There’s a Fight to Keep a Puppetry B.F. A. Going at WVU

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West Virginia University is considering ditching the bachelor’s in puppetry at the end of the school year. There are only two universities that offer such a degree. The University of Connecticut is the other one. The program is eligible for taxpayer-subsidized scholarships and loans.

There is a fight to keep it.

Screenshot from WVU puppetry video on YouTube.

The Provost’s Office says it is making the change to attract new students. They face a deficit. The University’s School of Theater and Dance and the surrounding community want puppetry to continue, and they are fighting for it.

The Provost says the school of theatre and dance can explore it as an area of emphasis.

There is a change.org petition from the West Virginia University theater student organization. They claim the program is self-funded and does not cost the university a single cent.

A statement by Alex Ashworth, an alumnus of the puppetry program, said, “The program is an incredibly intimate, small, and close-knit program rich with creativity, immense enthusiasm, and lovers of bringing the inanimate to life!”

Many people see it as devaluing the bachelor’s degree. Puppetry might be better placed in a vocational program or an apprenticeship situation or as an area of emphasis in the theatre and dance school. The bachelor’s elevates it to a scholarly pursuit.


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