Department of Theatre Arts records
Scope and Contents
The collection is composed of correspondence, minutes, reports, programs, announcements, and other material related to the governance and events created by the Department of Theatre Arts.
- Creation: 1964-2002
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.
Conditions Governing Use
Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.
Biographical / Historical
The development of the Department of Theatre Arts was spurred not only by academic changes, but also student interest. Begun as an outgrowth of Speech classes, which were in turn by-products of English classes, dramatic readings and oratory skills were part of Towson University’s history from the beginning.
Inspired by the Little Theatre Movement, students began the Thespian Club at the Maryland State Normal School in 1924. This dramatic club would go through various name changes until becoming The Glen Players in 1949, when the school was the State Teachers College at Towson [STC]. These students used the Glen during warm weather months to stage productions and otherwise used Stephens Hall auditorium, as previous clubs had done. And within 5 years, Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society, was on campus.
In the meantime, STC was developing classes such as “Play Production”, “Modern Drama”, and “The Elements of Dramatics and Stagecraft”. These classes continued to expand and progress as STC moved towards a liberal arts college in the 1960s and would soon include acting and directing classes.
In 1962, STC offered the first major and minor in Speech and Drama. Ten years later, Theatre Arts split off from the Speech Department, just as the new Center for the Arts building was constructed. This is the first time that a building on campus was formall constructed for the Theatre program.
In 2014 three programs were available under the Theatre Arts degree – Acting, Design and Production, and Theatre studies. A Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts was established in 1994.
.25 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
First offered as a Speech and Drama major in 1962, the Department of Theatre Arts had its beginning almost at the start of Towson University’s history, as dramatic readings were part of teacher’s education. The department would move to the Center for the Arts in 1973, splintering off from Speech at that time. It has expanded and now offers three areas of concentration as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts. This collection is composed of correspondence, proposals, and programs for events offered by the department.
- Guide to the Department of Theatre Arts records
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description