Metro State's theater department wins accreditation

Bravo! The theater department at Metropolitan State College of Denver has become the first college theater department in the state to gain accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Theatre. And not for just one of its programs, but all three: the BA in theater, the BFA in musical theater and the BFA in applied theater.

NAST doesn't take the honor of accreditation lightly; the organization performs an exhaustive review before it makes the decision. For Metro State, it started with an independent review of standards, followed by a thorough study of all activities that "touch the program in any way," says department chair Marilyn "Cookie" Hetzel. In 2010, two reviewers made a site visit, during which they saw shows, talked with students and faculty, and made one request: a "fine-tuning" of the two BFA programs. The addition of a new practicum course in each was enough for NAST, and the department earned its stamp of approval.

"The bottom line," says Hetzel, "is that we are continually striving to be as strong a program as possible. We really put ourselves on the line for a strong peer review.... Our program now will have this foundation and be able to continue to support the legacy of pre-eminence that our president has as one of his major goals."

The department isn't resting on its laurels, either. Sweeney Todd will open tomorrow at the Eugenia Rawls Courtyard Theatre in the King Center on the Auraria Campus; the show runs through April 22.

Find more information on Sweeney Todd and other productions on the theater department's website.

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