GALESBURG, Illinois — Kaitlyn Hrivnak of Kewaunee participated in Knox College’s 2019 Repertory Theatre Term, an immersive academic experience during the winter term. It is specifically designed so students devote all their time to all aspects of producing two full-length shows, and this year’s productions were the plays “The Children’s Hour” and “The Laramie Project.”

Hrivnak, a graduate of Kewaunee High School, is undecided about her major at Knox. (Students at Knox typically don’t declare a major until late in the second year.)

During Repertory Theatre Term, also known as Rep Term, students — along with faculty directors and designers — collaborate on multiple crews (such as set construction, props, and publicity), and they play on-stage and off-stage roles in one or both productions. Students also learn about dramaturgy, and they study and conduct independent research related to the plays.

Established in 1970 by the late Knox theatre professors Robert Whitlatch and Ivan Davidson, Rep Term is produced every three years by the Knox College Department of Theatre. It is the only undergraduate theatre program in the United States that embeds academic study of theatre within the experience of forming a repertory company that produces two fully staged productions.

The performance schedule is similar to that used by professional repertory theatre companies, with the plays being performed on a rotating basis during a 10-day-run.

Founded in 1837, Knox College is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois. Knox enrolls students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries and is one of the 40 Colleges That Change Lives. Knox’s “Old Main” is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Photo: Old Main Hall at Knox College, © Jim Roberts |