The mission of all Catawba College Theatre Arts programs is to create artists, not just employable theatre practitioners. Artists not only know the MEANS of accomplishing their work but they can also articulate their artistic PROCESS and discuss the CONTEXT in which their work occurs. A basic practitioner may only know the product and not the process or the context.
Liberal Arts or Conservatory
In 1986, two Japanese researchers (Hatano and Inagaki) published their landmark theory on routine and adaptive expertise entitled "Two courses of expertise." To the theorists, routine experts know all of the routines of a discipline or profession. American educational theorist Ken Bain describes adaptive expertise this way: “(they) also know all of the routines but they also have the attitude and aptitude to recognize and even relish both the opportunity and necessity for invention. They enjoy exploring the unknown and thinking in different kinds of ways. They appreciate their own knowledge, but they also realize how little they know in comparison to all there is to know.” You may think of conservatory training as routine expertise where intensive theatre training in a liberal arts context fits the adaptive expertise model.
Catawba College Theatre Arts has the structure in place to teach you all the necessary routines but we do not stop there. Our focus on intensive theatrical training with a combination of progressive liberal studies is what we think is the hallmark to our program. Our students are ready to adapt and be flexible to the demands of the ever-changing theatrical world. And this flexibility is the reason why theatre companies snatch our graduates up in such great numbers.
Who We Are
We believe that true artists are well-rounded, ethical, curious, flexible thinkers and creators. This flexibility, curiosity and well-roundedness is best nurtured in a Liberal Arts environment which focuses on breadth and width and shuns narrowness.
The best artistic work comes from collaboration, self-improvement, challenges, freedom, exploration, and inquisitiveness. Competition with others destroys artistic resources.
Our graduates get work. That's not enough. We fully expect our graduates to make the theatre profession a better place for all participants (audience and artists) and to always give back to the community. We expect them to change the face of American theatre.