Communication and Theatre
Students in the Department of Communication and Theatre will tell you their focus is on messages -- the power of the word to transform human existence. Whether writing, analyzing, speaking or performing, our students are active communicators on campus and beyond. We seek to prepare our students to be knowledgeable, versatile, and confident in responsibly meeting the complex communication challenges of a dynamic world. Our students:
- excel in forms of verbal and non-verbal expression, demonstrating proficient delivery of well-written, purposefully crafted messages;
- critically analyze acts of individual expression and effectively respond to complex communication challenges; and
- demonstrate an understanding of relevant, discipline-based theories by engaging in independent, creative, and scholarly projects.
Our students are empowered to make this happen by working closely with our outstanding faculty and through their involvement in our department activities: theatre, debate, newspaper, honor societies, pre-professional organizations, and internships.
Degree programs offered:
- Communication: This major examines the ways in which communication occurs within a business, non-profit or other organizational setting. A major for those seeking careers in law, advertising, politics, public relations, media or business.
- Theatre: The degree in theatre provides a specialized, integrated approach to the study of theatre. A pre-professional major for students with career aspirations in the theatre. You must choose one track: Performance, Design and Production, or Generalist.
- Speech/Theatre Education: A secondary education certification for those who are interested in teaching high school speech, debate or theatre.
- Our debate team has won the Missouri State Championship in parliamentary debate an unprecedented five consecutive years (2008-2012) and placed 4th in the National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament championship in 2012.
- Our integrated theatre curriculum is nationally renowned for its unique design, and our students produce, direct, cast, and design their own senior theatre performances.
- All of our students have the opportunity to earn academic credit for internships at advertising firms, public relations agencies, sports teams, professional theatre, media outlets, and non-profit organizations.
- Our award-winning weekly newspaper, the Hilltop Monitor, is the voice of Jewell students as well as the best source of news on campus.
- All of our seniors complete independent capstone projects: senior persuasive speaking recitals, theatre productions, and original research papers. Some of those students have gone on to present their work at regional and national scholarly conferences and workshops.
Prospective students should feel free to contact a faculty member in their interest area. Scholarships and academic credit are available for students interested in our co-curricular activities:
Are you ready to contribute to the Jewell conversation? Drop us an e-mail, schedule a visit, or call us toll free (1-888-2-JEWELL).
Communication and Theatre Faculty:
Gina E. Lane, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication and Department Chair
Dr. Lane teaches courses in Persuasion, Rhetorical Criticism and American Public Address, Advanced Public Speaking and Senior Seminar. In addition to her role as department chair, she serves on the governing board of the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. Her research interests include the rhetoric of Native Americans, the 1920s rhetoric of Eleanor Roosevelt and competitive debate and forensics. A lifelong Kansas City resident, she lives in Pleasant Valley with her Shih Tzu, Sumi, and her two cats, Xena and Amy.
Deborah Chasteen, Ph.D
Professor of Communication and Director of Internships
Dr. Chasteen teaches Public Relations, Communication Theory, Interpersonal, Small Group and Integrated Communication. She is also the advisor to Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society and the Jewell Communication Society. Her passion is traveling, especially international teaching.
Kevin Garner, M.A.
Director of Debate and Instructor of Communication
Professor Garner's main responsibility is leading Jewell's nationally-ranked debate squad. His courses include Rhetoric, Communication Theory and Political Communication. Aside from teaching, Kevin is a partner in a political consulting firm and doctoral student at the University of Kansas, specializing in the rhetorical construction of sexual identities.
Joshua Hoops, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Communication
Dr. Hoops has taught Intercultural Communication, Organizational Communication, Media Writing, Small Group Communication and Public Speaking. His research examines the role identity plays in cross-cultural communication. His current projects are focused on the relationships between space and race. When not teaching and researching, Josh enjoys playing and watching basketball.
Natasha Martin, M.F.A.
Theatre Artist in Residence and Assistant Professor of Theatre
Professor Martin has taught workshops and courses in Acting Styles, Directing, Movement and Stage Combat, and has been a personal acting coach for the past 15 years. She has appeared in television and film roles, including Fox, TLC, Disney, Nippon TV Japan and on many stages throughout the US. Trained at the Actor's Studio Program in New York City, Natasha is thrilled to be joining the faculty and students at William Jewell. Check out Professor Martin’s portfolio at: www.natashaleemartin.com.
Nathan Wyman, M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Theatre and Director Jewell Theatre Company
Professor Wyman teaches Stagecraft Fundamentals, Stage Design and Production, including Scenery & Props, Costumes & Makeup, and Lighting & Sound, and Stagecraft Practicum courses. He is the director of the Jewell Theatre Company, where he has designed scenery, lights and props for more than 30 plays. In 2010, Professor Wyman completed stage designs for “Darkness Falls” with Running With Scissors Theatre Company in Hertfordshire, England. Nathan is married to the love of his life, who is also an artist and designer. They reside in a “fixer-upper” on the east side of Liberty with their three cats, Wally, Guilty, and Lucy. Check out Professor Wyman’s design portfolio at www.behance.net/nathanwyman.