We do not offer Drama specific tours of the department. We do not make appointments by telephone. To make an appointment to sit in on a class, or to meet with a faculty or staff memeber please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not require tapes from applying students, nor do we have any role in the admission process.
Dear Prospective Vassar Student,
Thank you for your interest in Vassar and its Department of Drama.
Vassar is a liberal arts college, and our curriculum addresses the subject of drama in the context of the larger issues of the liberal arts. Although the requirements for a concentration allow each student a good deal of individual choice, all drama majors take courses which explore dramatic literature and the history and theory of drama, as well as practical courses in acting, directing, design, etc. Even in practical courses, however, we attempt to integrate the work with more intellectual study by focusing on plays that are also being examined in our courses. We believe that drama is important because of the ideas and vision contained in the significant dramatic texts of the past and present, and we expect our directors, both faculty and students, to bring a strong experimental point of view to each play they produce. As a Department of Drama in a liberal arts college, we do not see ourselves as a theater conservatory, although we do try to bring the highest professional standards to all of the courses we offer, and our instructors are persons with distinguished professional backgrounds.
Most of our dramatic literature and theater history courses or performance studies seminars are taught by either Professor Gabrielle Cody or Associate Professor Denise A. Walen . In addition to being scholars, both Ms. Cody and Ms. Walen are also directors. Our primary directing instructor, however, is our current department chair Christopher Grabowski. At the moment, Shona Tucker and Kathy Wildberger teach acting, voice, and movement courses, and our design courses are taught by Jane Cox, Rachel Hauck, Paul O’Connor and Kenisha Kelly.
Freshmen interested in a drama concentration at Vassar enroll in our introductory courses during their first year at the college: Drama 102 Introduction to Theater-Making and Drama 103 Introduction to Stagecraft, which are offered in both the fall and spring semesters. Students may take 102 or 103 in either semester or in some cases concurrently. These courses form the prerequisites for most upper level coursework in drama. In the sophomore year students begin more specific work in acting or other aspects of the theater arts and continue taking courses in dramatic literature and theater history. As a senior, each drama major may undertake a special “senior project” in an area of choice. Such projects might involve acting, directing, design, playwriting, or research in dramatic literature and theater history.
Auditions for department major productions are not limited to drama majors, however students must be enrolled in drama courses. Additional, more “open” auditions are held for a variety of workshops and other theatrical presentations, which the department sponsors, and these auditions are open to any interested students. In addition to what we do within the department, there is a great deal of extracurricular theatrical activity at Vassar. A few years ago the college established a new facility called the Susan Stein Shiva Theater, in what had been a part of the old buildings and grounds complex. This new black box theater was created for the exclusive use of extracurricular student theater groups at Vassar, and the student-directed plays are presented in the Shiva Theater nearly every weekend of the academic year. Some of these are original works written by Vassar students.