The department works diligently to provide extra learning opportunities in various special topics for all options.

  • Hosted by Kanomé Jones
  • Informational casting sessions covering topics for upperclassmen, BIOPC students, and general industry questions.
  • Hosted by Jerrilyn Lanier-Duckworth
  • Students learned the basics of working with performers of color. Topics included tools, products and problems that performers of color face in the industry.
  • Hosted by Samantha Kaufman
  • The students were exposed to the Intimacy Directors International’s five pillars of intimacy and learned to advocate for their own safety when working on or presented with a moment of intimacy.

The Department of Theatre and Dance prepares our theatre education students for life beyond Ball State by hosting distinguished theatre education artists on campus. Through a weekend focused on discussing the future of theatre education, including the latest in techniques, challenges, and best practices, theatre education majors network with professionals from within and outside of Indiana.

Past guests for Ball state's Theatre Education Weekend have included:

  • Johanna Smith, puppetry and improvisation specialist, author of PUPPETRY IN THEATRE AND ARTS EDUCATION
  • Tiffany Trent and Pam Sterling, Theatre for Social Change professors from Arizona State University and University of Michigan
  • Lou Volpe, subject of Michael Sokolove’s DRAMA HIGH
  • Johnny Saldana, AATE Lifetime Educator award
  • Tim Sullivan, coordinator, Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids
  • Stephen Gregg, award-winning playwright for CRUSH, THIS IS A TEST, ONE LANE BRIDGE
  • Joel Ebarb, Puppet Boot Camp
  • Chris Bundy, Beverly Barton Seaver, Kathleen Hourigan, Ann Hileman, members of the Indiana Thespian Lifetime Hall of Fame
  • Michael Pietz, former executive director of Educational Theatre Association
  • Jim Devita, American Players Theatre actor, playwright, and director

Each spring, guest artists are welcomed to campus to conduct master classes, respond to student-written plays, and lead discussions on concert readings of new works, which feature Ball State students, faculty, and guest artists as part of Playwriting Week. The event offers opportunities to learn more about writing and producing new works, workshop and perform new works, analyze and critique new works, and learn the overall process of how new plays evolve over time. 

Past guests for Ball state's Playwriting Week have included:

  • Daniela Garcia-Breck, literary manager at Circle of Confusion, a feature film and television production and management company
  • Jessica Hutchinson, Chicago-based theatre director, dramaturg, producer, and educator
  • Brian Nitzkin, a freelance theatre producer and Vice President for Business Affairs and International Operations for IM Global Film in Los Angeles
  • Jennifer Blackmer, playwright of BORROWED BABIES, and Tom Horan, playwright of THE GIANTMAKER, for a master class titled, “Writing for Stage and Screen”