Department of Theatre and Dance
Gregg Stull, Chair and Career Advisor
David E. Hunt, Jr.
The Theatre Program
The major in Theatre offers a comprehensive foundation on which students can pursue graduate work or begin building a professional career. The major is distinguished by the variety of courses available in performance, design, technology, history and literature. Equally important are the many opportunities available for students to engage what they learn in the classroom to theatre production. This experiential approach is essential to the success of the theatre student.
The Theatre major emphasizes student leadership and responsibility. Students design, direct, build, choreograph, and stage manage mainstage productions, as well as serve in other leadership positions in the department. The interdisciplinary minor in musical theatre introduces the student to the theory and practice of performance through a combination of studio work and performance. Students pursue a balanced core of courses in Theatre, Dance, and Music that is enhanced by participation in musical productions in both Klein Theatre and Studio 115. Previous productions include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Nunsense, Forever Plaid, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Baby, Reefer Madness, Into the Woods, Bat Boy, Elegies, and Sunday in the Park with George.
Theatre productions are presented in Klein Theatre, a traditional proscenium stage, and the flexible Studio 115 in duPont Hall. Both theatres were recently transformed in extensive renovations that included the installation of state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. The department also maintains an acting lab, design lab, CAD lab, light lab and fullyequipped costume and scene shops and theatre management offices. Recent productions have included Rent, Elegies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Proof, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bat Boy, Sunday in the Park with George, Shakespeare’s R&J, Our Town, The Laramie Project, Antigone, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cabaret, Godspell, The Shape of Things, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Waiting for Godot, Sweeney Todd, As You Like It, Into the Woods, and The School for Wives.
Lectures and performances by visiting scholars and artists enrich the program. In recent years the campus has hosted such artists as James Earl Jones, Michael Kahn, Ming Cho Lee, Susan Tsu, Megan Terry, Richard Schechner, Maria Irene Fornes, Holly Hughes, and Eve Ensler.
Requirements for the Theatre Major
Thirty-nine (39) credits including THEA 113, 131, 211, 212, 218, 281, 321, 361, 362, 431, and 482; either THEA 433, 434, or 436. In addition, all majors are required to enroll in Theatre Practicum each semester except during the semester of the Senior Project; students may count eight practicum credits toward graduation.
Requirements for the Musical Theatre Minor (24 credits)
THEA 218, 321, 335, and 336; Two (2) credits in THEA 390; Four (4) credits from DANC 301, 302, 305, or 306; Four (4) credits from MUPR 201, 202, 203, 204, 301, or 401.
Theatre Course Offerings (THEA)
111 – Introduction to Theatre (3)
A course for the general student designed to introduce the various elements of theatrical production.
112 – Introduction to Acting (3)
An introductory course focusing on basic skills, concepts, and methods of modern realistic acting through improvisation and practical exercises leading to formal scene work.
113 – Introduction to Theatre Design (3)
A study of design elements and composition principles as they relate to stage scenery, costumes, and lighting. A survey of theatre design today.
131, 132 – Stagecraft (4, 4)
Theories and techniques of designing, building, painting, and lighting stage settings; organization and operation of production crews. Laboratory.
211, 212 – Dramatic Literature (3, 3)
The reading and discussion of selected plays and of theatrical developments as an introduction to the theatre.
214 – Themes in Contemporary Drama (3)
Prerequisite: THEA 212. Themes in contemporary dramatic literature. Topic varies.
218 – Voice and Body Movement (4)
Voice and body training to improve vocal quality, articulation, and posture and carriage. Laboratory.
225, 226 – Summer Workshop (1-4, 1-4)
Prerequisite: Permission of Department. An intensive course focused on the production of plays and musicals for the student interested in developing professional skills in the theatre. Cross listed as DANC 225, 226.
240 – Stage Makeup (3)
Techniques and styles of stage makeup for theatre and dance.
242 – Costume Construction (3)
An introduction to the principles of pattern development and clothing construction techniques. Projects will include contemporary and period styles. Students will work on costumes for departmental productions. Laboratory.
261 – Exercises in Creativity (4)
A course exploring the definitions of creativity, the theories behind creative behavior, and practical exercises to promote and enhance critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and creativity.
270, 271 – Special Studies in Theatre (3, 3)
Concentration on a single area of theatre for general students. Topics vary from year to year.
280 – Stage Management (3)
An introduction to the theory and practice of stage management for the theatre.
281 – Theatre Management (3)
An introduction to current policies and practices of not-for-profit theatre.
290 – Scene Painting (3)
An examination of the technique and practical applications of painting for the stage.
291 – Fabric Dyeing and Painting (3)
An introduction to the basics of fabric dyeing and painting and their specific applications for the theatre.
310 – Fashion History (3)
A survey of clothing, hair styles, and accessories from the ancient world to the present, with particular emphasis on the relationship of fashion to social, political, and economic history.
321, 322 – Acting (4, 4)
Prerequisite: THEA 218; Must be taken in sequence. Scene study and performance, creating characters, and ensemble training.
331 – Playwriting (3)
Writing for the stage. Exercises and practice in the structure of action, character development, dialogue, critical analysis.
335, 336 – Musical Theatre Performance (3, 3)
A workshop course in musical theatre performance techniques.
345 –Patterning (3)
Prerequisite: THEA 242. Principles of pattern development including flat patterning, drafting and draping, focusing on period styles for the stage.
355 – Theatre Crafts (3)
Exploration of the specialized vocabulary, techniques and tools of the theatre artisan including furniture restoration, welding, upholstery, soft goods and properties creation.
361, 362 – History of the Theatre (3, 3)
Theatres, production methods, dramatic conventions, key figures from the Greek period to the present in the Western world.
390 – Theatre Practicum (1)
Theatre Practicum earns credit for performance or other work on major productions of the department. A maximum of eight credits may count toward degree requirements.
411 – Acting Styles (4)
Prerequisite: THEA 322. An examination of period style for the stage through scene study and performance.
431, 432 – Directing (3, 3)
Prerequisite: Must be taken in sequence. Technique and practice of directing for the stage.
433 –Lighting Design (3)
Prerequisite: THEA 113. Theories and techniques of lighting stage productions; lighting instruments and equipment.
434 – Scene Design (3)
Prerequisite: THEA 113. A study of the theories, methods, and techniques used in scenic design.
435 – Ideas in Performance (3)
Prerequisite: Permission of department. An examination of professional productions of the dramatic literature in Washington and New York. Readings and theatre trips.
436 – Costume Design (3)
Prerequisite: THEA 113. A study of the theories, methods, and techniques used in costume and clothing design.
451, 452 – Special Studies in Theatre (3, 3)
Concentration on a single area of dramatic arts. Topics vary from year to year.
482 – Senior Project (3)
Prerequisite: Permission of the Department. This course may only be taken in one of the last two semesters. An independent project in Theatre supervised by a faculty advisor.
491, 492 – Individual Study (1–3, 1–3)
Prerequisite: Permission of the Department. Individual study under the direction of a member of the department.
499 – Internship (Credits variable)
Supervised off-campus experience, developed in consultation with the department.