FAQ for parents
Click here for the student FAQ.
What will students actually study?
Performance Theory, History, and Criticism. Advanced Performance Techniques. Composition and Collaborative Process. Performance Creation. Financial Sustainability and Resource as an Artist. Please see our Curriculum for more information.
How will this work fit into their college curriculum?
Students will receive transfer credit from Bryn Mawr College for their work during the semester. These classes may transfer to traditional dance, theater, theory, or even English credits, or possibly electives, depending on the program. Students will return from HPI with more experience seeing, making, and analyzing live performance. They will have a deeper understanding of the history of contemporary dance and theater. And they will have a realistic picture of the lives of working artists. We hope to inspire students to clarify and expand their own visions. All of our work takes place within a rigorous, collaborative, community setting, pushing students to look outside of themselves, and to find solutions collectively and generously.
How does the curriculum connect with a liberal arts education?
The best way to explain this is to name our core values. We believe that creating performance requires:
- An integration of intellect with body, theory with practice
- Openness and willingness to experiment
- Intellectual rigor, combined with flexibility responsive to real-world conditions and events
- Seeing performance as a lens for culture, history, social relations, identity
We believe that performing requires:
- Flexibility about your identity
- Being interested, not interesting
- Remaining open to an actual moment or experience, rather than having a preconceived idea shape your reaction
- Connection to other performers and the audience
- Transparency over perfection; showing everything, including fears and mistakes
- Pushing beyond your comfort zone
These skill sets are valuable far beyond the stage. Performance, like history, literature, or sociology, is a lens for thinking about culture, communication, and how to learn.
What experience does the faculty have in education?
Academic Director Mark Lord is the Director of Theater at Bryn Mawr College, where he designed the theater curriculum and teaches courses in acting, directing, and applied performance theory. He has also taught at the University of the Arts and the Yale School of Drama. Emmanuelle Delpech has taught at Swarthmore, and Temple University. David Brick has held an appointment as Lecturer in Dance at Bryn Mawr since 2000. Aaron Cromie teaches theater at the University of the Arts, and has also taught at Bryn Mawr College, Sarah Lawrence College, and UC Santa Cruz, among others. Amy Smith has guest taught and lectured at several area universities, including Drexel, Rutgers, and DeSales. And David and Amy have also taught the professional dance and theater communities over the past twelve years as part of Dance Theater Camp, a free, artist-run annual festival that Headlong hosts and organizes.
How will student life and well-being be supported and monitored?
HPI is a close-knit community of faculty members, staff, and student artists. Faculty members keep in close contact with students, and each HPI student artist checks in with his or her assigned Faculty advisor regularly. (The student-faculty ratio is 2-to-1.) The Institute's Programs Manager Thomas Choinacky oversees housing and student life issues. The group spends each day together in class. And the faculty members attend the Friday Salons, which include weekly meeting and check-in time with the group.
What if my child gets sick or injured?
The Institute Programs Manager and faculty will help students find the local medical care they need. HPI assumes no medical expenses for its students, and all students must have medical insurance through their parents or college/university in order to participate in the semester.