About the Department
The University of Maine at Farmington is committed to providing students with a broad-based liberal arts education. For Interdisciplinary Theatre/Arts majors and minors that means developing critical thinking skills, critical artistic skills, a strong fundamental education in arts and sciences, developing the various communication skills and developing the basic theatre arts skills. The development of these skills will create engaged citizens able to tackle any future endeavor within theatre arts and beyond. Theatre helps create well-rounded individuals capable of leadership in areas above and beyond the specific theatre art.
The Theatre/Arts program at the University of Maine at Farmington offers students the opportunity to guide their theatre explorations through choosing any of the pre-suggested emphases in general theatre, acting, directing, technical theatre and Theatre Arts Administration. A student may also alter the emphases areas to suit his/her individual interests. Each of the options available for the student requires study of other related arts disciplines in Art History, Art, Dance and Music. These complement the general education requirements for all UMF students. It should be noted that if a student wishes to combine the study of the discipline of theatre with another or other related areas, the university offers the opportunity for devising an Interdisciplinary Individualized major.
UMF students who participate in theatre not only study theatre in classroom settings, but also work on the three to four major productions per year done by the Theatre department. The hands-on work includes acting, design, and crew work in all aspects of backstage work, stage managing and house managing. Students also often participate in the local community theatre, Sandy River Players.
The theatre curriculum includes courses that help students critically examine plays (Play Structure and Analysis, Theatrical Literature and History to 1800, Contemporary Plays and Theatre Practice from the 19th century, and Theatrical Literature and History of the United States), courses that teach the skills and practice of acting (Fundamentals of Acting, Intermediate Acting, Advanced Acting, and other Special Topics courses in improvisation or styles of acting), courses that focus on the theory and skills required for directing (Fundamentals of Directing and Intermediate Directing), courses that teach the theory, skills and practice in technical theatre (costume, lighting, makeup and scenery). Other courses like the Acting and Technical courses aid the hands-on skills of the students. In addition, special topics courses offer a variety of focused work in any one of the above areas.
The Interdisciplinary Theatre/Arts degrees from UMF can launch a career as a practicing theatre artist, prepare a student for graduate school, and open doors to careers in many other fields such as business, law, communications, etc. The goal of the Visual and Performing Arts faculty at UMF is to encourage our students to have the same passion for learning and exploring new ideas in a collaborative, ensemble atmosphere.
Like all arts, theatre does not exist in a vacuum. It is a product of its social and political environment and it is engaged in the exploration of what it means to be a human being in the world. For these reasons our classes teach not only theatre communication skills, but the use of these skills to engage artists and audiences in a dialogue about the world in which we live, and how we wish to positively influence the course of our future. That means we pose problems in courses and productions that requires critical exploration into means to communicate the ideas within those problems. Therefore we offer classes that investigate traditional means of communication, but also classes that investigate the history, literature and ideas of theatre past and present and that confront the contemporary role of theatre in our global society.
We have students who have pursued their explorations of theatre in graduate school and in internships at various community and professional theatres. We have a number of students who have had dual majors, had Individualized majors, and who have minored in theatre. Currently we have a small, but dedicated group of Theatre/Arts majors and a large and dedicated number of Theatre/Arts minors. Our students are encouraged to audition, to perform a variety of backstage work, to design, direct and write for theatre. For the student who studies and practices theatre arts, “All the world’s a stage . . .!”
For further information about the theatre department at UMF, please contact:
Peter Simmel – firstname.lastname@example.org