A particular theater course is offered just once every three years at Knox College, and students with an interest in theater are leaping at the chance to take it.
Around 40 students have signed up for Rep Term at the college. It’s an intensive 10-week course in which students work up to 10 hours a day as they prepare two plays for production.
Students in the program can do a wide range of jobs, including set design and building, costume design, and performing in the plays. The students earn course credit for the work, and resume regular classes after the term ends.
The two plays being produced for this year’s Rep Term are “Secret of the Wings” and “Neverwhere.” The shows will be performed in late February, which is near the conclusion of the winter term. There will be five performances each of the two shows, and performances are open to the public.
Theater Director Neil Blackadder said the experience is similar to working in a theater company. He said every student who takes part in Rep Term feels a sense of pride at the end, no matter what roles they perform in the two shows.
“We can’t set it up in some way where all the students get to play the lead role. But I think at the end the students feel like they know how they’ve contributed to that final performance in the end. And there’s a sense of a group collaborative process,” Blackadder said.
Sophomore Miranda Curtis is undecided on a major but is leaning toward theater. Her roles during Rep Term include being an actor in “Secret of the Wings” and an assistant stage manager in “Neverwhere.” She said Rep Term is helping her prepare for a potential career in theater.
“If you have more skills, you’re going to be more marketable and also just more knowledgeable about the world. And that can help with your acting, and even any kind of design that you want to do,” Curtis said.
Rep Term was first held at Knox in 1970. This year is the 17th time it's being offered.