For the second year, Auburn University’s Department of Theater’s design and technology program ranked in the top 30 in the nation, according to OnStage Blog.
OnStage Blog was started in May 2014, by Chris Peterson. Peterson’s original intention for the blog was to be able to cover theater in his hometown, but the platform quickly grew and now extends to an international level.
Each year, OnStage Blog announces a list of what they consider to be the best performing arts schools in the country. Every April, a committee of 20 people meet and research the different theatre programs.
Their website states that some of the criteria included quality of facilities, performance and production opportunities and post-graduate support.
The College of Liberal Arts holds this ranking in high regard, Joseph Aistrup, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said in a statement.
“This ranking is a well-deserved recognition of the tireless dedication of our faculty, staff and students in the Department of Theater,” Aistrup said.
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For the 2019-2020 year, Auburn was included among schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Boston University and SUNY Purchase College.
The reason “why we love it,” noted by the online article, has to do with its second-year courses, including “costume construction.” This course covers multiple topics such as sewing techniques, pattern drafting and fabric dying.
The department of theater offers a specific major — a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Design and Technology — that supports the classes recognized by OnStage. Students that want to participate need to apply the spring of their sophomore year. They must submit a portfolio and go through a formal interview in order to be considered.
One aspect of the ranking that changed this year was that OnStage didn’t assign numbers to the schools due to the closeness in the scores. The article stated that the committee just named the best in no particular order.
In additon to this change, OnStage included a new category that went into the judgement of the school. On and off campus safety was investigated by the committee when deciding who to include.
To determine the safety of the schools, the committee looks at Clery reports and asked the schools how proactive they were in regard to their safety standards.
The article described that they constantly change their criteria for the rankings because the industry has been constantly evolving.
“The entertainment industry is constantly being impacted by the evolution of technology,” the article stated. “Because of this, college theater design and tech programs have to evolve with it.”
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