Clarion University Department of Theatre
General Guidelines for all B.F.A. Graduation Projects
All theatre and musical theatre B.F.A. candidates must complete a graduation project in their primary area of focus (performance, design, or stage management) in order to graduate.
Each student is required to notify the theatre faculty in writing for discussion and assignment of a graduation project no less than THREE SEMESTERS prior to the final year of classes.
Every student assigned a graduation project must complete and present to the theatre faculty a project self -assessment which includes both written and oral presentation of goals, procedures and outcomes.
Within three weeks of closing, the student will be asked to defend their process and discoveries in an oral presentation to the faculty.
It is required that the written material be given to the faculty for perusal no less than five days before the presentation date.
The written documentation must include: description of process, calendar of activities, and an artist journal of discoveries and challenges. The student will also need to provide substantial research relating to the project. The written portion of the project must also include the following:
All BFA graduation projects must include historical research of the time and the geographical setting of the play (government, social, economic conditions, as well as environment).
Actors must include specific and evocative written and pictorial research of the character they are portraying.
Set, Lighting, Costume, and Properties Designers must include specific and evocative research relating to their design. Set Designers, Costume Designers, and Properties Designers should include any preliminary sketches, working drawings, and/or final renderings of the design.
Sound Designers must include sound plots, diagrams and specific research regarding the music of the period in which the play is set. In the event that the sound designer is composing original music for the production, material (such as images or writings that evoke the mood of the piece) should be included with the above.A CD of the sound design for the production is also required.
Stage managers must include a prompt script that follows the industry standard, production meeting reports, rehearsal reports, and written communications (including e-mail) to/from the other members of the production team. Research related to the script (i.e. pronunciation chart) is also suggested.
Students completing a Theatre Technology project must include reproductions of the designers renderings, historical/pictorial research provided by the designer (and/or done on their own) and any working drawings done by the designer and/or the technology student. A photographic journal of the process from beginning to end is required.
The goal of the B.F.A. graduation project is to provide evidence of critical thinking, enthusiasm for process, and deeper understanding of the subtleties of the student's work in their specific area of concentration. Students are asked to combine their personal thoughts and experiences with significant research to discover their own creative solutions to problems presented by the project. The successful B.F.A. student should be able to participate in and articulate all of the above in a clear and comprehensible manner.