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Final Model for Theatre, Film, Dance

09/30/2010

OPTION TITLE: DEPARTMENT OF PERFORMANCE & MEDIA

Proposed collaboratively by Melanie Dreyer, Ellen Gainor, Sabine Haenni, Beth Milles, Joyce
Morgenroth, Lisa Patti, Nick Salvato, Sara Warner, Amy Villarejo (with input from Kent Goetz)

DESCRIPTION: a reorganization of the department that will reflect both current trends in the
academy and the university’s new strategic plan (in particular its key concepts: focus and
connectivity).

VALUES:
1. academic excellence/faculty excellence
2. embodied practice/studio/labs integrated with academic work
3. production opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students
4. production in concert with undergraduate and graduate curricula
5. collaboration with other units across campus (English, AAP, Human Ecology,
Communication, Hotel, ILR, etc.)
6. teaching & production and theory & practice integrated
7. collaborative teaching
8. production supports all areas
9. multi-sourced and multi-directional artistic season
10. fostering national and international connections and creative opportunities through
collaborative production, service learning, and external work/study for faculty and
students

NEWLY ENVISIONED:
1. more cohesive department with two majors and 4-6 concentrations
2. streamlined DUS work (reduce to one for department or two, with one for each major)
3. more student-generated productions
4. greater opportunities for graduate students because they will teach some of the classes
currently taught by SLs, TSSs, and RPTAs
5. more fully developed media and performance studies focus
6. building programming in all spaces curated by committee
7. new curriculum (see addendum for its organization)
8. Performance Lab for cross-disciplinary exploration and collaboration

LOST:
1. theatre, film, and dance as separately titled rubrics but maintained within new majors
2. production as entity distinct from curricular goals
3. Equity Actor RPTA program
4. regional theatre model

SUSTAINED (current activities that remain +/- unchanged):
1. retention of tenure and tenure-track faculty
2. production, in a modified form

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KEY QUESTION THAT YOU ARE ASKING TO DECIDE YOUR BUDGET CUTS: What is necessary
to promote and sustain academic excellence in the fields of Performance & Media?

SPECIFIC CUTS:
$658,300 (loss of 9 positions)
Scene Shop (Props Coord. – TSS, Props Carpenter – TSS); Stage Management (Prod. Coord.
– SL); Costume Shop (Mgr. – SL; Cutter/draper – TSS); Dance (Dance 3 – SL, Dance 4 – SL
Dance 5 – 1/3 SL); Admin Support (Marketing Director – ADM); Teaching Lecturer (DUS)

MEASURES OF SUCCESS:
1. Measurable faculty distinction: fellowships, grants, awards, offers, publications
2. Measurable student distinction: fellowships, grants, awards, graduate/professional
school admission, job placement, time to degree
3. Measurable increase in number of majors and students taking courses

NOTES:

1. Anticipating future retirements and resignation, we urge the addition of a position in
Film Production, either at the (Senior) Lecturer level or at the Assistant Professor level.

2. We would also like to develop an Artists-in-Residence program, which would provide
crucial teaching as well as production mentoring in all forms of performance and media
being taught in the department. Such a program would be one key place to foster
collaborative, international work.

3. We feel strongly that before eliminating specific positions within each subcategory
(which inevitably means dismissing specific people), we need further consultation
with the faculty most closely involved, e.g. those working in particular shops.

4. Instead of retaining our autonomous graduate program, we might consider clustering
with other fields (Comparative Literature, Art History, etc.). We might also consider the
possibility of expanding the graduate program to include “Cinema and Media” studies at
some point in the future (as indicated in the plan sketched in our addendum, below).

ADDENDUM: PROPOSAL FOR CURRICULAR REORGANIZATION

I.

Department of Performance and Media

II.

Majors

A. Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

B. Cinema and Media Studies

III.

Minors

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A. Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

B. Cinema and Media Studies

IV.

A major would consist of a) a series of required core courses and b) a series of additional
courses in a concentration. We propose the following concentrations can be offered
given the proposed faculty:

A. Production, design, and technology

B. Performance, movement, and voice

C. Directing and adaptation

D. History and theory

E. Creative writing, dramaturgy, and criticism

F. Industry studies

G. Self-created concentration

V.

Graduate programs

A. Theatre and Performance Studies

B. Cinema and Media Studies

VI.

Undergraduate curriculum

*Students may choose one of the two offered majors or may double-major in both areas.

*Courses in both majors will be offered in one (or more) of several concentrations that unite
the two majors. Student majors must select one concentration track (or two) to structure their
program of study; we might want to discuss whether all majoring students must take at least
one course in each of the four concentration tracks.

*All students majoring in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and/or Cinema and Media
Studies might be required to complete BOTH Introduction to Theatre, Dance, and Performance
Studies AND Introduction to Cinema and Media Studies (large “gateway” lecture courses at the
1000 level that will be open to both majors and non-majors).

*All students majoring in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and/or Cinema and Media
Studies must complete a senior proseminar that brings all students in the department together
(open only to department majors).

*All faculty members might offer occasional (approximately once a year or once every other

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year) workshops or mini-courses to enhance the curriculum.

*Relevant offerings in the following fields may be incorporated into the curriculum if possible
or cross-university courses may be developed in collaboration with other faculty if possible:

A. Production, design, and technology: computer science, art, architecture, design and
environmental analysis, textile and apparel design, science and technology studies, engineering,
physics, etc.

B. Performance, movement, and voice: music, communications, etc.

C. Directing and adaptation: communications, English, music, visual studies, etc.

D. History and theory: literature and area studies departments, communications, FGSS,
science and technology studies, art history, etc.

E. Creative writing, dramaturgy, and criticism: English, comparative literature, visual
studies, etc.

F. Industry studies: economics, business, law, industrial and labor relations,
communications, art, etc.

VII. Graduate curriculum

*Graduate students both in Theatre and Performance Studies and in Cinema and Media Studies
will take a common proseminar, whose specific content is determined by faculty availability and
interests.

*Graduate students in Theatre and Performance Studies will play critical roles as teaching
assistants for large introductory courses and as production assistants (in a variety of
possible roles) for course-based undergraduate student productions in Theatre, Dance and
Performance.

*Graduate students in Theatre and Performance will also produce one performance (broadly
interpreted) as a core part of their curriculum.

*Graduate students in Cinema and Media Studies will play critical roles as teaching assistants
for large introductory courses and as production assistants (in a variety of possible roles) for
course-based undergraduate student productions in Cinema and Media.

*Graduate students in Cinema and Media will also produce or curate one event at the Schwartz
Center as a core part of their curriculum.

VIII. Goals

*Integrate the various areas of study within the department without compromising their

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disciplinary identities.

*Utilize our performance space for the presentation of developmental and experimental
work; as a laboratory for artistically based research; and as part of a season resonating from
our curricular goals and cultivated and curated by members of the department faculty, our
students, and guest artists.

*Increase the number of undergraduate majors and minors and graduate students in the
department.

*Increase the number of non-majors enrolling in department classes by introducing one large
introductory course for each of the two majors at the 1000 level (Introduction to Theatre,
Dance, and Performance Studies and Introduction to Cinema and Media Studies) and several
large introductory courses in each major at the 2000 level (i.e. Introduction to Design,
Introduction to Television, etc.). The small class size for upper-level seminars and specialized
production and practice classes will be preserved.

*Integrate preparation for public performances into curricular goals more fully and enlist
broader support for productions from faculty and graduate students.

*Expand curriculum to include broader definitions of performance, design, etc. and to address
student interest in technology, arts management, etc.

IX. Recommendations

*When a tenure-stream faculty member retires or leaves, the line should be carefully evaluated
and potentially redefined in accordance with the department’s new curricular model and
values.

* We might want to aggressively pursue joint hires in line with the university’s strategic plan
and to alleviate the department’s budget, e.g. with Art (film production) or English (Screen and/
or Playwriting). It might open up the possibility to transforming a SL hire into a tenure-stream
position.

All positions for which the funding has been or will be eliminated by May 2011:

Shops and Production:

Assistant Technical Director

Scene Painter

Master Carpenter

Master Electrician

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Cutter Draper

Cutter Draper

Costume Shop Manager

Stage Manager 1

Stage Manager 2

All 6 Resident Professional Actor/Teachers

Dance:

Director of Dance/Music Director

1/3 time Dance Lecturer

1/2 full time Dance lecturer (full retirement in three years)

Administration:

Building Manager

Director of Marketing

Director of Audience Relations

Director of Campus and Community Relations

Misc:

One Theatre Senior Lecturer upon that person’s retirement.

SOURCE: http://www.savecornellarts.com/the-final-model.html

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