Theatre

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Faculty: Jared Larkin (Chair), Spencer Potter, Michael Vought, Nina Vought; Spencer Brown, Technical Director

Mission

The mission of the Department of Theatre at Westminster College is to use the College’s core values to frame the way theatre work is conceived and practiced:

  • impassioned teaching and learning
  • respect for diversity
  • collaboration and teamwork
  • personal and social responsibility
  • excellence
  • high ethical standards

The Department of Theatre members are dedicated to creating the academic and artistic contexts that help students 1) master various aspects of theatrical work (i.e., design, directing, dramaturgy, new work development, and performance); 2) investigate how theatre, culture, and community have intersected, are linked in the present, and could be connected in the future; and, 3) cultivate healthy habits that facilitate powerful theatre work.

Program Goals

  • Students will develop the skills needed to produce creative, expressive, and distinctive work—on the page, on-stage, and backstage.
  • Students will learn to deeply appreciate the role of story as the driving energy in all theatrical work—artistic and academic.
  • Students will demonstrate the leadership skills necessary to facilitate the collaborative, ensemble environment that is the hallmark of great theatre.
  • Students will embrace their role as inductees into the centuries-old fraternity of theatre artists.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to think, write, and speak self-reflectively, analytically and fluently, about their own and other’s work.
  • Students will expand their personal, social, and global understanding through engagement in an intentionally diverse array of theatre work—on campus, in site-specific settings, and in community contexts.
  • Students will explore the connection between physical, mental, and emotional health and successful theatre work.
  • Performance BFAs select and prepare appropriate repertoire to market themselves, audition for future theatre work, and/or successfully pursue graduate studies.
  • Technical theatre BFAs will design and produce effective portfolios that showcase their knowledge, skills, and personal qualities and help them secure future theatre work and/or successfully pursue graduate studies.
  • BA theatre majors will demonstrate the core artistic and academic competencies that inform all theatre studies and incorporate the knowledge, skills, and personal qualities of focused theatre work in their choice of career paths.
  • All theatre students will appreciate the value of authentic inquiry, the need for risk taking, and the lifelong skills of effective self-evaluation, active listening, spontaneous generosity, and insatiable curiosity.

Objectives

The Theatre program offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree with emphases in performance and technical theatre. It also offers a generalist Theatre major (BA) and a Theatre minor. Our programs prepare students for entry into the professional theatre, graduate studies, educational theatre, applied theatre and a wide array of other fields wherein theatre intersects with various arts, business, and industry. All degree programs are designed to provide students with practical production experience in order to enable their unique creative expression in the theatre. To this end, students will gain a broad understanding of theatre history, theory, and practice and they will, depending on their chosen emphasis, train rigorously in specific areas such as auditioning, acting technique, stage lighting, costuming, management, and design.

In addition to successful completion of all course requirements, theatre majors must satisfy the following expectations in order to be eligible for graduation:

Holistic Health Requirement:
Theatre students are encouraged to cultivate healthy practices including mindfulness, body awareness, flexibility, and endurance through mandatory hours spent engaging in physical and mental training.  Hours can be completed at the Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness and Athletic Center, or logged in the personal practice of your choice. (This requirement can be “double-dipped” with yoga, dance, exercise, meditation and similar courses.)


Ensemble Requirement:

Students are expected to complete a minimum of twenty hours of crew and/or production work each year.  This can be satisfied working in or on any departmental production.


Applied Theatre Requirement:

At least once in your course of study, majors are required to utilize theatre training in a social, political or educational (non-theatrical) setting in a manner that is collaborative, politically engaged and culturally aware. Some examples include: education, the justice system, healthcare, the political arena, community development, museums, social service agencies, business and industry. Students will coordinate the project with their advisor and will write a reflective five-page essay on the experience. Specific details of these requirements can be found in the theatre student’s handbook.

Students will meet each semester with their faculty advisor to discuss successful completion of these requirements and to review the student’s academic and artistic progress. Once every year a faculty panel will review each student’s coursework, production work and e-portfolio reflections in order to provide constructive feedback and to design a set of goals for the following year.

Program Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in courses required for the major and/or minor. With the approval of the instructor, students may repeat specified courses for additional credit.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Theatre major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore requirements

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Degree (BFA)

Students may declare an area of emphasis and apply for acceptance into the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre program in the spring of their sophomore year. For the Technical Theatre emphasis, students must submit a portfolio; for the Performance emphasis, students must audition. The portfolio/audition should contain examples of work that the student has produced while at Westminster College. The application is due to the program chair by February 15. The BFA admissions committee will review the portfolios/auditions and notify students prior to registration for the Fall Semester. Students who are not accepted may continue working as academic majors and reapply the following year. Transfer students will apply in their second semester and follow the same process for acceptance to the BFA track, except that the portfolio may contain work produced while studying at other institutions of higher education.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with Performance Emphasis

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Theatre majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Lower Division Courses 26
These courses should be completed before or during the fourth semester (Spring of sophomore year):
MUSC 191 Private Lessons (Voice I) (1)
MUSC 192 Private Lessons (Voice II) (1)
THTR 190 The Performer’s Body (2)
THTR 220 Stage Management  (3)
THTR 230 Beginning Dance and Movement, (2)
THTR 280 Acting II (3) THTR 180 or THTR 217 or consent of instructor
THTR 221 The Yogic Experience (4)
THTR 180 Acting I (2)
THTR 218 Stage Makeup (3)
Choose one of the following courses:
  • THTR 125 Behind the Scenes (3)
  • THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre (3)
III. Upper Division Performance Courses 33
THTR 303 Performance Studies (take twice) (1, 1)
THTR 330 Intermediate Dance and Movement (2)
THTR 361 Auditioning as a Business (3) THTR 280 or consent of instructor
THTR 371 Movement for Performers (2)
THTR 372 Movement II (2)
THTR 379 Voice, Diction and Dialect (4)
THTR 380 Acting III (3) THTR 280 and consent of instructor
THTR 385 Musical Theatre (3)
THTR 450 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (4) THTR 358 or 359 or consent of instructor
THTR 470 Directing (3) THTR 358 or 359 or consent of instructor
THTR 480 Acting IV (4) THTR 380 and consent of advisor
THTR 485 Senior Seminar (1)—taken during Fall semester of student’s last year senior standing
IV. Theatre History Courses 6
THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I (3)
THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II (3)
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE BFA IN THEATRE—PERFORMANCE EMPHASIS 73

*Note: Although THTR 228 and THTR 327 are variable credit, students may count only two credits toward major requirements. Additional credits may count for elective credits with approval of program chair.

Recommended Plan of Study for BFA Theatre with Performance Emphasis

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year THTR 125 Behind the Scenes or
THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre
THTR 180 Acting I


THTR 221 The Yogic Experience
MUSC 191 Private Voice Lessons
THTR 218 Stage Makeup


Sophomore Year THTR 280 Acting II
Sophomore or Junior Year THTR 228 Beginning Workshop
THTR 230 Beginning Dance
THTR 371 Movement
THTR 379 Voice, Diction, and Dialect
MUSC 192 Private Voice Lessons
THTR 220 Stage Management
THTR 303 Performance Studies
THTR 372 Movement II
THTR 190 The Performer’s Body
THTR 330 Intermediate Dance
THTR 327 Advanced Workshop
Junior Year

THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I
THTR 361 Auditioning as a Business


THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II
THTR 380 Acting III
THTR 385 Musical Theatre

Senior Year

THTR 480 Acting IV
THTR 485 Senior Seminar
THTR 450 Dramatic Theory
THTR 303 Performance Studies


THTR 470 Directing


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with Technical Theatre Emphasis

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Theatre majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Lower Division Courses 32
These courses should be completed before or during the fourth semester (Spring of sophomore year):
ART 106 Drawing, Inquiry, and Expression (4)
ART 209 Composition and Design (3)
THTR 125 Behind the Scenes (3)
THTR 160 Computer Aided Drafting for the Theatre (3) ART 209
THTR 220 Stage Management (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 228 Beginning Theatre Workshop (2*)
THTR 260 Design for the Theatre (3)
THTR 221 The Yogic Experience (4)
THTR 180 Acting I (2)
Choose one of the following courses:
  • THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre (3)
  • THTR 218 Stage Makeup (3)
III. Upper Division Performance Courses 16-20
THTR 325 Stage Lighting (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 328 Advanced Workshop in Technical Theatre (2, 2*)—take twice THTR 228 or equivalent, consent of instructor
THTR 335 Scenic Painting and Properties (3)
THTR 440 Internship in Technical Theatre (1–3) THTR 125  or consent of instructor
junior/senior standing, consent of instructor, see course description
THTR 485 Senior Seminar (1)—taken during Fall semester of student’s last year senior standing
THTR 490 Senior Project in Theatre (1–3) senior standing and consent of
advisor
Choose one of the following courses:
  • THTR 324 Scenic Design (3)
  • THTR 326 Stagecraft II (3)
  • THTR 329 Stage Costumes II (3)
THTR 125, THTR 260
THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 129 or consent of instructor
IV. Theatre History Courses 6
THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I (3)
THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II (3)
V. Elective Courses 6
Complete 6 credit hours from the following list of courses:
ART 205 Figure Drawing (3)
THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre (2)
THTR 218 Stage Makeup (2) ART 106
THTR 190 The Performer’s Body (2) ART 106
THTR 200/300 Special Topics (1–4)
THTR 280 Acting II (3)
THTR 326 Stagecraft II (3)
THTR 329 Stage Costumes II (3)
THTR 470 Directing (3)
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE BFA IN THEATRE—TECHNICAL THEATRE EMPHASIS 68–72

*Note: Although THTR 228 and THTR 327 are variable credit, students may count only two credits toward major requirements. Additional credits may count for elective credits with approval of program chair.

Recommended Plan of Study for BFA Theatre with Technical Theatre Emphasis

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year ART 106 Drawing, Inquiry, and Expression
THTR 180 Acting I
THTR 125 Behind the Scenes
THTR 218 (or 217)
Sophomore Year

THTR 260 Design for the Theatre
THTR 221 The Yogic Experience


ART 209 Composition and Design
THTR 220 Stage Management
THTR 228 Beginning Workshop

Junior Year

THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I
THTR 325 Stage Lighting
THTR 160 Computer Aided Drafting for the Theatre


THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II
THTR 335 Scenic Painting and Properties
THTR 326 Stagecraft II, THTR 329 Stage Costumes II, or THTR 324 Scenic Design

Senior Year

THTR 328 Adv. Workshop in Technical Theatre
THTR 450 Dramatic Theory and Criticism
THTR 440 Internship in Technical Theatre
THTR 485 Senior Seminar


THTR 328 Adv. Workshop in Technical Theatre
THTR 490 Senior Project in Theatre

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8
Theatre majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.
II. Required Courses 38
ENGL 232 Introduction to Shakespeare (4)
THTR 190 The Performer’s Body (2)
THTR 220 Stage Management (3)
THTR 228 Beginning Theatre Workshop (2)*
THTR 230 Beginning Dance and Movement (2)
THTR 450 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (4) THTR 358 or 359 or consent of instructor
THTR 470 Directing (3)—offered spring of even years THTR 358 or 359 or consent of instructor
THTR 485 Senior Seminar (1)—taken during Fall semester of student’s last year senior standing or instructor consent
THTR 221 The Yogic Experience (4)
THTR 125 Behind the Scenes (3)
THTR 180 Acting I (2)
THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre (3)
THTR 218 Stage Makeup (3)
III. Theatre History Courses 6
THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I (3)—offered fall of even years
THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II (3)—offered spring of odd years
IV. Elective Courses 16
Complete 16 credit hours from the following list of courses:
ART 106 Drawing, Inquiry, & Expression (4)
ART 209 Composition and Design (3)
THTR 160 Computer Aided Drafting for the Theatre (3) ART 209
THTR 200/300 Special Topics (1-4)
THTR 260 Design for the Theatre (3) THTR 125, 160, or consent of instructor
THTR 280 Acting II (2) THTR 180 or THTR 217 or consent of instructor
THTR 321 Creative Writing: Plays (3) THTR 358 or 359 or equivalent
THTR 325 Stage Lighting I (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 326 Stagecraft II (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 327 Advanced Acting Workshop (2) THTR 228 or consent of instructor
THTR 328 Advanced Workshop in Technical Theatre (2) THTR 228 or consent of instructor
THTR 329 Stage Costumes II (3) THTR 129 or consent of instructor
THTR 330 Intermediate Dance and Movement (2)
THTR 335 Scenic Painting and Properties (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 361 Auditioning as a Business  (3) THTR 280 or consent of instructor
THTR 371 Movement I  (2)
THTR 372 Movement II  (2)
THTR 379 Voice, Diction and Dialect  (4)
THTR 380 Acting III (3) THTR 280 or consent of instructor
THTR 385 Musical Theatre (3)
THTR 440 Technical Theatre Internship (14) see course description
THTR 490 Senior Theatre Project (13)
TOTAL HOURS FOR THE BA IN THEATRE 68

*Note: Although THTR 228, THTR 327, and THTR 328 are variable credit, students may count only two credits toward required courses and two credits toward elective courses. Additional credits may count for elective credits with approval of program chair.

Recommended Plan of Study for BA Theatre

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year THTR 125 Behind the Scenes
THTR 230 Beginning Dance and Movement


THTR 180 Acting I
THTR 190 Performer’s Body


Sophomore Year THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre
THTR 221 or HPW 220 The Yogic Experience
Any Elective


THTR 218 Stage Makeup
THTR 220 Stage Management
Any Elective


Junior Year THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I
ENGL 232 Intro. to Shakespeare
THTR 228  Beginning Theatre Workshop


THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II
Any Elective


Senior Year THTR 450 Dramatic Theory and Criticism
THTR 485 Senior Seminar
Any Elective
THTR 470 Directing
Any Elective

Theatre Arts Minor

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 17
THTR 220 Stage Management (3)
THTR 228 Beginning Theatre Workshop (2)
THTR 470 Directing (3) THTR 358 or 359 or by consent of instructor
THTR 125 Behind the Scenes (3)
THTR 217  Costume Design for Theatre (3)
THTR 218 Stage Makeup (3)
II. Theatre History Courses 6
THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I (3)
THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II (3)
III. General Electives 6
Complete 6 credit hours from the following list of courses; at least two credit hours must be 300- or 400-level:
ENGL 232 Introduction to Shakespeare (4)
THTR 190 The Performer’s Body, (2)
THTR 260 Design for Theatre (3)
THTR 280 Acting II (3)
THTR 303 Performance Studies (1)
THTR 321 Creative Writing: Plays (3) THTR 358 or 359 or equivalent
THTR 324 Scenic Design (3) THTR 125, THTR 260
THTR 326 Stagecraft II (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 327 Advanced Acting Workshop (2)* THTR 217 or THTR 180, THTR 228 or equivalent,
or by audition or consent of instructor
THTR 328 Advanced Workshop in Technical Theatre (2)* THTR 228 or equivalent,
consent of instructor
THTR 329 Stage Costumes II (3) THTR 129 or consent of instructor
THTR 335 Scenic Painting and Properties (3) THTR 125 or consent of instructor
THTR 361 Auditioning as a Business (3) THTR 217 or THTR 180, 280 or consent of instructor
THTR 371 Movement for Performers (2)
THTR 372 Movement II (2)
THTR 379 Voice, Diction and Dialect (4)
THTR 401 Directed Studies (1–4) consent of instructor and school dean
THTR 440 Internship (1–8) junior/senior standing, consent of instructor, see course description
THTR 450 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (4) THTR 358 or 359 or consent of instructor
THTR 480 Acting IV (4) THTR 380 and consent of advisor
THTR 485 Senior Seminar senior standing, consent of advisor
THTR 490 Senior Theatre Project (1–3) senior standing, consent of advisor
TOTAL HOURS FOR THEATRE ARTS MINOR 29

*Note: Although THTR 228, THTR 327, and THTR 328 are variable credit, students may count only two credits toward required courses and two credits toward elective courses. Additional credits may count for elective credits with approval of program chair.

Recommended Plan of Study for Theatre Arts Minor

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year THTR 217 Costume Design for Theatre


THTR 125 Behind the Scenes


Sophomore Year THTR 218 Stage Makeup


THTR 228 Beginning Theatre Workshop


Junior Year THTR 220 Stage Management
THTR 358 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature I


THTR 359 History of Theatre and Dramatic Literature II
Any elective


Senior Year Any elective THTR 470

 

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