Theatre Program Mission
The Hampshire College Theatre Program is part of the School for Interdisciplinary Arts (IA), a democratic association of students, faculty, and staff who believe freedom of the imagination is an essential force in a healthy, dynamic, and just society.
We declare, even amidst a mechanized and digitized world, that live theatre is still relevant. We believe it enraptures us, changes the way we think and feel, and allows us to enter and experience culture, class, race, gender, and sexual orientation through completely different points of view. We believe theatre is a vehicle for social change, and that change often begins with self-awareness and transformation.
Our interdisciplinary courses mediate our historical roots in ritual, and our interest in creating new and experimental forms through the use of flexible spaces, innovative forms of technology, non-traditional texts, and movement-based languages. We enjoy pushing the boundaries of theatrical form, and redefining the content and character of contemorary drama.
We believe theatre teaches and necessitates collaboration, and we implement this philosophy in our classrooms and studios, where sudents, faculty, and staff are required to collaborate.
Our unique process-oriented program is comprised of four interdependent elements:
A core of theatre faculty design and teach interdisciplinary courses in design, playwriting, directing, acting, storytelling, theatre for young audiences, dramatic literature, history, and theatre for social change. The faculty and staff facilitate learning by working closely with students, and operate within a flexible and progressive curriculum that evolves from year to year. Our courses model collaboration through co-teaching between faculty who specialize in different disciplines, and between faculty members throughout the Five College Theatre Community.
This unique aspect of our program allows students to manage their own theatrical events and performances. Theatre Board is the student elected, student-run organization that designs and facilitates the Hampshire College production season; manages the annual budget; reserves space and equipment; reviews and funds proposals for guest artists; and serves the educational and artistic needs of Hampshire students through a myriad of experiential opportunities.
This broad category includes everything from faculty-advised productions, in which students may become involved as actors, directors, designers, stage managers, or fill any number of positions within a production or team, to community-engaged learning activities such as internships and field studies; curriculum-based activities such as study abroad programs and advanced courses; and performances and installations beyond the main stage season, including those with Hampshire's children's theater company, Seedlings Productions.
The Wayne Kramer Guest Artist Series is designed by faculty, staff, and students to support the instructional process through on-campus workshops with professional theatre artists. Former participants include Peggy Shaw, Naomi Wallace, Paper Bag Players, Charles Bush, Double-Edge Theater, and Eugene Lee.