The department presents six plays and two dance concerts per year. Plays are chosen to expose students to a full range of genres and styles of drama, and our productions offer a variety of performance experiences.
Three plays are presented in our state-of-the-art Joan and Donald Schaeffer Black Box Theater, which seats up to 200. These plays range from experimental works and modern classics to period plays that profit from a more intimate setting such as a classic drama or restoration comedy.
Every fall the annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival is performed at the Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, a proscenium theater that seats more than 1,100.
Up until 2008, the Festival was often presented on Hofstra's replica of the Globe Theater, built in 1951 by John Cranford Adams, Hofstra's second president and one of the country's most distinguished Shakespearean scholars. In spring 2017, a new Hofstra Globe Stage was unveiled, the most authentic replica in the United States. Also, as part of the Shakespeare Festival, Hofstra students form a touring company that brings an abridged version of one of Shakespeare's plays to area high schools.
The spring season features a large-scale musical, also presented at the Playhouse.
Further departmental productions are initiated by students in higher grades who mount plays in which they act with or direct other undergraduates. These productions are student-generated with modest production support from the department and are generally performed in the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Theater, a 99-seat theater designed to mimic an off-Broadway showcase house. Casting is open to the entire University and directors do not discriminate between BA and BFA candidates, minors or nonmajors.
At Hofstra, students can perform in works by major dance choreographers. Two fully produced departmental concerts are presented each year, for a total of 10 performances. Professional faculty and guest artists, many of whom direct their own dance companies, choreograph pieces on the students. Recent guest artists have included modern choreographers Doug Varone, Sean Curran, David Parker, Claire Porter, Heidi Latsky, Nathan Trice, Rosalind Newman, and Paul Matteson, hip hop artist Lakai Worrell, and tap choreographer Olivia Rosenkrantz. Renowned director and choreographer Martha Clarke was recently in residence for a semester as a Presidential Scholar, teaching choreography and setting a piece on the students.
Reconstructions of works by major artists of the 20th century, including Remy Charlip, Jean Erdman, Doris Humphrey, José Limón, Anna Sokolow, Helen Tamiris, and Antony Tudor, have become a regular feature of concerts and classwork. This educational opportunity, which helps students to understand the heritage and the traditions behind the art, deepens and enriches their aspirations as future participants in the world of dance.
Dance majors are required to be active members of MOVOM, a student-administered Hofstra dance program performance group. They present and produce a concert series of their works each semester. Each year, students also have an opportunity to audition their choreography for inclusion in the American College Dance Festival, and participating students are given the valuable opportunity to attend the festival and have their works adjudicated by renowned choreographers. Whenever possible, students also are chosen to show their work in New York City (as part of the College Partnership Program) at venues such as New York Live Arts and the Mark Morris Dance Center.