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Theatre Student Handbook

WTAMU Theatre Student Handbook

Mission and Core Values

Mission Statement
The West Texas A&M University Theatre Program is dedicated to excellence in teaching, learning and the practice of theatre. The program’s classes, productions and partnerships develop students who inquire intently, interact responsibly, and create passionately.

Program Core Values
Collaboration = creatively working with each other.
Commitment = regular attendance and the long hours.
Excellence = our best work in every class, call, rehearsal and production.
Learning = dedication to inquiry and the advancement of knowledge.

What the theatre degree is all about
A university degree in theatre or musical theatre provides a foundational knowledge of drama, a comprehensive skill set for the theatre, and an emphasis in performance, design and technology, education or musical theatre. More than the practice of theatre, successful completion of a theatre degree requires reading, analysis, critical thinking, writing, creativity, practice, preparation and many long hours in the theatre.

As a faculty dedicated to your successful completion of a theatre degree, we will
1) cultivate knowledge, creativity and life-long learning.
2) embrace the synergistic nature of theatre through creative collaboration and
shared research.
3) provide group and individual learning experiences beyond the confines of
scheduled classes, productions and rehearsals.
4) promote appreciation of the fine arts by connecting campus, culture and
community.

Every theatre degree is built upon and intertwined with the University’s general core curriculum. In other words, you are not here to study only theatre; you are here to study the physical world, a variety of cultures, communication, history, government, human behavior, philosophy and the creative arts.

A BA or BS degree in theatre is intended to prepare you for a variety of career opportunities. This is important to remember given an ever-changing global economy that is influenced by technology and a variety of other factors. In other words, you may have ten to fifteen different jobs during your lifetime. It is vital, therefore, that your education and training provide foundational knowledge and broad experiences.

Upon graduation you will have knowledge of content, experience with a variety of skills, and the one thing that corporations prize the most in the business world: teamwork. Ranked as the #1 asset by employers, teamwork is what theatre is all about. In most of our classes and all of our productions, theatre students, faculty and staff collaborate to create, solve problems and start and finish projects. This approach to learning and to theatre will be a life-long skill that should prove valuable in many future career situations

Academic Information

Program Degrees
BA/BS: Theatre (Performance Emphasis)
BA/BS: Theatre (Design and Technology Emphasis)
BA: Theatre (Education, All-Level Certification)
BA: Musical Theatre

Advising and Advisers*
When prompted by the University’s email system for advising or “greenlighting”, please contact your adviser. You must be advised and “greenlighted” before you can enroll for the upcoming semester/session. The program’s advisers are as follows:

Performance – Stephen Crandall
Design and Technology – Tana Roberson, John Landon, Anne Medlock
Education – Royal Brantley
Musical Theatre – Royal Brantley

*Students with less than 30 credit hours must also be advised by Advising Services. Open 8A-5P M-F, Advising Services is located in the Classroom Center next to the University Bookstore. Students may call 806.651.5300 for an appointment.

Theatre Program Requirements
1) Every theatre, musical theatre and theatre education majors will perform satisfactorily in at least one role or technical crew position, (including design, management and production running crews) for one WTAMU Theatre production each semester. If you are not cast in any of a semester’s productions, then report to the Technical Director for a technical/crew assignment.

2) All theatre performance, musical theatre and theatre education majors will audition for all WTAMU Theatre productions, unless excused from audition by the director of the production.

3) All theatre, musical theatre and theatre education majors will attend the required jury evaluation at the end of the semester. New students will have a jury at the end of their first semester in the program and all majors will have a jury at the end of each spring semester.

4) All theatre, musical theatre and theatre education majors will attend required majors’ meetings. Posted in advance, majors’ meetings occur at the start of the fall semester and the start and end of the spring semester.

5) From late August to early May, theatre, musical theatre and theatre education students are not allowed to participate in non-WTAMU Theatre productions without the written consent of a WTAMU fulltime theatre faculty member.

Learning Outcomes

Each academic program in theatre has foundational learning outcomes that guide curriculum, learning and achievement.

BA/BS: Theatre - Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcome 1: Dramatic Analysis and Theatre History
Ability to comprehend a diverse and shared theatrical/cultural heritage by analyzing and applying the major movements and works of the theatre.
Learning Outcome 2: Technical and Design Aspects of the Theatre
Ability to process and utilize the technical and design aspects of the theatre by demonstrating safe and effective stagecraft, and by creating innovative theatrical designs for a variety of performance venues.
Learning Outcome 3: Performance Aspects of Theatre
Ability to process and utilize the performance aspects of the theatre by demonstrating competencies in acting, voice, movement and characterization.
Learning Outcome 4: Theatre Production Skills
Application of effective, creative and collaborative production skills by synthesizing culture, theatre technology, design, and/or performance in the production and rehearsal process.
Learning Outcome 5: Public Performance
The display of theatre knowledge, creativity, expression and practice through engaging public performances for a diverse and changing audience.

BA: Theatre (Education) – Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcomes 1 – 5 as listed above and
Learning Outcome 6: Synthesis and Instruction
Ability to synthesize knowledge, techniques and practices for the theatre for the purpose of effective theatre instruction.

BA: Musical Theatre – Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcome 1: Dramatic Analysis and Theatre History
Ability to comprehend a diverse and shared theatrical/cultural heritage by analyzing and applying the major movements and works of the theatre.
Learning Outcome 2: Technical and Design Aspects of the Theatre
Ability to process and utilize the technical and design aspects of the theatre by demonstrating safe and effective stagecraft, and by creating innovative theatrical designs for a variety of performance venues.
Learning Outcome 3: Performance Aspects of Theatre
Ability to process and utilize the performance aspects of the musical theatre by demonstrating competencies in acting, singing, dancing, voice, movement and characterization.
Learning Outcome 4: Theatre Production Skills
Application of effective, creative and collaborative production skills by synthesizing culture, theatre technology, design, and/or performance in the production and rehearsal process.
Learning Outcome 5: Public Performance
The display of theatre knowledge, creativity, expression and practice through engaging public performances for a diverse and changing audience.

Juries
A program requirement, all theatre, theatre education and musical theatre majors must be juried each year. All new majors (freshmen and transfer) will jury each fall semester and all theatre, theatre education and musical theatre majors will jury each spring semester.

Students that do not schedule and complete their required jury will receive a grade of
I = Incomplete for all of their theatre courses.

Scheduled near the end of each semester, juries are similar to an audition or portfolio review. Usually held at night or on a Saturday, juries allow the theatre faculty the opportunity to assess student-learning and program status.

All jury information is posted on the theatre callboard weeks in advance of the actual jury dates. Usual information includes dates, times, what to prepare, what to wear, etc.

During the actual jury each student will meet one at a time with the fulltime theatre faculty. After each student auditions/presents their work, then the theatre faculty will assess, critique and evaluate the student’s work for the semester/year towards the aforementioned learning outcomes. Each student’s academic work, artistic development, sense of ensemble and overall progress are usually evaluated.

At the end of each student’s jury the theatre faculty completes a Jury Evaluation Form.
A copy is mailed to each student. On the summary portion of the form each student will receive their point total and a recommendation for program continuation, probation or redirection.

If a student is placed on probation then, regardless of classification, they must participate in the next semester’s juries.

Only one semester of program probation is allowed.
 
Academic and Life Help is Available
University studies can be challenging. Please remember that help is always available.
The theatre faculty and your peers can certainly assist. Also, please remember that there are a variety of services on campus (that you have paid for) that are ready to help you. A brief list includes
• Tutoring Services www.wtamu.edu/tutoring, 806-651-2341, CC 108
• Advising Services www.wtamu.edu/advising, 806-651-5300, CC 105
• Counseling Services www.wtamu.edu/counseling, 806-651-2340, CC116

Student Organizations

Alpha Psi Omega (APO)
APO is the national honor fraternity for theatre students recognized for their extensive and outstanding work in university and college theatres around the country. There are over 600 chapters (or casts).

Associate and Full Membership in APO are available to all fulltime students.Information about annual APO activity is announced during majors’ meetings and posted on the callboard.

United States Institute of Technical Technology (USITT)
The WTAMU chapter of USITT is for all students interested in the design, technological and production aspects of theatre.

Membership is available to all fulltime students.Information about annual USITT activity is announced during majors’ meetings and posted on the callboard.

Program Information

Program Priority
Acting and production opportunities are prioritized as follows:
1) Program majors
2) Non-majors
3) Community
Freshmen are eligible for acting and production opportunities.

Dress Code
Work Calls and Strike - Always wear work clothes and closed toe shoes or boots to all Work Calls. Avoid loose clothing and jewelry that might become tangled in machinery or tools. You never know when you may be painting or working with materials that may permanently soil your clothing, so you should dress accordingly.

Front of House/Ushers - All Front of House personnel should wear appropriate professional attire. Men should wear slacks, dress shoes, and a long-sleeve collared shirt; jacket and tie are optional. Women may wear dress slacks or skirts with blouses, or dresses, with dress shoes.

Running Crew - All stage crew members (including Stage Managers and Board Ops) should dress in black pants, black shirt and dark shoes. Crew members who will be seen by the audience during scene changes, etc. may be in costume.

Auditions and Juries – Professional/business attire. Consider university auditions and juries as practice-runs for professional interviews and auditions. Accordingly, students should look their best in attractive professional/business attire.

Strike
Following the close of the final performance of each production, all cast and crew members of the production and additional students as posted are required to attend and participate in strike. Strike is laborious and involves the dismantling and/or rearrangement of each production’s scenery, properties, costumes, lighting, sound, makeup and front of house materials.

All strike participants must follow the aforementioned dress code for Work Calls and Strike.

Visitors may observe classes and rehearsals with the permission of the appropriate faculty member or director.

Understudies
Some students will be cast as understudies. Understudies are responsible for attending rehearsals, memorizing lines and blocking and for being ready to cover or perform their assigned role(s) for rehearsals or performances as assigned by the stage manager or director. Understudies are not guaranteed a performance.

Tobacco
All buildings on the West Texas A&M University campus are tobacco free. No tobacco products (cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, etc.) can be used in any University building.

Box Office
The Box Office is located in the Hazel Kelley Wilson Grand Lobby of the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. The phone number is 806.651.2804.
The Box Office opens two weeks before each production.
Usual hours are M-F, 2:30p-5:30p.
Evenings of performance, 6:30p to7:45p.
Please check with the Box Office to acquire current ticket prices and policies
regarding complimentary tickets.

Theatre Production Assistants
The theatre program will, as budgets allow, hire students to work in the department. When jobs become available, a job description will be posted on the Theatre Callboard and posted on the WT Student Employment office. Possible jobs include accounting/budget, publicity/front of house, scene shop, costume shop and lighting shop.

Resource Room
A small collection of plays, periodicals, musicals, reference materials and archives are available in the Theatre Resource Room (FAC 124). Not intended to replace the University Library, the Resource Room is designed for in-class use only, all resource room materials must remain in FAC 124. Do not remove an item from the Resource Room unless you have permission from a theatre faculty member.

The Green Room
The gathering place for theatre students, faculty and staff; the Green Room is available for almost everyone at any time. Used for conversing, studying, eating, resting and preparing; the Green Room meets many needs almost every day of the week. Therefore, the cleanliness and orderliness of the Green Room is everyone’s responsibility.

During evenings of performance, the Green Room is reserved for company members only.

Callboards
The theatre callboards are located in the hallway across from the Green Room and Dressing Rooms. They are the primary means for theatre information and communication. Students are encouraged to check these callboards daily for timely information about current productions as well as educational and career opportunities.

Scholarships
Students must apply annually for University and Theatre Program scholarships. The application is available on the WTAMU website. The annual deadline is February 1.
Students who have received a WTAMU “Scholarship Guarantee” must notify their theatre adviser as soon as possible.

Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF)
Every other year the theatre program participates in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. Technical students who design or stage manage a KC/ACTF participating production may be selected to compete at the regional ACTF festival. Students who perform in a KC/ACTF participating production may be selected to compete in the KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Acting Competition.

Summers
The WTAMU Theatre Program does not offer summer classes nor does it produce summer productions. Accordingly, theatre students are encouraged to take transferable courses at another institution (general core classes are best) or seek summer internships or employment in the professional theatre. Please check the callboard, go surfing on the web, or talk to a faculty member about possible opportunities.

Visitors

Visitors are always welcome to the WTAMU campus. General tours are arranged by contacting the Office of Admissions at 806-651-2020. Theatre tours may be arranged by contacting a WTAMU theatre faculty member.

Safety regulations do not allow visitors to wait in the backstage areas or to participate in any rehearsal, work call, strike, photo call or performance.

Health and Safety
Safety comes first. In many classes and productions you will receive health and safety training. Remember and apply this training as you go about your various theatre activities. Above all, if you do not know how to do something, then ask a faculty or staff member for assistance.

Other Important Documents/Publications
For issues regarding campus life, student behavior and various University procedures, students are asked to review a current copy of the WTAMU Code of Student Life. Updated annually, this publication is available online and in hard-copy from the Office of Student Affairs.

All policies, procedures and responsibilities for students involved in WTAMU productions are available in a current copy of the WTAMU Theatre Company Contract.

Procedures and responsibilities for stage managers are documented in the WTAMU Theatre Stage Managers’ Handbook. Please see the Technical Director for a copy.

All health and safety issues are documented in the WTAMU Theatre Scene Shop Handbook. Please see the Shop Foreman or the Technical Director for a copy.

Faculty and Staff Contact Information

Faculty
Royal R. Brantley – Regents Professor of Theatre, Director
M.F.A. Trinity University @ Dallas Theater Center
B.A. West Texas State University
806.651.2813
FAC 123
rbrantley@wtamu.edu

Stephen Crandall – Assistant Professor of Theatre, Director
M.F.A. University of Nevada – Las Vegas
B.S. West Texas A&M University
806.651.3255
FAC 119
scrandall@wtamu.edu

Tana Roberson – Assistant Professor of Theatre, Scenic and Lighting Designer
M.F.A University of Georgia
B.A. Oklahoma Baptist University
806.651.2814
FAC 121
troberson@wtamu.edu

John H. Landon – Professor of Theatre, Technical Director
M.F.A. Trinity University @ Dallas Theater Center
B.A. Hardin Simmons University
806.651.2815
FAC 122
jlandon@wtamu.edu

Anne Medlock – Associate Professor of Theatre, Costume Designer
M.F.A. Kent State University
B.A. College of Wooster
806.651.3254
FAC 120
amedlock@wtamu.edu

Staff
Rebecca Conway – Costume Shop Manager
806.651.2873
FAC 128
rconway@wtamu.edu

Larry A. Hunter – Scene Shop Foreman
806.651.2805
FAC 139
lhunter@wtamu.edu

Christie Spring – Departmental Secretary
806.651.2799
FAC 103
cspring@wtamu.edu

Contact Information

Phone
Box Office                                     651.2804
Costume Shop                           651.2873
University Police Department  651.2300
WTAMU Emergency                   651.5000
Randall County Emergency     911
Web
www.wtamu.edu
www.wtamu.edu/theatre 

 

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