CAPSTONE FOR DRAMA MAJORS        DRAMA 4393       FALL, 2009

M/W 2:30 – 3:45,  RTT 303

 

Professsor: Steve Gilliam  sgilliam@triity.edu or slgdesign@satx.rr.com/

Home/Studio (210) 494-7373

Office: RTT Rm. 118, 999 - 8587, Office Hours: TR, 2:00 – 5:00 or by appointment

 

            Some year for the economy and the arts, eh?  Fortunately, we know there will be a rebound, and that the arts will and must thrive.  Broadly speaking, this is what your senior capstone is about … what can I do with a drama degree and life beyond Trinity.

 

            I maintain that drama is one of the best liberal arts degrees a person might receive.  The overall experience should benefit individuals by helping to develop public communications skills necessary for a host of professions: teachers, lawyers, politicians, ministers, and business administrators, to name a few.  Theatre demands that students learn how to manage resources and organize work forces to complete tasks within specific timeframes.  Theatre students appreciate marketing, mass media and public relations as part of opening a show.  Students learn that there are problem-solving processes necessary to create a performance role or a production design.   Students learn the importance of discipline, commitment and practice.

 

            The lively art of theatre encourages active, engaged, upside-down thinking and leadership skills that corporations and businesses need.  In fact, a recent article in the NY Times suggested that the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree would eventually replace the MBA (Master of Business Arts) degree as businesses seek creative individuals to innovate for the future.

 

            Theatre demands hands-on work often lost in today’s internet society. In the process, we get dirty. But in taking things apart, we discover solutions, take risks and ultimately deliver a studied objective.

 

            Theatre requires students to explore significant questions, to think about and engage beauty, to discover what it means to be human, to tell great stories, and to work as collaborators for common objectives.  All of these attributes are essential for any field.

 

            So, what can you do with a drama degree?  Plenty. Now, it is time for you to seriously engage is your unique response. 

 

COURSE OF STUDIES DESCRIPTION:

            Drama majors with senior standing will create a portfolio of Drama coursework and production experiences, research career opportunities for the potential application of this portfolio, and present this synthesis to the Drama faculty, staff, and students.  Applicable guidelines are available from Drama advisors.  This course meets the Senior Experience requirement of the University’s Common Curriculum.

 

COURSE CONTENT:

            To begin with, this is not going to be a “carrot and stick” course. I will not grade your assignments.  What is the sense of providing you with a grade?  This course will not be a competition in finding the right answers.  Everything you do in this course is for you.  If taken seriously, the course should assist and prepare you to find your first job.  Clearly, you must take ownership of your own future.  How can I grade this?  Rather, I can facilitate the process of self evaluation, of reflection, and ask questions about your immediate and long-range goals.

 

            A significant objective of your self evaluation will be an inventory of the skills you have accumulated to this point in your life, in part as influenced by your liberal arts education at Trinity.  At the same time, you will be asked to explore what you are really passionate about.  This reflection will serve as a foundation to the rest of the course.  

 

            The class will research and share potential career opportunities in drama.  To personalize an understanding of individual careers, we will invite a number of theatre professionals to class to share their passion and insights.  The more we can explore the world of theatre, the more expansive the opportunities.  You will be asked to find a personal “fit” within the wide array of theatre or related careers. 

 

            At the same time, through your assessment of skills and aspirations, you will be asked to explore a career outside theatre.

 

            Given both choosen career paths, you will formulate specific strategies for achieving an entry level position in these areas of interest.  This will include the creation of formal letters of application, resumes, presentations, interviews and the sort. 

 

            Whereas nothing will be etched in stone by the end of the semester, the course should take you through the process of how to make future career decisions.  The culmination of this course will be a 5-minute presentation to UTC at the end of the semester.  This presentation will be essentially, “This is what I plan to do and how I am going to make it happen.”

 

            PLEASE NOTE:  The syllabus is an instrument of flexibility.  At this moment, this is the plan.  As we dig into the course, we may need to make adjustments.  The objectives will, however, remain the same.  How we get to them may change.

 

ATTENDANCE:

            This course is a guided and mutually supportive job placement commune.  Everyone will contribute to the collective.  You must NOT miss class.  2 missed classes lowers the grade.  But, most importantly, absences rob you of the time to reflect on your future and share your thoughts with others.

 

 

 

EVALUATION:

            As mentioned, I do not plan to grade individual assignments.  How you prepare and the quality of your portfolio will be apparent.  Missed classes, missed deadlines, will be reflected in your final grade, regardless of the portfolio.  You must show up to class … physically and mentally.  The final for the course will be a written reflection of your participation in the course and a grade you believe you should receive.  I will take it into consideration when I assign you a grade for the course. 

 

FUNDING: 

            As you should be aware, the department funds student development opportunities.  In the past, the Chair has request a formal written proposal requesting support.  If you are interested in financial support for URTAs, other auditions including graduate school interviews or other theatrical enrichment, see me to discuss the process and deadlines.

 

SOME VALUABLE  INFORMATION AND LINKS:

 

University/Residential Theatre Association

http://urta.com/index.php

Application will be available online in mid -August

New York City: January 23 - January 27, 2010


Chicago: January 29 - February 3, 2010


San Francisco (Acting Only): February 5 - 6, 2010

 

Southwest Theatre & Film Association

http://swtfa.com/

 

SWTFA Deadlines

http://www.setc.org

 

MidWest Theatre Auditions

http://www.webster.edu/depts/finearts/theatre/mwta/

 

DRAMA DEPARTMENT AND MAJOR EXPECTATIONS:

            It is a departmental practice to require all students enrolled in drama classes during the semester to attend both main stage productions and the 2009-2010 Stieren Guest Artist lecture. This year, we’re presenting An Evening with Broadway actor and director Alan Muraoka on Monday, October 26th, at 7:30 pm in the Stieren Theatre. 

 

Although not a requirement, we encourage you to attend the following:

 

First Year POT show on September 18 and 19

A TUPS Lab Show, David Mamet’s OLEANNA, directed by Aaron Aguilar

            on October 23-25

Matchbox Theatre’s ILLUMINATI, a play by William M. Razavi on December 1 and 2

Syllabus