Program Overview

Skills and insights acquired through the study of theater can be life enhancing. A Theater Minor can be focused beyond the basic requirements to provide for an individualized study, encouraging the integration of theater skills and tools within many other disciplines. Specifically, in the minor, students acquire a basic understanding of, and critical appreciation for, contemporary theater art. Additionally, an appreciation of the great traditions of the theater experience on and off stage, and studies in playwriting, acting, improvisation, directing, etc. can enhance creativity, aesthetic engagement, leadership and an increased ability to achieve across the curriculum, empowering students toward effective communication and a clear, authentic "voice."

The theater minor is flexibly aimed at integration with other majors, but it may be supported by courses in: Shakespeare, creative writing, screenwriting, studio arts, music, experimental intermedia arts, media studies, literature, and storytelling.

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Requirements

The major and minor degree programs require a minimum of two practicum credits throughout the course of study through THEA 351 Production and Performance Laboratory, where students work in a department shop (scenery, props, marketing, and costumes), or perform as actors, running crew, board operation, set-up/strike crew, house management, etc. for the run of a production.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 22 total credits)

Theater

Courses are listed in suggested order:

Program note: Internship/Independent Study is also an option, Instructor's permission required.

  • THEA 321 Directed Readings in Theater
    4 credits

    This course uses full length play scripts, videos of plays and film adaptations to tour the rich traditions of the theater. Students are required to demonstrate reading knowledge of all plays on their individual reading/viewing list, through on line discussions, and the focused analysis of six short questions for each play read or seen. This class can be done at home or on site at the teaching center, and may be taken for a maximum of eight credits.

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  • One of the following classes is required:
    • THEA 331 Voice: Speaking from Experience
      4 credits

      In this course, students who wish to use their voices more expressively work through a variety of methods from relaxation and breathing exercises to personal storytelling and the practice and analysis of poetry, prose and drama. Students work to develop resonance, range, support and to relearn effective habits of vocal expression.

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    • THEA 345 Acting III
      4 credits

      Actor training can be life enhancing. In this class, advanced students are guided to discover, explore and develop their emotional, physical and psychological resources using varied acting exercises and techniques. Prerequisite: Acting II (MCTC) or equivalent (Screenwriting students exempt from prerequisites).

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  • THEA 351 Production and Performance Laboratory
    0 credits

    Two credits of off stage production support are required for the major and minor. Students enrolled in advanced acting/directing classes or working on season productions or special performance projects under faculty guidance may receive credit for rehearsal time spent out of the regular class period. Students cast in directing class scenes may also receive credit. Note: Students may take up to eight credits over time. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission if not enrolled in directing or advanced acting class.

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  • THEA 387 Theater History II: Contemporary
    4 credits

    This course is for students interested in the implications of modern drama on our contemporary world. In this class, students explore some of the most exciting plays in modern and contemporary drama and experience the incredibly rich variety of theater offerings within their own community.

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  • THEA 400 Playwriting I
    4 credits

    Writing for the spoken word and for acting demands different skills than writing for the page. Develop your ear, your signature of voice, your sense of subtext. Through a variety of approaches, from improvisation to creative autobiography, students explore character, conflict and drama as metaphor. Writers with material they would like to explore or adapt for the stage are welcome. Expect to complete at least one short play.

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  • THEA 540 Directing and Creating Theater
    4 credits

    Learn to analyze script, work with actors, construct a prompt book, and use the director's tools to elevate the written script to dramatic action. Students initially explore the possibilities of realistic drama with the option in the second half, to move on to original creations, collaborations or other styles of theater. All work is under the guidance of a director, toward the evolution of the specific theater piece. This class may be taken twice for credit.

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