FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2007
College Theatre Department Introduces New Programs
Already offering students the opportunity to perform in an award winning Performing Arts Center (PAC) while learning from a staff of industry experienced instructors, this month the College of the Canyons Theatre Department announced the arrival of two recently approved degree programs to further assist students in pursuing their educational endeavors.
The new theatre department degree programs, which include options in "general theatre" and "performance theatre," will allow students to earn an associate in arts degree while providing the lower-division major preparation needed to transfer to a four-year university with a major in theatre.
"We've always offered a number of theatre courses, and we have this beautiful Performing Arts Center and black box theater right here on campus, but there was no theatre program, so students were taking all these courses but never earning a degree from us. Now they can," said Audrey Green, COC dean of program development and community extension.
The COC Theatre Arts program focuses on the study of the creative, historical, technical and cultural aspects of performance. Upon completion of the COC theatre program, students will be able to: differentiate the various movements in theatre history and critically examine how those past movements are reflected in today's society and entertainment; delineate the role of the theatre professional in theatrical and non-theatrical professions; and examine and evaluate the basic concepts of the dramatic form in entertainment settings or large public events.
"And for those students who aren't going to transfer to a four-year university, these programs will still prepare them for a number of employment options as well," Green said. "It provides them with another opportunity, and that's what we're all about here at College of the Canyons, is offering students opportunity."
With roughly 400 students and a growing selection of nearly 30 different course offerings, the COC theatre department is one of the fastest growing departments on campus - a trend that many at the college expect to see continue.
"The development of a theatre arts academic program has been one of the department's many goals since I came on board," said Susan Hinshaw, chair of the COC theatre department since 1999. "Our first priority was to prepare for the opening of the Performing Arts Center in 2004, but since then I have been in the process of developing many of the courses that comprise the two new programs."
The department expects the "performance theatre" option to be popular among students, with a number of both performance based and technical/design minded COC students already taking the steps necessary to declare theatre as their major, Hinshaw said.
"Students have been ecstatic about the new programs," she continued. "The first day I told them the good news, a group of students immediately left class and went to the admissions and records office to declare theatre as their major."
In addition to the two new degree programs, the Theatre department has plans to eventually develop degree options in "technical theatre," "directing" and "musical theatre," and certificate programs in "theater technology," "theater performance," and "theater management and production."
For more information about the College of the Canyons Theatre department and the two new theatre arts degree programs, please contact Susan Hinsahw, chair COC theatre department, at (661) 362-3991.