Fonds 21.02 - Academic Faculties and Schools: Department of Theatre

"The Song of David" : [poster]. "Fiddler on the Roof" : [poster]. "The Real Inspector Hound" : [poster]. "The Runner Stumbles" : [poster]. "A Christmas Carol" : [poster]. "Camelot" : [poster]. "A Man for All Seasons" : [poster]. "Anno Domini" : [poster]. "Student Directed One Act Plays" : [poster]. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" : [poster].
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Academic Faculties and Schools: Department of Theatre

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CA TWU 21.02

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10 cm of textual records
134 posters

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Administrative history

The TWU Theatre Department (formerly known as Drama) was formed in 1976. Prior, drama was offered as a student club that aimed to provide the opportunity for development of skills in reading and presentation (source: Trinity Junior College, Calendar for 1967-68, 1968-69). The first official theatrical production was student-directed, entitled "The Romantics," premiered on March 4, 1967, to a full house (source: 1967 Pillar yearbook, p. 13).

In the 1974-75 academic year, drama was added to the curriculum under the Department of English in the Division of Humanities and offered creative drama courses at the beginning and advanced levels. Creative drama courses emphasized the basic concepts of perception, movement, improvisation, and dramatization.

In 1976-77, drama was recognized as a department within the Division of Humanities. The Drama Department aimed to investigate the theoretical and historical foundations of dramatic art as a form of cultural expression and provide instruction in the techniques of acting (source: 1976-77 academic calendar).

The following year, the Division of Fine Arts was established with concentrations in art, drama, and music with a goal to develop committed Christian artists, musicians, and leaders with technical competence and the ability to work with and minister to people, to promote use of arts at all levels (source: 1981-1983 Trinity Western College catalogue). A drama minor was introduced.

September 1980, the Robert N. Thompson (RNT) building opened and featured Freedom Hall, a lecture theatre space.

The following year, Spectra, a touring troupe was founded under drama professor Claire Goodfellow, and performed in local churches and schools.

On October 17, 1986, the student-led comedy improv company “11:07” premiered under the guidance of drama professor Tim Heins. This late-night, bi-weekly comedy improv show, alternated Friday nights at 11:07 at a cost of $2. In its opening year, “11:07” raised $813 that went towards a new dimmer system and a fine arts student bursary (source: Stewart, Scott S. (1987, October 9). 11:07-Staging a Comeback. The Today: TWU Magazine).

Fall 1987, saw the introduction of a Theatre major that sought to offer students opportunities to confront serious issues and dilemmas through performance that provided a metaphysical “reality” that lends to urgency and vitality to analysis (source: TWU 1988/89 Calendar).

In Trinity’s 30th year (1992), the Division of Fine Arts became a part of the Faculty of Arts and Religious Studies with the aim to advance the development in women and men of cultural awareness, artistic expressiveness, analytic powers, precise thought, graceful communication, and religious knowledge, subject to the unique perspective on life and learning offered by a biblically Christian worldview. Art and Drama were amalgamated to become the Department of Art and Drama. The Department of Drama sought to train students’ God-given talents in the theatre arts. Students perform in main-stage productions, touring ensembles, chapel drama teams, and the student comedy-improv company, “11:07” (source: TWU 1992/93 Academic Calendar).

In 2000, the Department of Drama became a part of the newly formed Faculty of Professional Studies and Performing Arts whose mission was to produce competent and yet compassionate servant leaders with thoroughly Christian minds who will “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.”

In 2002, Drama Department faculty moved from offices in Strombeck to Lower Stanley Nelson Centre (SNC), in the Robert N. Thompson building.

In October 2006, it was announced that the Board of Governors "agreed with the proposed change in name of the Drama Department, corresponding degree, and courses to reflect the more professional designation of 'Theatre'" (source: President's Report to the Campus, October 23, 2006).

Freedom Hall underwent a major renovation in the fall of 2008, changing from a fixed lecture configuration to a black box configuration, under the supervision of theatre professor Aaron Caleb.

On April 6, 2010, the School of the Arts, Media and Culture (SAMC) was launched in Freedom Hall. Angela Konrad, Assistant Dean, welcomed those gathered, and Dean David Squires spoke on his vision for the School. SAMC’s first two professional programs - a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting - were announced in June and offered in September.

In June 2021, Trinity Western University announced the closure of the Theatre program, a result from the Institution Prioritization Process (IPP) that led to additional program closures. The University cited insufficient enrolment, limited opportunity for enrolment growth in Theatre, and significant operating expenditures relative to tuition fees to sunset this program. The Theatre program is set to close 2024.

Custodial history

Material was maintained and collocated by TWU Theatre Department. Most recent transfer of production posters and programs was received on March 5, 2021.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of three series: Administrative Records, Production Records and Publicity. A listing of known TWU productions can be found under Production Records.

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To view photographs related to TWU theatrical productions search by the known production title and/or enter the following key words: theatre, drama, plays. See Photograph Collection:

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July 27, 2006<br/>March 31, 2012<br/>Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:11:52 AM by SylviaS<br/>Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:49:24 AM by Keharn.Yawnghwe<br/>Saturday, February 09, 2008 10:02:56 AM by SylviaS<br/>Friday, February 08, 2008 4:47:14 PM by SylviaS<br/>Friday, July 28, 2006 3:14:43 PM by SylviaS<br/>Thursday, July 27, 2006 11:44:06 AM by SylviaS; November 2021, tk; February 2022, SD.

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  • Box: Bay 13
  • Box: Bay 6