Theatre and Dance - Assessment

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Procedures

The Department of Theatre and Dance engages in a comprehensive and rigorous assessment process to determine the progress of all students in meeting the learning goals for each degree program and meeting the requirements for graduation. In reality, students in Theatre and Dance are assessed every single day, on an ongoing basis. Each moment in the studio classroom, in the shop, or in rehearsal for a production contains the opportunity for assessment. Students are consistantly aware of their progress due to the intimate, personal nature of training and education in the arts between teacher and student.

Formalized procedures for assessment do exist, and the faculty use these formal assessment procedures to determine both the success of the program and its students as well as to discover the weaknesses of the program and implement necessary changes. Below are the learning outcomes for each program along with the assessment procedures used for that particular program. Further information may be found by consulting the Student Handbook.

Bachelor of Arts - Theatre

The BA degree in General Theatre Studies gives students the most broad-based education and training in theatre amongst all the degree programs offered. It allows students a wide range of flexibility to explore any and all aspects of theatre arts they might find interesting, from performance to design to technical production. The degree also combines a theoretical and analytical approach to understanding theatre with a practical approach through participation in Theatre Practice. The degree also gives a student an adequate background to begin a pursuit in the professional theatre world if they so choose.

Additionally, the degree program offers to students an opportunity to combine their theatre training with another discipline or area of study in order to prepare for careers not specifically within the professional world of theatre. A student, for example, may combine a BA in General Theatre Studies with a minor in Arts Administration to prepare for a career in administrative and management fields of theatre. A student might also combine a BA with a degree in Music Education to prepare them to direct or produce musical theatre at the high school or community theatre level.

Finally, a BA in General Theatre Studies is the best preparation for students interested in continuing their studies to the MA and PhD level.

The following are considered to be the learning outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts in General Theatre Studies:

  1. To acquire a broad range of knowledge and skills in the area of theatre arts within a liberal arts context
  2. To demonstrate familiarity with a wide variety of dramatic literature
  3. To gain experience in all practical applications of theatre arts, including performance, technical, and design
  4. To demonstrate an understanding of the major aesthetic theories within theatre arts in the areas of performance and design
  5. To critically analyze a theatrical production in all aspects, including performance, technical and design

All students in the department are given a General Theatre and Dance Knowledge Assessment Survey when they enroll in the Freshman Seminar course THEA 100. At the senior level, students in the BA program take a Senior Seminar class, in which they produce a capstone project related to their particular interest in theatre. In addition, they are given another General Theatre Knowledge Assessment, which is compared to their results from freshman year to determine acquired knowledge and growth.

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Acting

The BFA in Acting is designed to offer those students interested in non-musical acting the opportunity to learn and hone that art form. Student actors participate in two year-long acting sequences (first and second year), as well as four acting studios in their junior and senior year. Options include work in musical theatre, styles, commedia dell’ arte, Shakespeare, audition techniques, devising theatre, and improvisation. Students also receive three years of voice and movement training using a variety of techniques. Students in this program have the opportunity to emerge as Certified Actor Combatants via testing with the Society of American Fight Directors.

Each semester students are evaluated in juries where they demonstrate their ability to act in monologue and/or scene auditions designed to evaluate their skill level and to prepare them for auditions in the professional world. At the completion of their fourth semester, students are assessed through a "barrier jury" designed to measure whether or not they have progressed sufficiently to warrant continuation in the program.

Seniors in the BFA Acting program perform a recital during their last year, which is designed to showcase their talent and serves as a capstone project for the degree.

The learning outcomes for the BFA in Acting are as follows:

  1. Demonstrated ability to act; projecting one’s self believably in word and action into imaginary circumstances using a developed acting technique.
  2. Demonstrated ability to project the voice and body effectively as an instrument of creative characterization using developed voice and movement techniques.
  3. Demonstrated ability to create characters convincingly from various dramatic genres and styles.

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Musical Theatre

The BFA in Musical Theatre is designed to offer students interested primarily in musical theatre the opportunity to develop and hone skills in music, acting, and dance. The program is offered in conjunction with the School of Music. Students in the first two years take a two-year sequence of acting, two years of private vocal instruction, and two years of dance technique classes in a variety of forms. In the junior and senior year, students may choose from a variety of acting and dance classes to hone specific skills while continuing to take private vocal instruction.

Students in this program are evaluated in both acting and singing juries on an semester basis. They are evaluated in their dance techniques on an annual basis. At the completion of their fourth semester, students are assessed through a "barrier jury" designed to measure whether or not they have progressed sufficiently to warrant continuation in the program.

Seniors in the BFA Acting program perform a recital during their last year, which is designed to showcase their talent and serves as a capstone project for the degree.

The learning outcomes of the BFA Musical Theatre Program are as follows:

  1. Demonstrated ability to act; projecting one’s self believably in word and action into imaginary circumstances using a developed acting technique.
  2. Demonstrated ability to project the voice and body effectively as an instrument of creative characterization using developed voice and movement techniques.
  3. Demonstrated ability to create characters convincingly and perform vocally in various musical theatre styles.
  4. Demonstrated ability in various musical theatre dance techniques.

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Theatrical Design and Production

The Theatrical Design and Production program can be described as pre-professional training within a liberal arts program. The student, upon graduation, is expected to have acquired the skills necessary for: (a) entry into a graduate program of design and technical production, (b) entry level requirements for work in the commercial theatre, or (c) meeting the requirements for involvement in related fields such as display design, communication arts, the fashion industry or arts facilities management. To meet these goals, a program of study is divided into distinct but closely related areas, each directed toward the ever-increasing involvement of the designer and technician in the producing, conceptualizing, and staging of the theatrical piece. The successful completion of a core program of classes in acting, theatre history, play production and theatre management, along with more concentrated studies in the specialized skills of costume, lighting, scenic design and technical production is expected. Studies in dance, music, communication arts (electronic media) and in the fine arts disciplines of painting, drawing, sculpture and design are necessary to complete the basic artistic needs of the prospective theatre professional, and to develop an understanding of the "theatre whole.

Students in this program are assessed annually through a portfolio review. Students develop a working professional portfolio which contains examples of their work through drawings, draftings, and final project photos. At the completion of their fourth semester, students are assessed through a "barrier review" designed to measure whether or not they have progressed sufficiently to warrant continuation in the program. By the senior years students will have received a major design or production assignment that serves as the capstone project.

The learning outcomes of the BFA in Theatrical Design and Production are as follows:

  1. The student will acquire a knowledge and appreciation of stage design, costume design, costume construction, lighting technology, lighting design, and stagecraft.
  2. The student will be afforded the opportunity for research and artistic creation in the design and technology aspects of theatre in production settings.
  3. The student will develop basic design skills in, rendering, drawing, painting, and research.
  4. The Student will develop technical skills in technical theatre such as, carpentry, scene painting, electrics and costuming.
  5. The student will acquire knowledge of federal and local health and safety codes and practices.
  6. The student will acquire a professional and collaborative work ethic, the ability to accept and act on criticism and a positive attitude.

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Dance

The B.F.A. in Dance provides training for dance professionals within a liberal arts education. In addition to intensive technical training in a variety of dance styles, additional studies in choreography, repertory, dance history, kinesiology, and musical training are required.

Dance majors are required to audition for The Fredonia Dance Ensemble, the pre-professional training ensemble. The dance program sponsors activities throughout the year including performances, master classes, and workshops with professional artists. Dance majors are required to complete a minor, allowing for the pursuit of a secondary interest, or as support for professional career goals.

Students in the BFA Dance program are assessed based on their work within the Fredonia Dance Ensemble. At the completion of their fourth semester, students are assessed through a "barrier assessment" designed to measure whether or not they have progressed sufficiently to warrant continuation in the program. Students receive increasing prominent dance opportunities within the ensemble, the culmination of which serves as a final capstone event.

The learning outcomes for the BFA in Dance are as follows:

  1. The student will demonstrate significant technical mastery of a variety of dance techniques. This includes flexibility, strength, anatomical awareness, and a demonstrated ability to use the body effectively on stage as an instrument for characterization.
  2. The student will be familiar with the historical and cultural dimensions of dance, including the works of leading choreographers, dancers, and artistic directors both past and present.
  3. The student will understand and evaluate contemporary thinking about dance and be able to make informed assessments of quality in works of Dance.
  4. The student will understand elements of the creation and production of dance, such as performance, choreography, costume, makeup, lighting design, music, and basic technical operations related to productions.

Page modified 11/26/14