The School of Theater has released a revised Bachelor of Arts program.
The change will go into effect in Fall 2016. It will replace the old Bachelor of Arts program when the current students graduate.
The program will give students the education they would receive in show business, but localized into a four-year program.
“There are jobs now that didn’t exist 10 years ago,” said Brian Parsons, associate dean of the School of Theater. “So that was the driver behind it.”
The course will focus on the applications and context of theater, teaching students to generate art projects for themselves and others.
“My hope and ambition is that when the graduates of this revised program leave, they will look at the world around them and just see opportunities to generate art,” Parsons said.
Kate Brennan, assistant professor of voice and acting, agreed and said the students “can be artists without anyone else giving them permission.”
The new degree program contains a requirement to study abroad. Students in the program will travel to the United Kingdom spring of their junior year. Expenses for this semester are included in tuition.
Brennan said the goal of the study abroad semester is to create “global citizens in an international market.”
The updated program also has a new capstone requirement. Seniors will be required to write, produce, fundraise for, and participate in a one-week festival of new works. The works can be digital, movement pieces or theater.
“This program is the answer to the classically based BFA,” Brennan said. “Because it is what a lot of people end up doing in the world, a hodgepodge life. We are creating sustainable artists.”
The School of Theater is searching for a faculty adviser to be in charge of the program.
“The ideal person for the job is renaissance, a jack of all trades,” Brennan said.
Recruitment will start for Fall 2016. Current freshman will be allowed to switch to the program with no repercussions.
Some students have expressed concern about the time they will spend acting.
“I don’t feel as if it would be focused enough on acting, but I feel like every program should have a required study abroad aspect,” said Emily Diaz, theater and music sophomore. “I just would not want to miss out being a theater performance and acting major.”
Dean Parsons remains positive about the program.
“Those graduates are going to be very exciting young people,” Parsons said.