A message from the department chair

There are many ways to fall in love with the theatre

I fell in love through reading plays. Some people like reading the dialogs out loud; I preferred to read the stage instructions. I tried to imagine the space created by the director in her/his mind and to then watch the actors move within it. Some people fall in love with theatre through acting in youth clubs or school plays; some are attracted to the “behind the scenes”, to organizing the chaos of production or design. Some love the darkness in the auditorium just before the stage lights are turned on, expectantly waiting to hear the first line. Others are attracted to the idea behind theatre. After all, what is theatre? From the beginning of mankind, people have been singing, dancing, and producing tones from reeds or sticks. And yet, we might ask, why are there people who love standing in front of others and pretending they are someone else, somewhere else? And why do we love to sit in the dark or the light and watch this pretense?

The Greek philosopher Aristotle asked himself these questions in his Poetics and concluded that the need to imitate nature is natural and inborn, just like the passion to sing and dance. We enjoy imitating, Aristotle argues, since we learn from it and we enjoy trying to identify what is being represented by it. We enjoy the search for the meaning that is behind someone else’s pretense. In short, we enjoy the act of interpretation.

Theatre Studies engage with all of these aspects of theatre and with the secret of this unique art’s attraction through the ages. The department’s study program encourages the development of creative thinking and imparts a broad education alongside practical experience, and also enables students to develop a personal project, if they wish to do so.

The Theatre Studies Department invites you to join us and bring your curiosity and talent to a place that enables personal development and a group experience.

I will be glad to get to know you and to welcome you into our departmental family.

jrm

Dr. Jeanette Malkin

Chair of the Theatre Studies Department