Master of Theatre Studies scenic design class

Master of Theatre Studies program wraps up for far-flung participants

SOU recognized 11 students in the Oregon Center for the Arts’ Master of Theatre Studies graduate program last weekend for completion of their third and final year of coursework.

This year’s MoTs contingent was made up of almost 40 theatre teachers from U.S., Canadian and Korean middle schools, high schools and community colleges. The program, limited to a maximum of 20 new participants each year, is made up of first-, second- and third-year cohorts whose members stay in SOU residence halls and eat at The Hawk dining commons as they participate in the intensive skill-building program on all aspects of theatre production and design.

The 11 third-year students who completed the program this year were Stefanie McConnell of Lewis Center, Ohio; Steven Munoz of Montclair, New Jersey; Carlene O’Connor of Red Hook, New York; Sara Rideout of Portland; Emily Ruiz of Victorville, California; Scott Sackett: Orem, Utah; Kendra Schroeder of Surprise, Arizona; Meli Hickenbottom of Incheon, Yeonsu-gu, South Korea; Denis Houyoux of Woodberry Forest, Virginia; Alex Konen of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; and Leis Depeche of Rotterdam, New York.

Faculty and staff in SOU’s Theatre Program including Jonathan Spencer, who Zoomed in from Colorado, made congratulatory presentations to the graduates. SOU President Rick Bailey, Provost Sue Walsh and OCA Director David Humphrey also congratulated the graduates. A BBQ dinner followed the ceremony, whidh concluded with the graduates boxing up their projects and preparing to return to their home states armed with intensive skills, knowledge, and goals to improve their high school theatre programs.

Coursework for the MoTs degree is designed specifically for high school theatre teachers, with three summer sessions of 12 credits each and three elective classes of nine credits each which can be taken during pre-summer or post-summer sessions, or online during winter term. The program’s third year wraps up with a thesis project that consists of evidence of students’ work accompanied by a self-evaluation paper that describes their graduate school experience.

The concentrated curriculum includes lecture, discussion and practical hands-on work, with required classes in script analysis, costume, lighting, sound design and production. Stagecraft, scene painting, stage properties, management, drawing, watercolor, stage make up and creative conceptualization are also part of the hands-on experience.

More information about the program is available online.