Home >> Theatre Arts & Dance

Theatre Arts & Dance

These two distinct disciplines share one department with a combined 324 undergraduate majors. Because Theatre Arts & Dance are live arts/practices that take place in specific times and spaces and present their visions in embodied, non-cognitive form, writing within both disciplines involves complex acts of translation. Theatre usually begins its artistic explorations in textual sources, while Dance is a predominantly non-textual art/practice. Theatre Arts & Dance have distinct curricula, few shared faculty, and many adjunct instructors. For these reasons, the department has elected that the two programs pursue the WEC process on parallel tracks and has developed a capacious definition of writing, one that expresses its relationship to multiple intelligences extending beyond the verbal (corporeal intelligence, and visual or spatial literacy, for example), and that sees writing as a medium in which the creative process can be explored, extended, enriched, refined, complicated, communicated, documented, and critiqued.

In implementing its first and second-edition Writing Plans, Theatre Arts and Dance faculty have dedicated themselves to providing consistent communication of WEC­ developed writing criteria using two compact documents—one for each program (see Appendices A and B of the Writing Plan). These documents now serve as resources as faculty members develop or revise writing assignments and grading criteria for various courses and distribute writing instruction throughout its curricula.

In 2011, WEC Liaison Margaret Werry and WEC RA Stephanie Lein Walseth published an article based on the WEC Program and Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW)-funded research:, "Articulate Bodies: Writing Instruction in a Performance-Based Curriculum," Theatre Topics 21:2 (2011), 185-198.

More recently, in implementing its third-edition Writing Plan, the faculty is endeavoring to ensure that colleagues across programs feel that the list of desired writing abilities represents the broadly divergent fields in which they teach. Students and faculty are also being resurveyed about current perceptions and practice of writing, and survey results will be analyzed with results from the initial 2010 survey. Finally, as a method for re-booting Dance faculty's involvement in WEC, a graduate student has been charged with collecting data that portray forms and roles of writing and writing instruction in dance courses. Observation data has been brought to faculty for analysis, interpretation, and action planning.

Writing Plan