A Play for All Seasons: A Study of Innovative Approaches to Play Selection in Liberal Arts Colleges

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The term “production” suggests a range of activities related to the rendering and realization of a play on a stage before an audience. We often regard play selection as the beginning of the production process, a process that concludes with a “strike” or the dismantling of scenery, releasing actors and other theatre artists to pursue the next theatrical idea. Arguably, since the beginning of drama, theatre artists have eagerly anticipated opening nights and the opportunity to exhibit well-crafted and rehearsed ideas to the public. The success of the performance is directly related to play selection. What criterion is used by educators for organizing a theatre season? How is play selection integrated into theatre department curricula, other academic departments and campus organizations, and in off-campus activities such as community outreach? This paper will focus on the practice and purpose of play selection on theatre productions in liberal arts colleges.


Keywords: Theatre Production, Play Selection, Pedagogy
Stream: Performing Arts Practices: Theatre, Dance, Music
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Dwight Watson

Professor of Theater, Theater Department
Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, Wabash College

Crawfordsville, Indiana, USA

Dwight Watson is a Professor of Theatre at Wabash College and an active member of the academic and artistic community for more than twenty-five years. As a director, Professor Watson has staged over sixty productions for educational and professional theatres. He has received several playwriting awards and grants including an Indiana Artist Master Fellowship and the McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholarship. His book, ORIGINAL MONOLOGS THAT SHOWCASE YOUR TALENT, was published in 2005 by Allworth Press (NYC). On sabbatical and research leave from Wabash College, Professor Watson is currently a senior research fellow at the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts.

Ref: A09P0082