Theater

Doug Caskey, Department Chair, Professor of Theater
Randy Horst, Associate Professor of Art
Tamera Izlar, Assistant Professor of Theater
Pat Lehman, Associate Professor of Communication
Andrew Moeggenborg, Umble Center Technical Director, Assistant Professor of Theater

Introduction

The Theater department offers a flexible minor in theater and also a major with five concentration options, including a secondary education program in theater arts.

The theater program at Goshen College has a strong liberal arts emphasis grounded in aesthetic communication and performance theory. Students explore historical, philosophical and artistic movements and the specialized areas of theater design, acting, literature, playwriting, voice and movement. Courses in other academic areas such as art, music, communication, English and foreign languages can augment theater knowledge and skills.

The John S. Umble Center is the home for most theater productions. Two major productions and numerous one-acts are offered during the academic year. Musical theater or opera performances are produced in collaboration with the music department. The department also holds a biennial peace playwriting contest and produces the winning play. Visit the theater department website at www.goshen.edu/theater.

Career and postgraduate opportunities

Theater graduates have completed internships with major theater companies, and a significant number have attended graduate schools. Graduates are working coast to coast in repertory theaters, touring companies, video/film production, education, business and Christian ministry.

Theater arts education

A secondary teacher education program is available in theater arts for grades 5-12. Students should elect the theater education concentration described below. The program requires 30 credits of education courses, including a semester of student teaching. The first education class, Educ 201, should be taken in May term of the first year or spring of the sophomore year. See the education department pages and the Teacher Education Handbook for more details about requirements.

Major in theater

41-72 credit hours (core and one concentration area)

Core courses (23 credit hours)

  • Comm 204, Expository Writing 3
  • Comm 240, Communication Research 3
  • Thea 200, Theater Practice 2
  • Thea 225, Introduction to Theater 3
  • Thea 235, The Power of Story 3
  • Thea 387, History of Theater 3
  • Thea 409, Internship 3
  • Thea 410, Senior Seminar3

Acting/Performance concentration (18 credit hours)

  • Thea 245, Aesthetics 3
  • Thea 334, Acting 3
  • Thea 338, Directing 3
  • Courses selected from the following, at least 3 credit hours upper level (300 and above) 9
    Engl 306, Major Author: Shakespeare
    Mus 240, Class Voice
    Mus 262, 362, Opera Workshop
    Thea 275, Acting Lessons
    Thea 320, The Expressive Voice
    Thea 350, Playwriting
    Thea 355, Arts in London
    Thea 388, Themes in Drama
    Thea 412, Special Project
  • At least six semesters participation in theater productions NC

Design/Technical concentration (18 credit hours)

  • Thea 245, Aesthetics 3
  • Thea 332, Design for Theater 3
  • Thea 338, Directing 3
  • Courses selected from the following, at least 3 credit hours upper level (300 and above) 9
    Art 107, Design
    Art 242, History of Art II
    Comm 212, Broadcast Media Production I
    Comm 375, Multimedia Concepts
    Thea 355, Arts in London
    Thea 388, Themes in Drama
    Thea 412, Special Project
  • At least six semesters participation in theater productions NC

Theater arts education concentration (49 credit hours)

  • Thea 245, Aesthetics 3
  • Thea 332, Design for Theater 3
  • Thea 334, Acting 3
  • Thea 338, Directing 3
  • Thea 350, Playwriting 3
  • One of the following: 3
    Thea 388, Themes in Drama
    Educ 340, Learning Disorders
  • Thea 412, Special Project 1
  • Secondary education courses 30

Film studies concentration (19 credit hours)

Same as communication major concentration in film studies, described in the communication section of the catalog.

Generalist concentration (18 credit hours)

  • Nine credit hours of any theater courses, with adviser's approval 9
  • Nine credit hours of upper level (300 and above) theater or related courses, with adviser's approval 9
  • At least six semesters participation in theater productions NC

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in theater will:

  1. Develop an understanding of theater as collaborative and interdisciplinary.
  2. Demonstrate basic skills in effective oral, written and visual communication.
  3. Comprehend foundational concepts and practices in the theater discipline and develop fluency in one or more concentration areas.
  4. Develop a style of leadership that shows respect for others and models the college's core values.
  5. Gain a clear understanding of how their work is perceived by others.
  6. Develop a clear sense of Christian ethics and standards in the theater field.
  7. Have a working understanding of available theater and related careers and avocations.
  8. Be prepared for graduate school.
  9. Serve the campus community and broader public through co-curricular involvement.

Planning guide

First year Goshen Core
Introduction to Theater
Theater Practice
The Power of Story
Second year Goshen Core
Expository Writing
History of Theater
Theater Practice
Comm Research
Courses in major
SST
Third year Goshen Core
Theater Practice
Upper-level courses in major
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Balance of major
Senior Seminar
Internship

Planning and advising notes

Transfer students must have a minimum of nine hours of theater courses at Goshen College. The Thea 409/Internship should be in the student’s area of concentration. A senior recital and a portfolio or its equivalent are required for graduation.

Minor in theater

18 credit hours

  • Thea 225, Introduction to Theater 3
  • One of the following: 3
    Thea 387, History of Theater
    Thea 388, Themes in Drama
  • One of the following: 3
    Thea 235, The Power of Story
    Thea 334, Acting
  • Concentration in theater and related courses 9
  • At least four semesters participation in theater productions NC

Planning and advising notes

Concentration courses are selected in consultation with theater minor adviser. At least eight credit hours in the minor should be upper-level credit (300 and above). At least six credit hours must be taken at Goshen College. A faculty-approved and supervised theater recital (or its equivalent) is encouraged, but not required for theater minors.

Theater courses


THEA 200 Theater Practice 1 (1-2)
Applied on-campus work in a theater production or other theater activity. A maximum of two hours applicable toward a theater major or minor. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 201 Theater for Social Change 3
History, elements, and methods of theater performance. Includes script analysis, developing a performance vocabulary, idea generation/research, theater games/exercises, acting/improvisation techniques, production work and performance critique. Class members will create and present a public performance that explores a current campus or regional social issue. An Artistic World course in the Goshen Core.

THEA 209 Field Experience 3 (1-3)
Experiential learning in an off-campus professional setting, for theater majors and minors. The student contracts with a faculty member in regard to goals, performance expectations, supervision, evaluation and course subtitle. The 209 level is intended for first year and sophomore students. Upper level students should enroll in 409. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 225 Introduction to Theater 3
This course examines the elements of theater. It will include script analysis of selected plays, acting exercises, scene performance studies, design and production work. A theater lab will be required.

THEA 235 The Power of Story 3
An introduction to performance studies as a mode of inquiry. Concentration on the methods of communicating narrative texts for various audiences. Course activities/assignments will explore the power and role of story in contermporary culture by analyzing and participating in various storytelling methods. Attention will be paid to the elements of vocal expression.

THEA 245 Aesthetics 3
The study of aesthetics focuses on the philosophy of art, the nature of creativity, the work created, the problem of form and style, expression in art, society and ethics and arts and religion. The course includes lectures, primary reading materials and papers.

THEA 275 Acting Lessons I 1
Students may register for private instruction in acting and will develop individualized goals and address personal challenges. The focus is often on audition and scene work. Enrollment is limited with preference given to theater majors and minors. Consent of the department chair and extra fee required.

THEA 320 The Expressive Voice 3
Various spoken materials such as scripts, poetic verse, and narratives are used to explore and develop effective vocal skills to communicate expressive meaning. Breath, resonance, articulation, diction and expressive vocal range are explored over the course of the semester. Prerequisite: Thea 225 or consent of instructor.

THEA 332 Design for the Theater 3
Principles, methods and aesthetics of theater production: design, stagecraft, lighting, costume, sound and make-up. Lab work on current productions. Prerequisite: Thea 225 or Art 107 or consent of instructor.

THEA 334 Acting 3
Fundamental acting skills: movement, voice and character development. An emphasis on Stanislavski's theory of acting and realistic scene work. Scene studies from selected scripts. Prerequisite: Thea 225 or consent of instructor.

THEA 338 Directing 3
Principles of interpretation, analysis, design, composition and stage movement. The director's craft: play selection, auditions, rehearsals, and production. Lab session under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: Thea 334 or consent of instructor.

THEA 350 Playwriting 3 (1-3)
Students will examine the theory and practice of playwriting. Typically, students write a one-act play as the course requirement. Class will meet regularly as a seminar. Prerequisite: Any college writing course.

THEA 355 Arts in London 4
A May term class that encompasses theater, art and music study and experiences in London, England. Class activities include morning lectures, visits to art galleries, attending music and theater performances, and day trips to Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon, and other locations. Daily writing assignments and a major project required. A screening process reviews the health and the academic and behavioral performance of all pre-registrarnts. Offered in alternate years. Extra cost.

THEA 387 History of Theater 3
A study of the forms and conventions of all phases of theater (writing, performance, design, analysis) from classical Greece to the contemporary age. Emphasis on trends in performance. Includes the reading of selected plays.

THEA 388 Themes in Drama 3 (1-4)
A concentrated study of selected themes in drama. Themes might include a major playwright, advanced acting, musical theater, creative drama, improvisational or ensemble acting, religious drama or theater and multiculturalism. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

THEA 409 Internship 3 (1-3)
An off-campus internship in a professional or non-profit setting for theater majors and minors. The student contracts with a faculty member in regard to goals, performance expectations, supervision, evaluation and course subtitle. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 410 Senior Seminar 3
A consideration of ethical and professional issues in contemporary communication and theater. Information interviews with practitioners in communication and theater. Writing of resumes. Creation of a portfolio. Required of all theater majors.

THEA 412 Special Project 1 (1-3)
Students may conduct research of particular interest or pursue specialized applied projects in theater under faculty supervision. Can be used as credit for senior theater recital. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.