|MWSU | Academics/Departments | CJ||ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT|
The Communication Studies and Theatre Department offers the following degree programs:
A student should major in communication studies or theatre/video because we offer a broad range of courses and applied learning experiences that will challenge and guide students toward successful careers. We are small enough to offer a personalized educational experience; we are large enough to provide diversity within the program and to be a recognizable presence on campus and in the community.
If you are interested in a fast-paced, challenging career where you can use your creative talent to entertain or inform, a career in Communication Studies or Theatre may be for you!
The department is known for its student-centered approach. Faculty members welcome classroom discussions and utilize an open-door policy, making them easily accessible to students outside of class. They provide timely feedback on assignments and critique draft papers and speech outlines. They are available to assist students with registration issues, campus questions, and career plans. The department offers opportunities for students to work directly with faculty. The department conference/lunch room also provides a location for students and faculty to enjoy informal discussions of coursework, research, campus activities, or the job market. Professors in the department consistently engage in research and publish on a regular basis. They are active contributors to their professional associations and hold leadership positions in discipline-related professional organizations.
Many graduates attend graduate or professional schools to complete advanced work in communication studies, mass communication, theatre, production design, performing arts administration and filmmaking.
Students pursuing a degree in this department must complete the following courses with a grade of C or better: COM 104, ENG 104 or 112, and COM 210 or COM 222.
Students who can absorb knowledge from the classroom and gain practical experiences through production work have been able to excel in the program. In addition, students who have honed their writing and presentation skills have found it beneficial to their success.
High school students who have completed courses in Theatre Arts and Speech Communication are best prepared for the program.
Class size varies by area, but very few classes are over 28 students. Theatre/Video classes are typically small (12 to 15 students) with much one-on-one assistance. Communication classes generally range from 20-28 students.
Faculty and students work together on numerous projects from developing research papers for national conferences to film production, theatrical productions, and story collaboration. Theatre/Video faculty and students collaborated in hosting the Griffon International Film Festival, which featured workshops presented by industry professionals from New York City and Los Angeles.
- Communication Connection
- Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre)
- Griffon Eye Productions (Video)
Both students and faculty from the department have won several national awards in Narrative and Documentary Filmmaking, along with outstanding achievement awards in areas of Costume Design, Acting, and Direction, Musical Score, and Criticism from the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Region 5.
The department utilizes industry standard HD, DV and film cameras, NLE editing and DVD software housed on super fast computer stations networked with multiple TB storage, fixed and portable production lighting, sound mixing and recording boards, green screen and virtual studio capabilities. The theatre houses a 430-seat proscenium stage and a 60-seat experimental space, full scenic shop, hydraulic pit and paint rack, fencing equipment and dressing rooms.
The Communication Connection student group has received $10,000 in grants for video and festival presentations.
Our faculty members are actively involved with many organizations in the community, including United Way, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum, the Robidoux Resident Theatre, the Allied Arts Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the St. Joseph Museum and the YWCA. The department assists local organizations in such areas as acting, directing and designing local productions, supplying qualified personnel in assisting the technical needs and requirements of national touring performance groups, and offering educational and informational lectures to groups from elementary schools to senior citizens.
Students prepare and submit public relations campaign proposals to local nonprofit organizations. Several courses include service learning projects as part of their curriculum.