To be, or not to be, that is the question that Southeastern Louisiana University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts is currently asking itself. The question pertains to whether or not Southeastern will one day be able to offer its students a degree in theatre.
Jim Winter, an associate professor of acting and directing, said, “The benefits of Southeastern having a theatre degree would be that more students would attend Southeastern. We estimate that within three to five years of launching the new degree program, we would have no less than 100 theatre majors.”
According to a Southeastern UReporter survey, 80 percent of students think that Southeastern should get a theatre degree and 20 percent do not.
Gavin Clifford, a political science major at Southeastern said, “I think that a degree in theatre would help the students interested in that area of study be better trained, but I just don’t see how the school can afford to create a new degree with all of the budget cuts that have been happening recently.”
The survey also found that 56 percent of students think that a theatre degree is necessary in order for students to receive the proper training.
“Years ago, Southeastern had a theatre degree program, but they lost it in the 1980s due to not having enough people graduate with the degree. I’ve been trying to get one back since I started working here in 2005,” said Winter.
As of right now, students can get a general studies degree with a concentration in theatre.