Academics

Faculty Profile: Jay Sierszyn (2002)
Associate Professor of Theatre
Director of Technical Theatre

EDUCATION

  • Ph.D. - Candidate - University of Missouri
  • M.A. - Northern Illinois University
  • B.A. - Concordia Teacher's College, River Forest, IL

PERSONAL

I grew up in Milwaukee and after 22 years teaching college and high school students in Illinois and Iowa returned to my hometown and have been at WLC since 2002. My wife, Sue, is a computer specialist, and our home life has hopefully provided a wonderful harmony of arts and science for our children, family and guests. I have non-scholarly interests in architecture (especially Frank Lloyd Wright), freshwater fishing (fly-fished for the first time just recently!), and following NFL Football and Major League Baseball.

RESEARCH/PROJECTS/SPECIAL INTERESTS

My current dissertation study is exploring historical aspects of theatre in Milwaukee. I have an additional project related to theatre production facilities, architecture and audiences. I was founder of the Approximate Shakespeare Theatre Company which follows the First Folio/Original Practices approach to productions. Aspects of Russian theatre and culture are also of interest to me.

CURRENT COURSES

Introduction to Theatre
This course develops an appreciation for the theatre arts. Topics include an overview of the historical development of drama and theatre and a general survey of the roles of the collaborative artists responsible for a theatre production. Some evaluation of outside performances is required. Some involvement in one of the college theatre productions may also be required. (Not applicable toward the major.)
Theatre History
The study of the development of the world of theatre from antiquity to the Spanish Golden Age. Emphasis is placed on the examination of the theatre as a cultural, social, political and religious barometer of the times. Representative plays, practitioners and practices will be examined.
Principles of Theatre Design
The craft and skills of theatre design (scene, lighting, costume, and sound) are introduced through presentations and hands-on assignments. Emphasis will be placed on interpretation, creative process and visual presentation. Issues and trends in design are presented in lectures with an overview of theatre production from the Greeks to the present.
Theatre and Christianity
The focus of this course will be three-fold: 1) to review the relationship between theatre and the church from its early roots to the present, 2) to examine critical treatises on the nature and purpose of theatre in society and the church, and 3) to explore the challenges faced by the Christian theatre artist in today's world.
Methods of Teaching Theatre
A study of the special problems that face the teacher of theatre at the secondary level. Includes special attention to the development and criticism of theatre class assignments, the operation and organization of a high school theatre program, and the selection and production of dramatic activities at the secondary level . Open to theatre majors or minors in secondary education certification programs.
Theatre Lighting Design
Advanced study will focus on stage lighting design and techniques including script analysis, plotting and color. Opportunities for realized designs will be attempted with an emphasis on communication issues, visual presentation and portfolio development.

MEMBERSHIPS

  • National Association of Lutheran College Faculties
    (President 2001-2002)

  • Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
    (Member of the Strategic Planning Committee 1998-2000)

    • Theatre as a Liberal Art (Focus Group of ATHE)
      (National Board-Membership Services - through 2008)
    • Two-Year College Programs (Focus Group of ATHE)
      (National Chair/Focus Group Representative 1997-2001)
      (Vice Chair/National Conference Planner 1994-96)
    • Council of Theatre Deans and Chairs (Focus Group of ATHE)

  • United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT)

  • Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA)

  • Eastern European Institute at Waldorf College (Founding Fellow; Treasurer 1995-96)

NATIONAL CONFERENCE PANELS/PRESENTATIONS

  • 2002 ATHE Conference, San Diego
    Season Selection in the Liberal Arts University
    "Faith, Trust and Hope"

  • 1997 ATHE Conference, Chicago
    Two-Year College Programs into Four-Year Colleges
    "The Waldorf Model: Two-Year into Three-Year"

  • 1996 ATHE Conference, New York
    What Have You Done for Me Lately? Survival Tips for Taking Over the Small Theatre Program - Part II
    "Lead Liberally and Artistically: Your Self, Your Students, Your Colleagues, Your Audience, Your Administration"

  • 1995 ATHE Conference, San Francisco
    Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire: What Can You Do in 2 Years?
    "Steering Students to Other Fields"

  • 1994 ATHE Conference, Chicago
    Set Design and Construction in the One-Person Department
    "Training and Challenging Student Leaders"

  • 1992 ATHE Conference, Atlanta
    Is There a Core for the Two Year College Theatre Program?
    "Creating a Core for the Newly-Established Program"
    Methods of Economizing Time/Effort or Producing Plays in a One-Person Department on a Limited Budget
    "From the Ground Up"

  • 1991 USITT Conference, Boston
    Education Commission Exit Standards Project Presentation