The Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance is committed to preserving, transmitting, and expanding our understanding of these disciplines within the larger context of a liberal arts education. A hallmark of the department's mission is the active integration of scholarly and artistic work in both courses and productions. The disciplinary relationship between Theatre and Dance offers a unique environment in which to explore and study performance and production from a multi-disciplinary and collaborative perspective. Students are offered a course of study designed to develop creative potential, foster inventive thought, and contribute to an appreciation of humankind’s artistic, intellectual, and cultural heritage. The Department is committed, through its productions, to providing cultural resources for College and community audiences, including classical and contemporary works that challenge and interrogate commercial theatre and dance. The disciplines of Theatre and Dance, because of their ever-evolving nature, are particularly well‑equipped to prepare students to be highly responsive in rapidly changing environments both within and outside of these disciplines.
Faculty are intensely involved in scholarship and creative work. Scholarly and creative activity supports faculty development as artists-teachers-scholars, and the teaching process is enriched when students are given the opportunity to be involved in faculty research. Scholarly and creative activity in the arts involves both extensive original work (in the form of direction, design, production, playwriting, dramaturgy, choreography, and performing) and research and publication. Collaboration within the department as well as with faculty in other arts, humanities and social science disciplines is also an integral aspect of faculty research and teaching.