Alexandra Farrington

TSU Theater Appreciation

Tarleton students show their Texan Spirit when discussing TSU’s theater program

STEPHENVILLE, Texas— Despite a, self-professed, general lack of knowledge about theater
performances, students at Tarleton State University had a supportive reaction to the theater program at
When questioned on overall familiarity with theater Bailey McGehee, sophomore fitness management
major, summed up nearly all of her fellow students responses when she said “I don't know much about
this type of production, pretty much common knowledge before taking the class [Intro to Theater].”
With next to no experience or knowledge pertaining to theater, for most students outside of the theater
department, many students could not even guess the general rank of TSU's theater program in
comparison to other schools. When it was revealed that TSU ranked #26 out of the 79 Texas schools that
offered a theater program students from a variety of majors outside of the theater department were
pleasantly surprised and typically responded favorably.
Andrew Parker, junior finance major said “Tarleton is pretty good at our organizations so I’m not all that
shocked that we’re ranked 26th.”
Daryl Cox, an administrative assistant for the fine arts department overseeing purchasing and box
office, said that it was not the budget or the amount spent on the theater department that mattered.
Attendance rates mattered most because “The effort they [students] put in is very innovative.”
With more well-known productions such as The Sound of Music boasting approximately 1700

attendants, James and the Giant Peach about 2515 and Jake’s Women bringing in 700+, the theater
department strives to keep the cost within reason in regards to royalties vs number of seats all while
sustaining a big following in the community to appreciate the work of the theater departments staff and
Even with a focus on appreciation rather than money in the theater department itself, DJ McClung,
senior psychology major, said she thinks “more money should be given to the program to enrich the
education of the student who participate in it,” despite a lack of affiliation with TSU’s theater program or
having much knowledge on the program itself.
Although questions about TSU’s theater program were first met with uncertainty, students rapidly
warmed to the topic and expresses their appreciation for the art having a place at their school.
Sophomore hydrology major, Curtiss Graham, having not seen any performances at TSU still said that the
theater program here at TSU is "an important way for students to express their artistic traits."
McGehee finished with “I think it is important in the learning experience because it allows the
opportunity for students to become well rounded individuals.” All were in agreement that theater is
important to Tarleton because it allows students to showcase their unique talents and abilities.

For regional newspaper Texan News Service.