The Theatre Arts major at LMU offers an academically-rigorous undergraduate education in the humanities. The study of theatre engages the whole person (body, mind and spirit) and encourages students to see their studies in a broad social, ethical and cultural context. The program approaches the study of theatre with the view that theatre is a laboratory for the study of the whole of life.
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), our program 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 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 MFA and PhD degrees in performance, design, history, and performance theory.
Our program offers a variety of opportunities in each discipline for students to develop their artistry and craft. Through these opportunities, students can hone their techniques as they advance to working on larger projects within the department.
Acting, Voice, Speech, & Movement
These courses offer an introduction to the actor's instrument and practical skills applicable both onstage and off. Through coursework, workshops, and our study abroad program, students can explore the techniques of: Commedia Dell'Arte, Eurythmy, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Growtowski, Knight-Thompson Speechwork, Laban, Lecoq, Stage Combat, and many others. The development of presence, grounding, breath management, and shaping of focused sound serves not only the crafting and communication of theatrical roles, but also auditions, interviews, or general public speaking. Students can apply these skills in the program's numerous performance opportunities including mainstage productions, Shakespeare on the Bluff productions, new work festivals, staged readings, student films, Stages of Aids series, the Voices of Justice performances, Haunting of Hannon events, and our annual Beatles tribute concert.
The coursework in set design, costume design, and lighting design enable students develop their artistic skills, analytical abilities, and creative techniques. Many students get exceptional "hands-on" experiences designing main-stage shows in the department and for the Del Rey Players. Faculty closely mentor and advise students along the route to developing their own process.
The coursework in technical theatre includes costume construction, stage management, makeup, scenic painting, etc. Students take these courses to enhance their abilities and develop strong, marketable skills in the profession. Students regularly employ these techniques in "hands-on" experiences for departmental productions.
Students interested in playwriting have opportunities to write new plays, dramatized narratives and/or spoken word pieces. As well as opportunities to write, there are opportunities for writers to participate in new works development programs and receive workshop or full performances through such programs as the annual New Works Festival, Voices of Justice events or senior thesis productions.
Students with a passion and curiosity for directing theatre can acquire practical experience beyond the classroom. Opportunities range from assistant directing departmental productions, directing for Del Rey Players, directing a short play in the annual New Works Festival, or directing their own thesis production of an original or scripted play.
History and Criticism
Learning a diverse and global history of your craft is extremely important to situate your artistic voice along with developing a critical vocabulary. Together these courses are essential to curating and developing your own critical and artistic perspective. As a practical experience, students may dramaturg productions by locating historical and/or contemporary work in their respective socio-cultural context, helping the creative team tease out and validate their take on a subject for a production.
We offer dedicated instruction in stage combat.
The department offers several work-study positions for eligible students.