2020 Season Selection process

The University of Arkansas Department of Theatre has revised its Season Selection Process to more fully engage with all of the student-body and faculty. The Season Selection Committee will be guided by the following six principles:

  1. Student diversity
  2. Stylistic diversity
  3. Student needs
  4. Area needs
  5. Cultural currency
  6. Personal investment

We are expanding our season to continue our Subscription Series and adding a new Student Spotlight Series, which invites proposals from our talented graduate and undergraduate students and seeks to expand opportunity for both student populations. Before submitting, we encourage you to read further about the Six Guiding Principles, as well as the Subscription and Student Spotlight Series below.

All proposals must be made through our online form.

  • Deadline for proposals for Fall 2020 Graduate Student Spotlight Series and the faculty nominated Subscription Series are due by January 1, 2020.
  • Deadline for proposals for the Spring 2021 Undergraduate Student Spotlight Series and the Guest Spotlight show are due by February 1, 2021.

As we embark on this new process, we ask for your patience, but we hope we will be able to announce the selected fall titles by mid-February, 2020 and the full season by March 1, 2020.

1. Student diversity
Title selection represents the diversity of the student body, creates more expansive opportunities, and gives voice to people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

2. Stylistic diversity
Title selection represents a diversity of artistic styles: realism, absurdism, epic, etc.

3. Student needs
Title selection takes into consideration theatre student populations and the needs for multiple opportunities that help students build both their theatre specific skills (acting, design, playwriting, technical theatre, etc.) and foundational skills (collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking) that result in success in their chosen field and can transfer to other disciplines.

4. Area needs
Title selection takes into consideration theatre area pedagogical needs to provide necessary experiences for student growth.

5. Cultural currency
Title selection takes into consideration University student/faculty audiences, and what conversations we want to have with them to build a better world and foster campus dialogue and community.

6. Personal investment
Title selection takes into consideration artistic investment in work by lead artists.

Subscription Series:

This is a four-show series selected by the Season Selection Committee in conversation with Faculty with a more typical 6-to-8 week rehearsal process. This series will include:

  • a musical
  • a classical play with a guest director
  • a undergraduate show
  • the ArkType New Works Festival

What is the Student Spotlight Series?

This is a four-show series selected by the Season Selection Committee in conversation with Students (grad/undergrad) with a studio production aesthetic, and a shorter process. The series spotlights student interests, both cultural and artistic, allowing for a greater multiplicity of voices and subjects explored. This is a more flexible format that encourages student leadership and initiative and celebrates student engagement and agency. Student proposals ALL go to the Season Selection Committee and are selected from the same set of Six Guiding Priorities, and faculty gives annual parameters based on pedagogical needs and resources of various areas.

For the 2020-2021 Season, the two Fall Spotlight Series titles will be chosen from proposals by the Graduate Cohort and will be directed by the second year M.F.A. Directors. We expect these titles will include opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

For the two Spring Spotlight Series titles, one will be chosen from proposals from the undergraduates with the undergraduate cohort particularly in mind; the other will be chosen from proposals from either undergraduates or graduate students that ideally involves a guest artist who brings worldviews and perspectives not reflected in our current faculty. If students don't have a particular guest artist in mind, this also can be expressed as an interest in exploring a genre/playwright that fosters diversity and inclusion (i.e. an interest in hip-hop theatre). In this case, the Selection Committee would commit to finding a guest artist who could help facilitate.

Parameters for the Student Spotlight Series

As noted, the Student Spotlight Series will operate on a more nimble, studio aesthetic, which reflects--and we hope prepares==students for the conditions and realities they will encounter when they leave the University. Student Spotlight Series can expect:

  • Supported rehearsal processes
  • Faculty mentorship and investment as well as invited participation. For instance, if the undergrads want to work with a particular faculty member on their Spotlight Series, approach that faculty member, get them invested
  • Minimal tech support (~3 days shop builds)
  • Scrappy budgets (~$500)
  • Expectation of more student ownership and leadership as theatre makers

We invite proposals for Subscription Series from faculty as well as the Fall 2020 Student Spotlight Series from the Graduate cohort. Proposals are due Jan 1, 2020. Proposals for the Spring Undergrad Spotlight show as well as the guest Spotlight show are due Feb 1. 2020.

After proposals are gathered, the Season Selection Committee will:

  1. Review all proposals
  2. Make season recommendation to chair/vice-chair based on Six Guiding Principles for the season
  3. The Committee, in conversation with Chair/Vice, will apply real-world concerns and challenges (i.e. technical, budget, personnel limitations)
  4. The Committee will revise/refine after understood challenges and concerns and recommend the season to the whole faculty for final approval


If you have any questions, please contact the Season Selection Committee chair, john Walch, at jswalch@uark.edu.