Thompson Hall

Thompson Hall stands on the corner of Pullen Road and Dunn Avenue Tuesday. Thompson Hall houses University Theatre and premieres productions and musical ensembles throughout the academic year. “Pride and Prejudice,” a romantic comedy based on the novel by Jane Austen will show from Sept. 21 to Oct. 1.

On May 1, Joshua Reaves will begin his official role as director of University Theatre. Reaves currently fills the role of interim director of University Theatre and has held the position for just under two years.

In his permanent position, Reaves said his primary responsibilities would include overseeing the day-to-day operation and artistic direction of University Theatre. He will oversee Stewart Theatre, Titmus Theatre and Kennedy-McIlwee Theatre in Thompson Hall.

“Anyone who comes through those spaces, we are the ones who run the spaces for them,” Reaves said. “Then the other side of the job is the more outward facing position, the actual theatre program in which we are producing plays, we are producing musicals, teaching classes.”

According to Reaves, his new position oversees 14 full time staff members and approximately 80 temporary students, staff and guest artists at any given time. 

Rich Holly, executive director for the arts and associate dean for University College, had the final say in the decision to hire Reaves as University Theatre’s new director. Holly said Reaves’ understanding of NC State’s University Theatre is part of what made him stand out amongst the other applications nationwide. 

“Josh’s understanding of what is necessary here and where this program can go plus his professional background made him rise to the top,” Holly said. 

Reaves spoke to his understanding of the theatre program through his commitment to NC State, recounting the first time he ever worked for the theatre program designing lights. 

“The first time I ever actually worked for the university was as a guest artist for the dance company and that was back in, I want to say, 2004,” Reaves said. “I found a lighting design position in the University Theatre in 2011, and from there, went to become an interim director in 2012.” 

From there, Reaves said he worked his way up to assistant director of University Theatre then to associate director and finally to his new position. 

According to Reaves, most theatre programs in higher education are academic based. What this means is the theatre programs are focused on those studying theatre for their degree. In comparison, many non-academic programs are not at the level of NC State’s.

“The unique system that we have here, there is nothing else like what we do here at NC State,” Reaves said. “It's so different, so unique and so exciting that anyone and everyone can come play, you know, can partake in it at the same level that a major’s program would.”

Reaves said he has already taken steps to kickstart his impact in his new position. Two new task forces have been appointed by Reeves, one being to outline the logistics and policies and procedures of how students actually engage with University Theatre and another Reaves said he is particularly excited about.

“The Cultural Task Force,” Reaves said. “We are looking at how diversity is within University Theatre and how we can celebrate and exemplify stories and students and plays and theatre that is not typically produced.”

Holly said Reaves’ clear passion for the institution is a large part of what proved him successful. 

“I think one of the things that often gets lost is the notion of caring,” Holly said. “It was clear from his interview that he really cared. He cares about the students. He cares about the program.”

Students who want to learn more can visit the University Theatre website