Theatre Department adds zero-credit course to major, minor requirements

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

The Theatre Department will institute changes next year to better recognize student involvement in its productions.

The major will still require 42 credits, but the department is adding a zero-credit course to theatre majors’ and minors’ transcripts describing their experience in specific performances. All branches of theatre will be represented, including sound, lighting, costume design and acting.

Steve McLean, the department’s designer and technical director, said this change has been a long time in coming but was made with influence from the Music Department.

“This course is basically a course that asks students to be involved in the co-curricular program of the college in the Theatre Department,” McLean said.

McLean also said there are students who want to teach theatre at the high-school level but are lacking in actually theatre experience, which he sees as a problem. This change will emphasize the importance of theatre-production experience.

“If they (students) want to go to graduate school, the graduate school will be able to look at that (transcript), and it will be called to their attention that they were actively involved in the production of theatre,” McLean said.

McLean also said it’s crucial for students to have a more in-depth sense of theatre that can’t be taught in the classroom.

Freshman Kyle Bochart, who already has to audition for every production because of a theatre scholarship, said the decision to add a zero-credit course was a change made for the best.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Bochart. “People who aren’t of theatre scholarship aren’t required to audition for all plays, but now with the new zero credit, all majors and minors are required to audition for each play.”

Since he is already on scholarship, Bochart, like many other theatre majors, are required to audition for every play and help with other aspects of the production such as lighting, sound and stage crew.

Sophomore Jenna Lory feels slightly indifferent when it comes to the zero-credit course.

“I understand why they are requiring majors to be involved in all the productions,” Lory said. “But making it a zero credit is absolutely ridiculous.”

Lory, like Bochart and many other theatre majors, already had to audition and help with all other productions and said the majors should have a choice about how involved they are in a show.

“It’s pretty much telling us to get involved and do all of this work for no motivation other than the fact that it’s required,” Lory said.