Theatre (THR)

Course meets General Education Aims Curriculum Requirement(s) in specified area(s).



Theatre Program of Study

Link to Theatre Program of Study



THR 101-102 – Performance/Production Practicum I 1-2cr

This course allows students to earn credit for participating in a theatre project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre Department faculty. Students’ involvement might be as an actor, playwright, designer, stage manager, running crew or other technician, publicist, box office manager or staff, or in another approved manner. The Department strives to offer opportunities to work on productions in a wide variety of styles and genres. In addition to fulfilling production duties, Practicum students write a critical reflection on the production experience in light of their previous experience and future goals. This course may only be added during Add/Drop period each term.

Partially satisfies Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression

Prerequisite: Permission of the Theatre Department Chair.



THR 113 – Technical Theatre 4cr

An introduction to several aspects of backstage work, this course includes set construction, working from scale drawings, scene painting techniques, prop construction, stage lighting, and stage sound equipment. Students learn how to safely use construction tools, lighting equipment, and stage rigging. Class work is divided between lecture, discussion, and hands-on demonstrations and projects.

Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression



THR 116 – History of the Stage 4cr

Theatre is an event occurring in real time and involving all the senses. In addition to the occasional riot, it produces and is a product of a specific cultural milieu. It includes space, light, sound, text (written and otherwise), actors, and spectators. This course examines these various elements through the study of the development of theatre. Using various conceptual frameworks, students examine the development of performance in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the earliest evidence of performance up to and including the present.



THR 117 – Acting I 4cr

This course introduces the related disciplines of acting and directing for the stage and is appropriate for students with varying degrees of theatre experience, including none at all. Daily physical and vocal work, exercises in concentration, awareness, simple action, and representation comprise the bulk of classroom instruction. Emphasis is placed on collaborative relationships and principles for fostering creative conditions; students are expected to spend significant time rehearsing together outside of class. When possible, the class culminates in a public performance. Attending some live performance events in the community and writing papers detailing and reflecting on these performances is required.

Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression



THR 140-149 – Topics in Dance 2cr

These courses teach basic concepts in various dance techniques. The styles change each term. Offerings may include: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, African, Burlesque, and Salsa, among others. This course may be repeated for credit.



THR 201-202 – Performance/Production Practicum II 1-2cr

This course allows students to earn credit for participating in a theatre project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre Department faculty. Students’ involvement might be as an actor, playwright, designer, stage manager, running crew or other technician, publicist, box office manager or staff, or in another approved manner. The Department strives to offer opportunities to work on productions in a wide variety of styles and genres. In addition to fulfilling production duties, Practicum students write a critical reflection on the production experience in light of their previous experience and future goals. This course may only be added during Add/Drop period each term.

Partially satisfies Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression

Prerequisites: THR 101 or 102 Performance/Production Practicum I and permission of the Theatre Department Chair.



THR 203 – Voice and Speech 4cr

Speaking with expression, clarity, and vocal freedom is a vital skill for actors and others. In this course, students employ daily practice to learn new possibilities for the use of their voices, as well as expanding their interpretive and expressive abilities. Students are given individual attention as they learn techniques to interpret text for speaking, to improve the muscularity of their articulators, and to free their breathing through methods meant to improve spontaneity and richness of vocal tone; therefore, this course involves regular physical exercises in breathing and stretching. Students will be required to see performances presented both on campus and off and write papers detailing and reflecting the vocal aspects of these performances.

Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression



THR 209 – Stage Management 4cr

A good Stage Manager is as essential to a successful theatre production as a good director or actor. In fact, one could argue that the Stage Manager is the single most vital position in the entire production company. This course covers the basic elements of stage management: the expectations, the work involved, and the techniques, habits, and personal qualities that make a successful stage manager. As far as possible, it includes actual production experience (which usually involves a commitment to attend evening rehearsals) and observation of a professional Stage Manager at work. The habits and techniques required of the Stage Manager can be taught; personal qualities such as patience, discipline, responsibility, initiative, and passion can be encouraged to flourish.



THR 212 – Basic Design for the Theatre 2cr

This course aims to awaken students to the visual experience of design found in usual and unusual places, to make students aware of the basic elements that produce good design, and to inspire students to tap their own creativity. The ability to “see” is basic to the art of doing; therefore students will be concerned with developing the eye as they learn to understand basic principles. These principles may be applied to all areas of visual art; however, this course is especially concerned with their application to the theatre. Line, form, value, color and composition will be explored.



THR 244 – Improvisation for the Actor 2cr

The ability to identify and act on impulses is central to acting and many other activities. This course teaches students to access their innate abilities to create spontaneously, and, in the process, to build self-confidence and collaborative skills. Activities include theatre games, movement exercises, storytelling exercises, and mask work. Because the work can lead in a number of directions (such as explorations of personality, social status, role-playing, character, and the use of improvisation as a rehearsal tool), the specific content of the course may change from year to year.



ENG/THR 250 – Introduction to Classical Theatre 4cr

This course, which surveys Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the eighteenth century, focuses on character, dialogue, plot, symbolism, language, and other aspects of dramatic literature. Students also consider drama in its historical, religious, and political contexts, and some consideration is given to dramatic theory, dramatic innovation, and the modern performance of classical plays. Students are encouraged, but not required, to perform a scene from one of the plays read.

Aim 12 Literary Analysis



ENG/THR 251 – Introduction to Modern Theatre 4cr

This course surveys major works of modern (early and mid-20th century) and contemporary (post-1970s) drama, with an interdisciplinary focus on literary issues and theatre history. Plays from Europe, America, and Africa are considered. The course begins with Ibsen’s invention of modern drama and later may cover such topics as theater of the absurd (Eugene Ionesco’s The Lesson), gender (Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls), gay identity and AIDS (Tony Kushner’s Angels in America), race (Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman), apartheid in South Africa (Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys), and much more. Materials include brief video clips for many of the plays so that students may discuss the work of literature in production. Students are encouraged, but not required, to perform a scene from one of the plays read.



THR 254 – Modern Dance for the Actor 4cr

This course is designed to give inexperienced as well as experienced student actors an opportunity to discover and develop the expressiveness and articulation of the body on stage, skills that are essential to those contemplating theatre or dance as an avocation or as a vocation. Those seeking simply to develop their physical coordination and versatility will also find the course valuable. Student deals with basic elements of movement such as time, space, and movement quality.

Artistic Expression



THR 301-302 – Performance/Production Practicum III 1-2cr

This course allows students to earn credit for participating in a theatre project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre Department faculty. Students’ involvement might be as an actor, playwright, designer, stage manager, running crew or other technician, publicist, box office manager or staff, or in another approved manner. The Department strives to offer opportunities to work on productions in a wide variety of styles and genres. In addition to fulfilling production duties, Practicum students write a critical reflection on the production experience in light of their previous experience and future goals. This course may only be added during the Add/Drop period each term.

Partially satisfies Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression

Prerequisites: THR 201-202 Performance/Production Practicum II and permission of the Theatre Department Chair.



THR 304 – Acting II 4cr

The purpose of this course is to give students with some background in actor training an opportunity to deepen and broaden the various techniques that enable an actor to perform with commitment, sensitivity, honesty, and courage, and to collaborate successfully with others. Therefore, the course involves individual attention as well as deep collaboration. The student will also expand his ability to analyze, perform, and critique contemporary plays, and should emerge from the class with a better knowledge of contemporary drama, both comic and dramatic. Students will gain skill in building characters, expand ability to recognize dramatic action, increase skill and confidence in putting that action visibly on the stage, and work collaboratively with other members of the ensemble. When possible, the class culminates in a public performance. Attending some live performance events in the community and writing papers detailing and reflecting on these performances is required. This course may be repeated for credit once as THR 404.

Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression

Prerequisites: THR 117 Acting I or permission of instructor.



THR 311 – Stage Lighting and Sound Design 4cr

This course constitutes a study of the art, function, and process of stage lighting and sound design. It emphasizes current theatre lighting technology and design approaches with historical support from past stage lighting practices. Class time is divided between lecture, discussion, and hands-on demonstrations of lighting and sound concepts. Work includes observation/research, drafting, implementation, and discussion. Participation in the many demonstrations, discussions, and assigned projects is required.

Prerequisite: THR 113 Technical Theatre.



THR 314 – Scene Design 4cr

This course is a study of the art, function, and process of scene design with an emphasis on both aesthetic and physical factors. Work includes research, drafting, rendering, and discussion of designs. Students are introduced to the reasoning behind scenic design choices while becoming familiar with the principles, techniques, and materials of pictorial and three-dimensional scenic design.

Prerequisite: THR 113 Technical Theatre.



THR 315 – Historic Costume Design for the Theatre 4cr

This course covers the theory and practical application of design. Through studies of color, form, balance, and accuracy of historical research, students discover the total visual experience of the stage presentation as well as individual character analysis and interpretation. Students also explore costumes through the ages for their aesthetic value and as reflections of and insights into the culture, history, and values of their times.

Artistic Expression



THR 341 – Acting Shakespeare 4cr

This course combines classical acting theory and practice with close study of Shakespearean texts. There is special emphasis on vocal and text preparation methods. Projects include the presentation of an ample selection of scenes, monologues, and sonnets. Students read and discuss several Shakespearean plays, considering Elizabethan context, as well as learn proper pronunciation of Shakespearean vocabulary. Students are required to memorize and perform these texts in both solo and ensemble situations. When possible, the class culminates in a public performance. Attending some live performance events in the community and writing papers detailing and reflecting on these performances is required. This course may be repeated for credit once as THR 441.

Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression

Prerequisites: THR 117 Acting I or permission of instructor.



THR 401-402 – Performance/Production Practicum IV 1-2cr

This course allows students to earn credit for participating in a theatre project directed or supervised by a member of the Theatre Department faculty. Students’ involvement might be as an actor, playwright, designer, stage manager, running crew or other technician, publicist, box office manager or staff, or in another approved manner. The Department strives to offer opportunities to work on productions in a wide variety of styles and genres. In addition to fulfilling production duties, Practicum students write a critical reflection on the production experience in light of their previous experience and future goals. This course may only be added during the Add/Drop period each term.

Partially satisfies Aim 10 Aesthetic Judgment and Artistic Expression

Prerequisite: THR 301-302 and permission of the Theatre Department Chair.



THR 489 – Senior Project 4cr

In this course, Theatre/English majors elect to undertake a project of substantial scope and challenge. Senior Projects in performance, directing, design and production are given departmental resources and public performances. Students may choose to undertake a project in dramaturgical or performance studies research, or creative writing for the theatre. All projects require a written comprehensive self-evaluation and analysis. Students must submit a formal Senior Project Proposal in February in their junior year. Approved Senior Projects will be coordinated with other department productions, and seniors may be required to combine projects. Students should also plan to enroll in an Independent Study in the fall of senior year to prepare for spring project work.

Prerequisites: Expected successful completion of the requirements for the Theatre/English major, a grade average of B or better in all Theatre courses, and permission of the Department.

Course meets General Education Aims Curriculum Requirement(s) in specified area(s).