Communication and Theatre

Integrated Learning Objectives 

backstagePLU's Theatre program is designed to involve our majors, faculty and campus in a community learning experience. The program is designed in three parts to provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and perform.

First, we have a strong classroom experience that emphasizes theatre history, appreciation, and technical skills. We look at the role played by theatre as a part of our community and discuss how an understanding of theatre arts can be used in a variety of vocations and the building of our community. Second, we use our theatre 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 five 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 intended to help bridge our liberal arts education with the community to provide a means for our students and audiences to engage the arts.

In any of the roles as creator, scholar, arts professional, or teacher, theatre professionals must function as practitioners who exhibit both technical competence and broad knowledge of theatre, sensitivity to artistic style, and an insight into the role of theatre in the life of humankind.

Therefore, theatre students should 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 should be able to work collaboratively with others on a problem-solving task and evaluate the outcomes once the task has concluded.

Expression

Expression focuses on 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 should understand how to adapt messages to various audiences and apply the principles of communication theory to a variety of contexts.

Interaction

Interaction stresses students' ability to identify their interaction 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 should be able to make decisions within group contexts and to act ethically toward self and others.

Valuing

Valuing is the ability to value people, events, and artifacts around us and understanding how each of theses serves to make each of us humane beings. When we are able to appreciate alternate points of view, differences of opinion, and artistic expression we are better able to function in our world. The valuing ability 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. Individual expression and artistry are valuable and can be appreciated for what it represents.

Collaborative and Participatory Learning

The focus of a Theatre degree is the development of student competence through collaborative and participatory learning. It involves the inclusion of the skills and abilities associated with the Bachelor of Arts as well as the following:

Performance

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

Repertory

Students should have opportunities through performance, academic study, and attendance of productions to become familiar with theatre, to comprehend the quality of productions through comparative exposure, 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 should learn to analyze plays perceptively and to evaluate them critically. They should be able to place works of theatre in historical and stylistic contexts and have some understanding of the cultural milieu in which they were created.