Mission Statement and Philosophy

The central mission of the Department of Theatre Arts at California State University, Chico is to provide students with a balanced undergraduate education in the practice, theory, and history of theatre; to that end the department is committed to excellence in instruction and artistic example in all arenas of contact with students. In short, it is our mission to provide the best possible educational experiences for our students and audiences that time and resources allow.

The focus of our mission is aimed at three sets of goals: Liberal Arts Education, Pre-Professional Training, and Cultural Outreach.

Liberal Arts Education

Teaching is the central task of the department. The faculty believes that study and practical involvement in theatre promotes and achieves the goals of a well-rounded liberal education, foremost among which are the abilities to reason clearly, imagine creatively, and express oneself effectively. The department seeks to cultivate in all students who pass through its doors a measure of the artistic, intellectual, and interpersonal skills that can broaden their horizons, sharpen their perceptions, and add grace to their interactions.

Specifically, within the majors, the department recognizes that each student is unique and in possession of individual gifts and aspirations. Not every student desires or is suited to a professional career in the performing arts or entertainment industry. Many students are drawn to the life of the theatre for personal reasons that they cannot easily articulate, but which are, nevertheless, imperative to them. Thus, the department is committed to help all majors and minors gain a clear perspective of their life and career goals and to focus their energies and time at Chico State toward the most personally productive and fulfilling use of a theatre education.

Pre–Professional Training

In addition to offering a strong liberal arts education to all students, the department focuses on those especially motivated students who demonstrate a genuine desire for a professional career in the performing arts or entertainment industry. We maintain a series of advanced performance and design/technical courses necessary to prepare candidates for entry level professional work or graduate school/conservatory training as well as a tradition of intensive, individualized mentorship.

Cultural Outreach

We sit at the hub of a remarkably vibrant local theatre community, which boasts a half dozen community and semi–professional theatre companies, active junior college and high school programs and many first–rate professional productions which come to campus as part of regional, national, and world tours.

As part of the School of the Arts within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (along with music and art and art history) we present much of the cultural face of the university to the northern Sacramento Valley and help to support the artistic life of our community through faculty and staff outreach to K–12 programs and local theatres. Many of our students, when their time allows, actively participate in these outreach initiatives and in productions off campus.

In addition to outreach, we welcome the community onto campus for an exciting and varied season of eight annual productions, which include two major musicals, a fall dance concert, an evening of student directed one–acts, and a selection of comedies and dramas that cover the spectrum of historical periods, genres, and production styles.

back to Theatre Handbook