CU’s theatre department is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a department this year.
CU theatre has origins stretching back to 1897 when it started out as just a play for a commencement ceremony. The program rapidly changed over the years and finally formed an independent department of its own during the 1960-1961 school year.
This year, the theatre department is taking the time to commemorate the history, achievements and success of the unit from the past 50 years.
Markas Henry, assistant professor and costume shop adviser for the Theatre and Dance Department, said that one of the anniversary committee’s main goals was to put the department on the campus and get the student population interested. RENT is an example of that.
“The musical RENT was chosen specifically because we knew it would appeal to our student audience,” Henry said. “The RENT medley performed by the theatre, and [the] dance performance at the CU football stadium during halftime at both Parent’s Weekend and Homecoming was very successful at getting theatre and dance into the consciousness of the campus, and we hope this will be a success that will be repeated in the future.”
Under the motto “Celebrating the past, creating the future”, the 50th anniversary committee has put together different shows beginning in the fall of last year that will last through April.
Among the shows that have been performed are “Tamburlaine” by Christopher Marlowe and Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, which was produced by Colorado Shakespeare Festival. RENT, the musical, which seems to have been a popular show amongst students, will continue to play through Sunday.
Bud Coleman, associate professor and the Theatre and Dance Department chair, said there are greater things to look forward to in the department’s future.
“Looking to the future, it is a constant challenge for ourselves to teach the skills and talents needed by the theatre and dance students of CU,” Coleman said.
Bryce Alexander, a 21-year-old senior and theater and dance major, said the 50 years the theatre and dance department have had here at CU proves that it is a renowned program.
“I think that the marking of our 50 years here helps launch the university as one with a successful program.” Alexander said. “The arts are a field that is constantly under the pressure to succeed and it being here at CU helps us realize that theatre transcends time.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adelina Shee at Adelina.email@example.com.