Mission Statement

The Pomona College Department of Theatre & Dance embodies the liberal arts education. Through a synthesis of body, mind, and spirit, theatre and dance celebrate the community of world cultures. In an atmosphere of freedom, discipline and passion, students, faculty, and staff approach intellectually and artistically great creations of the human spirit, both in the classroom and in production.

Learning Objectives

The Department expects that all students majoring in theatre, or undertaking a dual major or special concentration with theatre as a core component, will demonstrate the following upon graduation:

  1. The ability to describe, analyze, interpret, and evaluate text, performance, and
  2. Competence in one or more theatre specializations in dramaturgy (theatre history/ literature), design and technology, and/or performance.
  3. An understanding of playwriting and production processes.
  4. The ability to describe and situate the principal eras, genres, styles, and forces shaping theatre repertory, and the ability to articulate the ways in which these both shape and are shaped by the larger artistic and cultural forces of the day.
  5. An understanding of procedures and approaches for realizing a variety of theatrical styles.
  6. The ability to develop and defend informed judgments, and to write clearly and conceptually about theatre.

Theatre studies are quintessentially liberal arts in that they embody the process of synthesizing theoretical and practical courses in a finished product called "performance."

Measured Student Learning

Other than the formal grading process, we have instituted multiple methods to evaluate student progress. These evaluation processes facilitate and enhance the development of our students' skills in analysis, synthesis and evaluation. A partial list of these methods include:

  1. Audience evaluation via talkbacks with public after performances and the use of audience surveys.
  2. In-class discussions and critiques with peers.
  3. Written analysis of departmental productions, guest performances, and professional performances seen by all theater students.
  4. Individual meetings with the director discussing the performer's progress during the production period.
  5. Informal discussions with other faculty members in the department.
  6. Performance and/or design showings (many times open to the public) and informal and formal evaluations at the end of each semester.
  7. Senior thesis and project oral defense and self-evaluation.
  8. Senior exit interviews.
  9. On occasion, American College Theatre Festival adjudication. American College Theatre Festival is a national organization which coordinates activities among theatre programs and departments throughout the United States. Highly qualified adjudicators from ACTF attend our productions and give feedback following the performance. They also nominate performers, designers and/or dramaturgs for awards of excellence.

As part of our program, students are encouraged to develop high professional standards by attending numerous professional theatre performances in the Los Angeles area. The department also provides additional educational experiences by bringing in professional, international, and leading-edge performers and speakers on a frequent basis.

Senior Exercises

  • All theatre majors, and those students undertaking a double, dual or special concentration with theatre as a core component, are required to take THEA 190-Senior Seminar, typically in the fall semester of the senior year.
  • General Theatre students (those not choosing one of the pre-professional emphases) are required to write a traditional full-credit thesis, which may be accompanied by a creative project. This project is typically not a formal Department production, and as such receives little technical support.
  • Performance Emphasis students are required to write a half-credit thesis, and complete a half-credit creative project. This project is either the performance of a major role in a faculty directed production, or a 45-minute Senior Acting Recital of solo and group work.
  • Design Emphasis students are required to write a half-credit thesis and complete a half-credit creative project. This creative project typically entails designing costumes, scenery, lighting, properties, or sound for a faculty directed production.
  • Dramaturgy Emphasis students are required to write a half-credit thesis and complete a half-credit creative project. This creative project is to be fulfilled by serving as dramaturg on a department approved production, and culminating with the submission of a production protocol and dramaturgical log and analysis.

The learning objectives and measured student outcomes for the Pomona College Department of Theatre are based broadly on the guidelines of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.