• B.2 OUR REPERTOIRE
the scripts in which to
invest our time, labor, energy and reputation is never a simple task. It calls for an ongoing
consciousness on behalf of the entire theatre staff towards plays seen
reviews encountered, and recommendations from students, or colleagues
campus, on other campuses, or in the professional theatre
calls for a refined sense of personal
taste and a clear-minded assessment of personal abilities on
behalf of the
faculty directors. It
also demands an
ongoing calculation of the abilities and readiness of current theatre
sensitivity to campus mood and attitudes, and a dynamic vision
of the flux and
flow of the culture in which our artistry exists.
clarify the ongoing search
process, several criteria have emerged delimiting the
educational goals and needful resources which come
when developing a production season.
every script we produce needs to be (or can be) of a high minded
a season, on balance, can accommodate great variety.
But from our curricular commitments and many
years of production experience, an evaluative filter has been devised
which each script must pass.
theatre productions have an
obligation to entertain. To
in the sense of
occupying attention in an amusing or diverting way, and
extending hospitality toward others, and
causing contemplation or the receiving of ideas to take into
usually go on to identify themselves with other specific
intentions, such as a
focus on Shakespeare, contemporary plays, musical comedy, ethnic
theatre for children, or whatever.
Theatre in the educational setting is no
different, although the
emphasis may be focused as much on process as on product. The University Theatre
program has four
specifically identifiable educational goals, which you will recognize
dovetailing with the “purposes” statements of the
last section. Ideally,
a script will address all four
educational goals but, practically, usually not with equal emphasis.
the script will contribute to the intellectual
discussion of the campus, either addressing topics
of current interest or
raising topics needful of ongoing discussion by the distinctive
community of the university. These
topics ordinarily cut across disciplines, and are concerned
behaviors, social actions and attitudes, cultural
distinctions, the plight of
the individual, the questions of existence, and other such ongoing
issues. As a
consequence of discussion,
the script will also offer opportunity for the spiritual
development of the campus as individuals wrestle with the
application of Christian teachings and valuing to the topic, and
part of themselves which responds to the material.
Through individuals sharing those responses
with others, the community awareness
of the institution will be elevated.
this sounds like heavy-duty
high-blown stuff to you, and beyond our reach, remember that the
theatre is not to pursue frown-line producing depth in its own
to provide the metaphors around which argument may occur. We are about the business
parables from which moral discussion springs.
The distinctive nature of drama includes the knack of
individuals in subterranean places of the “heart,”
engendering responses which
oftentimes defy coherent rational explication.
The themes do not need to be mind-boggling, but do need to
be rooted in
universal truth. Intellectual
will swirl out of the struggle to describe responses to these truths.
the script will provide significant
artistic challenges for new learning by performers and production crew
assurance of complete success in the
final product is not necessarily important for this goal; risk is a required part of the artistic process. What is of importance is a
vision for you and all members of the production team to strive toward,
reasonable chance for satisfactory resolution of the major elements of
without challenge is
not a desirable educational outcome in a university setting.
required for your rounded
educational exposure is an introduction
to a wide variety of theatrical styles.
Therefore, we choose our scripts to accommodate a loosely
pattern of styles exposure. A
cycle should meet the needs of transfer students as well as
those who stay at
Seattle Pacific for the traditional four years. We
are not slavish about specific patterns
within the three years, but attempt to produce one or more examples of
following in that time period:
High Comedy, 2) Farce, 3)
Shakespeare and other Period Classics, 4) Realism, 5) Romanticism, 6)
Impressionism or other Abstractionist styles, 7) Social Issues plays,
Musical Theatre, and 9) Contemporary just-for-fun Popular pieces. Each of these styles
scenic, costume, lighting, and performance distinctions, and a
whole new set
of problems to address.
the script will afford members of our audience an opportunity to
another aspect of their theatrical understandings and knowledge of the
plays indicate meaning. It
them with choices for new modes of response, sometimes threatening
aesthetic assumptions and, hopefully, enlarging their artistic
sensibility and sophistication.
Opportunities may need to be created to
surround the performances with discussion sessions, specific program
published articles, or other such devices to assist less experienced
members in advancing their aesthetic understandings.
the script will allow us to model and advance a Christian
perspective of theatrical art.
This does not mean that the subject matter of
our productions must always be
evangelical and overtly theological in nature.
Plays which have advocacy as their goal are not plays at
polemic. Nor does
it mean our script
choices must always spring from
Christian sources. It
does mean that, as Christians, we
to invest our gifts in theatre which
comments on the human experience as a
spiritual journey, rather than a view of life as a string of
incidents to be seized for purposes of self-aggrandizement;
2) which reflects
the goodness of creation
rather than glorifying the decay and chaos of a fallen world;
views the opportunities of life as endowed by God with choice, and
which approves willful moral ascendancy;
theatre which endorses the putting aside of self and embraces
goes without saying, that
examples of what we determine to be negative behavior serve as
“relief” (as in
sculpture) for what we consider to be rightful, and can make our
characters and actions all the stronger by contrast.
So we’re not talking “safe”
here. Rather we
speak of a theatre which
recognizes and can show the distortions and pain of life while still
a Christian perspective as its own cause.
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