Arts

Theater provides unique Honors Program experience

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One might not associate theater with the typical college honors program, but GGC’s Honors Program is in its third year of providing such broad, holistic learning experiences.

Jacob McKee, an Aurora Theatre apprentice, rehearses a scene from “Arts of Crafts” with GGC student Timothy Wylie.

Through an innovative collaboration with Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre, Honors Program members have presented sold-out productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Arts or Crafts” and “Working,” the college’s first musical.

This past semester, members presented a 1940s-era version of “Much Ado About Nothing,” as part of the Honors Program’s 3000-level class. Students applied skills learned in their majors to activities required to produce the play. History majors examined historical aspects of the original work as well as how to interpret it for the 1940s. Business and English majors developed the play’s marketing campaign. Science majors used technical skills on set design and construction. All benefited from mentorship by Aurora’s professional staff and Jaclyn Hofmann, its director of education and a part-time theater instructor at GGC.

“Theater allows for broad participation in project-based learning,” said Dr. Jennifer Wunder, director of the Honors Program. “Students engage in scholarship, show leadership, express creativity and provide service – all core to the GGC Honors experience.”

That experience is shared with the whole college, and many students take advantage of the opportunities. Film students produce videos of the performances. Art students exhibit works in the theater lobby. Grizzlies from across campus attend the performances independently or for class assignments. Some also volunteer to help. Each play involves more than 50 students.

“GGC’s Honors Program is designed for students who demonstrate excellence and who want to enjoy an integrated learning experience,” Wunder said. Members develop essential professional and leadership skills through workshops, field trips, projects, cultural events and special classes.

Membership requirements include a 3.5 GPA, an essay, letter of recommendation and interview.

“We provide Honors Program members with a holistic, transformative experience,” said Wunder. “This particular activity is a wonderful way for students to participate in theater while earning college credit.”

One such student is Kevin Davis, ’17, who described his involvement in the musical “Working” as a dream come true.

“I am beyond thankful for the collaboration that GGC and the Aurora Theatre have forged, as it is truly shaping my life in ways I never could have imagined,” said Davis, who will graduate in psychology with a minor in sociology.

Learn about the complete GGC Honors Program experience at www.ggc.edu/honors.