Integrated Learning Objectives

PLU’s Theatre program actively involves our majors, faculty and campus in a community learning experience. The program is designed to provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and perform.

We provide a strong classroom experience that emphasizes performance, theatre history and literature, design, and technical skills. We look at the role of theatre as a part of our community and discuss how an understanding and appreciation of theatre arts can be used in a variety of vocations and for the building of community.

Behind the scenes backstage of PLU's theatre on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010.

We use our studios to put into practice the concepts, techniques, and skills developed in the classroom setting. Our theatre studios are next to faculty offices where teachers and students work together to refine skills and extend student abilities. Finally, we offer many types of public performance and outreach, from our mainstage productions each year to internships in the local arts community to outreach to area schools and community centers.

The Theatre program at PLU is designed to bridge our liberal arts education with the community to provide a means for our students and audiences to engage the arts.

PLU Theatre students are trained to master the following:

Critical and Reflective Thinking

Critical and reflective thinking stresses the students’ ability to observe, analyze, perceive relationships, reason, make inferences, and draw conclusions from the world around them. Critical and reflective thinking is the ability to define a problem, design problem-solving frameworks, implement strategies and evaluate the problem-solving process. Students work collaboratively with others on a problem-solving task and evaluate the outcomes once the task has concluded.


Expression is the ability to effectively use language, verbal and non-verbal codes, and to communicate in a variety of media including written and oral formats. Students understand how to adapt messages to various audiences and apply the principles of communication theory to a variety of contexts.


Interaction stresses students’ ability to identify their behaviors within problem-solving groups, and to use this self-awareness to function as an effective group leader, team member and facilitator of intergroup relationships in varying group environments. Students make decisions within group contexts and to act ethically toward self and others.


Valuing is the ability to value people, events, and artifacts around us and understanding how each of these serves to make each of us humane beings. We are able to appreciate alternate points of view, differences of opinion, and artistic expression to better function in our world. Valuing includes three subgroups: Ethics, Diversity, and Artistic Expression. Ethics is the ability to distinguish right from wrong and to understand how the consequences of our actions affect both others and ourselves. Diversity represents the ability to take on different perspectives and to understand our world from multiple points of view including the ability to apply many different frameworks to our understanding of self and others. Finally, artistic expression recognizes different people and cultures and how they represent themselves through different media in many different ways.

Collaborative and Participatory Learning

The focus of a Theatre degree is the development of student achievement through collaborative and participatory learning. It involves such skills and abilities as:


Performance experiences are of prime importance in the preparation of students for careers in theatre. Skill in at least one major area of performance is developed to the highest appropriate level.


Students have opportunities through performance, academic study, and attendance of productions to become familiar with theatre, to comprehend the quality of productions, and to be familiar with theatre literature of various historical periods, cultural sources, and modes of presentation.

Theoretical Studies

Through comprehensive courses in theatre studies, students learn to analyze plays perceptively and to evaluate them critically. They are able to place works of theatre in historical and stylistic contexts and have some understanding of the cultural milieu in which they were created.