Dennis Smith, Theatre Arts professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University, is the director of “Lucky Stiff,” a hilarious musical comedy currently playing on campus. Smith and I chatted in his small shared office at SOU.
DS: I’m semi-retired now. I was in charge of the Performance Program for about 26 years. When I was hired in 1985, we had about 45 Theatre Arts majors. Now we’ve got in the neighborhood of 250.
We are still in the same building that was designed for 60 students. The faculty has more than doubled, and the student body has quadrupled. Classes are taught in hallways. They will use restrooms as rehearsal space. We’re busting at the seams.
EH: What does a degree in theater prepare you for?
DS: If you graduate in theater, and you don’t make it in theater, you should probably go into the Diplomatic Corps. One thing that theater does teach you is how to work cooperatively.