Theatre Arts offers courses and creative activities in which students learn to make, understand, and evaluate theatrical events. We educate collaborative, informed, imaginative, and engaged theatre makers, who will – as artists, scholars, and citizens – pursue paths after graduation in professional theatre, higher education, business, and other fields of endeavor.
The Theatre Arts faculty is committed to theatre as a liberal art and an emphasis on the total artist. Majors, minors, and non-majors develop skills and connect insights in acting, directing, production, scenography, dramaturgy, research, and writing throughout their coursework, culminating in thesis projects presented as part of Senior Theatre Festival.
Through participation in student- and faculty- directed productions, students continue their study of theatre in rehearsal and performance. Department productions provide the university and local community with the opportunity to experience high-quality theatre of diverse style, content, and form from a variety of historical periods.
The department annually offers scholarships for incoming and ongoing students. For information, click on the Scholarships link or contact the department coordinator at 253.879.3330.
Theatre, more than almost any other discipline, stimulates the range of learning upon which an education in the liberal arts is intent. Theatre requires “the ability to think logically, analytically, and independently” in order to understand, create, and respond to dramatic literature and performance events. Without “the ability to communicate clearly and effectively” theatrical collaboration is either unbearably painful or absolutely impossible. In theatre scholarship and practice, specific choices and engaged arguments depend on “the ability to learn on one’s own” and bring the results of that work into the creative process.
A theatre event creates a complex intersection of arts, culture, and human psychology and to understand it requires considering many artifacts and conceptual approaches to culture, aesthetics, and knowledge. To truly study and practice theatre invites a “breadth of learning in the form of familiarity with a variety of academic fields” and an “understanding of the interrelationships among the various fields of knowledge” including political and cultural history, anthropology, literature, languages, sociology, psychology, business and economics, music, physics, biology, architecture and archeology. Through script analysis, character development, rehearsal, research and performance, theatre develops a unique “depth of knowledge” for its participants. Passion drives theatre practice and scholarship. Advocating for one’s individual voice through the art form at large requires both “an acknowledged set of personal values” and an “informed appreciation of self and others as part of a broader humanity in the world environment.” Moreover, because theatre allows us to imagine ourselves into other lives, other times, and other places, it invites a strongly humanistic engagement with our world.
We assert that it is impossible to make theatre of any seriousness and not engage the liberal arts, just as we assert that is impossible to pursue the liberal arts with any seriousness and not educate a theater artist. It is for these reasons that our mission is to foster the development collaborative, informed, imaginative, and engaged students. (Citations from the university’s “Mission Statement & Educational Goals.”)
This intimate theatre, located in Jones Hall, serves as the performance center for the department. All students are welcome to audition for Theatre Arts productions and participate in their technical aspects.
Puget Sound Production photos: Kurt Walls. For production detail, place cursor on the image.