Our Performance Curriculum is inspired by concepts and techniques from Stanislavski, Strasberg (Moscow Art Theater) Kazan, Hagen and Meisner. Movement such as stage combat, Alexander Technique, mask work and Linklater Voice training. The Design and Production Curriculum applies classic art and design techniques with new technologies to help students find their own path in conceptualizing stage designs in Costuming, Scenery, Lighting, and Sound.
At Jewell Theatre the word “Company” is central. Since recently becoming the Producing Director of Theatre, I decided we needed a new way of describing this group of artists that come together to create theatre. So we now identify ourselves as Jewell Theatre Company. This allows us to communicate that we are a group of artists that has great respect for each other, and works together to produce quality live theatre for our audiences. Students who elect to major or minor in Theatre are automatically part of the company, but they are not the only ones who enjoy the benefits. We have students from many majors who join the company because they love and appreciate theatre. All are welcome to audition for our shows, work on our crews, try for talent scholarships or apply for jobs in the Federal Work-Study program. We are open to collaborating with artists of all levels of skill.
We also have student lead groups that provide other outlets for those who want to be involved. The Jewell Improv Team performs throughout the year both on and off campus. Students interested in film production can create short films and present them in the theater auditorium. The new Pryor Learning Commons opening in fall of 2013 will have production studio facilities and video and audio editing suites for students to use for this purpose! Other planned performance groups include 24 Hour Theatre and a student directed 10-minute play series.
Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honorary organization for college students has had a chapter at Jewell for over 60 years. Participation in this student lead organization is earned through gaining points by being in a show or working on the crew. Once the appropriate number of points is earned, the student is tested to gain membership. APO has an annual mission to raise funds for the Kansas City AIDS Walk Foundation and then participates in the march through the downtown Kansas City area. It is a long-standing tradition for the theatre group.
Garnett Peters Theater is Jewell Theatre's performance venue on campus. In a regular proscenium configuration, it seats 230 audience members, but the facility can be changed to allow for theatre in the round, three-quarter thrust, or alley performance configurations. We frequently update our equipment so that students are using the industry standard in scenery, costume, sound and lighting technologies. Most recently we acquired a new ETC ION light board Behringer X32 sound mixing board. The Scene and Costume Shops are outfitted with nearly every tool students would need to construct sets or costumes. The Trotter Arts Plaza just outside of our building opens this semester as part of the new landscape design of the quad. The main feature of this plaza is designed to be used as an outdoor amphitheater performance space.
So, as you can see, Jewell Theatre is finding its niche in the Kansas City Arts Scene. I hope you’ll consider joining us for a show, or we welcome you to stop in for a visit! We’d love to show you around and find a way to make you part of the company!
- Nathan A. Wyman, Producing Director of Jewell Theatre Company