The Show Must Go On!

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UNC’s Titanic: The Musical was unique in the sense that the performers and musicians shared the stage for the duration of the show.

The Growing Divide in the Performing and Visual Arts

At the University of Northern Colorado, the performing and visual arts major is one that many students will end up falling into. It includes three very distinct fields of study: theater, music and art. 

Theater can be broken down into acting, dance, or musical theater, with each offering a unique application of fundamental storytelling and performance. The music major at UNC includes, but is not limited to jazz, strings, woodwinds, vocals and percussion.

However, with such distinct lines being drawn, there has been a growing disconnect between two of the more predominant subclasses of PVA, primarily being students pursuing theater and music. 

With both majors occupying shared spaces like Frasier Hall and the Campus Commons Performance Hall, it would initially appear as though the two groups have a lot of common ground to relate to one another, but students in the major have said otherwise.

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Luke Avalos-Gonzales, a sophomore pursuing a degree in musical theater, said that the theater and music are mostly distinct, and never truly intersect when working on projects. 

During UNC’s rendition of TitanicThe Musical, Avalos-Gonzales noted that of the roughly 50 musicians and 50 actors, they would rarely reference each other unless in broad terms.

“It was like that except for the few of us who had friends on the other side,” Avalos-Gonzales said. 

In order to fix this, Cristina Goletti, the performing and visual arts dean, has been in close contact with the student government at UNC to plan an event to unify the major.

Goletti spoke at the most recent PVA Town Hall on Feb. 19 to the 16 students in attendance about planning a talent showcase for the fall of 2024. 

The plan is still in its infancy and the details will be filled in by feedback gathered from the students. 

“We’ve noticed a lot of isolation between students,” said Adam Johnson, PVA student senator at-large. “We wanted to give them a platform to share their work and meet new people.”

At the town hall, many ideas were being pitched for how to involve the students in the decision-making process and planning. 

One thing stayed constant: the desire to let the students plan the event. 

The dean and assistant dean emphasized that if just administration planned a talent showcase, students would latch onto any flaws in the decision making and end up not attending or endorsing the project. 

Instead, the student government will be leading the project, working in partnership with technical director Bandon Ingold and ensemble support specialist Berean Haddad of the Campus Commons Performance Hall. 

A survey is in the works and will be distributed to PVA students in the coming weeks. 

Additionally, at the meeting a new design for the performance evaluations was tested with the students in attendance, with the goal of more student engagement.

The prompts will focus more on the instructors instead of class material and have options for both lecture type classes and rehearsals.

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