back to news Nov. 19, 2020

Theatre and film unite in renamed Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts

By boldly integrating creative disciplines, the Department of Theatre in the College of Arts and Sciences will change its name to the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts.

The department will bring together the current offerings of the Department of Theatre, the interdisciplinary Film Studies Program and the Moving-Image Production major. By uniting theatre and film, students and faculty will benefit from a thriving artistic community that studies and creates through all aspects of live and mediated performance.

This name change was approved at this week’s meeting of the Ohio State Board of Trustees following unanimous approval by the faculty of the Department of Theatre, the Council on Academic Affairs and the University Senate.

“The integration of these disciplines into one department will provide tremendous opportunities for our students to pursue their passions for the stage, screen and emerging media,” said Gretchen Ritter, executive dean and vice provost for the College of Arts and Sciences. “The Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts will serve as a welcoming home for its students, faculty, staff, alumni and patrons, advancing the strength of the arts at Ohio State and in our community.”

“Incorporating theatre, film and media arts into a single department will provide our students the opportunity to learn and perform in an environment that resembles the professional world where many of them are destined to pursue their careers and dreams,” added Peter L. Hahn, dean of arts and humanities for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Production photo from A Midsummer Night's Dream (2019)

Photo from the department's 2019 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Professor Kevin McClatchy

This change coincides with the construction of Ohio State’s emerging Arts District. The new homes for the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts and the School of Music will bring the performing and visual arts disciplines together in the center of campus, generating unparalleled artistic community and collaboration.

With this new building on the horizon, students, faculty and staff of the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts will soon be together in one space for collaborative teaching and learning, creative inquiry, performance, and exhibition. The core faculty of the Film Studies Program, representing departments across the College of Arts and Sciences, will continue to provide interdisciplinary strength and will enhance research and teaching collaborations.

“This name change provides an academic and artistic home for our students, faculty and alumni who study, research and work in film and media arts,” said Janet Parrott, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and co-director of the Film Studies Program and Moving-Image Production major. “Having the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Arts situated at the front door of the university will invite collaboration and innovation in the heart of the Arts District. “

The Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts will house more than a dozen existing undergraduate and graduate programs. These programs include:

  • Undergraduate majors: Film Studies, Moving-Image Production, Theatre
  • Undergraduate minors: Film Studies, Screenwriting, Theatre, Musical Theatre, Media Production and Analysis, Video Arts
  • Graduate programs: Film Studies (MA), Theatre Studies (MA), Theatre (MFA, emphasis in acting or design), Theatre (PhD)
  • Graduate minors: Cinema and Video Production, Theatre and Performance
  • Graduate interdisciplinary specialization: Film Studies

The College of Arts and Sciences has begun an external search for a chair of the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts, with an anticipated start date at the beginning of the autumn 2021 semester.

“With the integration of such diverse curricula, the national search for a department chair and a state-of-the art building on the horizon, this is an exciting time for the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts,” said Dana Renga, professor and chair of the Department of French and Italian, who serves with Parrott as co-director of the Film Studies Program and Moving-Image Production major.

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