Bachelors (BA) in Theatre

Overview

The theatre major offers a 48-semester-hour course of study that is designed to prepare students for entry into the competitive field of theatre as actors, directors, designers, technicians and managers. The major offers a concentration in acting/directing and a concentration in design/technology. Each concentration features a balance between theory and performance courses and requires students to apply their knowledge through laboratory classes in conjunction with the university theatre's main-stage season. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the major.

Program Objectives

Graduates with a BA in Theatre will:

  • Analyze a broad range of dramatic genres and performance texts from various historical periods and cultural backgrounds
  • Research, conceptualize and produce a critical approach to theatrical design
  • Function safely, effectively and collaboratively to solve specific production challenges as technicians, designers, actors or directors
  • Apply skills in acting to support a stage production
  • Evaluate how their faith concerns interact with and inform their work as theatre artists
  • Demonstrate a discerning critique of self, peers, process and product as they solve specific artistic challenges
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Major Requirements

Theatre Core Requirements (33 hours)

Complete the following:

A consideration of the life and works of the poet/playwright and the sociopolitical history of the Renaissance. The course examines the sonnets and a selection of the plays from each genre: comedy, tragedy, history, and tragicomedy. Prerequisite: HUMA 205 Philosophy and Literature, any 100 or 200 level LITR course or equivalent, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
Study of basic principles of acting, including survey of acting theories, performance of scenes, and critical observation and analysis of productions. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material.
Balancing lecture with hands-on experience, the course offers a survey of materials, processes, and equipment in the fabrication, assembly, painting, rigging, and installation of stage scenery, properties, and lighting. Additional course fee is required.
A study of significant plays from the classical period to the present, both as literary works and staged productions, the goal being a deeper understanding and appreciation of drama as a symbolic form. Primary focus is on literary values, with attention also given to the constraints and interpretations embodied in the staging, acting, and directing of a play. (Identical to THEA 240.)
A consideration of theatre skills as tools for meeting human needs in essentially nontheatrical environments. Focus on drama as a service medium rather than as strictly an entertainment vehicle.
This course introduces students to the diverse issues involved in managing a theatre company. It includes an examination of marketing and promotions, financial management, and organizational structures of various types of theatres, with special emphasis given to stage management. Students will be able to apply learned principles to hands-on projects and presentations. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor's permission.
A broad survey of the history of theatre dedicated to the research, study, and analysis of the innovators and revolutionaries in playwriting theory, acting, directing, design, and production.

Choose two of the following:

An introduction to the art of writing for film. Dramatic structure is emphasized and plot scenarios, dialogue, and characterization are among several topics examined and exercised. Students create scripts for original features, short films, or plays. The writing experience is complemented through an examination of the business aspects of writing, including spec-scripts, agents, and the Hollywood system.
An advanced course in video directing and producing. Students explore the preproduction, production, and postproduction of original short feature videos for the Fox Film Festival. Prerequisite: CINE 350 Editing Video. Additional course fee required.
Focus on development of improvisational skills through structured and directed psychological, physical, and social exercises. May be repeated once for credit.
Characteristically offered as part of May Term. Special courses offered occasionally to meet the needs and interests of students, professors, and visiting professors, specifically including technical theatre.
An introduction to the acting, dance, and vocal techniques required for music theatre performance. Through in-depth scene study, vocal training, dance, and in-class performances, the student will be introduced to the various artistic challenges inherent in music theatre since its inception. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsals and performance of selected material. Additional course fee is required. (Identical to MUSI 350.) Prerequisites: THEA 100 Acting I - Fundamentals and MUSA 105 VC Applied Voice or MUSI 125T Music Theatre or MUSI 325T Music Theatre.
A study of the elements and principles of costume design for the theatre. Students will develop skills in play analysis for costuming, basic rendering skills, and period research. The class will include an introduction to the various media used in communicating a costume design concept. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor's permission.
This course is designed to introduce basic playwriting, in particular elements of the playwright’s craft: dramatic action, plot, characterization and theatricality. The course functions as a playwriting workshop with students presenting exercises in class to be discussed by their peers. Utilizing techniques learned, students will complete a draft of a one-act play.

Complete the following:

The practical application of technical techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite:instructor's approval.
The practical application of technical techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite:instructor's approval.

Complete 4 hours from the following:

The practical application of technical techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite:instructor's approval.
The practical application of acting techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. ¿Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of design techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit.¿ Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of theatre and stage management techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. ¿Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of directing techniques in connection with university theatre productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. ¿Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
Participation in theatre's traveling drama ministry ensemble. Students must remain with the troupe the entire year. May be repeated to a maximum of four hours credit. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: audition and invitation.
Offered summers only. Supervised experience with off-campus professional, community, church, or camp theatre productions or drama programs. The experience may include acting, directing, technical production, design, publicity, management, therapy, or any combination thereof. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of technical techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite:instructor's approval.
The practical application of acting techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. ¿Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of design techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit.¿ Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of theatre and stage management techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. ¿Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of directing techniques in connection with university theatre productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
Participation in theatre's traveling drama ministry ensemble. Students must remain with the troupe the entire year. May be repeated to a maximum of four hours credit. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: audition and invitation.
Offered summers only. Supervised experience with off-campus professional, community, church, or camp theatre productions or drama programs. The experience may include acting, directing, technical production, design, publicity, management, therapy, or any combination thereof. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
Individualized study or supervised research in an area of special interest to the student which is outside the regular offerings of the major. Additional course fee (per credit) is required.

Concentrations (15 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:

A study of the basic principles and techniques of increasing vocal and physical awareness and production on the stage, including life study projects and an introduction to basic theoretical approaches to voice and movement. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisites: THEA 100 Acting I - Fundamentals and instructor's permission.
A study of the acting and philosophical challenges that face contemporary actors in the professional world of theatre. Through in-depth scene study, structural analysis, in-class presentations, and outside research the student is exposed to the theatre community's various artistic responses to recent political and social movements. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
An introduction to the director's role in theatre through historical and artistic research, comprehensive structural analysis, scene work, the creation of composition, stage pictures, blocking, rhythm, tempo, and an exploration of the working relationships with actors and design teams. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisite: THEA 100 Acting I - Fundamentals.
An in-depth study of the world and words of Shakespeare. Through classroom exercises, scene study, and outside research the student is exposed to how word choice, syntax, and grammar informs the actor, influences action, exposes character, and creates the world of play. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.

Choose one of the following:

An introductory study of the principles of stage lighting and sound design for theatrical production. The emphasis will be on both design and operation of sound and lighting equipment. Students will apply theory through a number of projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor' permission.
An introductory study of the theories and skills of stage design with an emphasis on script analysis and good visual research. Assignments will guide the student to learning the practices of drafting, perspective drawing, watercolor rendering, and model building. Students will apply these learned techniques and research skills to several projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor's permission.

Complete the following:

The practical application of design techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit.¿ Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
The practical application of design techniques in connection with university theatre main stage productions. Open to any student taking part in a university theatre production. May be repeated for credit.¿ Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
An introductory study of the principles of stage lighting and sound design for theatrical production. The emphasis will be on both design and operation of sound and lighting equipment. Students will apply theory through a number of projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor' permission.
A study of the elements and principles of costume design for the theatre. Students will develop skills in play analysis for costuming, basic rendering skills, and period research. The class will include an introduction to the various media used in communicating a costume design concept. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor's permission.
An introductory study of the theories and skills of stage design with an emphasis on script analysis and good visual research. Assignments will guide the student to learning the practices of drafting, perspective drawing, watercolor rendering, and model building. Students will apply these learned techniques and research skills to several projects. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: THEA 130 Stagecraft or instructor's permission.

 Design/Technology Portfolio Review Benchmark:

Students are required to present their design/technology portfolio to theatre faculty their senior year.

Choose one of the following:

A study of the acting and philosophical challenges that face contemporary actors in the professional world of theatre. Through in-depth scene study, structural analysis, in-class presentations, and outside research the student is exposed to the theatre community's various artistic responses to recent political and social movements. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
An introduction to the director's role in theatre through historical and artistic research, comprehensive structural analysis, scene work, the creation of composition, stage pictures, blocking, rhythm, tempo, and an exploration of the working relationships with actors and design teams. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisite: THEA 100 Acting I - Fundamentals.
An in-depth study of the world and words of Shakespeare. Through classroom exercises, scene study, and outside research the student is exposed to how word choice, syntax, and grammar informs the actor, influences action, exposes character, and creates the world of play. This course requires additional outside-of-class time for rehearsal and performance of selected material. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.