Theatre Arts Studies BA

Program Purpose


The Theatre Arts Studies program is designed to produce students with a strong liberal arts foundation who can work effectively in a variety of careers in theatre, in related industries, or in graduate study. Graduates are generalists with training that can be applied to multiple venues and transferred to existing and emerging theatre environments as well as transferred to other non-performance venues. Students develop general and specialized skill sets, and master knowledge of performance culture, history, and theory. They implement processes that integrate current "best practices" and creative applications to new situations. They learn to collaborate. A strong critical studies core curriculum develops analytical skills and creates the foundation for collaborative application and experimentation. A wide range of elective options allows students to explore areas of interest in critical studies and dramaturgy, design and technology (costume, makeup, scenic, lighting, sound), directing and stage management, and playwriting.

Curricular Structure

The strategy of the program's curriculum is to offer a solid base, with adaptability and a degree of specialization for each student.

Thirteen credits of prerequisite and foundation courses give grounding in fundamental skills and analysis of narrative texts, as well as experience in the practical skills of acting, directing, collaboration, research and visualization.

Fourteen credits in core courses deepen knowledge of dramatic literature and theatre history, including theory and performance techniques.

The two credit Capstone courses allow synthesis of prior academic and production work in preparation for movement into graduate school or career.

Twenty credits in major theatre electives allow students to develop individually tailored skills as well as develop an area of emphasis, and give the student maximum flexibility to customize their training.

One important aspect of the program is "learning how to learn," as well as learning specific skills and abilities. Therefore, many curricular activities are supplemented by practical courses and production-related experiences where students are often taught by professionals in a professional environment. Students learn factual, conceptual, historical and theoretical ideas in the classroom. Then they integrate their knowledge, skills, and character through involvement in collaborative, evaluative and creative practical experiences.

Some of the most effective co-curricular opportunities extend the educational goals of core courses, overtly integrating spiritual and creative concerns. Graduates leave BYU with meaningful hands-on experiences, grounded on solid historical, critical thinking and technical competencies. This allows our students to compete with graduates of other university programs for jobs and graduate degrees in the professional and/or academic worlds.

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Catalog Information

Major Academic Plan

Learning Outcomes


Core Concepts

Students will demonstrate a comprehension of the core concepts, processes, history, and theory of performance.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 227 TMA 331 TMA 395 TMA 397 TMA 483 TMA 101 TMA 115 TMA 160 TMA 201 TMA 202 TMA 236 TMA 251 TMA 259 TMA 301 TMA 361 TMA 362 TMA 363 TMA 365 TMA 367 TMA 380 TMA 480R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge
Technical Skills

Students will implement analytical, conceptual and technical skills in a variety of performance practices.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 101 TMA 227 TMA 258 TMA 331 TMA 379R TMA 396 TMA 397 TMA 460 TMA 465 TMA 479R TMA 483 TMA 489R TMA 101 TMA 160 TMA 220R TMA 236 TMA 251 TMA 259 TMA 260R TMA 266 TMA 267 TMA 336 TMA 351 TMA 360R TMA 361 TMA 362 TMA 363 TMA 364 TMA 365 TMA 366R TMA 367 TMA 368 TMA 369R TMA 380 TMA 395 TMA 423R TMA 443R TMA 451R TMA 462 TMA 465 TMA 467 TMA 468R TMA 469 TMA 480R TMA 485R TMA 515R TMA 551R TMA 568
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Competence
Creative Voice

Students will integrate knowledge of core concepts, and technical and collaborative skills into a personal approach to creation.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 331 TMA 397 TMA 465 TMA 483 TMA 489R TMA 101 TMA 251 TMA 259 TMA 301 TMA 323R TMA 330R TMA 336 TMA 351 TMA 360R TMA 361 TMA 362 TMA 363 TMA 364 TMA 365 TMA 367 TMA 369R TMA 380 TMA 395 TMA 396 TMA 401 TMA 420R TMA 436 TMA 443R TMA 451R TMA 460A TMA 461R TMA 467 TMA 469 TMA 485R TMA 515R TMA 536R TMA 551R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Human knowledge
Character Building

Students will demonstrate a commitment to honoring their religious convictions, respecting the ethics of representation, and serving humanity.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 331 TMA 379R TMA 460 TMA 489R TMA 115 TMA 201 TMA 202 TMA 220R TMA 259 TMA 301 TMA 330R TMA 336 TMA 351 TMA 362 TMA 363 TMA 365 TMA 366R TMA 367 TMA 369R TMA 395 TMA 396 TMA 420R TMA 436 TMA 443R TMA 451R TMA 460A TMA 461R TMA 536R TMA 551R
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony, Lifelong service
Career Development

Students will demonstrate the verbal, visual, and written communication skills that show they are prepared for graduate studies, teaching opportunities, or other performance-related work.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 227 TMA 258 TMA 316 TMA 379R TMA 460 TMA 479R TMA 489R TMA 267 TMA 316 TMA 330R TMA 362 TMA 363 TMA 364 TMA 365 TMA 366R TMA 367 TMA 369R TMA 436 TMA 443R TMA 451R TMA 460A TMA 461R TMA 462 TMA 468R TMA 469 TMA 480R TMA 485R TMA 536R TMA 551R TMA 568
Linked to BYU Aims: Competence, Lifelong learning

Evidence of Learning


Most formal assessment occurs at the level of individual courses through exams, papers, teacher interviews, participation in discussions, etc. Informal learning occurs in the production process, including extensive mentoring from pre-production through the performance and ending with the post production evaluation.

Direct Measures

Theatre Arts Studies faculty place value on explicit, objective evidences of learning. They assess these evidences using traditional evaluation tools that include, but are not limited to:

  1. Written examinations
  2. Written research papers
  3. Quizzes
  4. Journals
  5. Pre- and post- production papers
  6. Portfolios
  7. Monitoring progress through the College Advisement Center.

Theatre Arts Studies faculty further recognize that many traditional assessment tools do not adequately and objectively measure learning in the realm of creativity, inspiration, and originality. Other assessment tools, which endeavor to determine student progress in these more intangible performance areas include, but are not limited to:

  1. Immediate faculty verbal and written assessment of in-class performances
  2. Immediate student verbal and written assessment of in-class performances
  3. On-campus public performances with feedback from faculty, students, and published sources
  4. Faculty assessment of off-campus performances
  5. Faculty adjudicated performance proficiencies at the end of each semester
  6. Carefully and specifically designed evaluation criteria for each performance discipline
  7. Professionally engaged faculty offering a knowledgeable industry perspective to students
  8. Faculty and student assessment within the rehearsal process

Indirect Measures

Indirect measure include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Student Evaluations
  2. Alumni Questionnaire
  3. Senior Survey
  4. Student Focus Groups
  5. Feedback from academic and industry professionals
  6. Feedback from graduates and colleagues in state and national theatre organizations
  7. Feedback from patrons and off-campus colleagues

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


Theatre Arts Faculty members gather the generated data and outcomes from the direct and indirect assessment measurements. The data is evaluated against program goals and learning outcomes. Strengths and weaknesses of the various program areas and courses are identified and recommendations for adjustments and improvements are submitted to the TMA Curriculum and Executive Committees. Through thoughtful discussion and debate, consensus is reached, changes are identified, and procedures are put in place to refine goals and outcomes. When and if necessary, proposals are forwarded to the College and University Curriculum Committees for approval.

The state of the department and its programs is a major topic of discussion at the annual pre-school meetings. Periodic faculty meetings throughout the year are devoted to program and curricular issues.