The Thursday Before The First Day of Class
The Alumni Club and The Fred Mertz Association invite all new freshman and transfer
students to a theatre orientation from the student's perspective followed by lunch
with the faculty and staff. New students learn the ins and outs about the department
and meet current students, faculty and each other so that they are already familiar
with some faces on the first day of class.
The Ostrander Awards Date Change! The First Day of Class
Monday, August 27th this year at The Botanic Gardens at 6pm.
The local theatre awards, The Ostranders, are held the night before classes begin.
This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate theatre in Memphis and meet local theatre
First Day of Class
Fall Semester classes traditionally begin the last Monday in August, while those in
the Spring Semester start in January on the Thursday before Martin Luther King Day
or the following Tuesday. Parking can be problematic, especially the first three to
four weeks of each semester, so plan accordingly as to not arrive late for class. There
is a fifteen-minute break between each class to allow time to get from one to the
Attendance at all class meetings is important and being on time is expected. Please
note that each instructor in the department (as well as in the university as a whole)
has his/her own policy with regard to penalties for absences and tardiness. It is
the student’s responsibility to learn these policies and comply with them.
At the beginning of each academic year, a Majors Meeting—for all majors—takes place
in the Mainstage Theatre(TC 100). Attendance is mandatory. (This usually happens the
first Tuesday of the semester at 1:30 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre This is the one
time in the year when all majors—theatre and design, graduate and undergraduate—come
together in one place to meet each other, the faculty and staff, and hear important
announcements concerning the coming year.
A separate meeting with all of the BFA Performance majors is also scheduled during
the first weeks of classes. The time / location of the meeting will be announced at
the majors meeting and/or located on the Mertz board.
First Organizational Production Lab Meeting
Following the Majors Meeting, an organizational meeting for all undergraduate students
taking Production Labs is held. Students are separated by individual lab assignments—Publicity,
Scenery, Costumes, Lighting, Sound, Dance, and Stage Management—where faculty members
or graduate student supervisors explain the expectations and responsibilities required
by each lab. A schedule or plan is worked out between the student and the instructor
whereby the 50-hour minimum workload can be accomplished.
At around 4:00 p.m. on the day of the Majors Meeting and the 1st organizational Production
Lab Meeting, a “Dock Party” is often held in the Scene Shop and Studio Theatre or
on stage of the Main Theatre. The party gets its name from the loading dock where
the grill is located for cooking the hamburgers and hotdogs. This is an excellent
opportunity for new students to meet and get to know current majors and faculty members
in an informal setting.
As a theatre major with an emphasis in performance or a minor in theatre or dance,
one of the first areas of primary interest will probably be centered on information
regarding upcoming auditions throughout the semester (and year). In any given semester
there are ample performance opportunities through Mainstage, DanceSpace, Studio Theatre,
and Lunchbox productions that you will not want to miss. Consult the various bulletin
boards for the most current information. Auditions for the Fall semester generally
happen during the first week of school.
Several bulletin boards have been set aside throughout the TC and CFA building to
serve as communication links in order to get information out to students. Please make
it a priority to consult these boards on a regular basis.TC Building• The Production
Notice Board in the front Lobby by TC–145 (the copy room).• The Fred Mertz Association
Board (on an easel in the front lobby).• The Messages Board in the TC hallway leading
to the Studio Theatre.• The Production Notes board next to the Scene Shop.CFA Building•
Dancers use the bulletin board in the hallway of the CFA Bldg. between the Dance Studios
(Rooms 124 and 126).