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Theatre

FAQ's

  1. Do I need to audition to become a theatre major?  
  2. How do I gain admission into the BFA program;  or the BA program?
  3. How do I obtain information about University admissions requirements, and the appropriate application forms to attend CWU?
  4. Who is eligible to audition/interview for the BFA program?
  5. What are the differences between the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees?
  6. How does the BFA at CWU differ from other BFA and conservatory
    programs?
  7. Are scholarships available?
  8. How do I apply for scholarships?
  9. I am a transfer student. How do I find out about entrance into the program and what classes do I need to take?
  10. Can I transfer courses to CWU?
  11. What if I don't make it into the BFA program?
  12. What is the criterion for acceptance to the BFA program?
  13. I have two majors, is this program for me?
  14. What kind of a commitment does the BFA require?
  15. Can I get a minor in another department with a BFA?
  16. Can I get a minor in theatre?
  17. Would a BFA look better on my resume
  18. What theatre facilities are available?
  19. How many courses can I take in theatre?
  20. What non-theatre courses are required for graduation?
  21. Can I have a minor?
  22. How many hours do I need to graduate?
  23. Is there a summer program?
  24. How many plays does the department do a year?
  25. Do all theatre students have an opportunity to act?
  26. How much individual attention do students receive?
  27. Is there a graduate program in theatre at CWU?
  28. Which courses are taught by graduate assistants?
  29. Does CWU offer courses in TV and film?
  30. Are there student drama organizations on campus?
  31. Is your department active in state, regional, and national activities?
  32. Are there paying jobs in the department for students?
  33. Are freshmen permitted to audition for productions?
  34. If I've had a lot of dance training, will I still need to take beginning level classes?
  35. Do I have to take classes in music theory and piano?
  36. Can I take more acting or dance classes than those required?
  37. What audition tips can you give me?
  38. Where do I find monologues?
  39. What is the student population in the department and the university?
  40. Do you have guest artists?
  41. Are there employment opportunities for graduates of theatre?
  42. What kind of success does the program have?
  43. Who are some of the alumni and what are they doing now?
  44. What is the department retention rate?
  45. What is the application deadline?
  46. Do the faculty work professionally?
  47. What theatre facilities are available?

 Do I need to audition to become a theatre major?

Students only need to audition if they are applying for one of the BFA programs. All students are welcome to audition for scholarships.

 How do I gain admission into the BFA program or the BA program?

Admission to the BFA is by audition/interview only. See Audition Process

Students seeking a BA degree must complete one year of college/university study or two years of high school study of a single foreign language

A cumulative grade point average of 2.7 in the pre-admission requirements courses must be achieved with a minimum grade of “C+” (2.3) in each course. The applicant must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all other collegiate study.

Pre-major required courses:

 How do I obtain information about University admissions requirements, and the appropriate application forms to attend CWU?

http://www.cwu.edu/admissions

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 Who is eligible to audition/interview for the BFA program?

All current and prospective Theatre Arts majors may audition. Please note that the curriculum has been designed in sequential tracks. Entering the program as a transfer student may extend your graduation date.

 What is the difference between the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees?

The BA is a liberal arts degree which is intended to introduce the student to a wide variety of subjects within the discipline. The BA philosophy maintains that the student will become "well rounded" by working in and experiencing all areas of the theatrical arts through a broad-based course of study.
The BFA degree, with concentrations in Performance, Musical Theatre, and Design and Production, is a focused course of study in a concentrated area that uniquely blends a broad variety of interdisciplinary courses for those students who have already decided upon their career path. The BFA is not intended for those who are interested in theatre as an extra-curricular activity. The philosophy of the BFA is that students are pursuing in-depth study intended to provide a competitive edge for either entering the job market or gaining admission to a graduate program.
The BFA is a one hundred ten (110) credit program where the BA degree is limited to seventy-five (75) credits.

 How does the BFA at CWU differ from other BFA and conservatory programs?

At CWU we feel strongly that the undergraduate years be balanced between skill, development in the major, and obtaining a broad base of knowledge about the world in which we live.

Both the BA and BFA programs require completion of the University General Education Requirements, including two years of foreign language at the high school level or one full year at the college level, and electives (which can be taken within or outside of the major concentration.)

The BFA at Central Washington University embraces an interdisciplinary model in which concentrated and focused study of Theatre Arts is joined with related course study in other academic departments in order to build skills and knowledge essential for success.

The BA program requires 75 credits in the major, and the BFA requires 110 credits
Generally speaking, many BFA and conservatory programs do not require as much general education as CWU. We consider this broad base of knowledge a key to building strong actors, artists, and citizens.

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 Are scholarships available?

The Department offers a limited number of scholarships to outstanding students, and the university has numerous scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid available for outstanding students/artists.

For information regarding Theatre Arts scholarships, see http://www.cwu.edu/theatre/scholarships

For information regarding university scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other forms of financial assistance, see Scholarship Central http://www.cwu.edu/scholarships/ Application for most University wide scholarships is facilitated through the Safari student information system upon application.
Out-of-state tuition waivers are available, but are competitive and initiated through the Department of Theatre Arts Chair.

BFA, All Scholarships, Audition and Interviews Procedures
 

Scholarship audition requirements are the same requirements for students seeking admission into the BFA programs . Bachelor of Arts students should choose an area of concentration in which to apply for scholarship opportunities.

Scholarship page

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 Apply here

BFA Performance and Scholarship Auditions Requirements

Upload the following:

Required

• A current headshot or photo,
• A resume of  your work in theatre
• An official CWU Theatre Arts BFA application form 
• An official CWU Theatre Arts scholarship form
• An age-appropriate and fully memorized monologue of your choice that is no more than 90 seconds in length
• A contrasting age-appropriate and fully memorized monologue of your choice that is no more than 90 seconds in length
• An introductory video including your goals and aspirations and short comments on the material you have uploaded
• Letter of recommendation from teacher or other professional who is familiar with your theatrical work commenting on your potential as a student and theatre artist.

Recording Requirements

1) Introduce your performance  pieces by title and author
2) Filming must be continuous, not stop and go filming - no editing is allowed. Each required video should be a seperate file.
3) You must be continually visible from head to foot in performance recordings.  Your introduction can be from the waist up.
4) You must use a neutral background, and make sure we can see you clearly against it.
Example if you are acting in front of a black curtain, do not wear black
5) You must use some form of accompaniment if you dance or sing

Optional Submissions pieces

• A 90 second clip of a movement piece
• A 90 second section of a song
• A 90 second clip of you in a production


Candidates who pass the first round of the audition process may be asked to do any of the following prior to being invited to join the program:

• Take part in an interview process via Skype or phone with faculty members
• Attend a second round of auditions on campus

Start your application here

BFA Theatre Design and Production and Scholarship Interview Requirements
Upload the following:

Required

• A current headshot or photo,
• A resume of  your work in theatre
• An official CWU Theatre Arts BFA application form 
• An official CWU Theatre Arts scholarship form
• An introductory video including your goals and aspirations and short comments on the material you have uploaded
• A digital portfolio of your work related to theatre*
• Letter of recommendation from teacher or other professional who is familiar with your theatrical work commenting on your potential as a student and theatre artist.

Recording Requirements

1) Filming must be continuous, not stop and go filming - no editing is allowed. Each required video should be a seperate file.
2) You must be continually visible from head to foot in performance recordings.  Your introduction can be from waist up.
3) You must use a neutral background, and make sure we can see you clearly against it.
Example if you are acting in front of a black curtain, do not wear black
4) You must use some form of accompaniment if you dance or sing

* The work contained in a student's portfolio will depend upon the student's academic level and their major area of interest within theatre design.  In all portfolios, each image should be adequately identified; the name of the play, the playwright, the name of the designer, the date the design was completed and the scale used, if applicable.  In those instances when the design is actually produced, sufficient information should be given about the producing agency, production facilities and the like to allow an accurate evaluation of the work.

At the high school level students should provide a collection of digital examples of their drawings, sketches and renderings, light plots, instrument schedules, cue sheets, etc. Photographs of any work actually used in production should be included. Swatches should be included if possible. Photographs of projects actually produced should also be included. These may be either production photographs or individual pictures.

Formats should be chosen for personal taste demonstrating technical or other digital media.

Optional Submissions pieces

• A short clip of your own videography
• A 90 second clip of your work in a production

Candidates who pass the first round of the audition process may be asked to do any of the following prior to being invited to join the program:

• Take part in an interview process via Skype or phone with faculty members
• Attend a second round of auditions on campus

 Start your application here


BFA Musical Theatre and Scholarship Audition Requirements
Upload the following:

Required

• A current headshot or photo,
• A resume of  your work in theatre
• An official CWU Theatre Arts BFA application form 
• An official CWU Theatre Arts scholarship form
• One verse and chorus of a comedic or up-tempo number
• One verse and chorus of a ballad
• An age-appropriate and fully memorized contemporary monologue  of your choice that is no more than 90 seconds in length
• A prepared choreographed dance in a style that you feel shows you off the best (ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap). no more than 90 seconds in length
• An introductory video including your goals and aspirations and short comments on the material you have uploaded
• Letter of recommendation from teacher or other professional who is familiar with your theatrical work commenting on your potential as a student and theatre artist.

Recording Requirements

1) Introduce your performance  pieces by title and show
2) Filming must be continuous, not stop and go filming - no editing is allowed. Each required video should be a seperate file.
3) You must be continually visible from head to foot in performance recordings.  Your introduction can be from waist up.
4) You must use a neutral background, and make sure we can see you clearly against it.
Example: if you are acting in front of a black curtain, do not wear black
5) You must use some form of accompaniment when you dance or sing

Optional Submissions pieces

• A 90 second clip of a movement piece
• A 16 measures of another song
• A 90 second clip of you in a production

Candidates who pass the first round of the audition process will be asked to do any of the following prior to being invited to join the program:

• Take part in an interview process with faculty members
• Attend a second round of auditions on-campus, which will include a dance class/ audition and sight reading.

Start  your applicaiotn here

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 I am a transfer student. How do I find out about entrance into the program and what classes do I need to take?

Transfer students gain entrance into the theatre program by the same process as freshmen. However, transfer students need to make an appointment with the theatre chair who, in consultation with faculty advisors, will discuss their previous theatre courses and determine placement within the required theatre curriculum. It is critical for transfer students to meet with the chair prior to registration to ensure they are not taking duplicate courses. Transfer credit for theatre course are also outlined at www.cwu.edu/registrar/transfer-equivalencies-policies

 Can I transfer courses to CWU?

Yes. If you have attended a Junior/Community College or another university, virtually all of your courses can transfer. The final determination will be made by the Registrar for courses outside theatre and the Chairman of the Department of Theatre Arts for theatre related courses.

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 What if I don't make it into the BFA program?

Many courses are open to BA students who are welcome to complete the BA in Theatre arts without auditioning.
Students who are not accepted into the BFA on their first attempt may audition one additional time in the spring of the following year. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor, prior to the second audition, in order to fully understand the criteria for acceptance into the BFA program. Each student is limited to two entrance auditions for the BFA program

 What is the criterion for acceptance to the BFA program?

The Theatre Arts Department is looking for students who display potential to succeed in professional theatre careers.

Department faculty will consider students who:

  • demonstrate a reasonable potential to make a successful career in their chosen concentration of theatre arts;
  • demonstrate skill and artistic judgment;
  • demonstrate ability to work and make appropriate choices in the selected area of concentration;
  • demonstrate a potential for growth; and
  • demonstrate the commitment and work habits necessary for theatre professionals, including responsibility, reliability, and initiative in both the initial application process and each subsequent year though a jury processes.

Consideration will also be given in the following areas:

  • does the student complete assignments and projects according to set deadlines;
  • does the student maintain a positive attitude toward production and course work;
  • does the student work well with others in a collaborative setting;
  • does the student follow instructions as they relate to production and course work;
  • does the student succeed when placed in a position of leadership or responsibility;
  • does the student communicate effectively;
  • does the student respect the production team by doing their fair share of the work.

Evaluation in these areas will be based heavily upon the student's performance in both class work and production assignments.

Participation in valuable work experience, not only in Central Theatre Ensemble productions but in outside work in reputable theatre companies, will be highly encouraged.

A faculty committee will also consider if the potential BFA student will reflect well on the Department when placed in outside employment, graduate programs and internship programs.

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 I have two majors, is this program for me?

It is possible to graduate with another major and the BFA, but it will extend your graduation date significantly. Because the BFA is a pre-professional program, those who want to pursue two majors may be better suited for the BA in Theatre Arts.

 What kind of a commitment does the BFA require?

This program is designed for the serious and devoted Theatre major. It is expected that the BFA student would become an integral part of the department either by auditioning for shows and/or assisting in the design, build, and/or construction process.

 Can I get a minor in another department with a BFA?

Yes, however most minors require 20-30 credit hours in that subject, which means students seeking a minor should expect to add at least one additional year of study.

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 Can I get a minor in theatre?

Students pursuing a major in another academic field can minor in general theatre. However, BFA students may not minor in Theatre Arts.  They wish to consider the Dance Performance Minor or the Non-Profit Organization Leadership minor.

 Would a BFA look better on my resume?

A BFA implies more specific training in the area of your career path. It signifies to potential employers and graduate schools that you are serious about a career in the industry and prepared to do the extra work that it may entail for a professional career.

 What theatre facilities are available?

http://www.cwu.edu/theatre/facilities

 How many courses can I take in theatre?

Generally you may take as many as you wish but you must fill the component areas in order to graduate.

 What non-theatre courses are required for graduation?

As with most liberal arts universities, you must complete the University General Education requirements.

 Can I have a minor?

If you are a BA student you may minor in any number of areas, depending upon your interests and abilities. The BFA degree does not require a minor and completing a minor will extend your studies and delay your graduation date.

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 How many hours do I need to graduate?

180 quarter hours is the minimum, which means in 4 years you need to average at least 15 credits per quarter.

 Is there a summer program?

Some general education courses are offered at CWU each summer. However, BFA candidates are encouraged to leave campus to work, or participate in internships, in summer theatres around the country.

 How many plays does the department do a year?

Central Theatre Ensemble offers a variety of production options each year, providing a wide range of opportunities for students to participate and succeed in production work. Each season there are at least three large, fully-produced major productions and numerous studio productions. Studio productions might include faculty and student initiated productions, reader's theatre, staged readings, and minimally-produced scenes and one-act plays. Additionally CTE hosts the annual Dr. Betty Evans Original One Act Festival, which highlights new student plays and provided students the opportunity to direct plays.

Participation in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region VII, allows students the opportunity to compete for regional and national recognition and scholarship opportunities. Design and Production students provide lighting designs for the annual Orchesis Dance concert, and also find opportunities to work backstage when regional and national productions and guest speakers visit campus. Additionally students participate in class projects and "showcase performances" specific to their areas of study.

 Do all theatre students have an opportunity to act?

Yes. Ninety-five percent of CTE casting involves theatre majors and minors. At CWU all students actively participate in productions. And every student has an opportunity to participate in class projects, which include acting.

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 How much individual attention do students receive?

No matter what your course of study, you will find individual attention to your academic success at CWU. The Department is at once large enough to have a full compliment of highly qualified faculty specialists, and small enough to provide personal attention to and opportunities for students. There are currently approximately 140 theatre arts majors served by a full-time faculty of 10, supported by six full time staff members, and several guest lecturers and artists in any given academic year. Production and performance classes are limited to a maximum of 15 students per section. Most acting, directing, design/production and vocal courses are seldom more than 12 students, which makes individual instruction possible. Enrollment in the BFA programs is limited to only a 8-12 students each year in each program. All students are required to meet with their academic advisor every quarter to ensure they are staying on track not only with their major requirements, but also with their General Education Requirements.

 Is there a graduate program in theatre at CWU?

CWU offers a Master of Arts in Theatre and performance Studies which is completed during the academic year.  Student in this programs specifically study history , literature and criticism.  .

During the academic year the focus of the performance program is on the undergraduate program. This means that undergraduate students are not competing with more advanced graduate students for opportunities in production.

 Which courses are taught by graduate assistants?

Some General Education offerings (TH 101, TH 107) are taught by graduate teaching assistants, but in Theatre Arts core program courses are taught by full-time faculty.

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 Does CWU offer courses in TV and film?

The Department does include courses in television and film acting as a part of our program, and the Communications Department offers a broadcast concentration. A interndisciplinary Film and Video Studies major also serves students with an interest in these areas. The University also hosts a public access station that allows students opportunities in front of and behind the camera.

 Are there student drama organizations on campus?

The Department currently has several active clubs for students at all levels of theatre interest. Central Theatre Company is a general interest club for any student with an interest in theatre and is not limited to theatre majors. The Stage Combat Troupe, comprised primarily of theatre majors and those who have had extensive training in theatre combat techniques, performs at high school and college conferences and festivals through the region. Orchesis Dance Company, which is housed in the division of Dance, produces an annual concert in cooperation with the design and production students. There is also a student chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) at CWU. The clubs all conduct annual fundraisers, including concession sales for the CTE season. Monies earned are used to take field trips, see touring productions, and to provide small scholarships to students attending regional and national conferences.

 Is your department active in state, regional, and national activities?

The Department and its student clubs are all very active in several organizations including: USITT, Northwest Theatre Conference, Washington Alliance for Theatre Education, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Faculty members hold offices in these and other theatre organizations, and are frequently called upon to conduct workshops and seminars at professional conventions. Additionally most of our faculty members belong, or have belonged, to professional unions and can share that information with students.

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 Are there paying jobs in the department for students?

Yes. Each year there are a number of student employment opportunities in the Department lighting, scenic, and costume shops, and the marketing and front offices. These are generally supervisory positions and employment is based upon evidence of ability to perform the required tasks in a responsible manner. Students earn from $800 to $1,200 a year. Priority is given to students who qualify for the Federal and State Work Study programs.

 Are freshmen permitted to audition for productions?

We believe that audition experience, on stage performance and backstage production opportunities are a significant aspect of each student's training. Freshmen are not required to participate in production, but we encourage freshman to audition and seek technical opportunities as soon as they feel they are ready to participate while maintaining their academic progress, which includes many General Education Requirements in the freshman year.

 If I've had a lot of dance training, will I still need to take beginning level classes?

All BFA - Musical Theatre majors are required to take a several stage dance courses in several areas of dance. Students will most likely find areas of study that will benefit personal growth and still fill the requirements of the program.

 Do I have to take classes in music theory and piano?

Students in the BFA program are required to take one year of Music Theory and have basic piano proficiency. Students may test out of the course and replace the credits with an alternative course recommended by their advisor.

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 Can I take more acting or dance classes than those required?

Absolutely. Students  are encouraged to enroll in as many skill-development courses as they can manage while at CWU. Students will find a wide variety of optional courses within their listed program component areas.

 What audition tips can you give me?

Use the following guidelines in preparing for the audition:
- Choose something in the appropriate age range that does not contain a dialect.
- Secure assistance in the preparation of the audition material.
- Introduce the audition pieces by stating only the play's title and the character's name.
- Background information on the scene or plot is not necessary. Maintain a positive attitude, dress comfortably, and most importantly, have fun!

Special note for auditions:
To increase your competitive edge, please avoid auditioning with major characters from the following plays: Getting Out, Glass Menagerie, Hamlet, Macbeth, 'night, Mother , and Spoon River Anthology . We also find that these playwrights are generally overdone or are more difficult for high school seniors to deliver successfully: Mamet, O'Neill, Pinter, Shakespeare, Shepard and Williams.

 Where do I find monologues?

The best place to start is by reading full-length plays that contain characters within your age group. Collections of monologues can be found in libraries and theatre book stores. The department strongly recommends the prospective student obtain monologues from their high school drama teacher.

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 What is the student population in the department and the university?

The department has 140 majors and minors, the University approximately 11,000 students at five campuses, with slightly more than 9,500 at the Ellensburg campus.

 Do you have guest artists?

Guest Artists are an integral part of the program at CWU year. These guest artists conduct master classes and participate in productions from time to time. Theatre CWU believes that it is in the student's best interest to work with as many professional artists as possible and to experience and investigate as many different styles of working as possible. Some recent guest artists have included:

Annie DiMArtino - Education Director Longwharf Theatre Hartford, CT
Delondra Williams - LA Playwrigtht
Nike Umoru - Casting agent and Regional Director/Actor, Spokane, WA
Masako Hojo - Specialist in Suzuki Movement, Japan
Marty Gallagher - Sound Engineering, Portland, OR
James Moore - Vocal Performance, Erie, PA
Ronn Campbell - Sound Design, Kennewick, WA
Rich Orloff - Playwright, New York, NY
James K. Moore - Vocal performance specialist, Washington, DC
Spring Hermann - Author and playwright, West Hartford, CT
David Boushey - Fight Master Emeritus and Founder, Society for American Fight Directors, Seattle, WA

 Are there employment opportunities for graduates of theatre?

While a degree no longer means instant employment, as a general rule, the best students get the available jobs. For the past two years, each of our Theatre Education graduates who sought a teaching position was hired. A number of our graduates are working in film and television in California, as well as in professional theatres throughout the regional and nation as actors and technicians. The Department also encourages internships, which have led many graduates to permanent employment in the past. The theatre faculty will do its best to assist its graduates as they seek professional jobs. The Department provides job-seeking tools for students, such as a subscription to ArtSearch, the premiere publication for theatre jobs, and regular postings provided by potential employers. We urge our best students to consider graduate study.

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 What kind of success does the program have?

CWU's Theatre Arts Department is proud of the success that our graduates have found, not only in some of the nation's top MFA programs and regional theatres, but also working in professional organizations as varied as national touring companies, cruise ships, circuses, theme parks and casinos. And still more of our graduates are working and auditioning in Seattle, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

In the past several years our graduates have been placed in MFA programs, in acting, design and technology, and theatre management at: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee; University of Delaware; University of Cincinnati; Southern Methodist University; University of Florida/Asolo Conservatory; Northern Illinois University; Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgars University; Brooklyn College at the City University of New York; University of California Fullerton; University of North Carolina; University of California at Davis; Southern Illinois University; University of California School of Film; University of Missouri-Kansas City; University of California-Irvine; Cal Arts; and the University of Washington. Several have already earned advanced terminal degrees and are teaching at colleges and universities.

Many of our education graduates are working in elementary, middle and high schools throughout Washington, Oregon and California, while others are working abroad at international schools.

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 Who are some of the alumni and what are they doing now?

http://www.facebook.com/groups/cwuTheatreArtsAlum/

 What is the department retention rate?

Only the most dedicated, talented and serious individuals will complete this program and have a successful career. However, the rewards are worth the extra effort. Theatre is not a career for those who are not willing to continually step up to the plate and prove themselves. In similar programs about 35% of entering students will graduate.

 What is the application deadline?

http://www.cwu.edu/admissions/apply-now
Plpease note the scholarship deadline Feb 1 for CWU Foundation awards and Feb 1 for Theatre Art Department awards.

 

 

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