The Department of Theatre provides a student-focused liberal arts education that develops theatre artists, scholars and teachers to investigate current best practices and emerging entrepreneurial methods in theatre and other kinds of professional performance. Aligning with the university’s commitment to open-access education, we integrate the values of equity and inclusion to drive vibrant intellectual inquiry, ethical and informed community engagement, and innovative creative research practices.
OUR VISION AND VALUES
We see theatre education as a path to a career in the professional and educational theatre industries as well as any profession that requires innovation, creative thinking, strategic collaboration and communication skills. Our vision for the future aligns with our commitment to the following actions and values:
Community and Collective Action
● We embrace our institution’s commitment to an open access education and welcome students from across the state and beyond regardless of their prior level of preparation in the theatre field.
● We serve the rich cultural life of our urban region and facilitate partnership-oriented projects with the Charlotte metro area and its diverse communities.
● We foster an inclusive student community of citizen artists engaged in theatre practices that facilitate community change and social justice through partnerships and collective action.
● We recognize this is a complex process, a journey, and we are committed to taking that journey as colleagues, teachers and mentors.
● We offer culturally responsive pedagogies and production practices in service of equity, inclusion, diversity and anti-racism.
● We open space for anti-racism work that addresses current inequities in our community and region.
● We commit to participating in conversations with other communities and regions as they aim to take on their own anti-racism work.
● We examine robust global historical perspectives for theatre-making that interrogate past practices and pedagogies in service of a more equitable and inclusive curriculum.
Inclusivity and Collaboration
● We embrace a wide and inclusive range of approaches to the study and practice of theatre with respect to race, nationality, gender, age, sexuality, ability, economic status, and disciplinary focus.
● We seek the voices and perspectives of all students, faculty, and staff and strive to create an equitable environment that includes room for thoughtful discussion and the active practice of compassion and inclusion.
● We engage in collaborative processes while celebrating the individual voice, the synthesis of multiple perspectives and the acknowledgement of all contributions.
Investigation and Discovery
● We center the role of creativity in all of our research modalities.
● We examine the impact of theatre beyond our stages and interrogate how theatre challenges and/or reflects the current state of society.
● We engage in research that fosters innovative theory and practice.
● We emphasize a process over product approach to the study and practice of theatre.
● We create opportunities for students to develop critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills and to apply them to theatre-making and theatre studies with an ultimate goal of shaping the next generation of creatives/scholars/citizens.