Theater Arts Overview
At the core of the theater program is the strong belief that a liberal-arts education is inherently inseparable to the artist’s process. This relationship provides a cornerstone for the practice and study of theater, as theater by its very nature is a multidisciplined art form. The theater program is designed to attain a balance between a strong liberal-arts education and intensive study in the student’s chosen area of focus.
The program places a strong emphasis on performance as a teaching tool for students at many different levels of work. Each semester, the program presents professionally directed productions of classic and contemporary theater. There are also opportunities to act and direct in student sponsored classes, workshops and productions. Theater productions are open to all Clark students. The program is designed to meet the needs of the major who may eventually wish to pursue a professional career in theater, as well as the nonmajor, who may simply want to gain a greater understanding of the play or the performance process.
The Center for Contemporary Performance is a scholarly community of directors, composers, playwrights, choreographers, film/video makers and critics devoted to the creation, development and publication of contemporary works of art. The center is designed to enhance the academic work of the University by organizing and focusing advanced learning through seminars and directed study in music, theater, film, design, literature and aesthetics. The center enables students and faculty to work with visiting artists and outside performance groups, thereby enriching their educational experience and the creative process. Advanced students are encouraged to develop creative and theoretical projects to take advantage of the critical evaluation and supervision available through the Center for Contemporary Performance.
The theater-arts major is designed to offer an interdisciplinary framework that serves as foundation for the student to enter their primary area of expertise. Once the basic course requirements have been fulfilled, there is a great deal of flexibility in developing a program well suited to the individual needs and interests of the student. The faculty takes a proactive role in the design of this program, preparing the student to enter their chosen field or next level of study.
For more information, please visit the Theater Arts Department’s website.
The major consists of 13 courses: five core courses, five specialty courses (focusing on the student’s area of expertise and interest), and three related courses (chosen to complement the student’s professional program). The five core courses are required of all majors. Majors may specialize in acting, directing, technical theater, dramatic criticism and playwriting, as well student-initiated areas of study and focus. Related Visual & Performing Arts courses are to be chosen in consultation with an adviser.
Students with distinguished academic records who wish to take honors in theater arts should consult the program director early in their junior year to identify a project of interest and choose an honors adviser. The student is expected to use the honors program to develop an independent work, which displays their skills and capabilities in their chosen field. This can take the form of writing a play, performing a role, etc., with an emphasis on attaining a professional standard of work. The thesis must be performed and/or presented as a senior and will be reviewed by a faculty panel.