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Department Overview

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Mainstage Productions

The Hope College Department of Theatre produces four mainstage productions every year. Students work alongside faculty members and are able to form professional relationships with existing faculty as well as Guest Artists.

Students have the opportunity to work on mainstage productions in the following capacities.


Auditions are held each semester for the mainstage productions. Once cast, students will rehearse with experienced faculty or guest directors and perform in either the DeWitt Mainstage or our more intimate Studio Theatre.


Students interested in directing may have the opportunity to serve as assistant directors on mainstage productions following successful completion of Stage Direction I & II. These students will participate in production meetings, give input and occasionally lead rehearsals, and work closely with a faculty mentor.


Students who chose a design focus may be able to work as an assistant designer (costume and makeup, lights and sound, scenery and props) to our resident designers. Serving as an assistant and successful completion of the appropriate design course may offer an invitation for advanced design students to serve as a designer on a mainstage production with a faculty mentor. According to their focus, design students will create renderings and models of their design work along with detailed groundplans and lighting plots, which will be fully realized in the resulting production. Advanced students also have the opportunity to volunteer as designers for student productions as another avenue to prepare them for future design work.

Stage Management

Students interested in stage management can apply to have the opportunity to work on mainstage productions from the very first production meeting to the final performance. Students must assistant stage manage a Hope production and typically take the Stage Management course before offered a position as Stage Manager. Assistant stage managers ensure the details of the production run smoothly, monitoring and maintaining props backstage as well as being the eyes and ears of the stage manager. Stage managers run production meetings and rehearsals, ensure the production process runs smoothly, "call" the show, and serve as the main line of communication for the production team. Stage managers work closely with the director during the rehearsal process.


The Hope College Department of Theatre provides a unique opportunity for the employment of students as members of production crews. These crews include lighting/sound, scene shop, costume shop, and publicity. Crew members work on an hourly basis reading light plots and hanging and focusing lights, operating light and sound boards, building and painting scenery based on designer ground plans, building and pulling costumes based on designer renderings, and designing posters, programs, and reaching out to our audience base as part of publicity initiatives. Crew members work with industry standard equiptment in order to prepare them as professional theatre practitioners.

Student Productions

In addition to these mainstage production opportunities, students have the opportunity to audition for Directing Scenes as part of Directing I and II, as well as to work on independent student-led (THEA 490) productions, which will include actors, designers, stage management, and directors.