I don't know if you were talking to me or Tarhunt, but when people say "theatre major" they mean performance major. TAPS is not that no matter how you slice it, which is why I made the distinction between a "theatre major" and a "theatre studies major." It's similar to the music major. Sure, there's a performance component, but it's hardly the focus. Likewise with, say, Cinema and Media Studies. CMST is not a "film major" in the way that people mean when they say "I want to study film."
This is to be expected since the College, as a liberal arts institution, disavows the practica one would find at an art school or a film school. It's also why the College doesn't offer pre-professional degrees like business or pre-law.
Last edited by Diocletian; 07-06-2006 at 04:05 PM.
The University of Chicago does not have a theater major. It has a subset of "Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities" called the "Theater and Performing Arts Studies Option" that is almost all theory and history and analysis. I know this because I contacted the person who is nominally the head of the UT and we had a nice, long exchange about what getting involved in theater there would entail.
I come from a theater family. My wife has worked on Broadway, in London, for Tristar pictures, Universal, NBC, and many top regional theaters, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie, Goodman, Steppenwolf, ACT, ATL, and legion others. I quit theater to go back to school and earn a Ph.D. many years ago, so my own credits are much less impressive. Still, I have worked at such places as the Seattle Rep, Oregon Shakes, Folger, Alabama Shakes, Colorado Shakes, Alaska Rep, ACT, and Milwaukee Rep.
I don't claim to be the worlds greatest expert on theater, but I'm going to bet that I know more about it than you.
My latest soon-to-be college matriculant has 18 professional productions under his belt, six high school leads, voice overs on National Public Radio, three national commercials, and about a dozen industrial films on his resume. He has an agent who has profited quite nicely from his work.
I can assure you that I have been INTENSELY interested in theater offerings at a number of colleges throughout the country because I know that, even though he doesn't want to major in theater, performing is an integral part of his life. It will be the same for my daughter who is 11 years old and already has seven professional appearances on the stage.
The upshot is that I have been in contact with numerous theater departments exploring such things as casting chances for majors and non-majors, how they view entering students with substantial training and experience, behavioral norms in various departments, and the like. I had a VERY pleasant exchange with a professor from Chicago who made time to correspond with me even though he was out of the country. That was an impressive thing for him to do.
What he told me was very encouraging. Chicago uses a number of working professionals from the Chicago theater community as instructors and, apparently, as references for student produced events. I went to my wife's contacts in Chicago and got very good feedback on some of the people doing the actual instruction. I'm pleased that, should my son choose to do some theater while he is there, he will be working with pros.
A sort of cobbled-together theater studies program that is a subset of an interdisciplinary studies major is NOT a theater major. It is no more a theater major than cobbling together some courses on such topics as the effect of engineering on society, an intro to the history of concrete, the rise of Japanese bridge building, and an exploration of the simple machines constitutes an engineering degree.
I don't mean to start a fight, exactly, but I get rubbed the wrong way when someone who is (doubtless) an undergrad who has never set foot on even a LORT D stage and may very well be a swooning-diva-God's-gift-to-theater-drama-queen-I-have-no-talent-or-training-but-if-I-pretend-to-be-the-next-coming-of-David-Garrick-and-Sarah-Bernhardt-everyone-will-lick-my-feet type starts telling ME about theater and theater training.
I assume you're referring to my little diatribe? You may not have read the whole thread. I said earlier that U Chicago does not have a theater major. Then, there was this reply:
"There most certainly IS a theater major at the U of C; it's called Theater and Performance Studies, or TAPS, which is part of the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities program. Do your homework before posting (and don't take anyone's word on anything said here, as it is often factually incorrect)."
Maroonatic accused me of not doing my "homework." S/he also accused me of being "factually incorrect." My response to his/her attack was to counterattack.
The fact is, I spent a considerable amount of time researching this topic and I have considerable expertise in the matter. I freely admit that I don't like it when people who know little about something accuse me of knowing less than they do.
To me, an undergrad (probably) who tells professionals and former professionals that they haven't done their homework and are factually incorrect are arrogant to a tee. I didn't mean my post to be arrogant. I meant it to be sarcastic and cutting, which is what I feel maroonatic deserved.
I read all the threat. And i do undersatand how you feel, I tend to get like that sometimes, but even if you were right you did sound a lil *****y, as if there was nobody who could know more than you do. But its alright though, no I know itwasn't ur intention. Anyways, its nice to know you like theatre a lot. I do so too, although I don't know much about it either. i did perform in at least 8 plays here in Peru, and co-directed one, but I imagine it is a lot less than what you do. And of course, most of these plays were in spanish, so I am sure there we'll be a big difference btw acting here and acting there! hehe
So did you study like theatre and something else? I am no longer sure what I want to do. i love economics, I am just not sure how much I like the jobs one gets after studying it, and theatre I like it a lot...probably will double major in TAPS and econ, but don't know what I'll be doing afterwards. Any advice? I mean, how did you know what you wanted to be/do the rest of ur life?
I didn't know what I wanted to do at your age. Actually, I went to college to major in physics. Then I picked up another major in English, so I was double majoring. Then, I found that I was spending all my time at the theater department because I enjoyed it so much, and ended up getting the equivalent of a third major in theater.
In my senior undergrad year, I auditioned at a regional theater conference and was lucky enough to be cast in a top, professional theater. That earned me my union card. I then was cast at several different places around the country where I met my wife. The two of us worked in theater together until it started to put a strain on our marriage, so I got out and went back to school. I got my MS and Ph.D. in psychology. My wife is still in theater.
So, there was no plan. I just followed my interests and it pretty much all worked out. The only advice I would have for you is this:
Life is not about making more money than it takes to be comfortable and to avoid worrying about money. Life is about finding what makes you happy. Find what you love to do, and do that.