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


One 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.

Still 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, Education, Engineering 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.

But 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 Education/Athletics combination comes early to mind, and the classroom/performance program of Music, the studio program in Art, and Theatre.

University 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.

This 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.


Some 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.

B.1.a  Institutional service. 

Within 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 and servants.

Our 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!

It is also our desire to become an integral part of the campus intellectual discussion by

1) concerning ourselves with spiritual topics worthy of additional contemplation by Christian scholars,

2) tying the themes of our productions to the content of courses across campus, including the University Core program,

3) bringing focus—sometimes risky and uncomfortable focus—to contemporary social issues needful of the attention of the campus community.

We 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.

University 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 off campus.

The 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. 

Next Section: B1b: Curricular Objectives

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