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Department of Theater
Faculty in the Department of Theater: Michael Abbott** (Chair, fall), Andrea Bear, James Cherry, James Gross, Jessica Mills, and Dwight Watson (Chair, spring). **sabbatical leave, spring semester
The Theater Department curriculum aims to develop the student’s understanding of theater through courses in the theory and practice of performance, the study of theater history and dramatic literature, film, and playwriting. The development of practical skills for theater majors and minors as actors, directors, designers, technicians, and playwrights in actual stage production work is carefully structured by the department staff to coincide with course work in these areas.
For the non-major or minor, the curriculum provides several courses at the introductory level (THE 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, 202, and 203). These are aimed at developing the student’s understanding and appreciation of theater as an art form. Courses on the intermediate level (THE 204, 206, 207, 209, 210, 215, 216, 217, and 218) provide majors and minors (as well as non-majors) with various opportunities to expand their skills and to deepen their growing understanding and appreciation of theater. These courses will explore both the great works of the dramatic canon from all time periods and cultures, as well as important and challenging contemporary dramas and films.
Majors and minors often pursue graduate study and careers in theater, film, and other allied fields, but for the non-major or minor the study of theater provides a unique opportunity for the student to explore an extraordinary and timeless art form, to learn about the ways plays and productions are created, and, most importantly, to study theater as it reflects and tests moral, social, political, spiritual, and cross-cultural issues.
Senior Comprehensives: Majors must pass three departmental examinations: (1) a three-hour examination on the history, literature, and theory of theater or a project in those areas approved by the department chair; (2) a three-hour examination on the performance aspects of theater (acting, directing, design, playwriting) or a project in those areas approved by the department chair; and, (3) when pursuing the project option, a one-hour oral examination with the faculty of the Theater Department.
Requirements for the Major: Nine courses including:
1) THE 105, 106.
2) Four courses from 200 level:
Two courses from the History, Theory & Criticism sequence — THE 215, 216, 217, 218 and
Two courses from the Creative Inquiry and Performance sequence — THE 202, 203, 207, 210.
3) THE 318 and THE 319.
4) THE 498.
5) One elective course from the remaining course offerings.
Requirements for the Minor: Students may choose a minor track in Theater, Theater Design, or Film Studies. With written approval from the Department, a student may construct an alternate minor that better reflects his academic interest. These proposals should be submitted by the end of the first semester of the student’s junior year.
The track in theater consists of five full-credit courses including: One course from THE 101, 103 (or two ½-credit 103—Topics in Theater), 106; One course credit from among THE 215, 216, 217, 218; One course credit from among THE 105, 207, 210, and two additional course credits from the remaining Theater Department offerings.
The track in theater design consists of five full-credit courses including: THE 101, 106, 202, 203, 318 and 319.
The track in film studies consists of five full-credit courses including: THE 104, 105, 204, one full course credit from THE 103 (Topics in Film), and one additional theater course or a course from another department approved by the department chair.
Productions: Theater majors and minors are strongly urged to participate in the annual season of theater productions staged by the department. The department feels strongly that the serious theater student should have numerous opportunities to test his creative abilities in the myriad facets of theater performance. It is hoped that during the student’s four years at Wabash College he will have the opportunity to test in theatrical productions the many concepts he will encounter in his courses. The season of plays selected by the department is chosen with careful consideration of the unique opportunities for students offered by each play. The department expects that the student will work in a variety of performance areas including acting, stage managing, set and costume construction, lighting and sound, playwriting, and directing. Each year, during the second half of the fall semester, as part of the theater season, students will have the opportunity to produce workshop performances in the areas of acting, directing, design, playwriting, performance art, and, where appropriate, film. Students interested in knowing more about these opportunities should consult the department chair.