October 5, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 64°F


Commentary: Theater students will benefit from merge

When I heard about the merge, I did not really think much about it. I didn’t really mind changing into the School of Music from the School of Humanities and Sciences, but I do think it makes more sense for the Department of Theatre Arts.

I think the merger between the two schools can definitely be a good thing seeing as Dillingham students and Whalen students work semi-closely together with shows and recitals. In my opinion, I think it’s pretty cool that we get to merge into the music school. From both the theatre department and music school perspective, students may find that there are advantages and new opportunities to merge the two schools. It may not seem like much now, but I think it will be quite beneficial to the theater department as we might get more access to Whalen classes and facility use. This merger can present more opportunities for people who want to minor in subjects like music education or music composition. I am still debating on declaring a minor, but it would most likely be music composition because I enjoy writing music in my free time. Other opportunities include working on recital and repertoire pieces with either vocal coaches or Whalen students. I have worked in my friend Donald’s bassoon recital, acting in a piece called “Orpheus” with my friends Colin and Claire. I am Hades, Colin is Orpheus and Claire is Eurydice. Donald and the band play the accompanying track. It has been a great experience working with them, and I hope more opportunities like this come to fruition. I think Whalen students might enjoy this as well due to the ability to perform more and branch off of their usual routine. The more people you work with the more networking you can get done, and that is important for both Dillingham and Whalen students alike. Both schools produce professionals who go into similar fields and can use the skills each school has to offer and the opportunities each one can offer to their advantage. 

Some concerns that might potentially arise are for those not in the musical theatre program. It might become even harder than it already is to book voice lessons due to the higher number of students looking for them — this may pose a challenge for students in both schools because there aren’t enough faculty or professors to keep up with the demand. This leads to another issue: the lack of faculty in both schools is a major concern. If students from their respective schools can take classes in the other, there have to be more sections and more professors. 

On that note, this will be more tailored to the musical theatre and the actors rather than the theatre production and design, theatre arts management, B.A. theatre studies, stage managers or any similar major because those majors primarily stay in Dillingham. From what I’ve seen, this merge might not affect them at all, but even so, I think it will be beneficial to all.