About JMU School of Theatre and Dance
The School of Theatre and Dance at James Madison University believes that equity, access, and inclusion are moral imperatives and artistic obligations. Diversity—in the stories we represent, the students we serve, and the audiences we engage—is vital for the health and relevance of contemporary performing arts practice. The School of Theatre and Dance, therefore, welcomes diversity of perspective, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability.
The School of Theatre and Dance is rooted in the belief that the relevant artist is the thinking artist who couples the mastery and embodiment of concrete skills with knowledge of and sensitivity to the cultural environments of ideas, artistic forms, and other persons.
The school trains and educates artists, scholars, and teachers in the rich traditions and current practices of dance, theatre, and musical theatre.
Dedicated to the value of the intensive B.A., the school’s programs blend liberal arts education and critical thinking with intensive, pre-professional training and practice.
Faculty foster an environment that values and cultivates creative, passionate, disciplined, curious, innovative, engaged, articulate, collaborative, and independent-thinking artists and scholars.
Committed to a teaching approach that emphasizes mentorship and individual attention to students, faculty members of the school empower students in the development of their own personal strengths, provide them with tools and opportunities to realize their potential, and equip them for successful work in professional environments, graduate programs, and as lifelong learners.
To realize this mission, the School of Theatre and Dance strives to:
- Develop in students the ability to work productively and sensitively in creative and collaborative processes.
- Offer multiple opportunities for students to self-initiate and self-produce work in a context supportive of experimentation.
- Produce performances and creative experiences of high quality.
- Present performances by and learning experiences with visiting artists.
- Motivate students to take active responsibility for their work processes and careers.
- Promote, support, and enable faculty professional development so that teachers continue to provide the education for students that only growing, current, and active creative artists and scholars can provide.
- Inspire and prepare students to be advocates for the arts.
- Foster an understanding of the roles of the artist and the arts in society.
- Advance dynamic partnerships with diverse communities.