1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/ profession?
Writing is important to all students intent on a career in theatre. Actors, singers, dancers, playwrights, directors and designers must use their skills to create cover letters, resumes, grant applications, websites and portfolios, to write press releases and to write scenes, songs and plays. Theatre dramaturgs and historians must be able to write program notes, magazine articles, scholarly articles and books. Development directors and theatre administrators must be able to write letters to patrons soliciting donations, to create websites and to generate promotional materials. Theatre critics must be able to author production reviews.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the (Writing in the Discipline) WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?
The theatre program has designated the following courses to be emblematic of Writing in the Discipline:
For the theatre design/tech, general and performance concentrations, the following courses will satisfy the WID requirement:
THTR 440: History of Theatre: Origins to 1800
THTR 441: History of Theatre: 1800 to Present
THTR 460: Senior Seminar
For the musical theatre concentration, the following course will satisfy the WID requirement:
THTR 460: Senior Seminar
These courses have been chosen as WID courses because they require and teach different types of writing essential to theatre majors.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?
A number of writing genres are introduced and developed in the music area WID courses.
Students in the theatre program will be introduced to and learn and practice numerous genres of writing in our WID courses. For example, in THTR 229: Playwriting, students will write numerous scene-types (e.g. action scenes, conflict scenes, event scenes, etc.). Students in theatre history courses will be asked to write detailed play analysis and play reviews along with oral presentations on the same topic. Finally, students taking THTR 460: Senior Seminar will create and perform a Senior Showcase in both Rhode Island and in New York City. This work will require them to write/create journals, a press release, a website, promotional materials and many other kinds of documents.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?
Students in the theatre program will encounter many different kinds of writing instruction. In THTR 229, for example, students will participate in one-on-one meetings with their instructor to discuss work-in-progress. In other courses they will be asked to submit drafts of papers to their instructor and classmates for feedback. Finally, students will produce and share various low-stakes assignments such as weekly journals and high stakes projects such as research reports.
5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?
Students who have completed the WID requirement should be able to do the following:
- Market themselves to a prospective employer or funding source via a resume, portfolio, personal website and other promotional materials.
- Market their production or their theatre to the public via press releases, websites and other promotional materials.
- Generate their own work (e.g., monologues, scenes, 10-minute plays, full length plays).
- Critically review productions.
- Analyze plays.
- Create effective oral presentations of monologues, scenes, plays, songs and design concepts.