The Department of Theatre strives to inspire our students to expand their vision of the world and themselves through the study and practice of the craft of theatre, preparing them for leadership as practitioners, educators, and artists. The structure of this preparation is two-fold. First, we promote creativity, inquisitiveness, critical thinking, communication skills (oral and written), and cultural appreciation through the study of theatre. Second, we teach the specific craft of theatre-making through classroom experience, individual and collaborative study, and actualized stage productions, all emphasizing the particular skills necessary for the generation of high-quality stage performance.
Students learn to participate in current critical discourse while engaging with the theory, history and material conditions of performance, and broaden their personal horizons as they encounter a range of ideas and issues–political, social, and aesthetic–through the unique art form that is theatre. The program thus creates a rigorous intellectual environment firmly rooted in the theatrical art form. From this broad-based grounding in the fundamentals of the medium, students can then opt to specialize in one of the component subfields: history and theory, dramaturgy, playwriting, acting, directing, production, and design. In addition these fundamentals will also prepare students who so wish to specialize in theater education with the goal of obtaining a North Carolina teaching license.
Throughout their training, students work both as faculty-mentored individuals and in collaborative groups, so that in addition to making significant contributions to the cultural life of the campus through departmental productions, they emerge with a diversity of perspectives that prepare them for theatrical internships, graduate programs, or for any profession which places value on independent thinking, confidence, and communication skills.