The Department of Theatre & Dance provides courses of study as well as co-curricular activities to meet the interests of majors and the general student body. A number of courses in the department are open to all students who wish to explore theatre, dance or video production as an interest area. Advanced courses (3000 level and above) are usually open to students with appropriate prerequisites or experiences. Many of the courses in the department address Hamline Plan competencies.
Studies in theatre are an integral part of the traditional curriculum in the arts, broadening understanding of human interaction as well as enhancing the appreciation of the dramatic arts. Theatre and the allied disciplines of dance and video production are all part of the effort of the Department to integrate aesthetic, humanistic and social scientific perspectives in the study of this fundamental form of human communication. The Department regularly offers study abroad opportunities for students seeking to expand their understanding of the universal language of the performing arts.
Students majoring in theatre pursue careers in teaching, professional or community theatre, or in the allied fields of television and film. The skills taught as part of the major have also equipped majors to enter the entertainment industry as producers, development directors for non-profit organizations, special event and convention planners as well as public relations specialists. Majors are encouraged to pursue graduate school opportunities in their respective fields of interest.
Each year Hamline students participate in regional and national interviews and auditions for advanced training and professional work. The department offers regular workshops and review sessions to help prepare students to make the transition into a career.
The Hamline University Theatre mainstage performing facility is a fully equipped proscenium stage with continental seating for 300, computerized lighting control system, computerized sound recording and playback capability, orchestra pit, full flyloft, stage traps, a large scene shop with paint-frame, costume and lighting work rooms, dressing and makeup rooms, and Green Room. The Anne Simley Theatre is the site for all major productions and is used occasionally by outside professional theatre or dance companies.
A small flexible studio theatre is available in an adjacent building and is used for special projects in directing and design and as a performance space for one-act plays, readings, dance, and class activities. A well-equipped design classroom is used for classes in stagecraft and technical production courses. The department also operates a small television station with modern equipment. The station is connected to the campus-wide cable system and supports student film and video projects.
Departmental faculty combine active professional work in their respective fields with their primary role as educators. All faculty in the theatre program are involved in performance, directing, or design in the active Twin Cities theatre community.
Laura Dougherty, assistant professor. BA 1997, Drew University; MFA 2003, PhD 2010, Arizona State University. Acting, directing, theatre and performance of the Americas, gender and sexuality in performance, social justice and civic action in/through performance.
Kaori Kenmotsu, assistant professor. BA 1993, University of Minnesota; MFA 2002, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dance educator, K-16; yoga instructor, professional dancer, actor, and choreographer.
Jeff Turner, professor. AB 1984, Centre College; MA 1986, University of California-Los Angeles; MA 1991, Appalachian State University; PhD 2000, University of Colorado-Boulder. Teaching and research interests include American theatre history, directing, film studies, childhood studies, and popular culture studies.
William G. Wallace, professor, chair, designer, technical director. BA 1972, Concordia College, Illinois; MFA 1981, University of Minnesota. Stagecraft, technical production, theatre design fields (scenic, costume, lighting). Design consultant for area theatres.