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Save the drama for…your major?
When Professor Crystal Brian came to Quinnipiac in 2000 there were only two students with a theater minor.
“I didn’t feel like there was a real focus or direction for the program,” said Brian, the chair of the new visual and performing arts department. “There wasn’t really a program, it was more ‘Oh, they like to do theater, we need a professor to do that so we’ll hire someone.'”
After years of rehearsal, the theater program has taken the stage and is ready to begin its first act. This semester marks the first in which Quinnipiac will offer a theater major and Bachelor of Arts degree in theater.
“We tried to craft a major that would sort of let students have a lot of flexibility in terms of what they want to focus on,” Brian said.
The major offers many different directions to the students depending on what they would like their career path to be. The four tracks theater majors can go on are the generalist track, which covers production and performance, theater education track, theater administration track, and theater for community track. The theater department has put together “Theater for Community,” a program that uses original or adapted scripts and is designed to bring about change within the community.
“There is always an attempt to get students to connect with community that they may otherwise never have any sort of knowledge of or connection with,” Brian said.
Past projects have brought students everywhere from Louisiana to Northern Ireland.
For the fall 2007 semester there are 10 enlisted students for the new major, and a faculty of about the same number; two of whom are full-time professors (including Brian). The lack of full-time professors does not bother Brian and she is confident in the staff the program currently boasts.
“I’ve been amazed at their dedication and commitment,” Brian said. “To be not full-time instructors, they act as if they are full-time instructors. They are extremely accessible to students. Plus, they have a lot of professional connections because they are all out there working.”
Upcoming shows the theater program will put on this year include “King Stag” and “Berlin” this fall, and “White Wash” and “Medea” in the spring.