TLU’s Department of Dramatic Media is an innovative approach to storytelling via stage or screen by providing equal attention to performance, writing, innovation, and new and emerging media.
A relatively new concept, dramatic media has been defined by the Kennedy Center in its publication The National Standards for Arts Education as a “means of telling stories by way of stage, film, television, radio, or computer discs.” At TLU, that concept has been adapted to create a unique and dynamic program of instruction and production. Intentionally developed as a hybrid of theatre, film and new media training, the program explores storytelling by way of the stage or screen, through the fusion and study of text, performance, design and technology.
With more and more industries and businesses looking to find ways to engage and entertain customers and clients, a dramatic media degree with practical applications for design, engagement, communication and technology is the first step towards a profitable career in theatre, film, media, marketing, event management and design.
There are ample opportunities for students to create their own work as well as perform or work within faculty-organized productions. In addition to mounting full scale mainstage productions, TheatreXpress performs as a student ensemble, XpressFest showcases senior capstone projects and students have the opportunity to participate in the growing theatre community in the greater San Antonio area. TLU often partners with theatres and nonprofits in the area to create collaborative dramatic media works.
The Department of Dramatic Media at Texas Lutheran University strives to create a unique approach to storytelling by integrating the modern medians of the day (like computer-generated animation, digital video, and social media) in order to explore the ways we create content as a culture. Initially conceived as a hybrid program of theater, film, and new media, TLU's drama school encourages the study of text, performance, design, and technology as a way to develop a well-rounded foundation for a career in media.
There are ample opportunities for students to create their own work as well as perform or work within faculty-organized productions. Unlike most drama schools, TLU’s Dramatic Media program goes beyond acting and traditional theatre, while still holding in high esteem the technical skills necessary to produce a quality production.
Why Dramatic Media at TLU?
What is Dramatic Media?
A relatively new concept, dramatic media has been defined by the Kennedy Center in its publication The National Standards for Arts Education as a “means of telling stories by way of stage, film, television, radio, or computer discs.”
At TLU, that concept has been adapted to create a unique and dynamic program of instruction and production. Intentionally developed as a hybrid of theatre, film and new media training, the program explores storytelling by way of the stage or screen, through the fusion and study of text, performance, design and technology.
The great designer Robert Edmund Jones once said, “The business of workers in the theatre is, as I see it, to express a timeless theme by means of the tools of one’s own time.” The department of dramatic media believes that storytelling, as found in the traditional disciplines of theatre or drama, should not be stagnant. It should evolve to incorporate the mediums of the day. Recent developments such as digital video and projection are combining with computer-generated animation, modeling and environments to provide exciting new ways to tell stories in a dramatic way.
A Dramatic Media Degree is:
Responsible and grounded in tradition. Despite the unique title and exciting new directions, the curriculum is grounded in the basics of text, performance, design and technology. These core components provide the foundation of studies, regardless of your specific interests.
Marketable. Upon graduation, students will feel competent and empowered to compete in multiple areas of production and production technology, both traditional and emerging.
Entrepreneurial. In challenging industries, it is advantageous to be self-motivated. Such initiative is emphasized at the core of the program. In addition to participation in faculty productions, students are encouraged to create their own product or to collaborate on original productions with their peers.
Flexible. Regardless of your area of interest, you can spend time emphasizing specializations such as writing, acting, directing, design or technology. “Seminar” courses are repeatable, allowing students extra time to explore their favorite subjects.
Challenging, yet liberating. At 38 hours (including major and supporting courses), the degree in dramatic media is easily accomplished within the context of a TLU liberal arts education. It provides the freedom to succeed in your core courses, while exploring electives of your choice.
The perfect double major. Artists in dramatic media can benefit greatly from a second major. This provides the student with a broader perspective on education and life, while enhancing a student’s marketability upon graduation. The skills learned in dramatic media, such as teamwork, communication, discipline, etc., will apply to whatever career you pursue.
Productions and most classes are housed in the 1,100-seat Jackson Auditorium. This state-of-the-art facility has become a symbol of the emphasis on entertainment and the performing arts on campus. Spacious dressing rooms and a well-equipped scene shop are adjacent to the stage.
Wupperman Little Theatre
Smaller shows, such as student-produced plays, are produced in the intimate Wupperman Little Theatre, seating 260, which is part of the Schuech Fine Arts Center. Wupperman Little Theatre also houses a state-of-the-art multimedia theatre, allowing for the presentation of dramatic media projects such as student films.
Opportunities in Dramatic Media
Production within dramatic media features an innovative approach that helps students create, produce and deliver content that isn’t limited by traditional models of live stage performance. Productions of established literature are complemented by world premieres of new work. Student-produced plays, independent films and emerging methods of storytelling are valued in the same manner as live, faculty-produced material. As a result, students of TLU dramatic media have extensive opportunities to receive hands-on experience in production, beginning in their first year.
TheatreXpress is a dynamic initiative of TLU Dramatic Media dedicated to the creation and production of dramatic media opportunities which highlight original material, multimedia, touring, and outreach. An official student organization, TheatreXpress fuses the classic model of the traveling troupe with modern technology, and brings the excitement of TLU Dramatic Media to audiences who request content.
TLU Dramatic Media Scholars and other students at TLU participate as the company ensemble for TheatreXpress. The programming of TheatreXpress complements the faculty-produced shows, and provides a constant flow of production opportunities for the ambitious and entrepreneurial theatre student. In other words, TLU Dramatic Media students never lack for gigs!
- Travel, Field Trips, and Internships
- Alpha Psi Omega
Students majoring in dramatic media are prepared to continue their work in many areas, including:
- Graduate school
- Technology Applications
Major in Dramatic Media for a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree
Minor in Dramatic Media
Minor in Business of the Arts
Study Arts for Social Change
Dramatic Media Faculty
Assoc. Professor, Department Chair
Asst. Professor, Dramatic Media
Visiting Assistant Professor
Dramatic Media Scholarship Opportunities
Locus Aduro Award in Dramatic Media
Up to Full Tuition per year
Jones Fine Arts Scholarship for Dramatic Media Majors
$2,000-$4,000 per year
Performance Award in Dramatic Media
Up to $2,000 per year
ESCAPE ARTISTS: The 2014-2015 Season
created by Shannon Ivey and José Rubén De León; written by Shannon Ivey
A short original film, premiering at Artefest
THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR
adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the original by Nikolai Gogol
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED]
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield
Produced by TheatreXpress, TLU's official student production organization
AN EXPERIMENT WITH AN AIR PUMP
by Shelagh Stephenson