What Can You Do With a POE in Theatre?
In order to generate more campus-wide interaction and interdisciplinary perspectives, the Juniata College Theatre designed a new initiative, based on the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, New York City’s premiere eco-friendly and socially conscious theatre festival. Our first fall production will be dedicated to sustainable theatre practices, community engagement, and inclusivity.
The plan has three components:
Each year a new guest artist is brought in to teach major introductory courses as well as a special course, called “Intensive,” within their specialty. Students can take a semester with the artist or the entire year. A required number of Intensive credits will have to be met but it is structured so that students can, to some degree, pick and choose which Intensives to take based on their individual interests.
Unlike most colleges and universities, the season at Juniata College Theatre is comprised almost entirely of original work developed by students. In classes such as Playwriting and Acting 3:Solos, students create material under the mentorship of faculty that is then rigorously rehearsed for our mainstage. Being able to see a piece from inception to fully produced show means that the student gets to experience the full life of a work. As such, students graduate from Juniata College as fully-realized, holistic theatre makers with pieces ready to stage in the professional market.
Our program model is highlighted in the Colleges That Change Lives book for good reason! Theatre students at Juniata get the benefit of immersion in multiple areas of expertise, and develop personal relationships with many professional artists in major American cities. This model gives our students automatic connections in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, Tucson, Atlanta, and Chicago. Students have real world examples all around them to see that it is possible to have a life in the performing arts, and are given concrete ways to proceed to make their goals a reality. And the guest artists who come here spread the word about us. Juniata is gaining an excellent reputation for having students that are motivated, bright, and fearless, and this is helping to put us on the map nationally in our industry, even though we are a small school that is not located near a major city.
Absolutely. In scene work and classes like Script Analysis and Introduction to Theatre, students will be able to delve deeply in canonical works from Classical Greek to Shakespeare. Additionally, it is the prerogative of the student that, in her senior year, she can choose what project she would like to work on for her Senior Capstone. Ideally, this will be predicated on the previous four years of study. So, for example, if a student is interested in working more deeply on Shakespeare, she should also plan to take classes such as Shakespearean Drama in the English department as part of her Interdisciplinary Approach.