Theatre / 43

Statement of Purpose for Theatre

Supporting Northwest’s institution-wide vision and mission, the Discipline of Theatre has a threefold purpose: (1) to serve the educational needs of the students of Northwest by providing programs of study that integrate theory and practice in Theatre; (2) to provide quality cultural performances and experiences for the University and surrounding communities; and (3) to make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in these fields. The department seeks to accomplish this by: (a) attracting students who have the potential to become competent professionals, (b) preparing students in department majors for successful employment in those fields or for advanced study in graduate programs, (c) providing all students with competency training that is essential to their success in school and in the world, and (d) maintaining a relationship with alumni and supporting their continual development as professionals and citizens.

Students in the Discipline of Theatre are provided with both a solid theoretical understanding of the field and numerous opportunities for hands-on competence. Student organizations within the department provide additional experiential learning opportunities. Whether majoring in a theatre field (Performance, Technical/Design or Comprehensive), or seeking teacher certification in one of those areas, students in the department learn from their instructors and classroom experiences, learn by doing, learn from one another, and learn from professionals in their fields.

Majors and non-majors alike are eligible and encouraged to participate in performance or technical positions in the mainstage and laboratory production theatre series, forensics activities, multicultural events, and student organizations.

The department also serves as a center for cultural activity and enrichment for the University and surrounding communities. Public performances of dramatic literature from all major periods and of all major styles are produced throughout the academic year. The high caliber of these performances instills an appreciation for the performance process and the aesthetics of production arts.

By encouraging and supporting its faculty members to continuously engage in creative and scholarly activities, the department fulfills its obligation to not only partake of the field of knowledge but also to enlarge that field. This ensures that students taking courses within the department receive the best and most current education possible. By providing opportunities and encouraging its majors to engage in additional creative activities and scholarly research outside of the classroom, the department offers students the opportunity to further enhance their educational experience and to join with the faculty in expanding their fields of knowledge.

Degree Programs in Theatre

The comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Theatre (60 hours) does not require an outside minor and provides students with a solid foundation in all major areas of theatre study while allowing concentration in a specific production activity. Specialization options, available in performance and technical/design areas, prepare the student to enter the professional field or to undertake advanced study and training.

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre (30 hours), which requires a minor in another area, provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge in all areas of theatre study in preparation for advanced training, graduate work or entry into the field.

The comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Education in Speech/Theatre (55 hours) prepares students to teach and direct speech and theatre in secondary schools. This major does not require a minor and, when completed under the B.S.Ed., Secondary Education Program, meets the State of Missouri teacher certification standards for grades 9-12.

The non-comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Education in Speech/Theatre (38 hours) requires a minor. This major, when completed under the B.S.Ed., Secondary Education Program, meets the State of Missouri teacher certification standards for grades 9-12.

The minor in Theatre (24 hours) provides students majoring in other departments with a general knowledge of all major areas of theatre study and the opportunity to apply that knowledge in a production environment.

A minor in Speech/Theatre Education (32 hours) is available to students majoring in another area. This minor, when completed under the B.S.Ed., Secondary Education Program, meets the State of Missouri teacher certification standards for grades 9-12.

The department also offers an endorsement in Speech/Theatre for students seeking Missouri Middle School (grades 5-9) certification. The middle school program is advised through the College of Education and Human Services.

Departmental Policies for Theatre

Senior Project Requirement

Students must create a significant public performance or exhibition of materials in the student's area of emphasis in theatre during the senior year. Prior to beginning the project, students must create a proposal as part of the Theatre Capstone course (THEA 43497) and receive project approval from the theatre faculty. Students may choose to enroll in THEA 43499 Senior Project if academic credit is desired.

Speech/Theatre Education Directing Requirement

All candidates for the B.S.Ed. degree with a secondary speech/theatre major must demonstrate their ability to direct a complete theatrical presentation that is approved by department faculty. Opportunities for meeting this requirement will be discussed with the academic advisor and include lab series, second stage, and external venue shows. THEA 43373 Directing must be successfully completed prior to attempting this requirement.

Advanced Standing Requirement

Students majoring in theatre must complete Freshman Seminar (1 hour), English Composition (6 hours), Oral Communication (3 hours), and Mathematics (3-4 hours) by the end of the sophomore year. A student must present a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all courses listed above. No departmental major may be enrolled in and pursue advanced departmental courses (numbered 300 or above) until these courses and the specific advanced standing requirements for the student’s major are met.

Students seeking exemption or who are not granted advanced standing in theatre may appeal by submitting a written petition to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences through the Chair of the department.

Theatre and Speech/Theatre Education Majors

Students seeking a major or minor in theatre or speech/theatre education are expected to demonstrate a capacity to integrate, from the theatre core courses: principles of a common formal language, process of seeing, and perception of content. Through visual, written and verbal evidence: students must show understanding of conceptual purposes behind directed work in the theatre core courses and sufficient commitment to expand their knowledge in order to successfully pursue advanced study.

No theatre major or speech/theatre education major may be enrolled in and pursue advanced theatre courses (Theatre courses numbered 43-300 and above) until theatre advanced standing has been granted. Minors must complete the theatre core sequence with a grade of “C” or better in all core courses prior to being enrolled in and pursuing advanced theatre courses.

To achieve theatre advanced standing, theatre majors and speech/theatre education majors 1) must have no grade lower than “C” in any theatre core course, and 2) must demonstrate his/her readiness for advanced theatre courses by satisfactorily responding to written and oral questions related to the current theatre reading list and from theatre core courses, and 3) present a professional portfolio for faculty review. Majors may apply for theatre advanced standing during the trimester they are completing the theatre core.