Academics

The Theatre Arts major offers the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degree. Some students also elect an emphasis in performance, directing, design, or theatre history, literature and criticism. The program has three main overall areas of focus: professional preparation (preparing students to pursue a professional career in the industry/profession upon graduation), theatre as a liberal art (training future audiences as well as training artists in the areas of creativity, collaboration and communication), and theatre for social change (using one's art to lift others as you climb and improve the world, both micro and macro).

The undergraduate Theatre Arts degree serves as an excellent foundation for those students pursuing a career in theatre, film, and television, for those who wish to enrich their lives through non-career oriented study and performance, and for those pursuing M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees in performance, design, history, and performance theory.

Required Theatre Arts Coursework

For majors: 56 units / 18 courses

Lower Division Requirements (24 units)

  • THEA 111 - Introduction to Theatre Performance (3 units)
  • THEA 120 - Basic Stagecraft (3 units)
  • THEA 220 - Introduction to Basic Scene, Lighting, & Costume Design (3 units)
  • THEA 240 - Western Theatre History & Literature I (3 units)
  • THEA 245 - Western Theatre History & Literature II (3 units)
  • THEA 250 - Theatre Practicum: Crew (2 units)
  • Additionally, at least 7 units of lower-division THEA coursework are required, planned in consultation with departmental advisor. These units can come from any lower division class, including performance practicums.

Upper Division Requirements (30 units)

  • THEA 370 - Directing for the Theatre (3 units)
  • THEA 450 - Theatre Practicum: Crew (3 units)
  • THEA 490 - Senior Thesis Project (3 units)
  • 3 courses (9 units) in upper division Theatre History, Literature, and Criticism.
  • Additionally, at least 12 units of upper-division THEA coursework are required, planned in consultation with departmental advisor. These units can come from any upper division class, including performance practicums.

The major is flexible enough to allow students, with careful planning and in consultation with their academic advisor, to double major with something else or to have one or more minors.

Electives at both the upper and lower level include such things as:

 

  • Scene Study and Presentation
  • Voice and Movement
  • Scene Design I
  • Lighting Design I
  • Costume Construction
  • Costume Design I
  • Makeup Design for the Stage
  • Acting for the Camera
  • Theatre and/as Theology (also satisfies the Theological Inquiry core requirement)
  • Diversity in American Drama (also satisfies the American Diversity core requirement)
  • Method Acting
  • Voiceover
  • Accents and Dialects
  • Improv for the Actor
  • Voice Development
  • Sitcom Acting
  • Advanced Scene Study
  • The Collaborative Process (offered jointly with the School of Film and Television)
  • Auditions and Cold Readings
  • Stage Combat
  • Ensemble Devised Theatre
  • Advanced Camera Acting
  • Acting the Language Play
  • Acting Shakespeare
  • Acting the Absurd Play
  • Playwriting
  • Dramaturgy
  • Voices of Justice
  • Theatre for Social Change
  • Comedy for Social Change
  • Children's Theatre
  • Career Development

 

Students also can get credit for internships and for being cast in and performing in departmental productions.