Theatre department open house

Anna-Marie Lauppe, Yearbook Co Editor in Chief

Washburn University’s theatre department is having an open house on Monday, Aug. 26 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room 130 of the Garvey Fine Arts Center. This open house will feature informative discussions about fundraising opportunities, as well as discuss events happening in the theatre during the 2019-2020 school year. 

There will also be a discussion about a study abroad trip that the theatre department will take to Scotland in the upcoming year, as well as information about the Washburn Players, which is a theatre-based organization on campus. During the open house, attendees will get a tour of the department, including the costumes closet and the call board where they will post roles and other theatre opportunities such as stage management or equipment management. There will also be free refreshments during this time. 

The night doesn’t stop there, though. At 5:30 p.m., there will be an audition workshop where Julie Noonan will teach a song for those interested in a part in the upcoming musical ‘War Paint’. Noonan is an assistant professor in the theatre department with a bachelor’s degree in music education, a Master of Arts and a doctorate in philosophy.

‘War Paint’ auditions will take place on Aug. 27 and 29. ‘War Paint,’ according to, “tells the remarkable story of cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, who defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century.” When asked why the theatre department chose this musical, Noonan said that it was selected “because it is a fun musical with great women’s roles.” The theatre department tends to have a more actresses than actors, and this musical is a good opportunity to showcase students in strong female roles. 

‘War Paint’ also happens to go hand in hand with the upcoming WU-mester theme of Citizenship and Suffrage. This theme was chosen because this year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th amendment, which barred voting discrimination based on race. 2020 is also a census year. According to history professor Kelly Erby, those involved in choosing the WU-mester just felt it was the right time. 

“Citizenship and suffrage are still very much timely topics…talking about belonging to a nation and what belonging means,” Erby said about the upcoming WU-mester. Erby is the assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, and she teaches primarily within the history department as an associate professor. 

The theatre department wants all readers to be aware that anyone, regardless of major, can audition for a part in the musical. ‘War Paint’ is an eight week commitment though, so students will want to be sure it fits into their schedule before signing up. The theatre department hopes to later host a Directors Showcase which will feature shorter scenes of about eight to 10 minutes. The content for these scenes will be supplied by students from the new upper level directors class, Analysis and Directing. 

Students should make sure to check out this fun and informative open house if they have any interest in the theatre department. It is a great time to expand on theatre knowledge and have a great time in the process. Whether students are theatre veterans or newcomers, Washburn University’s theatre department has something for everyone.

Edited by Adam White, Jessica Galvin, Shelby Hanson