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Title:Functions of academic theatre programs: An historical and critical study
Author(s):Ney, Charles Stephen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hobgood, Burnet M.
Department / Program:Theater
Discipline:Theater
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Theater
Abstract:This study seeks to determine the functions found within the academic theatre of today. It does so through re-examining the field's activities and the justifications for those activities in both an historical and contemporary context.
The past three decades have witnessed several calls for a substantial review of fundamental precepts and attitudes. These appeals have been issued by commissions, conferences and other groups examining various aspects of the field. The current climate in which theatre in higher education finds itself also seems to justify this analysis. In some instances universities have introduced cutbacks and the field has experienced a contraction of many programs' activities.
The study isolates four functions that account for the policies, practices, and rationales associated with academic theatre programs. It finds the following functions: (1) performance/production, (2) curriculum/instruction, (3) research, and (4) integration. Justifications for each function appear as additional activities are introduced by the field. This treatise interprets the history of the academic theatre by tracing the university's acceptance of activities associated with a given function.
The historical review examines separate sets of evidence. The first describes the field's progression according to (1) numerical growth of programs, and (2) the introduction of new activities. The historical precedents for various justifications are then closely analyzed. This discussion ends with an initial characterization of the four functions.
Due to the scarcity of information on the field's recent history (post-1960) the author conducted a series of twenty interviews with select leaders of the academic theatre. They include the past and present leadership of several of the field's professional organizations (such as ACTF, ATA, ATHE, NAST, and URTA). These sources describe justifications for current activities, attempt degree definitions and distinctions, and outline current issues.
The final chapter forwards paradigmatic definitions of the four functions. The notion of functions suggests that there is an hierarchy of functions to which a given program subscribes. A department of theatre's operation may be accurately described in detail according to its inherent hierarchy. Such a concept implies evaluative methods radically different from current approaches. An extensive appendix containing edited transcriptions of the interviews completes the study.
Issue Date:1989
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/23815
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Ney, Charles Stephen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924911
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924911


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