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Communications and Theatre Arts

The Study of Communications and Theatre Arts

Mission Statement. The Department of Communications and Theatre Arts seeks to lead students to an understanding of the theory, practice and ethical implications of their chosen fields in keeping with the university's liberal arts mission to educate undergraduate students for productive and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and rapidly changing world.

Encompassing Theme. The fields of communications and theatre arts focus on how people use messages to generate meaning within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, performances and media. The fields promote effective and ethical practice.

Theatre Arts Objective Statement. The collaborative nature of theatre is conducive to the liberal arts focus of Susquehanna University. Experience in both classroom and practicum of dramatic theory, theatre history, dramatic literature, performance, design and technical areas of theatre prepares our students for successful endeavors, regardless of their chosen vocations. The theatrical productions staged at Susquehanna provide vital cultural enrichment to the university community at large. The mission of this theatre arts program is to graduate majors well versed in the fundamentals of each creative aspect of the collaborative field.

Teacher Certification. The department offers a program leading to teacher certification in communications. Majors choosing this program also complete additional requirements specified by the Department of Education. Communications and theatre students interested in teacher certification will complete the following courses: CO:191 Interpersonal Communication, CO:192 Public Speaking, CO:275 Media Analysis, CO:281 Mass Media and Society, CO:392 Intercultural Communication, CO:481 Media Law and Ethics, CO:501 Practicum, TH:142 Theatre Production, TH:151 Acting, TH:253 Theatre History-Moliere to the Present, TH:353 Structure of Drama, TH:501 Practicum (4), EN:200, EN:250, EN:275. In addition, the students should see the Department of Education section to learn more about additional education courses needed for secondary education certification in communications. Students who think they may be interested in teaching certification should schedule a meeting with the university's Department of Education as soon as possible.

Internships. The department strongly encourages students to participate in internships. In today's job market graduates face the old paradox of not being able to get the experience necessary to get the jobs that require experience. Internships provide a strong solution to that situation across many fields.

Recent communications internships have included positions with a major advertising agency, a producer's office in New York for a major television talk show, a technology manufacturing corporation, and a television station, as well as an editorial assistant for a publishing firm, and as a public relations assistant for a major symphony orchestra. Other communications interns have worked with a national sports club as a marketing assistant, with several radio stations and newspapers, and at hospitals, a banking institution, and with dozens of other employers.

Honors. The departmental honors program encourages and recognizes outstanding performance in communications and/or theatre arts. To graduate with department honors, candidates:

  • complete major requirements under guidance of a faculty advisor,
  • petition the department head in writing no later than the end of the junior year,
  • maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA in department courses,
  • produce an acceptable written or production thesis based on one year of senior research/production work (CO:503/TH:503 Honors Study) beyond the required 48 semester hours,
  • submit the thesis at least two weeks prior to graduation, and
  • successfully complete an oral defense of the honor thesis.

Honors work not meeting the required standards will be applied as a university elective course. Departmental honors may be taken separately from or in conjunction with the university Honors program.

Honor Societies: Lambda Pi Eta (communication), Alpha Psi Omega (theatre arts), and The Society for Collegiate Journalists (journalism). Students who meet the requisite national and local standards are eligible to join these national honorary societies.

Optional Studies Program in Theatre and Television. Students wishing to combine theatre arts studies with television will complete the following courses: TH:151 Acting I, TH:245 Introduction to Design, TH:252 Theatre History I: Beginnings to Shakespeare, TH:253 Theatre History II: Moliere to the Present, TH:451 Directing, TH:501 (performance or design), TH:501 Practicum (major seminar), CO:190 Introduction to Communication Theory, CO:271 Broadcast Announcing, CO:282 Fundamentals of Television Production, CO:381 Video Editing, CO:382 Television Documentary Production, CO:481 Media Law and Ethics, CO:501 (two practica).

Optional Studies in Theatre Arts and Business. Students wishing to combine theatre arts studies with appropriate business courses as an undergraduate preparation for a graduate studies major in theatre administration are required to complete the following theatre arts courses: TH:151 Acting I, TH:245 Introduction to Design, TH:252 Theatre History I: Beginnings to Shakespeare, TH:451 Directing, TH:501 (one each in the following: performance, design/technical, open and major seminar), plus four semester hours from other theatre courses, and the business minor.

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