College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Clemson performing arts degree gets a relevant, updated name


This is a photo of two Clemson grads who starred in the Warehouse Theatre's production of "Glass Menagerie."
Kathryn Hinton and Drew Whitley, two Clemson University graduates, recently starred in “The Glass Menagerie” at Greenville’s Warehouse Theatre. The production was directed by Clemson professor Kerrie Seymour. Image Credit: Wallace Krebs

CLEMSON — The Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities has changed the name of its performing arts undergraduate degree to more accurately reflect the range of arts programs offered at the university.

The Bachelor of Arts in production studies in performing arts degree now will be known as the Bachelor of Arts in performing arts. Clemson University trustees approved the change on Feb. 7. It takes effect in fall 2019.

Under the performing arts degree program, students can continue to focus on one of three separate concentrations: music, theater and audio technology.

The department found that students had sometimes mistakenly assumed that the production studies degree emphasized only the backstage or technical elements related to the performing arts, which is only a part of what the degree program offers.

Over the course of the degree’s 15-year history, graduates in performing arts have gone on to success as musicians singers, and actors; and in such fields such as arts administration, entertainment law, and arts development and fundraising.

“This name change will broaden the appeal of the performing arts program by spotlighting the various opportunities Clemson students have in music, theater or audio technology as they prepare for a career related to the multibillion dollar performing arts industry,” said Richard E. Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Clemson students also benefit from a world-class performing arts venue, the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. The Brooks Center was named by Best Value Schools as No. 8 in the nation among “The 25 Most Amazing University Performing Arts Centers.”

“The Brooks Center serves as a laboratory for performing arts students who not only perform here, but also work behind the scenes moving scenery for productions, running sound for concerts, selling tickets and collaborating to create their own musical and theatrical works,” said Becky Becker, chair of the performing arts department. “Our new name, performing arts, reflects the range of activities encompassed by the degree as well as the collaborative nature of the work we do.”

With the degree program’s success and growth over the past 15 years, the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities is well-poised to take this nationally distinctive program to the next level.

The Clemson University performing arts department, in addition to serving performing arts majors, reaches out to students across campus, offering 32 theater, music and dance ensembles that engage more than 800 students from 30 majors, from bioengineering to wildlife biology, economics and math education.

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