Mission Statement

Students participating in Theatre and Dance Department classes and productions encounter the rich histories, variegated literatures, contested spaces and fine skills of performance, in both local and global contexts. The curricula in Theater, Performance Studies and Dance offer students at all levels of participation – from major or minor or in one course fulfilling the Fine Arts requirement – the opportunity to learn performance theories and practices, and to acquire the intellectual and embodied vocabularies of performance onstage, in design labs, dance studios and classrooms.

The Theatre and Dance Department offers a major in Theatre, and a Combined Major in Theatre and Dance; both of these majors have requirements at all levels of inquiry, from beginning through advanced, and steer students toward an emphasis in the senior capstone year (acting, choreography, design, etc.) Students also can take an official minor in Theatre or Dance. In all of its formal curricular programs, the Department emphasizes:

  • acquisition of skills in a student’s chosen emphasis within the major: acting; historical/theoretical research in performance; dance performance; choreography; directing; design (scenic, lighting or costume); technical direction; stage management; playwrighting.
  • ongoing practice in the theories and methods of collaboration. application of the arts of collaboration to wider campus and community practices of civic engagement.
  • instruction and progressive curricular expertise in four (4) kinds of crucial research: 
    a) practice-based; 
    b) analytical; 
    c) archival; 
    d) devised.
  • instruction and progressive curricular expertise in the histories of theater, dance and performance.
  • instruction and progressive curricular expertise in the inter-disciplinary fields and methods of performance studies.
  • the development of three (3) crucial forms of communication: a) written; b) oral; c) artistic.
  • the ability, upon graduation, to craft a theoretical framework for making and experiencing performance.
  • Exposure to professional theater and dance artists, whose participation in the program as guests and collaborators propels students’ dreams of living and working sustainably as artists and theorists of performance beyond college.
  • Students in “Theatre Methods: Shakespeare to Viewpoints” figure out a lazzi from the commedia dell’arte during class

Students in “Theatre Methods: Shakespeare to Viewpoints” figure out a lazzi from the commedia dell’arte during class