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From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Theatre Arts

Theatre Arts became a separate department on July 1, 1978, after 77 years as part of the English Department. Dramatics had flourished as an extra-curricular activity under Professors Thomas Crosby, Jr. 1894, Benjamin W. Brown ’19, and Janice Van De Water Brown, and continued under Mrs. Brown and James Barnhill after the death of Ben Brown in 1955. John Emigh, John Lucas, Don Wilmeth, and Barbara Tannenbaum joined the faculty in the late 1960s, and in 1969 Theatre Arts became a separate concentration in the English Department. In 1969 Julie Strandberg began teaching dance in the women’s physical education department of Pembroke College. She contacted James Barnhill about including dance as an academic pursuit in Theatre Arts and began teaching dance in the English Department that year. In 1973 Theatre Arts was recognized as a program. With the expectation of the renovation of Lyman Hall into a theatre and dance studio, a plan was formed to make Theater Arts an independent department in 1980. The fact that this occurred earlier was owing to the enthusiasm of Professor Albert D. Van Nostrand who wanted to see it happen during his final year as chairman of the English Department. At this time it was decided that the new department would include theater arts, dance and speech, and that the Department of English would retain film and semiotics. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance in 1987. Assistant Professor Lowry Marshall took over the basic course in acting and directing after the retirement of James Barnhill. Spencer Golub joined the department to teach history of the theatre, and Michelle Bach came to teach dance. James O. Barnhill was chairman of the department until 1979, followed by Don B. Wilmeth until 1987. John Emigh served until 1993, Nancy Dunbar until 1998, and Wilmeth again until 2001. Spencer Golub became chair in 2001.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.

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