Introduction: "So, you've decided to major..."

Theatre and dance invite us to create, shape, and communicate our understandings of identity and value; they also help us make sense of the world around us. Because they involve us as individuals and as a community in ongoing journeys of making and sharing, forming and performing, viewing and reviewing, theatre and dance also have the power to change lives. As a faculty, we are committed to sharing the joys of discovery, the rigors of craft, and the insights of criticism. We believe in making performances that are both challenging and entertaining for our students and for the greater community.

Theatre is a form of knowledge: it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.

Augusto Boal (1931-2009)

We set high standards for ourselves.  As a major, you will be asked to meet those standards.  You will be expected to develop and practice values of professionalism as well as creativity, flexibility and academic integrity in a non-discriminatory environment. 

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Find a Theatre/Dance Advisor

As you are just beginning your journey, it’s probably best that you get a broad overview of our department and how it operates.  Talk about your plans for the future and to let us know your intentions.  If you have not already done so, now is the time to select a faculty advisor from this department, who will help you develop a schedule for balancing major requirements with those of Curriculum I or II.  Talk to the department chairperson about finding a faculty member who matches your interests if you are uncertain as to whom you should ask.  Your advisor will be not only a valuable resource for questions or concerns you have relating to the inner-workings of the department and the guiding principals of Gustavus, but also a window into the industry of theatre and dance. Many students view an education at Gustavus as the first step towards a life in performance either as teacher or artist.  Others see a major in theatre and dance as a way of developing the creativity and imagination needed in any profession

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education: dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?  Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

The classes you choose at Gustavus, both to fulfill the major requirements and your electives, will have an impact on your competitiveness in the professional world and/or graduate school.  In order to give you the most solid advice on your career options and future success, your advisor needs to know your hopes and goals. 

Dance is the hidden language of the soul. ~Martha Graham (1994-1991)

This Manual

This manual was created as a guide and reference to the policies, processes, and expectations of this department.  By familiarizing yourself with this manual, you familiarize yourself with your education.  Take advantage of these pages.  And always remember, if you have any questions or concerns that are not covered in this manual, do not hesitate to reference your advisor or other faculty and staff in the department.

I am not myself; I am the potential of myself. Anna Deavere Smith (1950- )

As a major, the theatre and dance department expects you to understand the guidelines, rules and procedures outlined in this manual.