“Inspired art speaks in the language of Eternity, teaching things to the heart the eyes and ears can never understand.”
— M. Russell Ballard
Dear Friends of BYU-Idaho Theatre,
In December of 2012 the Board of Trustees for the Church Education System approved a proposal to create a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theatre Studies degree that students can select starting Fall Semester 2013. This new offering joins our strong teacher education program as a new way for students to study, learn and serve. The degree program is highly modular, allowing students flexibility to craft an educational plan that will help prepare them for further study in graduate programs or entry into an increasingly diverse and exciting workforce. Additionally, students will cultivate traits of life-long study, creative thinking and diligence that will pervade all aspects of their productive lives as artists, parents and disciples.
With both of our degree programs, our intent is to create an honest, safe, and rigorous environment for study of the performing arts that allows developing artists not only to "seek ... earnestly the best gifts," but also provides them a context to "[remember] for what they are given." (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8)
The new degree program is an open enrollment, liberal arts style program with a basic core of study and a selection of emphases that can be tailored to address the career or life plans of individual students. Students who complete the BA program will be considered generalists in theatre, but have the opportunity to focus their studies in one of the following areas:
· General Theatre Studies
· Performance and Directing
· Theatre for Youth
· Theatre Design and Technology
Each emphasis is directed by a committee of theatre faculty who will mentor students, guide them to career and further educational opportunities and provide frequent feedback on their progress in their studies and skill development. We will also offer an Associate of Arts (AA) option of the Theatre Studies program. AA students will enjoy the same breadth of knowledge offered to BA students, but will not have an emphasis. Our proposal also includes a Concentration in theatre arts for students seeking an interdisciplinary degree with a theatre component.
The intent is that through the program's flexibility and rigor, students with interests in theatre may be able to tailor a training plan that will meet their goals and allow them freedom to develop those skills through various experiences. We express our deep gratitude to the Board of Trustees and feel blessed in this exciting season for the performing arts at BYU-Idaho. We embrace the challenge that lies ahead to continue to refine the way we learn, teach and serve. The work ahead will certainly continue to lead us to honest reflection and a lot of hard work, and also lead us closer to an understanding of how we can better help the university on its steady, upward course.