New Theatre Minor Bows at TAMIU This Fall
Posted: 8/18/11

New Theater Minor
Bows at TAMIU This Fall

If you’ve ever been drawn to the stage lights, raised your voice in soliloquy or been intrigued by stagecraft, Texas A&M International University has something new for you this Fall:  TAMIU is now offering a minor in Theatre.

Chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts Bede Leyendecker said the new offering is the latest in the University’s arts offerings.

“With the opening of the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre last fall, we had the final component in place to make our Theatre Minor possible.  We will be able to offer some 21 hours of coursework to complete the theatre minor. Our facilities, in addition to the large CFPA Theatre, also have an experimental setting with our Sam Johnson Experimental Theatre,” Leyendecker explained.

“In the past five years, we’ve seen an explosion of growth in local theatre offerings and many have asked as our facilities developed, if the University would be offering any programs in the area.  The minor is our initial offering and we hope that we’ll be able to expand it to a full major sometime in the future.  Leading this new degree are faculty members Gilberto Martínez Jr. and Vernon Caroll,” she said.

Martínez joined the faculty last Fall as a communication instructor in the department of Language and Literature and a theatre instructor for the department of Fine and Performing Arts.  He is completing his doctoral studies in Theatre Program Development.

“My area of focus for my doctorate is the presence of talent and Laredo is absolutely booming with theatrical talent in every aspect of theatre.  Consequently, there’s a tremendous need for the serious study of Theatre Arts.  TAMIU’s minor will help fill this voice. It’s a new and exciting time for higher education theatre studies in Laredo,” Martínez said.

Vernon Carroll is a TAMIU Theatre Arts adjunct instructor.  He is also dean of Theater for  LISD’s Vidal M. Treviño School of Communication and Fine Arts and brings over 25 years of Theatrical experience to TAMIU.  He is also President for the Laredo Theater Guild International, which is now housed at TAMIU and has brought outstanding performances to the TAMIU CFPA stage.

The TAMIU Theater Minor consists of the following required courses:  THAR 1301- Stage Production; THAR 1310- Stage Performance and THAR 2340- Play Analysis.  Students are then able to select three hours chosen from:  THAR 3320- Theater History I or THAR 3321- Theater History II.  A total of nine hours is also chosen from:  THAR 2354- Characterization; THAR 4313- Special Problems in Theater; THAR 4332- Theater in Education and THAR 4364- Directing.  The total number of hours to complete the Theater Minor is 21. 

The first course offerings this Fall are THAR 1310- Performance for the Stage MWF from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. and THAR 2340 Play Analysis TR from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.  Stage Performance is both a theory and application course where students will be able to learn and present their own acting studio work.

This is done in the form of one person and two person shows. Acting theory is strongly emphasized.  Play Analysis is a sophomore-level course that teaches the students how to breakdown a piece of dramatic literature, for both analysis and performance. Students will be able to put on shows using their own vision for the show. 

In 2003 TAMIU opened its Center for Fine and Performing Arts with two venues for theatrical performances, the Recital Hall and The Sam Johnson Experimental Theater. The addition of the Fine and Performing Arts Theater last year provides students will the opportunity to participate in larger scaled productions including those by the Laredo Theater Guild International Productions (LTGI).  Students experience first-hand the day-to-day operations of a functioning theater company. L.T.G.I.'s Main Stage productions have always featured TAMIU students both on and off the stage.

Fall classes at TAMIU begin Thursday, Aug. 25.

For additional information on the TAMIU Theatre Minor, contact Leyendecker at the CFPA, 326.2649, email bleyendecker@tamiu.edu or visit offices in CFPA 217.  Information is also available online at http://www.tamiu.edu/coas/fpa/index.shtml

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu