Mission and goals

Mission and Goals Theatre Banner

As a community of Theatre artists, we cultivate the stewardship of intellect and imagination in a forum for civic dialogue as we seek to understand our calling in Christ.

Theatre Missions ImageDepartment of Theatre Goals and Objectives

1. To cultivate the stewardship of the intellect and imagination.

  • To explore the intersections between Christian faith and theatre art;
  • To honor the complementary relationship between academic study and artistic practice;
  • To assist students in developing an aesthetic perception of their art;
  • To invite creative collaboration in our community.

2. To gain knowledge and experience in a broad range of dramatic genres, historic movements, and critical theories that shape our understanding of the past and present.

  • To disseminate knowledge of the theatre’s historical context through oral, written, and applied projects;
  • To identify and synthesize key characteristics of a variety of theatrical styles, dramatic genres, historic movements, and critical theories. 
  • To identify the reciprocal relationships between theatrical styles and movements, and the social, political, and cultural trends that shaped them;
  • To critique the seminal artists associated with these styles;
  • To recognize and engage theoretical ideas associated with seminal moments in theatre history; 
  • To demonstrate a sound understanding of research methods as a tool for historical and interpretive evidence;
  • To discover and apply systems of analysis to a variety of dramatic texts;
  • To develop inventory strategies that help illuminate the technical requirements and challenges inherent in the dramatic text;
  • To introduce non-western performance traditions through a variety of western experiences.

3. To demonstrate an understanding of all areas of theatre production (design, technology, performance). 

  • To demonstrate the fundamentals of acting including physical and vocal freedom and character development;
  • To participate in and evaluate a broad range of production experiences;
  • To study and experience the fundamentals of technical production and design.

4. To develop proficiency in one or more areas of emphasis (technical, production and design, acting, directing).

- Acting Emphasis

  • To provide the student with individualized attention in an intimate studio environment;
  • To develop competencies in Stanislavsky-based acting techniques;
  • To learn and experiment with other complementary and divergent approaches to acting;
  • To learn and apply vocal and movement techniques in studio and performance contexts;
  • To enrich curriculum with workshops and master classes;
  • To develop effective and practiced audition techniques.

- Directing Emphasis

  • To gain intimate knowledge of the theatrical process;
  • To study, critique and apply the ideas of seminal stage directors both past and present;
  • To be conversant in the working languages of technical production and design;
  • To embrace reciprocal and collaborative relationships between artist and art forms outside theatre;
  • To conduct and synthesize dramaturgical research;
  • To be conversant in various approaches to script analysis and deconstruction;
  • To develop and communicate a philosophy of directing;
  • To apply course work in directing theory, acting, design, and production to applied experiences;
  • To provide opportunities to participate in the production process as a director in a full-mounted short or one-act play.

- Technical Production and Design Emphasis

  • To gain competencies in one or more areas of technical production and design;
  • To experience current technological advances in theatre production;
  • To experience a combination of classroom and realized production and design experiences;
  • To develop systems of script analysis from a designer’s and technician’s perspective;
  • To develop the communication skills necessary to work effectively with other designers, directors, and technicians.

5. To develop a discerning critique of self, peers, process, and product.

  • To develop, present and critique a professional portfolio;
  • To identify individual strengths and weaknesses in self and others;
  • To discern aesthetic strengths and weaknesses in the dramatic text for performance;
  • To participate in a variety of department-sponsored forums for civic dialogue;
  • To participate in post-production critiques.

6. To prepare students for career and vocational opportunities and provide awareness of opportunities in a related field.

  • To encourage students to apply their knowledge and skills beyond the academy through internships, professional apprenticeships, and special projects;
  • To develop and present a professional portfolio;
  • To become familiar with professional development opportunities.

7. To educate a new generation of theatre patrons within the Messiah University community and the wider Central Pennsylvania communities.

  • To provide hands-on theatre experiences through the General Education program;
  • To contribute to our community’s aesthetic understanding of our world;
  • To provide a space where non-majors can explore the creative process of theatre;
  • To model artistic collaboration.

8. To engage in reciprocal relationships across the Messiah University curriculum.

  • To provide a diverse range of courses challenging to the theatre major, minor, and non-theatre major.
  • To enrich campus dialogue through partnerships with various co-curricular programs;
  • To network with other departments in order to develop and maintain courses that enrich our respective programs.

9. To collaborate with specific educational and artistic initiatives throughout Central Pennsylvania and beyond.

  • To enrich the cultural life of the external community;
  • To partner with artistic, educational, and public service organizations through educational theatre.