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FAQ

Can first year students perform?

No. In the first year students are learning the tools of acting through classwork and observation of professional artists and upperclassmen during rehearsals. While they do not perform, first year students are expected to work behind the scenes as ushers, stage managers and stage hands.

Do theatre students have to wear a uniform?

Yes. All theatre students are expected to wear the theatre uniform during arts block and rehearsals. Training for the theatre is demanding and requires clothing that is suited for the type of training we offer.  Families are expected to purchase the theatre uniform at the beginning of each school year.

Does every upperclassman have the opportunity to perform?

No. Performance is a privilege, not a right. Students earn the right to perform through excellent attendance, citizenship, work-ethic, and artistic growth. We are a pre-professional training program and we focus on giving our students the technique and skills necessary for a career in theatre, television and film. We do not emphasize performance until the senior year and students only perform if they have mastered the fundamentals of acting.

What does the arts fee pay for?

The arts fee covers a small portion of the cost for productions, workshops, master classes, guest artists and special events in the Theatre Department.  Art’s Departments at Duke Ellington do not receive a programming budget and raise money for essential programs through fundraisers, ticket sales and contributions. A typical mainstage production in the theatre department has a budget of $15,000.