Three CARTA disciplines – art + art history, communication and theatre – teamed up to promote the 2019-20 theatre season. The Department of Theatre at FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts produces four to five shows per year, completely designed, performed and built by theatre students and faculty. In an effort to provide more experiential learning opportunities, the Department of Theatre has recently begun collaborating with students from different CARTA disciplines to help with the promotion and publicity for each theatre production.
FIU Theatre took its first steps to making their marketing interdisciplinary in spring 2018 when the department worked with four graphic design majors and instructor Silvia Pease from the Department of Art + Art History to create the artwork for each production.
“We’re part of a college that has art students who are learning how to develop visuals that will really capture someone’s attention,” says Ivan Lopez, instructor and director of audience development for the department of theatre. “So, we thought, let’s use the resources from the college and give our talented students an opportunity that will benefit them and us.”
In fall 2018, the Department of Theatre hired art + art history student, Nathalie Sandin (‘19) as their official graphic design intern.
“This internship changed my college experience in a way I could have only dreamed of,” says Sandin. “Seeing my designs around campus is something I never got used to and it made me so happy to see the FIU community enjoy it too.”
While working with FIU Theatre, Sandin designed all the publicity material and graphics needed for each play including posters, postcards, pop-up banners, flyers, bookmarks and more.
“Thanks to this experience I’ve been able to build a really strong portfolio of beautiful works that has been extremely helpful when applying for jobs,” Sandin adds. “I hope this internship continues to help and inspire FIU designers for many years to come.”
This year, the Department of Theatre took it one-step further and began collaborating with BOLD FIU to support the marketing efforts for each production. BOLD is a student-run strategic communications agency housed in the School of Communication + Journalism. It provides members with real world, hands-on experience in an authentic and professional agency environment.
BOLD started working with the Department of Theatre as a client in fall 2019 with Victoria Abella (‘20) serving as its account executive. Abella and her team have worked to develop social media strategies, write promotional content, take some photographs and highlight success stories of students, faculty and alumni for the department.
“FIU Theatre has been very welcoming of BOLD students and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to put the skills I’ve been learning to practice,” says Abella. “I couldn’t have asked for a better client. We have such a talented group of students here on campus and I’ve really enjoyed bringing them and their productions some well-deserved attention.”
The collaborations between the three CARTA disciplines have been described as a “win-win” by Lopez. Students benefit from the experience and material they get for their portfolios and the Department of Theatre benefits from their talent.
“The experience we’ve had working with BOLD and Nathalie has been phenomenal because of their professionalism and passion for their craft,” says Lopez. “What we have here – a campus of over 50,000 college students – any professional theatre would kill to have access to that sort of audience. What better way to appeal to that demographic than with that demographic?”
The Department of Theatre’s goal in working with BOLD students and art majors is to develop promotional content that will attract the FIU community to the theatre and get them to see the theatre as an entertainment option long after they leave FIU.