classic, 1 contemporary dramatic, and 1 contemporary comedic monologue prepared, as well as 16 – 32 bars of a song from the musical theatre repertoire.
You can find out about all departmental auditions by contacting the Company Manager, Shelly Payne at 974-6725, checking the Department of Theatre audition page, or by checking the green room bulletin boards located in the Clarence Brown Theatre.
All undergraduates who are performing in a University production are eligible to receive one credit of Theatre 481 (Practicum) for each show in which they participate. A student can earn up to 6 credits in 481.
Performing in Student Directed Shows
There are many student directed shows every semester at UT, Knoxville. Like the CBT shows, each audition will ask for different preparation, and many will ask for a cold reading from the play.
Local theatre organizations and film production companies usually list auditions in the Metro Pulse, and often post flyers in the green room. If they send information to the Department of Theatre, we will post it in the green room and on the CBT Callboard
Designing at UT
There are many opportunities for undergraduate students to design sets, lights, costumes, sound, or projections. The best thing to do if you are interested in design is to talk to the faculty member who teaches in that area, and make friends with the Production Manager, Susan McMillan.
Undergraduate students also have many opportunities to assist guest artists and professional designers for Clarence Brown Theatre LORT productions.
Directing at UT
Every spring semester a faculty committee select between 3 and 10 student-directed projects to be performed in the Lab Theatre the following year. If you are interested in being considered for one of these slots, you can get the proposal requirements and deadline here, or from the Chair of the Lab Committee Kenton Yeager at 974-2207.
Other University organizations that use student directors include All Campus Theatre (ACT) and Strange Fruit.
Opportunities exist to be an Assistant Director or an Assistant to the Director for Clarence Brown Theatre LORT productions. If you are interested, contact Kate Buckley.
Working Backstage at UT
All undergraduate students are required to run shows or work in the shops for three semesters, as part of their workload for the 200-level design/technology classes. All students are welcome to work on more shows if they want to develop their skills in a particular area – or even if they just want to stay involved! Students usually receive 1 credit in Theatre 481 for working on a crew. Often students receiving Theatre 481 credits are given positions with more authority and responsibility.
If you are interested in working backstage on a show, talk to your advisor and contact the Production Manager, Susan McMillan.