Many students want to continue their interest in Theatre while pursuing a degree in a different discipline. At Carleton, we want to provide an opportunity for students to “Indulge Your Dramatic Side.” The Drama Studies Program, housed in the English Department, is a small program that provides students with the critical and analytical skills of performance criticism and dramaturgy. Rather than a degree in Theatre Arts, we offer a Concentration or a Minor in Drama Studies. As a relatively new program, Drama Studies offers students the experiential opportunity to engage as scholars and practitioners within the practice of theatre. Our courses are divided into the academic and the practical, with scholars teaching performance theory and local theatre professionals teaching practical workshop courses. Students gain invaluable experience with practitioners, learning what the craft of theatre requires of the profession.
The purpose of this fund is to support students taking Drama Studies: Contemporary Criticism. By providing students with access to practitioners and productions, in addition to classroom study of design elements like lighting, sound, and scenography, students gain the skills necessary to develop and hone their critical eye, and from there, their ability to write analytically about the experience of live performance. Attending an average of 10 professional productions is compulsory for students during the course of the term, and this can be a financial struggle for many students. This fund will provide students with the means to attend a variety of performance genres, including English, French, and Indigenous theatre, dance, and opera. Students write a series of reviews throughout the duration of the course, based on the productions they attend. Promising reviews have the potential of being published by Capital Critics Circle.
When we give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and critical skills in the dramatic arts, they don’t just indulge in their passion, but they experience learning as a joyful endeavour. By encouraging passionate learning, we want to make it possible for students to take their knowledge beyond the classroom, and into the world.