New Faces introduces recent additions to Theater department

Sometimes, the best way to learn is to be thrown head first into a situation. The SIU theater department is using this idea for a show.

The Department of Theater will present “New Faces,” a show running at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the the C.H. Moe Theater. The event is an annual showcase of incoming freshman and transfer students in the department.

More than 25 students will participate and various types of performances will be shown. Students can do scenes, monologues, songs and exhibits, or any performance of their choice.


The production is part of a class called “Freshman Theater Seminar,” an introduction to what theater is and what encompasses professional theater.

Vincent Rhomberg, director of marketing in the theater department, said the event has run since 2005 and has always been an opportunity to introduce new students to the theater department.  

Everyone from performers to technicians to designers are allowed to show off their abilities.

“For the audience, it’s a sneak peak at the new majors,” Rhomberg said. “An opportunity to see the talent on the horizon.” 

Rhomberg said for many, this is the first time they are experiencing a real theater performance. The students are given a week to put his or her work together, presenting the fast-paced environment of the field.

“New Faces” also goes by an old face, new face combination system. Every new student is given an older, more experienced student to mentor him or her through the process.

Justin Bloom, a sophomore from Lincoln studying theater and radio-television, said the old face idea helps the newer students get through a hectic week, something the older students have experience with.


“We are kind of here as a support system for the week and for the show itself,” he said.

Every pair met Monday, and from there all of the seasoned students will be available to help new students for the week.

Bloom said his new faces’ name is Trevor Leavell, a freshman from Foristell, Mo., studying theater and cinema. The pairings are selected so students can relate to each other. Bloom said he was placed with Leavell because they both have duel majors.

“It’s a chance to introduce yourself to the community and say, ‘Hey, this is what I can bring to the table,'” Bloom said.

Christen Boswell, a freshman from Ottawa studying theatre, said “New Faces” is a way to show a performer’s talent and opportunity for growth.

“If you want to do something, there is an avenue to do something in this program,” he said. 

Boswell said when a performer is a senior, they have an exhibit to show how they’ve progressed since entering the program. 

The production is a frightening and new type of situation for all of them, he said.

Many of them came from high school theatre, which is a different thought process when it comes to developing characters and getting ready for a show. 

The performance is free to anyone, but seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis and is limited.

Jacob Pierce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacobPierce1_DE.