Hello theatre students!
As we come to the end of Fall 2020 with all of its stresses and difficulties, I want to take a moment to congratulate all of you for making it through the most wacked-out semester ever, and to applaud the brave and beautiful work you’ve done in your theatre classes. Also, a special congratulations to the students who graduated this semester – Ashley Reece, Jared Sanchez, and Mick Woodward. Good luck graduates – we will miss you!
I also want to remind you that, even though we aren’t in a theatre or classroom together, the theatre faculty and staff care about you and your wellbeing. If you have issues or concerns from this past semester, we would like to help you however we can. You can reach out to your teachers, to our Department Head Cal MacLean, or to any member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce. We know that COVID and ongoing societal tensions around the election and the Black Lives Matter movement have combined to make these particularly difficult times, and we would like to be a source of support for you. Here’s a link to the contact information for the theatre faculty (https://theatre.utk.edu/faculty-and-staff/faculty/) and the DEI Taskforce members (https://theatre.utk.edu/diversity-inclusion/dei-committee-taskforce/.) On the DEI page, you will also find an update on what the taskforce has been working on this semester.
You may not be ready to think about Spring Semester yet, (and that’s okay!) but when you are, here are some things to know:
- Many of the theatre department’s classes are listed as hybrid or fully face-to-face for the Spring. While we hope we will be able to spend more time in the classroom than we did this Fall, we understand that some of you are not ready or able to make that commitment. If you are concerned about participating in a face-to-face class, please reach out to your teacher and let them know. All your theatre teachers are interested in doing everything they can to keep everyone safe and learning throughout the spring.
- We will be holding a virtual department meeting on Friday, January 29th. You’ll get more information about that after the 1st of the year, but in preparation for that meeting we have created a Virtual Suggestion Box on the department’s website (https://theatre.utk.edu/suggestion-box/). If you have a question, idea, or concern that you would like to bring to the January department meeting, you can submit it anonymously to the suggestion box, and we will include them in the meeting agenda.
As we head into a long and much-deserved holiday recess, please be safe and take care of yourselves and those you love. Know that the faculty and staff of the CBT miss making theatre with you and are looking forward to the day when we are back in the classroom or rehearsal hall together again!
– Casey Sams, Associate Department Head.