Students in the Presbyterian College Department of Theatre create original theatre that challenges its audience to think about important issues in the world. We are committed to nurturing the artists, and not just the entertainers, of tomorrow.
In 2013, the Presbyterian College theatre faculty were awarded the Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region #4 prize for innovative teaching, in recognition of our program’s focus on the creation of new work. This focus has lead to the formation of the Centre for Devised Theatre. Students in the Centre for Devised Theatre pursue a course of study designed specifically around new work.
Each academic year, we produce two shows in our large black box theatre. We start each semester with the idea for a play and work in our classes to make that idea come to life. Theatre at PC is theatre without a safety net.
If you are interested in creating theatre that has something to say about the world with people who share your enthusiasm, then the Centre for Devised Theatre in the PC Theatre Department is the place for you.
“The purpose of art is to raise doubt – the purpose of entertainment is to reassure.” — John Whiting.
The classes in the Theatre Department are designed as a cohesive program focused on teaching students how to create new works. We offer a major and minor in theatre studies and no audition is necessary to be a theatre major. Many of our students combine their theatre studies major with a major in another subject. At PC, all theatre classes are open to all students.
The foundation courses, Intro to Theatre, Design Process and Acting Process, are required for both the major and minor in theatre and introduce the skills needed to be active participants in the creation of new work.
Courses About Theatre
These courses are designed to help students create dynamic new work by understanding theatre created by others. Although they all have different subject matter, they share an active approach to the material, including scene work. The courses about theatre are Theatre History I and II, African-American Theatre, and Intercultural Theatre. Typically, the theatre history classes are offered in the fall semester, and the others in the spring. Theatre History I and Intercultural Theatre can be used towards the International Studies Major.
Courses in Creating Theatre
These courses form the backbone of our academic program and our theatre season. The work created in these classes is presented on stage every semester as our main stage season. In the fall, the students in Adaptation and Documentary theatre create the script for the play. We hold open auditions for actors and craft the script with them in mind. In the spring, the students enrolled in Devised Theatre and Theatre for Social Change create and perform the play (or work backstage if being onstage is not their thing). Seniors will take either Devised Theatre: Capstone or Theatre for Social Change: Capstone. They will be expected to take a leadership role in the production that spring as the fulfillment of a major in theatre studies.
Courses in Dance
We offer two dance courses at PC – Movement Styles I and II. These are introductory courses, open to everyone, which offer an interdisciplinary approach to movement.
General Education Courses in the Department
The general education fine arts requirement may be met by taking Introduction to Theatre, Theatre History I or II, or Design Process. The department offers three courses that can count towards the intercultural general education requirement. They are Movement Styles two, which explores African rhythms in dance, African-American Theatre, and Intercultural Theatre.
Majors from the Department of Theatre have gone on to graduate school in theatre, have gone to seminary, have become teachers, lawyers and activists (and professional actors) – all careers where passion and an ability to communicate effectively are important.