Central to the mission of Le Moyne College is the commitment to the education of the whole person, with the visual and performing arts playing a significant role in endowing our students with a strong sense of leadership, initiative and the spirit of inquiry. The unique and dynamic culture within our Theatre Program and the Performing Arts Center encourages and rewards a sense of adventure and an exuberant yet disciplined approach to creative expression. The core of our theatre work therefore lies in consistently providing students with opportunities to learn their craft by introducing fundamental foundations of theatre arts, to plant the seeds of this foundation in unaccustomed earth through the trial and error of experimentation, and to ultimately make the cognitive and experiential leaps that will result in successful implementation of these creative works for an audience. Through the tripartite processes of Foundation, Experimentation, and Implementation, the Theatre Arts program at Le Moyne allows our students to mature and develop in a way that best suits them as individuals, and ultimately provides them with a myriad of potential post-graduate outcomes as creative artists and proactive leaders.
a. FOUNDATIONS. Students will acquire the fundamentals and foundations of performance, design, theatre history, and the elements of playmaking in a variety of experiential and theoretical ways.
b. EXPERIMENTATION. Students will “risk, fail, and risk again” through many opportunities for rigorous hands-on exploration of and experimentation with the fundamental techniques, methods, and concepts they have learned.
c. IMPLEMENTATION. Students will develop the skills necessary to articulate and implement their creative vision in performance, design, and collaborative creation of works of theater in a safe and supportive environment.
In order to break the rules, practitioners must first have a solid grasp of them. All theatre program students will acquire and develop a wide variety of basic introductory concepts as the first step towards greater mastery of the craft.
Experimentation offers students in the Theatre Program the opportunity to stretch their understanding of theatrical fundamentals in new and often unexpected directions and a richer long-term educational experience. Through the trial and error of experimentation, students will gain the opportunity to connect the fundamental dots themselves and to organically generate their own idiosyncratic, creative problem-solving techniques.
Public performances or presentations are the opportunity to put into practice both the foundations and the results of the experimentation and are, quite simply, the apotheosis of our program. Through a variety of performances and presentations, theatre students are given the opportunity to test both their understanding of the fundamentals and the knowledge they’ve gained through various experiments in and out of the classroom. The exhilarating pressure introduced by the prospect of an audience necessitates an increased amount of focus, attention to detail, and care for the work. The pressure of constantly performing, presenting, and implementing the skills learned in their classes and in productions across the four years of the theatre major will encourage bold risk taking, take the sting out of failure, make practical the theoretical, prepare students to boldly present creative work to be shared outside of the comfort of the academy, and provide teachers and students with the oldest evaluative resource in the theatre: an audience.
To that end, the theatre program incorporates the following Student Learning Objectives into our assessment procedures:
- Students will create effective and well-prepared performances for a variety of audiences.
- Students will create effective and well-prepared designs for theatrical productions.
- Students will articulate the function and purpose of theatre in its historical and social context.
- Students will produce fully-realized performances, designs, and productions that are aesthetically meaningful and collaboratively prepared.
- Students will access relevant and meaningful information according to the professional standards in the field of theatre.