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Handbook Appendices Forms Theatre Scholarships For Theatre Majors, Minors, and Intendeds University Theatre Handbook Table of Contents Theatre Home

• C.3  Your Senior Project

The Senior Project is the Theatre major’s equivalency of a Music major’s Senior Recital, the Art major’s Senior Show, or an honors project for the University Scholars Program.  It is modeled after the practice of some undergraduate insti­tutions requiring an undergraduate thesis, in which the graduating student is man­dated to illustrate a capacity for independent scholarship, coherent argumentation, and clear communication.

The Senior Project affords you the opportunity to summarize your undergraduate training and to make a statement of your present status as an artist.  It allows you to show yourself and your colleagues not everything you know but what arrests you now, and not every­thing you can do but where your skills are taking you.  Ideally, it should act as a snap­shot of your artistry in this place and at this time, one you can figuratively take out and look at as you continue your development.

An acceptably completed Senior Project is a graduation requirement for the Theatre major.

C.3.a  Characteristics. 

The nature of the Senior Project is deliberately flexible, allowing you room to create and define the opportunity for yourself.  It does call for

1) Theatre Faculty approval before you begin your work,

2) it is developed in consultation with a faculty advisor, and

3) it needs to be accompanied by an appropriate record of its develop­ment.

But beyond those three requirements, the project should reflect the following attributes:

  • The final product is creative in nature rather than traditional research.
  • The project occurs sometime during your Senior year and is to be respected as the culmination of your undergraduate training.
  • It anchors itself in acting, directing, design, play writing, or some combination thereof.
  • It takes some form of public demonstration, either as a part of a performance set­ting or as a public display.  For instance, a play script requires at least a public reading; a design project should be part of a production setting or may be presented as either lec­ture or gallery display.  The form of public demonstration is of your creation as ap­proved by your project advisor.
  • Your effort is expected to be the independent work of a mature student artist, devel­oped and presented with minimal influence from outside agents.  If you work with others, you need to take care to make visible your distinctive contribution.  The product should reflect a coherent artistic vision, an understanding of the given artistic limitations, and a noticeable awareness of audience sensitivities.
  • Your work is to be of substantial merit, reflecting an informed sensitivity and philosophy.  Principally this means that you need to approach the project seriously and to give it your best efforts.  It’s not something to be put off until the last minute.

To assist you in this process and to assure your success, you need to

1)select an advisor from the Theatre staff. 

2)Develop your project with this person before you pursue plans to accomplish it; your advisor can enlarge on the characteristics and limitations of your project before you invest serious time on it.

Next Section: C3b: Production Perimeters

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