Student Life values equity-based models, critical thinking, shared experiences, community participation, and self-care practices. Through engagement with our office and our programs, students have access to wide-ranging experiences and multiple perspectives, allowing them to be more engaged citizens of our campus, local, national, and global communities. We provide students with tools, resources, and experiences to assist exploration of their identities, examine social structures, and develop a strong sense of self.
The GMT adds arts education principles and methods to Student Life and to Barnard. The student-centered production process engaged by the GMT mirrors the values of both our office and the college, and brings additional elements of creativity and innovation. Arts education is regarded as an effective and powerful means for developing students’ emotional intelligence. Not only do our students learn concrete skills in decision making, team dynamics, and accountability through working in and with the GMT, students have a space to explore identities, relationships, and social issues through artistic expression and collaboration. Participating in the creative process of choosing, casting, and designing a play or musical; selecting music and set list for a voice performance; choreographing a dance performance; hosting an open mic night; even choosing a movie for a study break -- each program, and each step of the program, involves intentional consideration and care. Guidance from GMT staff is provided throughout each process, and we are thus able to fuse together arts education, student development, and leadership education.
Our theatre serves as a space for creativity and development for a range of student groups including our various comedy troupes, our spoken word slam teams, as well as our performance groups that put on established plays or write their own. Students take on a variety of roles when interacting within the theatre; the GMT works with playwrights, actors, directors, producers, choreographers, stage managers, lighting designers, sound designers, costume designers, build crews, and more. The GMT provides students with intentional learning opportunities and holistic approach that would be hard to find elsewhere on campus or in the New York City arts scene. Overall, we ensure that their involvement includes more than just the act of doing but also one of learning via both process and production.