Department of classics raises curtain on new theater minor

Former performance studies minor includes courses in stagecraft, playwriting, text work and performance art | November 1, 2004

Xavier is adding a new area of study to its cast of academic disciplines. Formerly called “performance studies” and housed in the department of communication arts, a theater minor is now being offered through the department of classics.

Classes have been re-tooled and updated to combine academic training with hands-on experience to encourage study in all areas of theater. While acting skills and directing techniques are at the heart of the minor, coursework also includes stagecraft, playwriting, text work and performance art.

The theater minor works in association with the Xavier Players and their “theater of conscience” philosophy, which complements core study in ethics, religion and society.

A new theater advisory board, chaired by Graley Herren, an assistant professor in the department of English, works in association with the classics department to assure the best quality coursework as well as providing guidance and encouragement for all students interested in the new minor.

“Any liberal arts school should study theater, but a Jesuit university especially should, since the Jesuits were instrumental in the development of European drama,” said Herren. “With this new minor, we want to bring together expertise across disciplines to study theater from various perspectives. We also want to build a bridge between the classroom and the stage, strengthening connections between classroom theory and stage practice.”