Huntington College to offer new design/technology concentration in theatre

FOR RELEASE
1998-03-12

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington College officials announced today that the Christian liberal arts college will offer a new academic concentration next fall in theatre design and technology. The new program will build upon existing strengths within the Huntington College curriculum, and offer new options to students preparing for careers in the performing arts.

Theatre is already an area of strength at Huntington College. Student talent is showcased in the college's Merillat Centre for the Arts, a state-of-the-art facility which has become a regional hub for the performing arts. The college's Department of Communication and Theatre Arts offers a pre-professional major in theatre consisting of eight courses in performance, and additional courses in playwriting, theatre history and dramatic literature. "This curriculum provides a good foundation for students intending to pursue a career or graduate study in the area of performance," explained Dr. Don Rainbow, who heads the theatre program at Huntington College.

The proposed new concentration in design and technology takes the Huntington College program to a new level, and provides new options for theatre majors. Theatre majors will gain a broader knowledge of the discipline and will have greater opportunities to pursue graduate studies or careers in theatre design and technology. "This is an addition to the strong performance emphasis we already have in place," said Rainbow.

The new concentration includes six new courses in stagecraft, scene painting, scene design, lighting design and costuming. It also includes a number of interdisciplinary courses, including drawing, computer illustration, and two- and three-dimensional design.

"We have developed this new program in response to the needs of the student and the marketplace," explained Luis Ramirez, associate professor of theatre design and director of technical theatre at Huntington College. "We provide a solid foundation in the aspects of theatre that are integral to staging productions. The new concentration makes new computer technologies integral to instruction. Our graduates will have a solid competitive edge as they pursue graduate studies or launch their careers in theatre."

Few other schools within the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities offer as extensive a program in theatre design and technology as will be implemented at Huntington College next fall. Only two west coast CCCU schools offer as many courses in theatre design and technology, but neither offers a course in stage management, an area which combines performance and design/technology disciplines. Huntington College's new program will be truly distinctive.

The new program is the brainchild of Dr. Don Rainbow, professor of theatre and speech, and Luis Ramirez, who joined the Huntington College faculty this fall. Mr. Ramirez recently served on the theatre design faculty at the University of Mississippi. He received his MFA degree in scene design from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was the recipient of the George Kimberly Set Design Award. He earned his masters degree in theatre arts from Wake Forest University in 1972, and his BFA degree in drama and theatre from the University of Georgia in 1970.

Prior to attending Carnegie Mellon, Ramirez was designer and technical director at North Park College in Chicago. He also served three years on the staff of Drury College, and as a guest artist scenic designer at Saint Mary's College.

Over the years Ramirez has been a designer or technical director at several professional theatres including The Academy Theatre in Atlanta, The Body Politic Theatre in Chicago, Acacia Theatre Company, Blues City Cultural Center in Memphis, Saltworks Theatre Company in Pittsburgh. Ramirez also taught graphic design at Triton College. He has been an art director for advertising firms in the Chicago area. He has also produced public affairs programs for WXII Television, an NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Ramirez has presented many scholarly papers and published articles in theatre design, including "Designing for Churches" (Southeastern Theatre Conference); "Multi-media Stage Design", "Using Christian Imagery in Design", and "Developing a Production Design Concept" (Christians in Theatre Arts); "Computer Tools for Design and Illustration" (PubTech 90 Conference); "Scene Designs Which Disturb the Peace" (Association for Theatre in Higher Education); and "Communal Theatre: The Corpus Christi Cycle in Medieval England" (published in Christian Drama).

"The Merillat Centre for the Arts at Huntington College is by far the finest theatre facility of any educational institution I've been associated with," said Ramirez. "What's more, Huntington students are extremely talented. They are more serious about their performances than other students I've taught. I am very pleased to be a part of this strong program."

Theatre is one of many distinctive programs available at Huntington College. Founded in 1897, Huntington College seeks to "educate men and women to impact our world for Christ." Located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana, the four-year Christian liberal arts school offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in nearly 50 academic concentrations.

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