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Chairperson: Professor William Teague, Office: 115 Rowand-Johnson Hall


The Department of Theatre and Dance is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), and all of its programs and policies are in accordance with NAST requirements. The department offers several programs leading to the master of fine arts (MFA) degree in theatre. The purpose of the MFA degree in theatre is to train students whose previous experience, demonstrated ability, and professional potential are sufficient to suggest a productive career in the theatre.



Admission Requirements

General. While the MFA degree has several areas of specialization, admission is granted in only one area. Admission
to the MFA degree program in theatre requires satisfaction of all admission requirements as described in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.  (Note that no test scores are required).  Also required is an interview, including audition and/or portfolio review. Certain areas have specific admission requirements as noted below.


The MFA degree program requires specialization in one area of production. Students in the program must be admitted to one of the following areas of study: acting pedagogy, directing, costume design/production, scene design, theatre management, lighting design, and technical production.
Subject to approval by the department chairperson and the dean of the Graduate School, in specified programs, a maximum of 20 semester hours of graduate work may be transferred from another institution. These hours must be in theatre or in a closely allied subject, and they must contribute to the student's educational objective. Should deficiencies in the student's undergraduate program be perceived, appropriate undergraduate courses will be required. While these undergraduate courses may not be counted toward the graduate degree, they may be taken in addition to the maximum allowable number of graduate hours. 
The MFA program is normally a three-year program. Students who hold the M.A. degree in theatre upon admission to the program may expect a shortened course of study, dependent upon faculty evaluation of the previous work. Students seeking such a shortened program must apply to have previous work evaluated. Normally, a two-year minimum residency is required for students with shortened programs.


Degree Requirements

General. All students must follow Plan II (non-thesis) and complete 60 semester hours of graduate coursework for the degree. Continuation in the MFA degree program is contingent upon recommendation by the theatre faculty, following an annual review of the student's academic and production work. Students may be placed on probation following the review; students placed on probation have one semester in which to reestablish good academic standing. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to continue in the program on probation for more than one semester.
The Department of Theatre and Dance uses "contract advising, that requires each student in the department to develop a plan of study within six weeks of beginning the program, in conjunction with an assigned advisor from the student's area of specialization. The plan of study must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Theatre and Dance, and have the approval of the assigned advisor. While each plan is developed individually, examples of typical curricula are available on request from the department. A student with a.5 FTE departmental assistantship cannot take more than 12 hours and no less than 6 hours of graduate work during a semester or more than 6 hours in each term of the summer session.


Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog. 



Course Descriptions
Prerequisites for 500- and 600-level courses: Graduate standing and permission of the instructor

TH 515 Props Construction. Three hours.

A studio course which allows exploration into woodworking, metal working/welding, foam sculpting, casting, upholstery, Photoshop and any other process required to create stage props. Lab fee, $25.00.


TH 520 Technical Direction-Graduate.  Three hours.

This course will provide students with an overview of the technical design, construction techniques, and the administrative and management functions that are a part of the field of technical direction. Course may be repeated once.

TH 521 Period Decor. Three hours.
A survey of period architecture, ornament, and furniture as applied in the stage designer's research.

TH 523 Drafting for the Theatre. Three hours.

A studio course exploring traditional and computer based techniques of technical drafting as applied to the theatre. Skills learned will include orthographic and isometric projections, ground plans, sections, perspective drawing, and layout.

TH 525 Scene Painting. Three hours.
A studio course in the materials and techniques for painting stage scenery and properties. Lab fee, $35.00. Course may be repeated once.

TH 526 Sound Production Techniques for Theatre and Dance. Three hours.
A course providing a working knowledge of sound production, with an emphasis on the creation of sound files for theatre and dance and the setup and maintenance of sound reproduction and modification equipment. Lab fee, $25.00.

TH 527 Computer Graphics for the Theatre. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
A study of computer drawing programs and computer-assisted design and drafting programs used in producing technical drawings for theatre. AutoCAD will be the primary program studied.

TH 528 Drawing and Rendering.  Three hours.

A studio course in drawing and painting architectural and natural environment appropriate for a variety of stage settings.  May be repeated once.


TH 530 History of Costume for the Stage. Three hours.
A historical study of civil costume in relation to costuming for the stage.

TH 531 Costume Construction I. Three hours.
A studio course in patterning, cutting, and constructing costumes for the stage. Additional hours in related theatre activities are required. Lab fee, $25.00.

TH 533 Costume Design I. Three hours.
A studio course in costume design principles and presentation for stage costumes.

TH 535 Professional Presentation for Theatre Designers. Three hours.
The study and development of professional presentations for theatre artists. This includes, but is not limited to, “hard” portfolios, digital portfolios, exhibits and personal presentations.


TH 536  Fabric Modification.  Three hours

A studio course exploring the  use of various dyeing techniques, surface treatment and use of non-traditional materials to modify the original appearance and/or intent of fibers and fabrics.


TH 537 Drawing and Rendering for Theatre Designers. Three hours.
A studio course for drawing the human figure in a variety of stage settings and period garments. Exploration of a variety of media to render light, shadow, and textures for all types of fabrics and hard surfaces. Lab Fee, $25.00.

TH 539 Advanced Stage Makeup. Three hours.
A studio course using a variety of materials in the craft of mask making, hair ventilating, and prosthetics. Lab fee, $25.00.

TH 540 Stage Movement and Physical Acting. Three hours.
An advanced course in body awareness, alignment, breathing techniques, physicalization, and physical characterization.

TH 541 Advanced Scene Study. Three hours.
Advanced course in specific methodologies for character conception and projection.

TH 542 Careers in the Professional Theatre. Three hours.
A course focusing on audition and interview techniques, unions, résumé writing, and other skills required to apply for positions in the academic and professional theatre.

TH 543 Script Analysis and Interpretation. Three hours.
Theory and methodology of the textual analysis of playscripts for production. Offered every three years.

TH 544 Period Acting Styles I. Three hours.
Study and practice of period acting styles.

TH 545 Period Acting Styles II. Three hours.
A continuation of TH 544, usually focusing on verse drama, especially Shakespeare.

TH 546 Advanced Voice and Speech for Performance. Three hours.
This course will examine vocal anatomy and physiology, vocal health and care for the performer’s voice. Various methods and approaches to voice work using breath, text, speech work, and study of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Students will explore their vocal development through exercises, drills; performance and use of heighten text language.

TH 547 Stage Dialects. Three hours.
Prerequisite: TH 546.
An advanced voice and speech course studying the phonetics of various dialects and accents used by actors needed to create certain roles. Students will apply the dialect/accent work to exercises, drills, and acting/performance projects.

TH 548 Rehearsal Process. Three hours.
Acting course in which students analyze and participate in the rehearsal process with both unpublished and published scripts.

TH 549 Advanced Stage Movement: Stage Combat. Three hours.
Students will learn to create safely the illusion of armed violence including work with the broad sword, small sword, rapier/dagger, and knife.

TH 551 History of the Theatre I. Three hours.
Beginnings to the Restoration. Offered every fall semester.

TH 552 History of the Theatre II. Three hours.
Restoration to the present. Offered every spring semester.


TH 553 European Theatre History. Three hours.
Special topics relating to Western theatre. Examples include the commedia dell'arte, European sources of the modern theatre, studies in Brecht, the avant-garde theatre, etc.

TH 554 Seminar in Contemporary Theatre. Three hours. An examination of trends and developments in the theatre and drama since the Vietnam Era. Offered every three years.

TH 555 Seminar in Theatre History and Literature: Classical. Three hours.
The theatre and drama of ancient Greece and Rome.

TH 556 Seminar in Theatre History and Literature: Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Carolinian. Three hours. The English theatre and drama from 1558 to 1642.

TH 557 Seminar in Theatre History and Literature: American. Three hours.
Theatre and drama in the United States from its beginnings. Special focus on 19th-century developments and current post-modern adaptations of earlier plays and forms. Offered every three years.


TH 558 American Feminist Theatre. Three hours

Explores 20th century American feminist theatre. Prerequisites TH 120 or by approval from instructor.

TH 559 Dance/Movement for the Graduate Actor. Three hours. 

A class focusing on dance technique emphasizing work in correct body alignment, improvisation, flexibility, strengthening exercises, and performance.  Students will be taught dance combinations in classical  jazz and musical theatre dance to enhance technical skills and prepare them for professional work.  The history and development od jazz dance will also be explored.  In addition, the use of Laban Movement Analysis will be explored as a theoretical framework for analyzing movement in order to benefit the graduate-level acting student in honing his/her craft and preparing for his/her career.

TH 565 Musical Theatre Performance I. Three hours.
Musical theatre scene study for the actor and director; the blending of acting, singing, and movement skills in the performance of songs and scenes.

TH 566 Musical Theatre Performance II. Three hours.
A special topics course for the actor and director, exploring such areas as musical theatre history, cabaret performance, the in-depth study of a single work, etc.

TH 567 Musical Theatre Repertoire Coaching. One to two hours.
Individual coaching in musical theatre repertoire and the preparation of material for auditions, principal roles, cabaret performances, and recordings.

TH 570 Theatre Management. Three hours.
Principles of theatre/arts management applied to the fields of theatre operations and production, with emphasis on mission, organizational structure, financial management, development, marketing, touring, labor relations and facilities.

TH 582 Playwriting I. Three hours.
An introduction to writing for the stage, from dramatic conception to finished script. Offered alternating years with TH 583.

TH 583 Playwriting II. Three hours.
Advanced course in playwriting; concentration on various play forms, draft revision, and the script development process. Offered alternating years with TH 582.

TH 586 Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Three hours.
A survey of the major critical and performance theories, with special emphasis on Aristotelian and 20th  century approaches. Includes study and practice of reviewing dramatic productions. Offered every three years.

TH 600 Advanced Practicum. One hour.
Execution of significant creative assignments in main stage and/or A. B. Theatre productions throughout the term.


TH 602 Theatre Management: Internship. Variable hours.

Prerequisites: TH 570 and completion of 18 hours in the MFA program.
Professional experience with a professional theatre company or arts organization. Course may be repeated twice for a maximum of 10 hours.

TH 615 Lighting Design I. Three hours.
A thorough study of the technical aspects of stage lighting, including electricity, optics, color, control theory, and light-plotting techniques.

TH 616 Lighting Design II. Three hours.
An advanced course covering the theory and practice of lighting design for the theatre, with an emphasis on script analysis and execution.

TH 618 Lighting Design III. Three hours.
A seminar involving the presentation of designs for various productions and preparation of problem-related demonstrations. May be repeated.

TH 620
Structural Design for TheatreThree hours.

A concentration on mathematical problem solving, the study of structural design and its application to theatrical structures, and an investigation of why we build scenery the way we do.


TH 621 History of Stage Design.  Three hours.

A survey of the history of stage design and development of stage technology, suitable for all MFA design and technical students.  Includes several historically related design projects.  May be repeated once.


TH 622 Scene Design I. Three hours.
A studio course in scenic design for the theatre. Students will execute designs for several plays focusing on analysis, graphic representations, and portfolio building.

TH 623 Scene Design II. Three hours.
A continuation and intensification of the material in TH 622. Attention given to script analysis and complete design drawing, plus design for varied forms of stages. Course may be repeated once.

TH 628 Problems in Theatre Arts: Design. Three hours. An intensive study of the designer's responsibility involving design for varied forms of staging and design drafting.

TH 632 Costume Construction II. Three hours.

A studio course in advanced costume construction and draping techniques.  May be repeated. Lab fee, $25.00.

TH 634 Costume Design II. Three hours.
A continuation and intensification of the material in TH 533. Projects will address specific problems of design. May be repeated. Lab fee, $25.00.

TH 635 Costume Design III. Three hours.
Continuation of TH 634. Projects address larger and more specific problems in design.

TH 636 Costume Design IV. Three hours.
Continuation of TH 635.

TH 637 Period Costume Construction. Three hours.
Prerequisites: TH 531, TH 632. A studio course in the patterning, fit, and construction of garments popular prior to the 20th century.

TH 638 Advanced Tailoring Techniques for Theatre. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
A studio course in both hand and machine tailoring techniques needed to produce high quality custom tailored garments for the stage. This includes, but is not limited to hand padding, machine padding, decorative and couture techniques. Lab Fee, $25.00.

TH 639 Problems in Theatre Arts: Costuming. Three hours.
Study and studio work in a specialized area of costume design or technology.

TH 640 Problems in Theatre Arts: Stage Movement. Three hours.
Prerequisite: TH 540 or permission of the instructor.
Advanced theory and practice in stage movement topics such as anatomy, clowning, mask, stage combat, mime, etc. May be repeated for credit when the topic differs.

TH 642 Teaching Acting. Three hours.
A course to provide practical experience in teaching and coaching actors and developing methods and various approaches in teaching acting. 


TH 643 Teaching Practicum.  Three hours.

Prerequisites:  TH 642 and permission of the instructor.

A course covering the practical aspects of teaching, including syllabi preparation, course planning, and classroom experience.

TH 649 Problems in Theatre Arts: Performance. Three hours.
Advanced theory and practical application of performance techniques.

TH 662 History of Directing. Three hours.
Historical development of directing theory and methodology since Saxe-Meiningen.

TH 669 Problems in Theatre Arts: Directing. Three hours.
Advanced theory and practical application of directing techniques.

TH 673 Fund-raising and Financial Management. Three hours.
A study of fundraising and financial management of nonprofit and commercial arts organizations with an emphasis on development, grant writing, forecasting, and planning.

TH 674 Arts Advocacy, Policy, and Public Relations. Three hours.
A study of the history and manifestation of public arts policy in the United States, with emphasis placed on arts advocacy,
governmental and organizational policies, and public relations tactics and campaigns.

TH 675 Business and Legal Issues in the Arts. Three hours.
An examination of legal requirements of nonprofit arts organizations, specifically addressing tax exemption, reporting of contributions, development considerations, and contemporary legal issues affecting artists.

TH 676 Marketing the Arts. Three hours.
A study of contemporary marketing practices and how they are applied to nonprofit and commercial arts organizations. Special emphasis on marketing analyses, forecasting, social media, advertising and marketing campaigns.

TH 679 Problems in Theatre Arts: Management. Three hours.
Directed studies in specific management techniques and theoretical development of theatre projects.

TH 683 Problems in Theatre Arts: Playwriting. Three hours.
Specific topics such as the historical play, New Dramaturgy, and writing; workshops with visiting writers from the New Playwrights Program.

TH 684 Problems in Theatre Arts:  Dramaturgy.  Three hours. 


TH 690 Independent Study. Three hours.

TH 698 Research not Related to Thesis. Three hours.




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