Communication, Film, and Theatre

The Communication, Film, and Theatre Department is dedicated to the creative and critical study of communication, with special emphasis on theatre, rhetoric, and media. The curriculum offers opportunities for the performance, practice, in-depth study, and analysis of texts and techniques in each of these spheres. Students engage in production, performance, and critical cultural studies, with the objective of becoming competent and engaged artists/scholars in their fields. The department’s liberal arts emphasis encourages students to develop habits of engaged citizenship, thoughtful professionalism, and a meaningful private life.

Majors & Minors

Exploring the complexities of communication through the study of Rhetoric, Mass Media, and Theatre

After Graduation & Outcomes

Success stories of our graduates

Facilities & Strengths

Information on resources and facilities for students

Welcome to Allegheny kt shorb!

The Department of Communication, Film, and Theatre is thrilled to announce that kt shorb will join the faculty this coming fall!  Professor shorb comes to us from the University of Texas where they are completing a Ph.D. in the Performance as Public Practice program.  Their research focuses on how queer people of color performers create temporal pockets that can only be described as time travel.  In Austin, Professor shorb is the producing artistic director of the Generic Ensemble Company, an ensemble that makes the invisible visible through bold, socially relevant, body-centered theatre.  Professor shorb also holds a B.M. in Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and an M.A. in Radio-Televison-Film from The University of Texas at Austin.

Welcome Professor kt shorb!

Welcome to Allegheny Terrence Spivey!

Professor Spivey will teach fall 2021’s THTR 190 – “The Evolving Karamu House and Social Justice”  A study of Black theatre and drama through the evolution of Cleveland’s Karamu House from the civil rights movement through the Black Arts Movement to today. Students investigate documentary plays on social justice and racial identities from Tamir Rice to Michael Brown. Artists including Charles Gilpin, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, and Dael Orlandersmith are considered.

Professor Spivey will also direct a November 2021 Playshop production.

After graduating from Texas’s Prairie View A&M University, Terrence Spivey moved to New York City and studied the Meisner Technique at the William Esper Studio. Following stints at the Black Writers Reunion and Conference and the Black Girl Ensemble, in 2003 Spivey became artistic director of Cleveland’s historic Karamu House, the nation’s oldest African American theatre.  Across 13 years Spivey directed many world premieres and produced countless community initiatives, gaining numerous accolades for Karamu House such as the 2013 AUCELCO Repertory Company of the Year in New York City. After departing Karamu House, he worked as a freelance director creating new works on the police killing of Tamir Rice and sex trafficking in Northeast Ohio, in addition to directing plays by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and August Wilson. Spivey also founded his own theatre company, Powerful Long Ladder, directing works by James Baldwin and Golden Globe actress Regina Taylor. He recently directed an award-winning film called Resurrection of The Last Black Man in 08:46, a reflection on the killing of George Floyd and a 1933 Texas lynching. In 2018 Spivey was selected into The HistoryMakers. It is the largest archive collection for African Americans housed in the Library of Congress.

Letter From Chair

 It’s a great pleasure to introduce you to the Department of Communication, Film, and Theatre at Allegheny College. Within the award-winning Vukovich Center for Communication Arts we house four interconnected areas of specialization – Media Studies, Rhetoric, Theatre, and Video Production – with 15 teachers committed to undergraduate liberal arts education. We firmly believe that each area feeds the others and so we encourage students to pursue their own critical and creative pathways.

We are teachers, scholars, and artists committed to exploring the impact of communication across disciplines, cultures, and communities. Students appreciate that faculty carefully craft courses and willingly adapt curricular plans to effectively reach students. Our teachers also incorporate their research and creative work into the classroom. You can learn about recent scholarly and artistic achievements as you look at individual faculty pages.

Students value Communication, Film and Theatre courses because they focus on active learning, interdisciplinary perspectives, and critical interrogation of everyday life. They examine a wide range of disciplines and develop cognitive tools to apply to any career path. In addition to structured courses, our students work with faculty on individual and joint research projects that have led to campus and conference presentations, journal articles, books, performances, documentaries, and independent films. Of equal importance are internships; recent work includes work with Food and Water Watch, the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park, and INTAR.

One thing you’ll notice if you visit the Vukovich Center is that we are a noisy bunch; impromptu and informal conversations fill the hallways. Learning and advising don’t stop when a class or scheduled appointment ends. You’ll find faculty, students, and staff chatting in offices and classrooms, doorways and hallways, and in theatres and studios. I invite you to jump in.

Michael Mehler,
Professor and Chair

What can I do with my major?