All theatre majors must successfully complete a senior project. This senior project serves as the required comprehensive examination in the major study as specified in the Whitman College Catalog: "Every candidate for a bachelor's degree must, in his or her senior year or subsequently, complete with a passing grade a comprehensive examination in the field of the major study."

The theatre senior project may be practical, written, or a combination of the two. The project is determined in collaboration with a faculty advisor, and a project committee reviews the finished work. In this review, three components are evaluated:

  1. The finished project.
  2. A project paper that addresses the student’s preparation, process, and self-evaluation.
  3. The student's oral defense of the work completed.

These are the steps to be followed in completing the senior project:

  1. In the semester before your senior year, meet with your academic adviser to select the project.
  2. Establish a committee to oversee your project. This committee must include your academic adviser and two other faculty members.
  3. Choose one member of the committee to be your project adviser.
  4. Meet with your project adviser to establish the parameters for the project: specific topic, form of presentation, and requirements. These established parameters will serve as a contract used in the final evaluation of the project.
  5. For the semester in which you intend to present the project, register for Theatre 490, Senior Project. On the established date, present the project to your project committee.
  6. Distribute copies of the project paper to your committee
  7. Meet with your committee and present a one-hour oral defense of the project and any supporting documents.

Following the oral defense of your senior project, the committee will meet and evaluate your work. The majority vote of the committee members determines whether you have passed with distinction, passed, or failed the major comprehensive examination. If you pass with distinction, you will receive an A in Theatre 490. If you pass, you will receive a B in Theatre 490. Per the Whitman College Catalog, "a student who fails to pass the major examination may at the discretion of his or her examining committee be given a second examination, but not before two weeks after the first examination." A grade of "passed with distinction" is requisite to the awarding of Honors in Major Study. After making its evaluation, the committee will meet with you to discuss your project.

After receiving your project grade, all seniors must participate in a “Theatre program survey.” The survey must be completed prior to graduation and submitted to the Department Chair. 

Senior Survey

  1. Tell us your thoughts on the senior project. In your comments please include the process for choosing a project and the evaluation process. Did this experience meet your expectations?
  2. What aspects of your education in this program helped you with your learning, and why were they helpful?
  3. What might the department do differently that would help you learn more effectively, and why would these actions help?
  4. How well did you achieve each of the following departmental learning goals? (Use a scale of extremely well, very well, adequately well, not very well, not at all)
    1. We hope to develop in our students the ability to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of Theatre as a form of artistic expression that demands intelligence, imagination, intuition, collaboration, rigorous aesthetic standards, and a broad base of knowledge.
    2. We hope to develop in our students the practical and intellectual skills necessary to articulate themselves in a theatrical context.
    3. We hope to develop in our students the ability to demonstrate proficiencies in both the planning and performance of a theatrical event.
    4. We hope to develop in our students knowledge of the history and established repertory of the theatre, its contemporary contexts, and the ability to ask questions that will set them on the path to developing their unique voice and vision, in their personal and collaborative contribution to the theatre.