Santa Clara University

Theatre and Dance department

Mission, Goals, and Objectives

A.    Mission Statement  (created in 2005)

Santa Clara University’s Department of Theatre and Dance is a community of artist-scholars, faculty, staff, and students celebrating the creativity of the human spirit through a shared commitment to undergraduate liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition.  Developing competence, cultivating conscience, and inspiring compassion, the Theatre and Dance Department requires study in the academic and creative processes which include the practice and analysis of:  skills required in the performing arts; critical evaluation of literature, history, and theory of Drama and Dance; collaborating in production; and public presentation of performance.

As teaching artist-scholars, members of our faculty make significant contributions in their fields while addressing the vital issues of our time.  In the context of the human family and its needs, the Theatre and Dance Department believes that the study of performing arts embodies human interaction.  Through the study of Theatre and Dance we foster an ethical and intellectual community, cultivate in our students the ability to think critically and creatively, understand and value diversity, communicate with clarity and conviction, and develop a vision of a better world together with the means to contribute to the common good.

B.    Student Learning Goals (1-5) and Outcomes (minor revisions in 2007)

1.    Self Expression: To facilitate the expression of ideas through the performing arts. The Theatre and Dance Department aims to integrate artistic training with spiritual and humane values.  Majors should be able to think critically, feel passionately, and share what they have learned with confidence and enthusiasm in their respective fields of focus.

A.     Effective Presence in expression of performing art in front of an audience.

Methods of Assessment:

Performance/Presentation Rubric, used to evaluate performances of acting and dance students and presentations of design/tech/ directing/history, etc., students. Ideally applied in first year and last year of student’s time in program, can be used in class or on stage.

B.     Critical Thinking in preparation for performing art.

Methods of Assessment:

Embedded Questions and analysis of writing samples in upper division seminar courses.

2.    Understanding Self in relation to the Whole:  To facilitate a balance of self-knowledge and connection to the outside world.   Students should have a clear understanding of their role in society, and the function of the arts in culture.  They should not only know themselves but have reflected upon this self-knowledge in a context greater than themselves.  By drawing upon an historical understanding of their area of focus, they can relate their current work to issues of community, culture, and social justice.

A.     Knowledge of the History of Theatre and Drama or Dance.

Methods of Assessment:

Theatre emphasis: Embedded Questions & Grade in Theatre History III
Dance emphasis:  Embedded Questions & Grade in Performance & Culture II/III

B.     Awareness of Social Justice in relation to the Arts.

Methods of Assessment:

Theatre emphasis: Dramaturgy Embedded Questions & One Act Play Festival Rubric (Elective course) &/or Social Justice & the Arts Rubric (Elective course)

All students: Embedded questions in Defining the Performing Artist, Senior Exit Survey

3.    Collaboration: Students must understand the nature of collaboration and have the skills to contribute productively to any group.  Sensitivity, generosity, and interdisciplinary communication are integral to the artistic process.

A.     Exhibit effective decision-making, listening, interpreting and problem-solving skills in support of a director’s, choreographer’s or designer’s vision.

Methods of Assessment:  

Theatre emphasis: One Act Play Festival (Elective course)
Dance emphasis:  Upper Division Gallery, Images and Recital Performers Questionnaire, Embedded Questions in Choreography journal assignment

All students: Rubric for student-selected project demonstrating collaboration, Senior Exit Survey.

B.     Exhibit leadership skills such as execution of one’s vision or concept, organization and ensemble building.

Methods of Assessment:

Theatre emphasis: One Act Play Festival (Elective course)
Dance emphasis:  Gallery Choreographers (Required course) & Fall/Spring Recital Directors Questionnaire (Elective course)  

All students: Rubric for student-selected project entailing leadership skills, Senior Exit Survey.

4.    Depth and Breadth of Artistry: Though not every Theatre and Dance student will necessarily specialize in any one area of the Theatre Arts, all students should have the opportunity to explore their interests in depth and acquire a broad, fundamental knowledge of the Performing Arts.  Excellence, in this context, is a product of the balance struck between specific skills and techniques, cultivation of the human spirit and body and a general understanding of the performing arts. Specializations gained, on top of a broad foundation, should support their entering the theatre and dance professions, attending graduate schools, or pursuing other vocations.

A.     Evidence of depth of exploration within one or more aspects of the Performing Arts.

Methods of Assessment:

Our faculty has yet to find consensus around how to evaluate depth of exploration. One possible method would be to gather evidence of three courses taken, projects contributed to or combination thereof that reflect an exploration of at least one area of interest such as: acting, dancing, directing, choreographing, design, technical theatre, sound, history, or playwrighting, where at least one of the three related courses or projects is not a requirement, and Sr. Exit Survey.

Additionally for Dance emphasis: Advanced Modern Dance I Embedded Questions. (Theatre does not have an equivalent sequence exploring one technique, as dance does with its five quarter modern technique requirement.)

B.     Evidence of broad theatrical or dance background that includes the following common areas of knowledge for all majors regardless of emphasis: basic acting; basic modern dance; basic design; two or more courses in ancient to modern history of theatre/ performance; at least one of the following: production, lighting or costuming; technical or back-stage experience; and personal and professional strategies for a successful life in the performing arts or related careers.

Methods of Assessment:

Student’s GPA in major upon graduation (since the breadth requirement is inherently structured into the major) & Sr. Exit Survey.

5.    Discipline: The Theatre and Dance Department seeks to cultivate dedication, instill responsible work habits, foster self-discipline and value group achievement.
A.     Evidence of dedication to and respect for the craft through demonstration of responsible work habits, including the ability to contribute positively and fully in both individual and group efforts.

Methods of Assessment:

Rubric, Grade in Production Workshop and/or Rehearsal & Performance courses and Sr. Exit Survey

B.     Understanding of current production practices, interdependent relationships of all facets of production, and basic stagecraft.

Methods of Assessment:

Rubric, Grade in Production Workshop and/or Rehearsal & Performance courses and Senior Exit Survey