Promotion with Tenure from Assistant to Associate Professor

For Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor, it is expected the candidate will continue ongoing engagement in professional and/or creative work outside of Emerson College, and achieve national prominence and excellence in their field. In addition to criteria outlined in Section 8 of the Faculty Handbook, the following documentation should be in evidence in the dossier.

8.1 Teaching

  • Demonstrated excellence in instruction in the studio and rehearsal hall as documented by written peer reviews by faculty and/or professional collaborators and/or testimony from student collaborators in productions as opposed to classroom teaching
  • Evidence of regularly directing for Emerson Stage serving the educational needs of Performing Arts students
  • Effective service as an advisor to students
  • Course syllabi should demonstrate revisions and additions to address the changing needs of students, as well as incorporate the results of the candidate’s ongoing research/professional experiences and the integration of this research/experience into course requirements.
    • Course expectations noted in the syllabi should demonstrate a commitment to academic quality.
    • Assignments to students in courses will be rigorous and relevant to the goals and expected learning outcomes of the course.

Teaching excellence may also be documented through the following supplemental evidence:

  • Development of new courses, programs and teaching techniques as documented by syllabi and course materials
  • Participation in pedagogically oriented seminars and workshops within the College, at other colleges, and professional organizations
  • Examples of exceptional student work done under a candidate’s mentorship as evidenced by their receiving prestigious fellowships, internships, employment and/or awards
  • Record of alumni accomplishments where the faculty member has been actively engaged in a post-graduate mentorship role, as documented by the graduate in playbills and correspondence

These teaching metrics are in addition to the standard evaluation metrics employed across the College, syllabi and teaching materials, peer observations, and student course evaluations.

8.2 Scholarship and Creative/Professional Work

The stage director is an artist who is responsible for preparing a theatre production for public performance by researching, casting, rehearsing, staging, collaborating with designers and the production team, and managing the time and (in some cases) the budget. The director develops the stylistic interpretation of the drama unique to the production in collaboration with the acting and production ensemble.

Though accomplished stage directors vary greatly in their depth of knowledge and ability in any one area, the range of proficiency typically required of the stage director includes:

Production Expertise

  • Excellence in play analysis and conceptualization and ability to articulate ideas in appropriate terms for actors, choreographers, musical directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, voice and movement directors, designers, and public relations staff
  • The ability to develop over time a unique director’s aesthetic that can be evidenced through a portfolio of creative work
  • Skill at stage composition and staging; ability to tell a story through effective staging and storytelling techniques
  • Knowledge of movement, including period movement, for acting, dance, and stage combat, and the related spatial requirements
  • Ability to demonstrate clarity of expression and to create a visual and aural atmosphere that illuminates the world of the play
  • Ability to test the boundaries of language, form or style in the unique circumstances of production
  • Ability to coach actors with various levels of expertise and to prepare them for effective performance experiences
  • Understanding of the related production areas—choreography, stage voice and dialects, stage movement and combat, costume design, lighting design, sound design, stage rigging and pyrotechnics
  • The ability to collaborate effectively with all members of the artistic and production ensemble
  • An understanding of professional ethics and practice associated with theatre and performance
  • Understanding of budgetary and other resources parameters
  • For faculty who are specialists in directing musical theatre, additionally the ability to connect scenes of spoken word, music expression and dance/movement illustration into an integrated, coherent storytelling performance
  • For faculty who are specialists in community-engaged theatre, a knowledge of and expertise in community-based practices

Literature and History

  • Knowledge of dramatic literature, including historic genres, and excellence in textual and structural analysis of scripts
  • Knowledge of the history of theatrical production, including the history of acting and directing techniques, visual elements of scenery, properties, lighting, and costume
  • Knowledge of the history of art (artists, historic styles, and genres), architecture, and decor
  • Knowledge of economic and social history
  • Knowledge of current performance trends, including performance studies and theories of acting and directing
  • For faculty who are specialists in community-based theatre, a knowledge of the theory and history of community-based practices

For faculty who are specialists in directing musical theatre, the range of proficiency in Literature and History also includes:

  • Knowledge of the unique history and development of the musical theatre genre, including the contributions of opera, operetta, ballad opera, vaudeville etc.
  • An understanding of music theory, song structure, story through song, vocal capabilities, instrumentation, and music genres
  • Knowledge of historical and stylistic dance genres
  • Knowledge of vocal repertoire for all ranges of singers

Overall excellence from the stage director requires the ability to integrate knowledge consistently in the areas noted above. Stage directors must work with an understanding of the conceptual requirements of any given production to create stage productions that are both artistically and technically sound and can be realized within the constraints of budget and available labor for the producing organization. The work of the stage director must also be evaluated within a perspective of such constraints as acting pool, artistic and technical support and facilities, and production resources. Such expertise is demonstrated by participation in realized production, off campus.

Productivity and Criteria for Excellence

  • Directing 4 productions in the pre-tenure period in venues consistent with creative research trajectory – community, fringe or mid-sized semi-professional (NEAT contract) and/or large (LORT contract) professional venues known for high artistic quality
  • For directors identifying as following a commercial for-profit/not-for-profit track, work for organizations that engage members from the major trade unions including AEA, AFTRA, SAG, SSDC, USA, AGVA, and AGMA
  • If the work is community-based, 4 projects that provide evidence of their artistic merit and engagement with and significant impact on the community, as demonstrated by civic and artistic leaders, community partners, and collaborators
  • Production work should have evidence of review by local and national media, where applicable.

Directing excellence may also be documented through the following supplemental evidence:

  • Appearances on and off campus as a speaker or panelist or otherwise participating in the meetings or activities of nationally or internationally professional organizations
  • Prizes, awards, fellowships or other recognitions
  • Publication of written work such as books, articles, reviews, director’s notes, and cybertexts
  • Published criticism and scholarship about productions directed by the candidate

8.3 Service

Faculty is expected to render a reasonable amount of service to the Department of Performing Arts, Emerson College, to the profession or professional organizations, and to the public at large. Evidence in the evaluation of service includes:

  • Effective service as an advisor to students
  • Effective service on departmental and college-wide committees
  • Holding a titled position on departmental and college-wide committees
  • Effective contributions to public relations efforts, including auditions and recruiting, on behalf of the department
  • Service in elective or appointive leadership roles in professional organizations and associations.
  • Service as an adjudicator in major competitions
  • Service on the board of a professional service or arts organization

For Promotion to Full Professor

8.2 Scholarship and Creative/Professional Work

All of the above criteria for Associate in the post-tenure period, plus demonstrated evidence of having made a significant contribution to national or international theatre as evidenced by articles, reviews, interviews, or letters of support that underscore the candidate’s important place in and lasting impact on the professional theatre. This recognizes that Boston is a national media center and that some of the work created here may be seen and reviewed as on a national level. This further recognizes that critics do not always mention the contributions of individual artists in a production in their reviews, a reality controlled by the press, not by the artist, and that therefore should not be considered detrimental to promotion.