By: Matthew Fowler, Staff Writer
Though theatre is one of eight majors that will be cut at Newman as part of a “strategic realignment” announced last month, theatre director Mark Mannette said he feels confident that theatre productions will keep happening.
“The administration would like theatre productions to continue at Newman,” Mannette said. “As always, the theatre productions here at Newman will continue to provide opportunities for non-theatre majors.
The theatre department is still navigating the discontinuation of the undergraduate theatre major, Manette said, but it’s been assured that the department will continue to positively impact students.
However, as the realignment process is still underway, some questions remain unanswered.
“There will be catalog changes. I’m not sure what those will be at this time,” Mannette said. “I have no idea how the future budget will look.”
On Oct 25, students received an email from President Kathleen Jagger that announced the discontinuation of eight undergraduate majors following a review process that sought to realign Newman University and help it navigate the current and future collegiate market. The email also included a guarantee that educational excellence would remain a priority for Newman University.
The undergraduate programs impacted were English, finance, history, marketing, math, philosophy, social work and theatre.
“While these majors and minors will no longer be offered starting next year, these important disciplines will continue to be a part of the Newman educational experience in the future,” Jagger said in the email.
Last week, Newman’s Student Government Association hosted a Town Hall Meeting where students were able to pose questions to a panel of administrators. During the meeting, administrators stressed that even though majors were being cut, the academic “disciplines” would remain and students would be able to take classes in those subjects. Also, they said, current students enrolled in the cut majors would still be able to finish their degrees in those fields.
Despite the uncertainties, Mannette said, the theatre department is committed to sustaining the theatre experience at Newman.
The department usually puts on several productions a year. In early October, it presented the play “All My Sons,” and it’s supposed to deliver a production of “Treasure Island” in February, according to the Newman calendar.
“Newman has made a promise to the current majors that they will be allowed to finish their degree, so we will still offer theatre courses,” Mannette said. “They should be reassured that as long as I am at Newman, there will be theatre.”
PHOTO: Sydney Endicott, Photographer