A student may satisfy the Senior Capstone Experience in Drama in one of three ways: a production thesis in directing, design, dramaturgy, stage management, or performance; a playwriting thesis in which the student writes a play that is presented in either a staged (rehearsed) reading or in full production; or a traditional research thesis in the areas of theatrical criticism, theory, or history.
The department believes that the production option is the more appropriate way to fulfill the obligation, since it synthesizes the critical/theoretical and practical/performance aspects of the study of drama. A research thesis may be elected only in cases in which the student has demonstrated an unusual enthusiasm for and distinction in critical, theoretical, or historical inquiry.
In the spring of their sophomore year and fall of their junior year, all drama majors are required to meet with each faculty member to discuss their plans for the Senior Capstone Experience. At the end of the fall semester in the junior year, each student makes two formal project proposals to the faculty, both orally and in written form. Proposals will identify the type of project planned—directing, design, dramaturgy, stage management, performance, playwriting, theoretical, critical, or historical. For each project, the student will also provide a script (as appropriate); a synopsis of the project; an etiology for the choice; and a discussion why and how, each project is appropriate to the student’s interests and capabilities. Students will be informed of their approved project on or before the first day of the spring semester. Decisions regarding logistics of the department season will take place in the Junior Seminar, offered annually in the spring semester.
Full details for all SCE options—including timelines, expectations, and written requirements—are available here.