Putting a Face on Theatre
Most of my teaching responsibilities since coming to Purdue have been at the graduate level. There are a lot of reasons for this, but suffice it to say that I have--much to my own chagrin, quite frankly--found my curricular development efforts directed at the MFA degree program, rather than at undergraduate course work. Recently, I received a bit of a promotion--from lecturer to assistant professor!--and with this change comes the opportunity to shift my focus to include undergraduate course…Continue
It is important to me that the final projects on my upper-tier classes do a few things as the culminating work in the class. They should:
Added by Rich Dionne on May 3, 2013 at 5:30am — No Comments
It's that time of the year again: end of semester evaluations. At the end of each semester, my design and production colleagues and I all get together for a couple of hours and take time to share our experiences with each others' graduate students over the last 16 weeks. Ideally, this is an opportunity to celebrate the many good experiences while discussing those times when we've perceived opportunities for growth and development.
I'll confess that I approach these meetings…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on April 26, 2013 at 5:28am — No Comments
We've had an explosion of student-driven workshops over the past year at Purdue. It has been truly amazing to see so many young theatre artists exploring their craft, trying out new things, and generally being excited about our art, and I'm proud to say we've been fairly successful at making room for these projects that are not part of our main production season.
However, as one might imagine, these workshops create inevitable tensions; the greatest of these center around…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on April 5, 2013 at 5:52am — No Comments
Throughout this semester in my Show Networks and Show Control class, we've tried to connect concepts we've been discussing back to the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) layering scheme, which is a model of communication systems that breaks these systems into modular functional building blocks. Hammered out in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the OSI layering scheme provides a complex framework for communication systems; each of the seven functional layers describes a specific set of "duties"…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on March 29, 2013 at 6:51am — No Comments
Added by Rich Dionne on March 22, 2013 at 5:20am — No Comments
Ok, so it's a little early to celebrate Pi day, sure. But I suspect next week I'll be blogging about our preparation for the USITT conference in Milwaukee (we put our RibbonLift project on a truck yesterday so it could begin its journey to the frozen north and the Tech Expo--check out our students' work there), so I figured I'd start the 3.14 celebrations early and talk about another kind of Pi…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on March 1, 2013 at 4:00am — No Comments
TheatreFace user Michael--a lighting designer working on a production of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie--posted this question about live flame and candles on stage earlier this week. His conundrum is a common one: how do we define what is "necessary" for telling the story of a production, and how do we achieve those "necessities" when they might be counter to accepted…Continue
Tomorrow we begin tech rehearsals for Purdue's production of Medea. This show is exciting for a number of reasons: it's the first directing graduate student terminal project in a decade; conceptually, it is interesting because the director has worked with a composer to turn much of the choral parts into music, played by a band onstage and by the actors; the sound engineering student has had the opportunity to bring in a significant rental package to supplement our in-house PA, including line…Continue
For a recent project in which I'm participating, I was asked to write up a statement of my teaching philosophy. Regular readers will know I have a lot to say on the subject of teaching, so I thought, "piece of cake." Wow, was I wrong!
Developing a concise, one page statement about how I approach teaching was difficult, mostly because I see teaching as a complicated endeavor. Trying to distill a plethora of theories about cognitive development, instructional design, and the…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on February 1, 2013 at 10:03am — No Comments
This week, I tried something I'd never done before, but was always interested in doing: rock climbing. Purdue's recreational sports center debuted a new climbing facility last semester, and I finally took the plunge this week and started climbing.
True confessions: first, I'm not very good yet (I've climbed exactly twice!). Second, I'm pretty afraid of heights. (I know, I know! A theatre technician afraid of heights?! I don't like them, but I get over it when I have to for my…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on January 25, 2013 at 7:05am — No Comments
Added by Rich Dionne on January 11, 2013 at 7:16am — No Comments
Last week I read this report on NPR about the growth of something they took to calling "hacker scouts." In short, the report described a wave of scouting groups--like boy scouts and girl scouts, with merit badges and everything--focused less on outdoor activities and more on do-it-yourself electronics, robotics, crafting and computing. The idea, according to the…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on December 28, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments
My upper-level classes are all project based. I've written before about why I think project-based learning is important and the best choice for the kinds of material I teach ("It Depends," "Learning by Doing," "…Continue
Added by Rich Dionne on December 14, 2012 at 8:23am — No Comments