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

B.1.b  Curricular objectives. 

The primary objective of the production program is, of course, to provide Theatre majors and others with a convenient and accessible resident and professional-style internship experience.  In practical terms, even though Seattle is rich in theatre production companies, not everyone could be placed in them, and even if such placement were possible the broad range of needful experiences would not be available in that context.  Production companies are not in the education business, after all, nor would they allow interns the responsibilities offered by our program.  In a similar vein, the work of University Theatre affords laboratory application of concepts and techniques described and initiated in the lecture and studio courses offered by the Department of Theatre (and even other departments such as Communication and English).  Underscoring the legitimacy of this concept is the fact that most involvement in the pro­duction program is credit bearing, and is evaluated for success by an instructor in similar ways as other course enrollments.  Your effort for a University Theatre production is not an “extra” curricular activity but is acknowledged as “curricular”, and therefore subject to academic scrutiny and evaluation as is your other course work.

Our productions also embrace and enhance the general education concerns of the university’s curriculum.  Involvement in the program bears general education credit through the Theatre practica numbers, this credit granted because such activity is deemed valuable for the non-major in terms of developing creativity and fostering understanding of the ways in which the arts communicate.  Also, as indicated above, the productions are often employed by the University Core and other campus general education courses as a featured part of course content, supplementing already established content.

Apart from instruction in technical skills of theatrical production, the University Theatre program is designed to hone leadership, organizational, and group skills in its partic­ipants.  The communal nature of the acts involved in assembling a performance demands careful ordering of priorities, in both the tasks to be accomplished and also in the relation­ship of one’s own task to another person’s task; accomplishing your task in a timely, or­dered manner and knowing where your job leaves off and another’s begins are skills which cross into many of life’s obligations.  Working with a group, the giving and taking of corpo­rate decision making, is another skill taught by communal artistry as demanded by theatre production.  Setting a group goal and working together to accomplish that goal excellently are among the greatest joys of the production setting, and a much different experience than, say, the group reading and shared discussion of a play script.  The communal activity is of tremendous significance, and is clearly one of the major attractions for those of us who produce theatre. Theatre is more about selflessness than it is about self.

Another curricular purpose of the University Theatre program is that of exposing the campus (and ourselves) to a wide range of theatrical literature, including the new scripts we create.  For us, the coming to grips with a script’s ideas, structure, and style—and applying generalization from that experience to scripts of similar structure and style—allows for a much more intimate understanding of entire blocks of play scripts than might otherwise be available through passive reading.  And for our audiences, saturated with television’s easy situation comedy and romantic melodrama, providing insight into alter­nate possibilities for dramatic art is an academic imperative: not so much the teaching of facts but the opening of possibilities is the obligation of all education. 

Next Section: B1c: Audience Education

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