The faculty and staff of the Department of Theater and Dance see the various forms of performance as expressions of a single aesthetic instinct. By exploring text, movement, and design, we discover, from different perspectives, the many relationships between live performer and audience sharing the same time and place. While we recognize the historical differences between theater, dance, and other forms, we emphasize their aesthetic and theoretical similarities.

As part of a liberal arts education, the study of theater and dance builds skills in creative problem solving, play, and collaborative action. When we collaborate, we deepen our awareness of the ways that our senses interact with our imagination to develop knowledge of ourselves, each other, and the world around us. 

Our department is not a conservatory-style training program, so we do not narrowly prepare students for careers in separate disciplines (say, for example, as actors or dancers). Rather, we seek:

  • to give our students concrete experiences in developing the unique creativity needed in the act of performance;
  • to introduce our students to the physical, emotional and intellectual demands of making performances;
  • to provide our students with the opportunities and means to explore collaborations needed for performance-making; and
  • to help our students understand the need across many cultures to express one's self through performance.