Department of Theater and Speech
Cottey's theatre program provides the first two years of necessary basic classroom instruction and on-stage, hands-on personal experience that students pursuing a liberal arts degree in theatre will need. Because of Cottey's size, focus on educating women, and teacher-to-student ratio, as freshmen and sophomores, students have more opportunities than at larger schools. Freshmen are cast in main stage acting roles and in major technical positions, such as assistant director, stage manager, light board operator, and sound board operator. Students make up all technical crews, including set construction, stage crew, painting, costumes, make-up, props, and publicity. There are also sometimes opportunities for dancers and singers and for photographers and cinematographers. Students serve as crew for visiting road shows, such as the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Kansas City Ballet, Peking Acrobats, National Shakespeare Company, National Theatre of the Deaf, and many others.
Plays produced by the Cottey College theatre and speech department are specifically chosen to provide women opportunities for growth and exploration that may not be as plentiful in coeducational environments.
The speech program is designed to increase the ability of students to communicate effectively with individuals in a variety of settings. Courses emphasize analysis and study of the elements of public speaking, interpersonal communication, and performance of poetry and prose. There are a variety of career options an individual might pursue using this background: communication studies, broadcasting, television journalism, mass media, public address, and rhetoric. It is also invaluable for those studying business, public relations, law, teaching, and theology. The fine arts faculty at Cottey teaches speech, but it is often classified as humanities or basic skills at other institutions.