Expectations for Majors, Minors and Intendeds.
granting you major or minor status the Theatre Faculty expresses its judgment
that you possess the needed requirements for success in the discipline.
It also enters into an informal contract with you in which it pledges to
monitor your progress and your development as you grow in artistry and move toward
the completion of your degree requirements. Acceptance
does not promise that you will become a world-class artist or a renowned scholar,
or, for that matter, ever have a thriving career in theatre-related work. It does,
however, oblige the faculty to push, to encounter, to cajole you into being what
you can be, and hopefully, better than you have dreamed.
contract, of course, binds both parties. It is now
incumbent upon you to make a sincere effort toward seeing through the glare of
class assignments, deadlines, production joys, work obligations and social interactions,
in order to target your energies on the real task of your education:
the focusing and enhancement of your abilities. It’s
not easy to thrive when your body is exhausted and you have too much on your plate;
or when the required activity seems to make little sense and is unrelated to your
present desires. It’s difficult to remember,
that you are in charge of your body, loading your plate, trusting
the usefulness of all experience, and wrestling with your desires.
By not disciplining yourself in these matters you will let your education
sweep past you as if attached to the second-hand of a gargantuan clock.
Time will fly, you’ll get your degree, and one of the best eras of
your life will be lost to mere task fulfillment.
“running the course” it’s very tempting to want to rush your
development. While such choices are linked with personal
maturity and readiness, you are well served not to get intricately
involved with outside theatre companies during the academic year.
Summers, of course, are another matter. It’s
tempting to want to get on with your career—making contacts—but you
will probably mostly end up removing your focus from your present task, which
is one of gaining knowledge, perspective and artistic maturation.
These understandings do not come easily, and certainly not by way of merely
“stacking-up” experience. Set
aside this portion of your life for finding the core of your artistic beliefs,
that core on which you will build your career. You’re
better advised to spend your artistic energies and developmental time on University
Theatre offerings or in producing your own laboratory shows.
what is being expected of you? What
are the appropriate goals, and how do you achieve them?
how part can’t be answered here.
That’s really up to you. All any curriculum
can provide you is the reasoned and reasonable opportunity for progress.
Finding the inner drive to achieve is a very personal attribute; some can
muster it and many others can’t. Drive seems
to be involved somehow with curiosity, imagination, and responsibility, all wrapped
up in self-image. Exercises and focused experiences
can enhance these qualities, but they can’t create them. These
qualities cannot be expected of you, but if they’re there,
and you’re working on them, they can be cultivated and celebrated!
educational curriculum can only establish desirable, obtainable goal, and set-up
patterns of activities and interactions which can provide you the
opportunities to activate yourself toward growth.
Too often we treat education as information-based when it ought to be viewed
as change-inducing. Information is only one key to
gaining perspective for change. Experiences and interactions
are the others. In an educational setting, strategies
toward change centering on these topics is called curriculum, and it goes well
beyond the classroom setting and into all planned activities, including the SPAM
Awards, Theatre Forums, cast parties and faculty advising.
Since only so much can be accomplished in your undergraduate career, the
theatre curriculum seeks to provide you focus on two major goals: those of personal
development, and those of growing abilities. The
faculty challenges you to actively pursue them.
of what happens in your undergraduate career would happen to you anyway. Time
passes, and experiences accumulate, glands settle down, other people’s ideas
and values rub off on us, we better learn how to respond to our values.
What an undergraduate education can provide you is an examined, more deliberate
approach to these changes. In terms of personal
development, the theatre curriculum will assist you in:
your special gifts in imagination, verbal and non-verbal communication,
empathic sensitivity, visual and audio perception, organization, leadership, and
your discipline by focus, perseverance, management of time, emotional
control, tolerance of the “other,” an ongoing process of defining
self, and the like;
the ideal of excellence by committing to order and precision,
embracing personal responsibility, striving for originality, moving beyond expectations,
and the like;
artistic awareness of how an artist thinks, the unique qualities of artistic
expression, the social and spiritual roles of the arts, the history of humanity
and the arts, and the like;
spiritual enhancement through prodding an awareness of God’s special
artistic gifts, encouraging a sharing of your artistry with others, motivating
an attitude of servant hood, and the like.
academic disciplines treasure measurable skills attainment.
Usually these skills are tied to some form of career enhancement, although
often the aim is ability for its own sake.
the liberal arts theatre setting these notions are inseparable.
Our curriculum can offer you the possibility of growing abilities
in the following:
self assessment through an awareness of what constitutes excellence,
seeing self through goals of ensemble, distinguishing desires from achievements,
prioritizing values, and the like:
theatrical criticism by way of gaining a clearer understanding
of traditional “rules” of theatrical practice, learning to distinguish
choices made in the production setting, assessing the choices not
made by the artists, acquiring first hand experience of the difficulty of
the task, and the like;
creative negotiation associated with group decision making, concise
self expression, creating a functional and enriching performance ensemble, activating
group imagination, and the like;
self expression through acquiring knowledge and practicing application
of the distinctive way art “means” and how it communicates, extending
opportunities for insightful analysis of accomplished works of art, and the like;
sensory sensitivities related to spatial awareness, visual and
musical rhythms, controlling both the personal and public impact of space, learning
to read and create meaningful “body language,” heightened awareness
of both implicit and symbolic meanings for color, light, sounds, and the like;
lists above are clearly incomplete and open to interpretation.
Their thrust is that you need to be looking behind the activities
of the classroom and the platform in order to maximize your growth as a person
and artist. Much of life gets lost in the details.
Guard against it!