Dramatic Art and Speech
There is no history currently available for
this department. See School of
Dramatic Art and Speech
When the College of Letters and Science was
formed in 1951, the Department of Literature and Language divided
and one of the divisions became the Department of English, Dramatic
Art, and Speech. Until that time, all dramatic activities were extracurricular.
The first formal courses in dramatic art were offered in 1953. In
1961, the Department of Dramatic Art and Speech was established.
The A.B. degree with a major in dramatic art and
speech was first offered in 1959. In 1963, a dramatic art major
was established; by 1965 there were 17 undergraduate students in
this program. M.A. degree programs in dramatic art involving either
creative or research theses or comprehensive examinations were inaugurated
in 1962. In 1965, there were 22 graduate students in dramatic art
and there was a faculty of nine; there were five faculty members
in speech and six dramatic art and speech majors with a speech emphasis.
At that time, the department based its dramatic
art curricula on the philosophy that dramatic art is one of the
fine arts involving a creative collaboration by several artists
(actors, playwrights, directors, designers) culminating in a work
of dramatic art presented before an audience. The courses offered
gave students an opportunity for creative experience in dramatic
art and contributed to their understanding of the art through this
experience as well as through a study of its history and theory.
As part of the department's academic program and as a public service,
seven productions were presented to the public each year.
It was planned that dramatic art and speech would
separate in July, 1966 to form the Department of Dramatic Art and
the Department of Rhetoric. Until that time the department continued
to offer courses in speech which were part of the combined major
in dramatic art and speech. In 1966, the combined major was discontinued
and the speech courses were assimilated into an undergraduate major
in rhetoric and public address. Dramatic art had three public performance
theaters in operation by 1966--a flexible proscenium theater which
seated 550, a small theater which could adapt to various seating
arrangements, and the Wyatt Pavilion Theater (opened in 1963), which
had a thrust stage and seated 221. The first two were in the Dramatic
Art Building that was completed in 1966. source
See also Departments of English,
and Theatre and Dance.