Harvard’s Theatre Dance And Media Concentration Has Been A Success With The Students

The Theater, Dance, and Media concentration debuted by Harvard two years ago has been deemed a success by the students. Although they admit finding the balance between performance and academics can be difficult they believe it is worth the effort. The students have been enjoying the independence and attention provided by the program. The program is run through Farkas Hall, named for alum Andrew Farkas.

Julia E. Belanoff was one of the fall students at the National Theater Institute and feels being a part of such a little department and receiving the individualized attention is wonderful. Similar statements were made by Sam A. Hagan who says even his friends are interested in the growth of the program. He is excited about the resources, attention, and energy directed at the improvement of the program.

Drew G. Faust is the President of the university and firmly supports the concentration. The concentration started when she provided seed funding in the amount of $5 million from her discretionary fund. According to many of the students, despite the ample resources keeping the balance between the vocational and theoretical aspects can still be difficult.

One of the chairs for the Theater, Dance and Media is an English and Drama professor named Martin Puchner. He sees the concentration as an integration of historical, academic, and literacy study of media, dance, and theatre with the inclusion of practice and actual art. He believes the program provides the correct balance. Sam Hagan is challenged by this balance and questions how academic work can be incorporated with performance within a TDM department. He feels this question is difficult but is pleased the department has been making the effort to properly address his question.

Eliza B. Mantz is having difficulties proposing her thesis. She says she is always negotiating with someone in the department regarding what they want and what it is they really need. She believes the hardest part about coming up with a thesis is using your passions in the creation of a project. She is not sure if the department knows what a TDM thesis is supposed to look like. Sarah K. Grammar believes the committee is in the process of learning the capabilities of a TDM thesis.

The overall opinion is the TDM students are enthusiastic about the people involved with the concentration. Julia Belanoff in enjoying the freedom she is experiencing with the concentration and the flexibility of the parameters. Since she has been responsible for finding her own way in college the concentration has made a difference.