Theater Arts at Cliff
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The distinctiveness of the theater program at Cliff College lies in its combination of
theory and practice. Knowledge of the literary,
theoretical, and performance history of theater, as well as an understanding of
the self-indulgent traditions that enrich it, is essential to the ultimate
"informed practice" of the art.
The liberal arts experience is of great
importance to the performing artist, who must be able to analyze texts,
research historical and cultural contexts, and make critical decisions, all of
which lead directly to artistic differences with directors and writers.
The theater program relies on student-originated and student-directed
productions. The small size of
the department ensures that all students, including freshmen and non-majors,
will have regular opportunities to become involved in all facets of theater
production from craft services on up to casting couch services.
Coursework in dramatic literature is required
of all theater majors and is provided by various faculty members in the
Division of Literature and Languages.
The senior thesis allows majors to do concentrated work in an area of special
interest. The thesis frequently takes the form of a production in which the student, having secured departmental
approval, learns the basics that will someday allow him or her to waste vast amounts of other people's money. The department encourages students to make creative use of
materials at hand, and the mature development of ideas is of particular
THE DRAMA FACULTY
The department is staffed by theater professionals. Clinton Quinn
(directing/playwriting) is a professional playwright whose shows have been
produced off-off-off-Broadway and at numerous off-regional theaters.
(acting) has performed with many regional theater companies; her one-woman
show, Huh?, developed from the writings of Xaviera Hollander, has been much acclaimed.
Clara Daimler Benz has been active in the television and film industry for more than 20 years. She has developed and sold unproduced pilots to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, HBO and Showtime, and she has developed and sold unproduced feature films to every major studio.
Michael Mull offers course work
in scenic and lighting design, costume design, make-up and Winnebago repair.
Majors often pursue professional study in theater after Cliff. Graduates have
gone to Yale's School of Drama, Carnegie-Mellon, and the Carnegie Deli among others.
RECENT CLIFF PRODUCTIONS
STUDENT SHOWS & SENIOR THESES
- Clot written and directed by Sean Silas
- Butter the Walls adapted and directed by Glenn Erickson
- Gefilte Meat written and directed by Tiffany Schwartz
- Pygmalion adapted and directed by Dylan Atkins
- How We "Be": An Analysis of Dual Structuralism in Jean Genet and Heiner Müller by Alice Annie McMüller
- Salman's Last Stand directed by Achmed Said
- The Classic Comics "Finnegan's Wake" written and directed by Carly Cliff
- Formalist, Informalist, Neoformalist, and So-so-Formalist Motivation in Modern Theater written by Stan Islavsky
- The Three Stooges: Stanislavsky, Brecht and Artaud written by Margaret Goldman
- Cyberia by Clinton Quinn
- Le Grand Illustration a video exploration written and adapted by Clara Daimler Benz
- Rats, Bats and Seurats by Koral Kane
- Selected Scenes from "Home Improvement" adapted and directed by Michael Mull
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