Department Mission Statement
The faculty and staff of the Theatre and Dance department are committed to a liberal arts approach to performing arts education while maintaining a balance of both academic and practical approaches to the arts of theatre and dance. We believe strongly in the value of academic rigor, which in turn supports and maintains productions and projects of the highest standards. We promote a global, diverse and collaborative view of performing arts education, and strive to train artistic leaders in their chosen disciplines who will further contribute to the craft.
Program Description: Theatre
Theatre offers a Bachelor of Arts as well as a theatre minor and an endorsement in Theatre Education in conjunction with Woodring College of Education. Each theatre arts major is grounded in generalist fundamentals and chooses one or more areas of specialization (acting, dramatic writing, educational theatre, technical theatre, design and/or management). In addition to preparing majors for careers in academic or professional theatre, the lessons acquired through this course of study are readily transferable to careers in teaching, law, business, social services and other areas where inter- and intrapersonal skills are required.
The following areas of knowledge are central to the undergraduate degree in theatre arts:
- Major works of dramatic literature representative of diverse cultures
- The history of theatrical production - its styles, conventions and social context - from the ancients to the present day
- The means by which theatrical production is realized
- The role of theatre in shaping our past, present and future
In addition, students completing a degree in theatre arts will possess the ability to:
- Analyze and interpret dramatic literature and performance from the standpoint of designer, performer, director, playwright or critic
- Safely and efficiently use the tools and equipment basic to theatrical production
- Function effectively as a member of a collaborative team in the preparation and realization of a public performance
Assessment of these competencies is accomplished through individual course performance as well as a final evaluation of each student via a senior project, which may include the presentation of a written thesis, performance project or portfolio. Projects vary by student specialization and interests.
Program Description: Dance
Dance offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a Dance Minor and a Teaching Endorsement in conjunction with Woodring College of Education.
Entry into the BA/BFA is by audition. Completion of the program is dependent upon successful progress through the curriculum. The BA is a broadly-based degree, with a liberal arts orientation, and is designed for students with a general rather than career interest in performing or choreographing. BA candidates will focus on pedagogical and historic aspects of dance. The BFA degree is a highly selective program which trains exceptionally committed, disciplined, and talented students. The BFA degree also requires recommendation of faculty members.
The Dance Program expects achievement in the following competencies by graduating majors in both the BA and BFA. Our students will:
- Develop proficiency in modern dance technique
- Develop competency in ballet technique
- Become familiar with the history of dance and enhance writing skills by using this knowledge
- Gain expanded diversity awareness through the cultural dimensions of dance
- Understand alignment and anatomy as they relate to dancers
- Explore their choreographic potential in traditional and/or experimental approaches
- Learn the basic skills and operations of technical theatre related to dance production
- Have multiple performing opportunities in different venues
Assessment of these competencies is accomplished through individual course performance, completion of degree requirements, and in part by successful audition and casting in faculty directed events. BFA candidates will be expected to participate in a culminating Capstone course and presentation as choreographers and as featured dancers.
BETH LEONARD (2013) Chair and Professor. B.S. University of Kansas; M.A. University of Central Missouri; MFA University of Missouri; ABD University of Kansas.
RICH BROWN (2006) Professor. BA, MA, Central Missouri State University; PhD, University of Oregon.
DEBORAH CURRIER (2003) Associate Professor. BA, California State University; MA, PhD, University of Oregon.
NOLAN DENNETT (1989) Professor. BA, Brigham Young University; MA, Western Washington University.
PENNY HUTCHINSON (2005) Associate Professor. BA, Vermont College; MFA, Mills College.
MARK KUNTZ (1997) Professor. BA, University of Washington; MFA, University of Oregon.
JAMES E. LORTZ (1989) Professor. BFA, MFA, University of Montana.
DARREN W. MCCROOM (2015) Assistant Professor. BFA, Rockford College; MFA, University of Illinois.
EVAN MUELLER (2015) Assistant Professor. BA, Duke University; MFA, Rutgers University.
CHER CARNELL (1996) Director of Dance and Senior Instructor, BA University of Wisconsin; MEd, Western Washington University.
MIKE BAJUK (2004) Senior Instructor. BM, Western Washington University; MS, University of Indiana-Purdue.
KAMARIE CHAPMAN (2010) Senior Instructor, BA Western Washington University; MFA, University of New Mexico.
SUSAN HAINES (2005) Senior Instructor. BA, Radford University; MFA, University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
PAM KUNTZ (1999) Senior Instructor. BFA, University of Montana; MFA, Boston Conservatory.
Affiliated Teaching Staff
RACHEL ANDERSON (2000) BA, Western Washington University; MFA, University of Montana.
Application Requirements: Theatre
In order to declare a theatre major, contact the Theatre Office at Performing Arts 395 to attain a decaration of major form.
Application Requirements: Dance
A student may declare a major in Dance after placement in Modern Dance I and with the permission of the departmental advisor.
ProgramsUndergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorEndorsement
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Theatre Arts
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.Page: 1