Stephens College is pleased to announce that students in the Dance program will join Theatre program students at Okoboji Summer Theatre (OST) in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for summer one of their three-year, two-summer B.F.A. program.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our dancers to have a truly immersive experience learning all aspects of the performing arts industry while honing their craft,” said Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian. “A wider range of experiences can’t help but enhance our students’ understanding of and marketability in the dance industry.”  

Starting this summer, dance students will take technique classes with OST artistic director and dance professional Stephen Brotebeck while working alongside guest choreographers and taking master classes in career-building areas like auditioning. 

“With four musical productions this year, our dance students will not only have many opportunities to perform but also to serve in the dance captain leadership role,” Mardirosian said. “They also will gain valuable hands-on experience in related disciplines like technical theatre (scenic and costume shop), front of house and box office management.”

During their second summer, dance students will pursue an individualized independent study or external internship in consultation with faculty.

Dance students previously participated in an on-campus summer intensive. As part of the Stephens Summer Dance program, students studied a variety of dance forms under the guidance of guest artists and faculty.

The move to OST will be a win-win for dance students and theater patrons, alike.

“This is our 61st season at OST,” said OST Executive Director Ruth Ann Burke. “OST families have been coming to our productions for generations; our musicals play to sell-out crowds. That’s the kind of amazing energy that we want to give our dance students. We know our students will be inspired and enriched by the experience, and we know our patrons will benefit from their talent as well and embrace the opportunity to see our dancers take the stage.”


More About Okoboji Summer Theatre

Okoboji Summer Theatre is unlike any other undergraduate theatre-training program in the country. Affectionately called ’Boji, this intensive program gives students the opportunity to work in a summer stock theatre alongside professional guest actors, directors and designers under the supervision of theatre arts faculty and staff. Theatre for Young Audiences and Stephens Summer Dance are also part of the training program for students pursuing those areas. Okoboji Summer Theatre opened in 1958 and today has become the primary venue for theatrical entertainment in the Okoboji and Spirit Lake, Iowa, communities. 

Tags : School of Creative & Performing Arts, Theatre, Dance

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