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Elizabeth Carlin-Metz

Smith V. Brand Endowed Chair of Theatre

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Spindles of thread inside the Knox Costume Shop.

Theatre Major
Dramatic Literature & History Minor
Performance Minor
Directing Minor
Design & Technology Minor
Playwriting Minor

How We Work

  1. We give you the freedom to discover and choose your own path. We want you to explore your interests and hone your skills inside and outside of the classroom. When Maddie Mondeaux '15 decided to adapt Samuel Richardson's Pamela for the stage, she was able to pursue an honors project to write and direct her own version of the 18th century novel. We celebrate your independence, but we're always nearby to offer guidance and support.
  2. We value practical experience. In our black box space, Studio Theatre, several plays each term are directed, designed, and brought to life by students. One example is Dakota Stipp '17, who not only designed soundscapes and created original effects for mainstage productions, but also composed the score for a student directed full-length production—and then went to Yale University School of Drama for an MFA in Sound Design.
  3. We don't make you wait. Get involved right away. You'll have plenty of shows to choose from with one faculty directed mainstage, two student directed/designed productions, New Plays Workshop stage readings, and a few Bare-Stage plays every term. You won't find many places with the number of opportunities every year that our students have to do hands-on work in theatre, where they're the ones making the creative decisions. And we have no graduate students getting all the good roles and design opportunities (or teaching your classes). At Knox you and your work are our only focus.
  4. We work hard. We're the only undergraduate program in the country to offer Repertory Theatre Term, an intensive immersion experience during which a company of students devote all three credits of winter term to studying and creating theatre by collaborating with faculty to produce two full-length plays performed in repertory. Rep Term students find that the resume credit and experience help them to successfully obtain professional internships. Joel Willison '21 recently was a technician at the NY Film and Stage Festival where he rapidly rose in the ranks due to abilities he developed in Rep Term.
  5. We develop new plays. Student playwrights workshop their scripts once a term through New Plays Workshop. Additionally, every three years, the New Plays Festival presents staged readings and workshops of new plays by the Knox community. In Studio Theatre, several student-written one acts and full-length plays are produced each year, and Harbach Theatre is home to several world premieres including Mosque Alert by Jamil Khoury, Artistic Director at Silk Road Theatre, Chicago.
  6. We think beyond the stage. Through the liberal arts study of theatre, our students cultivate valuable skills such as communication, aesthetic understanding, intuitive and analytical thinking, and creative problem solving. We use theatre as a way to investigate the world and our place in it. For example, Alyssa Gill '14 used physical theatre to examine the nature of evil in her honors project, "Performing Evil: A Look at Meaning and Creation through Devising the Original Play The Devil is Bored."


Estimated Salary of Alumni with Theatre Degrees

Where we work

Housed in the Ford Center for Fine Arts, our facilities are a labyrinth of spaces. In addition to our theatres and shops, it's not uncommon to find students making and performing art in stairwells, lobbies, lawns, and just about anywhere else.

Harbach Theatre seats up to 500 people in a modified apron thrust or proscenium stage. Exceptional acoustics and sight lines highlight performances on the 72 foot stage with full white and black cycloramas. The three faculty productions each year are drawn from a wide range of styles and genres.

Studio Theatre, a 40' x 60' black-box venue, is a laboratory for the experimental work of Knox students. With an overhead suspension grid, fully equipped sound and lighting systems, moveable audience risers, and five entrance/exit locations, Studio allows students to create in a space with endless possibilities.

The Costume Shop boasts a collection of more than 40,000 hanging pieces spanning numerous styles and historical periods. Producing nearly 250 complete costumes each year, this shop is equipped with 10 sewing units, draping mannequins, cutting tables, laundry and pressing facilities, and an exclusive area for textile manipulation.

The Scene Shop is a fully functional carpentry and painting studio that covers more than 1200 square feet. Equipped with a full range of hand, power, and pneumatic tools, it is located adjacent to both the Harbach and Studio Theatres. With a 24 foot high ceiling, large items are transferred with ease into either venue.

Recent Productions

The Thanksgiving Play—Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.

The Drowning Girls—Three women have three things in common: they are married to the same man, they are dead, and at his hands. Surfacing from the bathtubs in which they were drowned, the women share their stories indicting their serial murderer husband. In a contemporary play that illustrates women's vulnerability in Victorian times and today, a cast of only three actresses played multiple roles.

The Laramie Project—On October 6, 1998, in Laramie, Wyoming, Matthew Shepard was found tied to a fence, beaten, and unconscious. Two days later, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney were arrested for his kidnapping, robbery, and attempted murder. The charges were amended to first-degree murder when Matthew died after spending five days in a coma. In November of that same year, Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project made their first trip (of six) to Laramie to meet with and interview the people of the town. The result is a compassionate and complex portrait of a town shocked by an inexplicably brutal act of hatred.

Richard III—1485 marks the end of The War of the Roses. The death of Richard III on the field at Bosworth is the culmination of 30 years of gruesome murder, intrigue, and civil war. Thousands of ordinary people and soldiers died and though there were numerous, vicious players in this saga, history offers up no one more deadly than Richard, Duke of Gloucester. His ruthless craving for power was driven by a prodigious intellect corrupted by rapacious amorality. He stopped at nothing because he understood what it takes to get and wield power. Not much has changed in 550 years...

The Nether—Winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, The Nether explores the psychological and ethical consequences of virtual simulations as they collide with real life. Set in the not-so-distant future, this mind-numbing detective drama alternates between interrogation room reality and the darker side of the internet in order to raise questions about identity, technology, illicit fantasies, second life morality, and personal privacy.

Neil Gaiman's NeverwhereA stage adaptation by Rob Kauzlaric of the much loved epic fantasy novel. Produced by the company of Rep Term XVII, and featuring the largest set we've ever constructed in Harbach Theatre.

The Secret in the Wings—Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of several fairy tales was the first ever Rep Term production in our blackbox Studio Theatre, performed by an ensemble of thirteen actors each playing multiple roles.

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Students design and build an electronic theatre curtain control.
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Printed on Monday, April 22, 2024