Getting involved in performing and visual arts

Dancing isn’t just for dance majors and art isn’t just for art majors.

Simply being a NSU student provides the opportunity to get involved in performing and visual arts. While Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences’ Division of Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) offers degrees in theatre, music, dance and the arts, students of any major can get involved in PVA.

This fall, the college is looking for actors and singers for upcoming productions “Betty’s Summer Vacation” and “Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical.” Students can audition for all the theater and music productions for the fall semester on Aug. 28. from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre in the UC. Auditions are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

PVA also hosts concerts, art exhibitions and more. Some of the events that students were able to participate in last year were arts exhibits, musical performances like Broadway Bash, Dance Works, Novapool Dance Project, the play “Everyman” and Peace: A Holiday Concert.

Kristy Smeriglio, master of arts in Writing student, performed in last year’s National Water Dance and Festival of Student Works. She said getting involved not only helped her stay in shape but also gave her the opportunity to meet new people.

“It gave me all sorts of connections,” Smeriglio said. “I made new friends met new teachers and got guidance from people who are a part of the arts at our school.”

Getting involved in PVA activities can benefit students by helping them develop new skills.

“The arts can help students learn collaborative skills and communicative skills, because PVA is the only area in which students can do their projects and present it in front of a live audience,” said Mark Duncan, assistant director of PVA.

Duncan said students have the option of working behind the scenes with production staff to receive a passing credit for a class.

Bill Adams, associate professor and coordinator for PVA said, “Working behind the scenes can benefit students in many ways; students learn about production and also learn how to utilize basic skills, such as math, in real-life situations.”

Besides performances, PVA has many classes that all students can get involved in, including classes. One of the most popular classes taught by Duncan is Comedy and Improvisation. This course introduces students to the basic techniques of improvisational theaters, sketch and stand-up comedy.

“Comedy Improv one of the most popular classes on campus that I teach,” says Duncan. “Students learn improvisation of comedy styles and also learn how to write scripts, which can be used as a gateway to the theater or acting world.”

Other popular classes include Ballet, Jazz I, Acting and Beginning Voice, Technical Theater, Audition Techniques and World Dance, all of which can be taken year round.

To get started, students can find information about auditions by stopping by the main office in the Performing Arts Wing, located on the third floor of the Don Taft University Center, and speaking with the staff like junior communication studies major Alex Nunez did.

“I went to the main office of the PVA and asked a few questions, gaining information and intel, so I can have an idea to how to get involved in performing arts,” said Nunez, who performed in last year’s Broadway Bash.

National Water Dance

“I was super nervous because I’ve never really done a dance audition before; I’ve auditioned for theater but never dance. The teacher was very welcoming and welcomed me as if I were a [dance] major.”

Nunez said the advice he would give students is to get involved in PVA activities, regardless of their major.

“What you learn about yourself is how expressive you are. In real life situations, you have to be in front of people. You have to talk in front of people, whether you’re a doctor, lawyer or whatever,” Nunez said. “So, the advice I would give to people is to give it a try, maybe one semester. See if you like it.”

For more information about getting involved in PVA, contact the office of Performing and Visual arts at 954- 262-7620.

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