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Theatre and English Literature


Professor Chrissy Calkins Steele and Dr. Heidi Snow


Program Summary

This program examines the ongoing philosophical question—"What does it mean to be human?" —through a renaissance approach. With Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the fundamental study text, we will explore the humanistic themes of the play from two perspectives—theatre and literature. We will be looking at the central question from within the perspectives of our multiple roles as students, citizens, artists, critics, and free-range thinkers.  This program is for students who are willing to cross boundaries, to explore the humanities and arts, and to examine the essential questions they propose about ourselves and our place in the world. 

ENGL 178:  Renaissance Themes (3 SH, GEH)

Renaissance Themes with Dr. Heidi Snow introduces students to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and to a range of English and Italian renaissance literature including Dante’s Inferno and Petrarch’s love poetry. These writings introduce students to the world of the European Renaissance and the rise of humanism, as well as the connections and adaptations the English Renaissance made to some of these ideas.

THEA 101: Acting I (3 SH, GEA)

Acting I with Chrissy Calkins Steele will approach this question—“What does it mean to be human?”—through performance. How do you bring a text to life in the classroom and in performance? How do these dramatic texts explore or challenge our humanity? In the acting class, students learn the fundamentals of acting and bring dramatic literature to life through ensemble exercises, improvisation, and scene work.

GEN 101 PS: ILC Page to Stage (3 SH)

The Integrated Learning Course (ILC) develops organizational and time management strategies, and research, writing, and discussion skills. It culminates in a final research paper and a group creative project that links concepts from all three courses. We also will be attending at least two live theatre performances. One of these field trips will most likely be an overnight trip to Chicago.