Technical Training Philosophy
The production/design 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 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." The individual does not exist in the secluded world of theatre alone; politics, business and society have shaping effects on the theatre and even stronger influences on the individuals working in the theatre. Studies in liberal arts develop a quality of reasoning and a better understanding of these influences.
In this field of study that is, at the same time foreign and demanding, a carefully constructed program of counseling is necessary for the development of personality, maturity, self awareness and discipline. Students are advised in the growth of their personal relationship to a rapidly changing and increasingly complicated profession and society.
Theatre is a specialized art form in which individuals need to develop personality, skills and styles. The awareness and understanding is accomplished through the formal studies; however, the skills and leadership requirements of the profession can only be acquired through extensive practical production experience. A willingness to make a personal commitment to the art is absolutely necessary if one is to partake successfully of these demanding opportunities. The more exposure an individual has to the practical side of theatre, the easier it will be to discover one's true place in the theatrical profession.
Theatre is a fine balance of personal artistic needs and necessary compromises. Along with developing the technical skills and artistic abilities, the theatre student should learn the acceptance of criticism, the ability to rise above egocentricity and to seek guidance when necessary. More importantly, the student must develop a compassion for and an ability to collaborate with colleagues.