Location: Smith Center for the Arts G66
David M. Cabral, M.F.A.
Mary G. Farrell, M.F.A., Emerita
Rev. Kenneth R. Gumbert, O.P., M.F.A.
Wendy R. Oliver, M.F.A., Ed.D., Chairperson
James M. Calitri, M.F.A.
John P. Garrity, M.F.A.
Megan A. Chang, M.F.A.
Erin J. Schmidt, M.F.A.
A program of study is offered in theatre arts, which leads to the degree of bachelor of arts.
The primary goal of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film is the development of theatre artists. It provides knowledge of and experience in the discipline of theatre, offering a foundation necessary for graduate study and continued professional development. By developing theatre artists, the department directly enriches the life of the College through a program of public performances.
For the theatre major, the core of this developmental process is a production-centered experience combined with an interdisciplinary classroom experience which forms the basis of a liberal arts education. The course of study emphasizes that an artist’s insight is increased by an awareness of and sensitivity to the individual disciplines which collectively constitute theatre art and those disciplines among the liberal arts which relate to it. Students, therefore, are required to participate in, and come to an understanding of, the many facets of theory, performance, and production both on stage and in the classroom.
Theatre majors may use their elective credits to focus on areas of interest. Majors with a particular interest in musical theatre may declare the Musical Theatre Concentration within the theatre major aims to develop the students’ talent and ability with the goal of helping the students discover their own unique abilities in musical theatre. A successful professional in musical theatre must possess strong technical skills in acting, voice, music and dance with the ability to integrate these skills with ease, expressiveness, and versatility. As such the concentration requires coursework in music, acting and dance combined with many performance opportunities. In order to concentrate in musical theatre, students must elect either a music or theatre major. This assures that they will have a deep grounding in at least one of the two foundational areas of musical theatre.
The theatre minor may pursue a modified version of the major on a selective course of study intended to develop an understanding of the fundamental skills, principles, and theory of the performing arts in support of the student’s major discipline. In particular, the student can explore practical applications of the theatre’s creative process in such diverse areas as education, psychology, social work, and public service.
A dance minor also is available. This course of study is designed to give students a foundation in dance technique, composition, history, and criticism. Students will pursue an understanding of both theory and practice in the art of dance through development of physical skills, artistic abilities, and intellectual knowledge. Course work in dance is complemented by the Providence College Dance Company, which is sponsored by the department. The dance company gives advanced students the opportunity to choreograph, perform, and study with faculty and visiting artists and enriches the campus by offering regular dance performances. A variety of student-run dance clubs are also available.
The film/video minor provides a structure for students to develop historical, theoretical, and technical knowledge of these media, a sense of visual literacy, and a basis for reflecting on the aesthetic nature of film and video as both fine arts and commercial media. Students enrolled in this program will be provided with the opportunity to experience both the critical and creative aspects of the discipline. Course work in film is complemented by numerous opportunities to show original productions; for instance, the campus-wide film/video festivals and the campus cable network, where students are encouraged to present their creative work to the public.
In keeping with the liberal arts foundation, the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film is committed to providing its students with a thorough background in theatre history, theory, criticism, and literature. This approach arises from the belief that, in addition to developing proficiency in a variety of theatre crafts and performance techniques, the young theatre artist must understand theatre as an art which exists in an historical, political, spiritual, and economic context.
Plays produced are selected to explore the intellectual, cultural, philosophical, moral, and religious issues of the societies they reflect and are investigated on stage with the intention of revealing their relevance to contemporary experience. Since theatre is completed only when it has been communicated to other persons, the responsibility to develop and educate audiences, within the Providence College community and beyond, is incorporated into both production and classroom experiences.
The secondary objective of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film is to service the College and surrounding community by offering theatre courses of interest to the general student and by inviting their involvement in cocurricular production activities.