Art reveals truth. It makes the invisible visible. It speaks to souls on the level of the imagination, making abstract concepts tangible, helping ideas become things we can see and hear.
In the dramatic arts, that happens through story and speech and song. The true and the beautiful presented on stage or on film, become windows to God. The tales told and the characters represented move, inspire, and challenge. They also contain within them the soul of a culture, revealing what a culture is and holds most dear.
That’s why theatre, like the other fine arts, isn’t a mere adornment to civilization, a nice extra for those who have the time or money to enjoy it. Rather it is an essential part of life, integral to any healthy civilization.
As a drama major at Franciscan University, that vision of the arts will shape your studies. As you engage in the study of drama, you will also be engaging in the study of man—of what drives him, touches him, and shapes him. You will learn the craft of performance and production, as well as, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “the greatness and wonder of the mystery of the human person.” You’ll also develop the understanding necessary for evaluating works of art, for understanding what makes something good, beautiful, and true.
At Franciscan, you will study under experienced theatre professionals who have made the study and execution of dramatic productions their own art. Your classes will be small, which means you will have ample opportunity for individual interaction with your professors. You will also have the chance to be involved in all aspects of theatre production—writing, producing, design, and performance—in both your classes and in the many productions staged by students and University faculty every year.
As a drama major, you will receive a solid liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition, enabling you to appreciate the importance of theatre to a culture. Your education in the dramatic arts will give you a strong foundation in the five major areas of the theatre: literature, history, directing, acting, and stagecraft/design. To earn a degree in drama, you will need to complete 39 hours of course work in drama, 12 hours in English, and 6 hours of a foreign language at the intermediate level.
Required courses include: Theatre History; Stagecraft; Fundamentals of Acting; Design for the Theatre; Principles of Directing; Theatre Literature; Theory of Theatre; and Production. In your final year, you will need to complete a senior thesis, as well as design and direct a one-act play for the University community as part of your Production course. Although only one semester of acting is required, you will be able to hone performance skills in major University productions, orientation plays, student-directed one-acts, various theatre workshops, and upper-division performance electives.
Majoring in drama will give you the academic background you need for a career in the theatre or for further studies in acting, writing, and theatre production. It will also prepare you for a lifetime of appreciating the fine arts. It will form your understanding of beauty, heighten your sensibilities to the true and the good, and enable you to follow the instructions of Pope John Paul II, who called upon all men and women to make their own lives “works of art.”