Texas State Musical Theatre Program Mission Statement
Commitment to Equitable Opportunities for All Artists
Culturally Responsive Theatre Training*
Our mission as a community of artists: to combat and dismantle racism, sexism, and heteronormative cisgender dominance in theater and in theater training. Formalizing our goals in our syllabi, our classrooms, and our stages to breakdown and disrupt traditional theater training hierarchies; to hold space in creative collaboration in our classrooms and rehearsal spaces promoting and utilizing Antiracist Pedagogy and Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods.
We are Bobcats and that means in part; being willing to be vulnerable and sitting with the discomfort that comes with taking on the hard conversations and doing the essential work of functioning as a community with a dedication to equitable anti-racist representation, and actively pursuing purposeful inclusion of marginalized groups and their contributions to the canon of theatre.
*Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning; is justice-oriented and reflects the social context were in now.
“I choose Texas State because of the program faculty’s efforts to let me know I would feel safe and find my own community of artists and people who respect me, and more importantly, are like me. As a queer student of color from a super diverse, liberal city, I needed that. In our biannual program meetings, the mission for the students to have a part in leaving this program even better than they found it is reinforced and supported. The overwhelming support and ever-evolving plan for the future regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as our participation in this conversation, continues to be listened to and facilitated.”- Ian Deane ‘22
“I am the first-generation daughter of two immigrants, a Chinese mother and a Puerto-Rican father. Attending Texas State for my BFA in Musical Theatre gave me quite a bit of anxiety, and I was nervous about how I may feel excluded due to cultural differences. However, from the beginning of my four years at Texas State, it was clear our program leaders were activists for diversity and inclusion. Our program head was unapologetic on her mission to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community, the Black experience in America, and the perspective of her students of color on a daily basis. Texas State’s musical theatre program, as a result, has evolved into a community that is pioneering diversity development ideas in the department and it was abundantly clear our leaders wanted to spark a revolution in our national education system. This revolution wasn’t merely about hitting a “diversity quota” in our programs or shows, it was about providing a space for minorities (regarding race, sexual identity, gender expression, body type, and more) to speak, as well focusing on creating a platform for educating ourselves to be more compassionate and empathetic. “Change begins with us” is a motto for the program, and as a company of artists, we continue to ask the uncomfortable questions, fight for those who are under-represented, and push to have a melting pot of students. Very rarely do I meet professors who are passionate about inclusion in their classrooms, let alone in general. This program schedules meetings, department games, and fundraisers all to contribute to the cause of diversity and the educating of how to be an embracing community. We bravely fail forward and we trust that our faculty will always put the safety of students before anything- no matter who we are, where we come from, or what we look like.” - Ana Puig ‘20
“I chose Texas State because there is no textbook reason why anyone should have looked twice at me. I am bi-gendered, homosexual, effeminate, have no eyebrows, and had no sense of who I was for a long time. In other words, many people in the theatre world brushed me aside when I expressed my dreams of becoming a working actor. However, Texas State found value in me that did not yet exist in the theatre industry. I am now about to graduate knowing that everything different about me is the most useful tool I have as an actor and a person. None of that could have happened for me without the passionate pursuit of diversity and inclusion in the musical theater program. The faculty here promise to keep you safe, invest in your career long-term, and more importantly, allow you and your ideas to change the program for the better. The difference between inclusion and exploitation is whether or not you actually have the voices of the people you claim to protect influencing the way you protect them, and the program is a model of this behavior. It has been the greatest honor of my life to have been a small part in the legacy this program has built, and I cannot wait to change the industry in ways that I never thought was possible.” - Michael Julliard ‘20