An article in the Dec. 2, 2001 edition of The Denver Post ranked CSU’s theater department in the top five in Colorado. This ranking was intended to inform students who are graduating from high school and want to know about the theatre programs at different universities across the state. The poll took many factors into consideration, including tuition cost, class sizes, the number and variety of productions, conditions of facilities and instructors.
Not only was CSU’s theater department ranked in the top five but with upcoming improvements, such as a new facility, the program is looking only to improve.
The director of the theater program, Laura Jones, was very pleased with the ranking and is optimistic about the direction in which the program is moving.
“I felt good to be ranked to begin with. And then we were cited as a program to watch, a program on the up-and-coming,” Jones said. “Because we will have such improved facilities, we will be able to attract a higher quality staff and higher quality students.”
Part of the ranking was due to the new facilities the Music, Dance and Theatre Departments are scheduled to move into for the Fall 2003 semester. In the summer of 2003, these departments will make the move from their present facilities to the old Fort Collins High School building located on College Avenue, just east of campus. This move will provide an upgrade from the present facilities these departments are using.
Negative aspects mentioned in the article in The Denver Post were that CSU’s performing arts facilities were “perhaps the worst facilities in the state” and “musical theatre is only offered as a minor.” With the acquisition of these new facilities, the programs hope to expand the amount and availability of what they can offer and to make many improvements that need to be made.
Jones can see the new building presents a large opportunity, but that it will take more than space to get the performing arts to where many people think it should be.
“We’ll certainly offer a broader range and have more variety. It’s not just the issue of more space. We also need a larger faculty and more money if we hope to expand the program,” Jones said.
The new facilities will include a 500-seat concert hall, a 300-seat theater, exhibition spaces for the University’s permanent art collection, dance studios, rehearsal and recital chambers, classrooms and a center for biomedical research in music. n