Jebsen encourages students to ‘act up’


Jebsen with theater students.

Theatre is alive here at Midland College. There is much to get involved with ranging from acting to theatre appreciation.

Timothy Jebsen is the MC drama professor as well as the executive director at Midland Community Theatre.

There are five theatre courses at MC: Intro to the Theatre, Acting I and II, History of the Theatre I and II, as well as a stage craft class, he said.

Enrollment in these courses is very good. The Intro to Theatre course is going strong, the enrollment for the Acting courses is up, and online courses are an option for students, Jebsen said.

While there is no longer a Theatre Club, “MC students can always get involved in Midland Community Theatre productions,” Jebsen said. This means students can both audition for, and work behind the scenes of, a show.

Any MC student can attend an MCT production for free, even if they are enrolled in a drama class. Students must show their MC ID to the box office to receive one free ticket per show, he said.
“If you’re looking for a great evening of laughter or music or fun, you can always head over to Midland Community Theatre and see a show using your Midland College ID and not pay for it,” Jebsen said.

In the spring there is also a practicum course offered that allows students to work on a production that MCT is doing.

Occasionally they have put on their own show, depending on student’s interests, Jebsen said.
Because enrollment has stayed up, Jebsen believes this is a good sign that students enjoy the courses.

It’s great when students are learning about theatre in the classroom, but going to see a production they have been studying really helps to put to use everything that the students have learned, Jebsen said.

Carlos Navarrette is a first time theatre student. In his class he learns about the history of theatre, how it works/functions, and the role of actors. Navarrette said that he doesn’t find the lectures about history particularly interesting.This is because Navarrette prefers the hands on part of the class.

Going and seeing musicals/plays as well as reading scripts in class is the best part of the course, Navarrette said. Some of the productions are funny, which helps keep the balance between lecture and entertainment learning.

Jessica Bohl is a student in Drama 1310, theatre appreciation, with 10 years of theatre experience.
For Bohl, the course is a refreshing review of history, acting, and stage directions. “It’s nice having an easier class,” said Bohl.

“I love going to see productions, we just saw Urinetown (the musical) and that was really good.” Because getting into MCT productions is free for MC students it is very helpful, especially since college students are on a tight budget Bohl said.

For MC students interested in taking advantage of their free ticket, A Streetcar Named Desire will be in Mabee Theatre II Oct. 24 to Nov. 15 and A Christmas Carol will be in the Davis Theatre I Nov. 21 to Dec. 21, 2014.