The Department of Theatre is guided by values that are reflected in our vision, mission, and daily endeavor. At the core of our values is a dual commitment: we are dedicated to educating diverse undergraduate and graduate students in rigorous programs that are fully integrated with the operations of a professional theatre serving the cultural life of the region: The Clarence Brown Theatre. We believe that the best way for students to learn the art of theatre is to study and practice alongside first-rate professionals. We uphold and promote high professional standards of integrity, behavior, and endeavor. We are deeply committed to the values of the College of Arts and Sciences: the traditions of the liberal arts; free, bold, and ethical intellectual inquiry; vibrant and effective civic engagement; respect for diversity and cultural variety; and an understanding of and appreciation for our nation’s and world’s rich natural and cultural heritages.
Our vision aligns with the vision and mission of the College of Arts and Sciences. We seek to excel among theatre programs in the nation. We will attract and sustain faculty who pursue creative expression and research that enriches lives and seeks solutions to society’s problems. We seek to impart empathy and self-knowledge to our students, and values of life-long learning and engagement. We seek to provide them with the knowledge and experiential foundations for a rich, fulfilled, engaged life and career as informed citizens. We will promote diversity and inclusion because these values reflect a basic human right to justice and equality of opportunity for all, as well as engender the best milieu to foster creative citizens and to prepare our students for the world.
The vision of the Department contributes to that of the University by: providing research and teaching excellence; providing students with opportunities to apply what they learn by working with high caliber faculty and theatre professionals on campus and in community outreach; providing, through the Clarence Brown Theatre, a major cultural resource to Knoxville and the state of Tennessee.
The mission of the Department of Theatre and the Clarence Brown Theatre Company shall be to achieve regional, national and international distinction by:
- Providing quality programs of study at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.
- Supporting a resident professional theatre to foster professional standards of production and performance.
- Enriching the study and practice of theatre with projects and pursuits which facilitate national and international artistic exchange among teachers, students and professional artists.
- Providing a cultural resource for both the university and the larger East Tennessee community that affirms diversity and inclusion in all their forms.
The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre shall provide an educational and artistic foundation for a life of work and research in theatre.
The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre shall provide:
- An education firmly rooted in the liberal arts, teaching students to think critically, communicate fully, creatively and effectively; and explore life and literature through the theatrical event.
- The development of collaborative and practical skills in problem-solving that are a foundation for a variety of career paths.
- An appropriate preparation for those students wishing to pursue professional graduate training in theatre.