of the qualities of arts instruction in the university curriculum is that it deals
at once with theoretical, abstract study and the development of distinctive skills.
This approach to knowledge is not unique to the arts, obviously, and the
pattern will be found in nearly all disciplines; think about your work in the
humanities, the sciences, the social sciences for examples.
other disciplines are solely concerned with the skills training of students toward
preparation in specific career applications. In this
regard, Seattle Pacific’s professional programs—Business,
and Health Sciences—are noteworthy
examples. Health Sciences and Education are specifically
focused, in fact, toward “real world” internship experiences as a
major requirement for completion of degree work.
few disciplines seek to 1) instruct in abstract, contemplative knowledge and 2)
oversee specific skills development and 3) operate their own resident
internship programs of rigorous, skills-oriented professional training: finding
roots in the apprenticeship patterns of eras past but with operations firmly planted
on the local campus. The Physical
comes early to mind, and the classroom/performance program of Music,
the studio program in Art, and Theatre.
Theatre is the production arm of the Department of Theatre.
It operates as our resident internship program for the training of artists
and technicians interested in polishing skills which may lead to theatre careers
or, at the least, to useful applications in many other careers.
It also seeks to fulfill goals of liberal education for all its participants.
section of the handbook attempts to explain the rationale behind such a seemingly
unorthodox academic approach, to describe our activities, and to lay out
a few rules for ordered corporate living.
of what you read here may seem redundant of earlier and later sections of this
handbook, but no academic program can be self respecting without attempting, at
the least, to tie everything it says about itself into neat bundles.
In this repetition, you will recognize themes, relating to the educational
goals we choose to characterize our efforts; our work in the performance program
must be integrated with what we seek to accomplish in the classroom,
for example. All our exercises must be informed by
a common motif.
the larger setting of the institution, University Theatre fulfills several important
functions related to the university’s mission (see
the undergraduate catalog section “About Seattle Pacific University”
for a complete explication). Of particular focus
is our desire to pursue scholarly and artistic excellence while modeling and preparing
those we influence to turn classroom knowledge into acts of service in the world.
Through our mutual efforts in preparing and presenting our productions,
we seek to assist our participants and audiences alike to increase skills and
sensitivities associated with the eleven catalog goals toward becoming scholars
efforts turn, as well, on the catalog description of encouraging spiritual formation:
“...by promoting the spiritual disciplines; fostering spiritual mentoring;
modeling a community of love, justice, reconciliation, support, authenticity and
civility; encouraging an informed and thoughtful faith; and cultivating and advancing
faith through service.” So this is what we are
about in preparing and performing our productions!
is also our desire to become an integral part of the campus intellectual
concerning ourselves with spiritual topics worthy of additional contemplation
by Christian scholars,
tying the themes of our productions to the content of courses across campus, including
bringing focus—sometimes risky and uncomfortable focus—to contemporary
social issues needful of the attention of the campus community.
can achieve these goals by script choices, “talk-back” sessions with
the audiences, classroom visitation and lecturing, and the publication of program
notes and special side-papers.
Theatre (UT) seeks also to be of service to the institution by developing
a reputation for excellence among the university’s many constituencies,
both within the city of Seattle,
and on the wider national scene. Through our productions
we can spotlight the institution in the public consciousness in ways denied most
other programs of the university. Our campus
presentations achieve this goal through marketing to the campus, local churches,
schools, and by promotion throughout the Seattle
area. This aspect
of the program’s intentions is supplemented by the significant involvement
of the faculty in national professional organizations and as practicing artists
productions of University Theatre also play an important role in the
social life of the institution. The presentations
are regularly used for the purposes of the Seattle
Pacific University Fellows, Homecoming programming, Parent’s Weekend,
Faculty social events, groups of all kinds. And that’s
not even mentioning dates, “Roomies Night Out,” SPU Fridays, and other
ongoing individualized social activities. And along
with academic obsessions about our goals, we can’t
forget our communal focus and the social “club-like” nature of our
activities together. In many ways University Theatre
is a more sophisticated version—much more sophisticated we hope—of
the drama clubs in high schools, which exist for the sheer joy of creating together.