Theatre Major & Courses

If, as John Calvin suggests, "the primary duty of the Christian is to make the invisible kingdom visible," theatre is uniquely endowed to vividly fulfill this calling. Whether by creating work which decries what is cheap, hollow, pretentious and evil or by celebrating what is valuable, excellent, good and holy in our culture, quality theatre has the potential to awaken an audience to its own spiritual failures and capabilities.

Requirements for the Theatre Arts Major
In addition to a solid foundation of theatre history, dramatic literature, acting, directing and technical production, majors can focus their program through selected electives including special topics such as acting Shakespeare, advanced acting, design (scenic, costume, lighting), dialects, historical interpretation, musical theatre, movement, stage combat, stage management, technical topics and voice.

Studies in the British Stage
Professors Jones and Stevick regularly lead a two-week, 2-credit trip to England under the College's International Seminar program. Students attend at least two dozen plays, enjoy backstage visits with producers, directors, playwrights and actors, and engage in vigorous discussion and journal-keeping. Based in London, the program takes excursions to such other theatre venues as Stratford, York, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Requirements for the Minor in Theatre Arts

A minor in theatre arts may be constructed in consultation with a departmental faculty member. All minors are required to take a minimum of 20 credit hours in the department. TH234 Introduction to Theatre and TH150 Technical Theatre Production I are required of all theatre minors. The remaining credits will be taken in the concentration area or as a faculty-approved combination.


THEATRE ARTS MAJOR (32 credits)

THT010  Theatre Hour (each semester)
THT150  Technical Production I
THT234  Introduction to the Theatre
THT235  Fundamentals of Acting
THT250  Technical Production II
THT310  Theatre History I
THT320  Theatre History II
THT410  Directing
THT491  Senior Seminar I
THT492  Senior Seminar II

Plus 10 credits of electives, selected from:

  • THT240  Voice and Scene Study
  • THT275  Musical Theatre
  • THT291  International Seminar: Studies on British Stage
  • THT375  Professional Skills
  • THT381  Independent Study
  • THT425  Theatre Internship (2–4 credits)

THEATRE ARTS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS



PERFORMANCE

THT235 Fundamentals of Acting (4)
Explores actor’s role; emphasizes technique, characterization, movement and critical analysis.

THT240 Voice Study (4)
Voice technique for actor focusing on developing lifelong practice of freeing natural voice, becoming more conscious of entire self as an instrument of honest and truthful communication.

THT275 Musical Theatre (4)
Introduces basic skills of singer-actor through classroom exercises, games and rehearsal techniques. Students cultivate performance skills in workshop environment, enhance critical eye and constructive coaching abilities and expand appreciation of musical theatre genre.

THT371 Selected Topics in Theatre (2 or 4)
Group-intensive laboratory designed to explore special topics in theatre including but not limited to voice production, movement, stage combat, dialects, acting styles, theatre design, musical theatre, interpretive studies for historical enactor, and topics related to specific productions in annual season. Whenever possible national and local professionals participate as guest artists.

THT381 Independent Study (2 or 4)
Independent semester-long course in topic not available in existing curriculum; provides curricular enrichment.



THEATRE HISTORY AND THEORY

FNA112 Arts in Concert (4)
Studies representative works from visual, theatrical and musical arts; important works from all major periods and genres; role of arts in culture; basic principles of artistic expression and response.

THT234 Introduction to Theatre (4)
Introduces all major areas of theatre, including acting, design, directing and writing. Open to all students as option for fine arts requirement of general core and includes experience-oriented, hands-on lab time as well as reflective assignments in play analysis and performance criticism. Fulfills core Aesthetic Sensibilities and Practices theme.

THT310 Theatre History I: Aeschylus to Zola (4)
Examines in depth great periods, writers and representative plays of Ancient Greece through turn of 20th century, analyzing social and cultural context, thematic concerns and dramaturgical styles of major theatrical movements. While primarily focused on development of Western literature, some Eastern and African origins, literature and styles are also explored.

THT320 Theatre History II: 20th-Century (4)
Examines in depth explosive theatrical changes provoked by realism and reactions to realism throughout 20th century. Major writers, works and styles read and analyzed in terms of social context, thematic concerns and cultural impact.

THT291 International Seminar: Studies on British Stage (4)
Students read essays that guide viewing of theatre performances in London, Edinburgh and a Shakespeare production. Fulfills core Aesthetic Sensibilities and Practices theme.



TECHNICAL PRODUCTION AND DIRECTING

THT150 Technical Production I (4)
Offers basic understanding of technical aspects of theatre production through direct involvement in mounting of Gordon’s theatrical productions. Analysis, problem solving and processes applied in areas of stage carpentry, scene painting, properties, lighting, costuming, stage management and theatrical materials.

THT250 Technical Production II (4)
Continues study and application of principles of theatrical production begun in THT150, guided to greater depth of understanding and mastery of skills with emphasis on independent thinking and problem solving related to projects for specific productions.

THT410 Directing (4)
Studies fundamentals of directing including blocking, character analysis, script interpretation, securing rights, organizing and preparing budgets, exploring director/actor and director/designer relationships, articulating directorial concept and developing directorial perspective and process.



CAREER PREPARATION

THT010 Theatre Hour (0)
Monthly time set aside for department and visiting guest artists, lectures, workshops and presentations. Except when studying abroad, theatre arts majors are required to attend each semester. Focus is upon developing skills and networks for professional theatre work. Prerequisite: major or minor.

THT375 Professional Skills (2 or 4)
Courses in specialized areas of theatre offered periodically in conjunction with productions. Taught by professionals with training and expertise in specific fields. Skills include movement, stage combat, dialects, etc.

THT425 Internship: Theatre (2 or 4)
Supervised learning experience in appropriate setting combining on-the-job work experience with related academic study.

THT491, 492 Senior Seminar I, II (2, 2)
Senior capstone courses explore integration of theatre arts and Christian faith as well as the central question, “Why do theatre?” Focus given to preparation for graduate school admission, professional auditions, job search, networking and other postgraduate issues.