URTA on the Map – University of Tennessee, Knoxville


URTA on the Map – University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Who: Calvin MacLean, Department Head, Artistic Director
School: University of Tennessee – Knoxville
City: Knoxville, Tennessee

What advice would you give to new students about how they can build relationships and form communities at your school?

We are already a close-knit community. The work we do and the practicum nature of the program generates immediate collaboration. But forming relationships in the larger community is a challenge – it is easy to become absorbed in the community of the CBT. East Tennessee is a beautiful place. It is important to get to the Smoky Mountains, to visit the artist communities in Gatlinburg and Asheville. Knoxville is a great music town. And there is more and more things to do here. We have a symphony, an opera company, and a busy center of town. Get to know the East Tennessee community, you won’t be disappointed.

What are some of the guiding principles of University of Tennessee- Knoxville’s program, and of your teaching methods?

UT is only a part of us, we are also the Clarence Brown Theatre – a member of LORT and the only professional theatre in the LORT circuit in Tennessee. Our methods and attitudes are drawn from the professionalism of our LORT identity. Our students are members of this professional company for the time they are here, and work along with resident and guest professionals. It is a practicum-based curriculum with teachers who are active professionals: directors, designers and actors who all have their own professional experiences to augment their educational careers.

Where is your favorite place to eat lunch or grab coffee near campus?

There are a few. Sunspot is a holdover from the 1970’s: a great place for a burger or a vegetarian meal. There are Starbuck’s in the library and in the student center. There are more and more craft beer restaurants.

What is your favorite time of year and what is your least favorite time of year in Knoxville?

March, April and October are wonderful months in East Tennessee, just beautiful. A hike in the mountains (only a half-hour away!) is enjoyable most anytime. Folks in East Tennessee dread snow – snowfall is rare in this part of the country and when it happens it is an event. Generally, cold weather isn’t an issue until January or February, and even in those months there are days folks up north would call “warm.” It is hot in the summer from May until September. If you like hot, humid weather, you will like June, July and August. I like to get out of town during those months.

Posted by Olivia Vessel  Posted on 24 Oct 
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