Greetings from the Westmont College Theatre Arts Department! It’s truly a time of celebration and new beginnings here at Westmont with the completion of Phase I building and a gorgeous campus. Our new tenure track faculty member, Bob Hamel, is leading a revised program in technical production and design, and we just upgraded our costume shop, scene shop, and lighting systems with new equipment for students to learn on. In addition, last December we completed a fantastic renovation of Porter Hall, creating a new convertible rehearsal and performance space, additional costume storage, and a new green room and seminar room for theatre and dance students! It is a time to celebrate, and our 2011-12 season did so in style, offering stunning productions of world classics, musical theatre, contemporary dance, guest artists and speakers from the US and abroad, performance art, new plays, and the inauguration of our new theatre space.
We are very excited to see the “theatre scene” at Westmont growing so quickly. Our numbers of majors and minors have doubled in the last five years, and the 2011-12 year saw 30 different theatre and dance productions, 90 public performances, and over 100 students participating! Throughout this time of growth, we have maintained our commitment to our department mission: to develop students’ creativity, technical skills, and disciplinary knowledge within a rigorous, collaborative environment rooted in an incarnational perspective on theater and faith.
As you look into our program, please keep in mind these qualities of a Theatre education at Westmont. Most important, we learn and create in a Christ-centered environment. Our fundamental mission is to integrate our faith and the study of the theatre. Not only do we wish to develop a broad and rich knowledge of the theatre, but we are committed to studying the art form in the light of the heritage and principles that inform our faith.
Our faculty and staff are comprised of talented teachers and theatre artists, with a great depth of professional experience. All of our faculty and staff work regularly in the professional theatre, and many have been recipients of major regional awards. Our faculty work closely with students, and since Westmont is a small school and our department is relatively small, each student receives a great deal of individual attention and training.
I encourage you to explore our website to find out more about our outstanding faculty, scholarships and what we offer here, including major and minor tracks in theatre and dance. Additionally, if you are visiting campus we encourage you to visit a class, see a production, and set up an interview and/or audition time to get to know us better. All the best to you in your journey, and please contact us with any follow up questions you may have about getting involved in the Westmont Theatre and Dance program.
Mitchell Thomas, Chair
Department of Theatre Arts