Theatre Arts Mission

In Marquette University’s J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication, the study of theatre takes place within the context of a liberal arts education. A liberal education is a freeing education. Its aim is to release the student from the bonds of ignorance, intolerance, parochialism and prejudice. A liberal education seeks to free the student for citizenship in the realm of the intellect.

The mission of the Department of Digital Media and Performing Arts is to lay a foundation for our students in the theatrical principles, techniques and practices that will help them realize their potential not only as artists, but also as human beings. We recognize the role of theatre in social communication and the importance of fostering in our students and in ourselves scholarship, artistic expression, and expertise in the performing arts to accomplish our mutual goal.

The curriculum of the theatre major in the Diederich College is dedicated to the idea that the study of theatre outside the context of cultural traditions which gave it birth is essentially meaningless. At the same time, we insist on the careful and disciplined integration of curriculum with actual stage production of plays. Such integration differentiates a Marquette education from a professional theatre training program. The department expects its undergraduate students to gain practical experience in every area of theatre, developing all their strengths, even those that had been previously undiscovered. The department believes the hands-on, realized stage experience is just as important as classroom work. The production season is an active element of Marquette's pedagogical program, where much of the true learning happens under the close individual guidance of department faculty. The departmental production program instills a strong professionalism grounded in the respect and caring for others that graduates carry into the world beyond graduation. An education at Marquette University with a major in theatre therefore combines knowledge and skill; it requires that theory be tested in practice and that skill be demonstrated in production.