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Graduate Handbook


Philosophy and Program Design

Policies and Procedures (admissions, advising, orientation)

Policies and Procedures (teaching fellowships, support, evaluation)

General Degree Requirements (coursework, credits)




University Theatre (vision statement, policy)

University Theatre (graduate opportunities, procedures)

Current Teaching Faculty and Staff

Emeritus Faculty





In keeping with our department’s longstanding commitment to a liberal arts approach, each of our graduate students is expected to develop and maintain high standards in both scholarship and theatre practice.  For us, research informs art-making and art-making fuels our research.  We not only study the theory, history and literature of the field, we also explore a wide variety of its collaborative models in our teaching and practices. Our department sustains a special interest in new works development, which ranges from staging new adaptations of classical plays or devising original works to scholarly examination of the practitioners and histories currently at work in new areas of theatrical creation.

We encourage students to study with each member of our faculty in order to achieve breadth in their scholarship and practice.  To that end, we also require every student to pursue graduate coursework in related fields outside of our department,  as such work assists students in gaining cross-disciplinary perspectives and developing new approaches to artistic and pedagogical practices.

The Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Oregon is looking for graduate students who have had a breadth of experience in the art and study of the theatre, who are ready to draw on, challenge, and transform their knowledge and skills.

We seek to attract students who think about theatre because they love doing it; and who make theatre because they love to think deeply about why and how theatre matters.  Our graduate students are not only curious about methods, but also hungry for knowledge about theatre’s histories, purposes, and possibilities.  Our students know that the meaning and making in theatre are reciprocal, not separable. Our students are people who want to work collaboratively and are willing to be changed by that process.  We seek graduate students who have more questions than answers – who take serious joy in the process, whether in the archive or rehearsal hall, of making meaning in study and practice of the theatre arts.

We hope your journey will be one that opens possibilities for your work that you didn’t foresee, possibilities that take you beyond the goals you have currently outlined for yourself into the vital terrain of exploration and wonder.  Collaboration is an adventure as much as it is a practice of many methodologies.  We have faith that you will encounter other scholars and artists who enrich your work in unexpected ways. We hope your time here will include an experience of artistic and intellectual generosity, through which you not only find your “voice” as scholar and/or artist, but also learn to listen with new awareness of and respect for, the contribution of others. You may leave with as many questions as you brought with you – but they will be stronger questions, questions that dare you to commence, with new collaborators and your own students, new journeys into the uncharted potential of theatre in our world.



Admission to the graduate programs of the University of Oregon Department of Theatre Arts is competitive and granted by vote of the faculty.  Students should apply through the University’s Graduate School – applications are due on February 1 of each year and all applicants are notified of their status no later than April 15.

Week of Welcome

During the University of Oregon’s Week of Welcome (the week preceding the start of classes), new graduate students meet with our faculty and fellow graduate students for an informal introduction to the department, as well as attend orientation sessions throughout the week with the faculty supervisors, the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation, and the Graduate School.  New graduate students, usually on the second or third day, take an exam intended to identify special areas of interest and to evaluate relative levels of basic preparation for graduate study.  Following the exam, our faculty meet with each student to suggest a plan of coursework and possible artistic projects in their first year.

The results of each advisory meeting is reported in writing by the graduate coordinator or MFA adviser to the individual student.  A copy of this report is placed in the student’s file (department office).  The advisory examination, discussion, and report is only intended as a record of our best advice to each student at the start of a degree program.  We fully expect some change in interests and goals as each student moves through the combined experience of graduate study, teaching, and artistic production.

Evaluation of Academic Progress

The best barometer of academic progress is through regular meetings with the faculty. Near the end of every spring term, the Graduate Coordinator, after consultation with the full faculty, will issue a letter of evaluation.  This letter will summarize faculty response to the student’s academic and artistic progress and address any specific issues that arise. A copy of this letter will be sent to the student and one will be copied for the student’s file in the department office.

In the rare instance that a student’s academic progress is found unsatisfactory, specific guidelines for immediate improvement will be outlined for the next term of coursework, and if no such improvement is made, faculty have the right to withdraw all GTF support, including both teaching assignments and tuition waiver.

Every spring term faculty also meet to award scholarships of varying scope and design to graduate students of outstanding merit in academic and artistic work, teaching, and departmental support.

Graduate Teaching Fellowships

Graduate Teaching Fellows are engaged by the Department of Theatre Arts to assist in undergraduate instruction.  GTFs receive a tuition waiver and stipend for the period appointed. GTF appointments are programmatically assigned by the Department Head in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and full faculty.  Areas needing GTF support are discussed each spring in faculty meetings, and the final number of GTFs awarded is subject to budgetary constraints. A GPA of 3.50 must be maintained for assignment as a GTF.

GTF funding for the M.A. is limited to the second year only and is contingent on faculty evaluation of academic progress in the first year; for the M.F.A. the limit is three years; for the Ph.D., the limit is three years and one additional term.



GTF Office Support


All graduate students who have contracts under the Graduate Teaching Fellowship are entitled to a desk and bookshelf in one of our two graduate offices, private meeting space for teacher-student conferences, and full access to front office supplies (216 Villard) including use of the photocopy, fax, and printers.  (PLEASE NOTE:  Printing and copying is to be restricted to instructional materials and not private course material, papers, or thesis/dissertation drafts.)  We have installed for both graduate offices wireless routing, and supply, for those students who do not prefer to use their own personal lap-tops,  a communally accessible desk-top for both offices.  Both offices have one “land-line” telephone. Graduate students who teach acting or are directing have access to Room 202 for rehearsals and coaching students, subject to production scheduling or other courses using the room.  MFA students have access to Room 308 for use of our design computers, color printer, and plotter.



Annual GTF (teaching) Evaluation Procedure


1.     Annual GTF Evaluation in the Department of Theatre Arts will result in

completion of the approved Graduate Teaching Fellow Performance

Appraisal form, with attached notes further detailing observations where

such detail is necessary.

2.     Each term, beginning in Fall, faculty supervisors will observe at least

one laboratory or classroom session and take notes meant to support

the annual Performance Appraisal.

3.     Classroom observations should be arranged well in advance, and include

a class meeting schedule with dates highlighted across the term when

the Graduate Teaching Fellow would most feel comfortable having

a faculty observer present.

4.     Prior to classroom visits, the faculty observer should meet briefly

with the Graduate Teaching Fellow to talk about that day’s goals

and go over any explanation of the syllabus deemed important

to a fair and useful evaluation.

5.     When faculty observers are evaluating a laboratory teaching

situation, the Graduate Teaching Fellow should be told either

immediately prior to or directly following any observations which will

be noted and saved for the annual Performance Appraisal.

6.     Each fall, individual faculty will be assigned the responsibility for

carrying out annual Performance Appraisals, due May 15, for

discussion with the Graduate Teaching Fellow and full report to

be placed in that GTF’s file.  Faculty completing the annual

Performance Appraisal will consult with relevant supervisors

when they have not had direct observation of graduate teaching,

so the annual Performance Appraisal may involve supervisory

notes and recommendations from as many as three different

faculty as well as student evaluation scores and comments,

by the time the annual Performance Appraisal is completed.

7.     Annual Performance Appraisals must ONLY address Graduate Teaching

Fellow duties, responsibilities and performance in that working context.

8.     All Theatre Arts faculty and Graduate Teaching Fellows must allow,

for the sake of our dependence on good faith cooperation and artistic

collaboration, some flexibility and fluidity in the process of developing

fair and useful Performance Appraisals.

Following are copies of the annual assessment form as well as suggested guidelines for faculty in determining their evaluation in each area.

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Graduate Teaching Fellow

Performance Appraisal


Name (Last)                                (First)                                     (M.I.)                                     Assignments

Performance Period                Discussion Date             Name of Supervisor /Observer

Please rate the GTF on each performance factor below. For a rating of “Unsatisfactory”, which indicates deficient performance, please attach a separate sheet of paper to explain and document performance problems. In addition to your assessment on the performance factors provided below you may also attach additional comments or assessment of performance on other appropriate performance factors, specific responsibilities or special projects.


Excellent          Good                Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory              N.A.

_______          ________        _________         ___________             ___


Excellent          Good                Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory               N.A.

_______         ________        _________         ___________            ___


Excellent          Good                Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory              N.A.

_______         ________        _________         ___________             ___



Excellent          Good               Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory               N.A.

_______          _____           _________            ___________             ___


Excellent          Good               Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory               N.A.

_______         ________        _________         ___________             ___


Excellent          Good               Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory               N.A.

_______         ________        _________         ___________             ___



Excellent          Good               Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory               N.A.

_______         ________        _________         ___________             ___


Excellent          Good               Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory                N.A.

_______          ________        _________         ___________              ___


Excellent          Good              Satisfactory         Unsatisfactory

_______          ________     _________           ___________

______________________________________________      __________________________________

Faculty Observer/Supervisor’s Signature                                                     Date

______________________________________________       __________________________________

GTF’s Signature                                                                                      Date

GTF Appraisal of Performance Factors

(Adapted from CAS OA guidelines – these solely for helpful reference and do not necessarily cover all variables to a performance evaluation.)




Does the GTF demonstrate an understanding of concepts, methods, techniques, principles necessary to accomplish his/her job duties or lead the work of others?

Is the GTF current on technical matters or professional development in his/her area?

Does the GTF respond accurately to inquiries?  Does he/she consult with others and use resources as appropriate?


Are assignments and projects completed within a specified time frame?  Are deadlines consistently met?

Does the GTF identify long and short term goals?  Is his/her work organized and prioritized appropriately?

Does the GTF consult with his/her supervisor or co-workers regarding workload, as necessary?

Does the GTF arrange for other qualified substitutes in class or lab hours whenever that GTF needs to be absent from work hours – i.e. illness, conference attendance, family urgencies?


Does the GTF and/or students supervised produce accurate, thorough, and reliable results or services promptly or accurately?

Does the GTF and/or students supervised provide complete, sensitive and effective results?


Does the GTF prioritize well?

Does the GTF take initiative in identifying and correcting, where possible, problems in the classroom or lab?  Does he/she develop appropriate and creative solutions and select the best alternative?  Does he/she take action in a timely manner?

In problem resolution does the GTF notify his/her supervisor or the department head in a timely and pro-active manner?


Does the GTF demonstrate effective oral communication skills?  Does he/she effectively listen to others in facilitating group projects or discussion and in receiving direction from the supervisor?

Does the GTF develop clear, concise and complete written materials?

Does the GTF share information appropriately?


Does the GTF plan for current and future needs – space, budget, staff, supplies, equipment, etc.?

Does the GTF remain with budget in meeting objectives?  Does he/she monitor and control expenses?

Does the GTF oversee efficient use of supplies, equipment, and other resources so as to control costs while maintaining or improving service?

Does the GTF monitor and contain use of office copying, faxing, and supplies?


Does the GTF promote an emphasis on student satisfaction and the importance of responding courteously and promptly to all internal and external contacts and/or co-workers?

Does the GTF exhibit the ability to adapt to different personalities and cultures?

Does the GTF maintain a calm and professional approach to pressure?

Does the GTF work in a positive and supportive way with students, staff, faculty, other departments, and, if applicable, the public?


Does the GTF provide ongoing supervisory feedback to students, including regular evaluation of progress or improvement?

Does the GTF identify for students development opportunities past the completion of the course he/she is leading?

Does the GTF elicit support and cooperation from others when presenting ideas or concepts or techniques that may require different expertise than he/she may have?

Does the GTF facilitate group processes to accomplish goals?  Does he/she demonstrate the ability to persuade others to cooperate in achieving plans?


Does the GTF demonstrate knowledge of and/or adherence to relevant departmental policies and procedures?

Does the GTF comply with university policies?

Does the GTF adhere to and promote the University of Oregon’s diversity initiatives?  Does he/she willingly embrace the diverse cultures present on the University of Oregon campus?

Does the GTF consistently practice and promote a safe working environment in compliance with the employee safety guidelines and practices as outlined in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety’s policies and procedures, as well as in the GDRS for his/her department?






For each degree program, credit and coursework requirements vary.  For the M.A. and Ph.D., degree requirements include a minimum expectation in coursework.  NOTE:  a “course” is one that offers at least three credits at the 500 or 600 level, listed in the Schedule of Classes and offered as part of the curriculum.  Not qualifying as “courses” in this sense are independent readings or projects undertaken by an individual under such catalogue numbers as TA 601, 602, 603, 605, and 606.  All graduates for required credits must take coursework for a grade.


Credit for Production and Independent Readings

Credits can be earned in production, independent readings in approved research towards thesis or dissertation.  Students reading foundational material for thesis or dissertation, or in preparation for qualifying examinations or qualifying design projects, may enroll in TA 605.

Graduate-level credit for production is available through TA 609: Practicum, granted for faculty-guided directing and assistant directing, design, technical direction, dramaturgy, and other major production assignments.  For graduate-level credit in performance, students should register for TA 609:  Rehearsal and Performance.   Only nine credits of Practicum may be applied to  the M.A. and Ph.D degrees; twelve Practicum credits are required for the M.F.A.

For every credited project in production, M.A. and Ph.D. students must write and submit a brief report to their faculty adviser.  Every graduate student director must also schedule a meeting with the project’s faculty adviser and design faculty for informal review.   The report should be written and submitted to relevant faculty within one week following the close of the production.  The review meeting for directors should convene no later than two weeks after submission of the report.

Transfer of Credit

Some courses taken for graduate credit at other schools may be transferred for credit at the University of Oregon, as long as the work has been taken within the seven year time limit and a grade no lower than B was awarded.  Determination of the applicability of these credits to specific degree requirements is made by the faculty. In any case, no more than 15 credits in a 45 credit program may be transferred.  A form for this purpose may be obtained from the Graduate School.  It should be discussed by the student’s advisor and the Graduate Coordinator, then presented to the Department Head for signature.  Final approval is given by the Graduate School.


M.A.  Basic Timeline


v first year — Advisory Examination and plan to complete a total of at least nine courses in the first year, including at least two TA graduate seminars (600-level)

v end of first year — letter of evaluation, preliminary prospectus for the thesis, and thesis advisor assigned.

v second year — complete prospectus and commence foundational research; complete at least nine courses to fulfill a program approved by the advisor, including credits in Research and Thesis towards expected fulfillment of all degree requirements by June.



M.A. Degree Requirements


  • At least 45 graduate credits in graded Theatre Arts coursework
  • 9 credits of TA 503: Thesis
  • At least 12 credits of graded 600-level course work
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • Language proficiency (coursework or exam)
  • Completion of approved thesis
  • Faculty-guided artistic production in design, acting, directing, technical production, dramaturgy, and playwriting.  

NOTE:  No more than 9 credits of TA 609 (Practicum) may be applied toward

degree requirements.

M.A. Language Proficiency

The M.A. requires successful completion of the second year or better of a foreign language at the college level within the past 10 years, as evidenced in undergraduate transcripts upon review by the thesis advisor or graduate coordinator.  Students who do not come in with undergraduate proficiency can study a language through the year or take intensive summer courses for graduate reading in a language and pass this requirement with a simple translation exam in their second year.

On rare occasion, the department can grant an M.S. degree.  In place of the foreign language requirement, the M.S. requires that the student demonstrate competence in a collateral field of study or an alternate research tool.

M.A. Thesis

The M.A. (and M.S.) degrees require a written thesis. This work is an extended study of a particular issue of interest to the individual student. Developed in consultation with the assigned thesis advisor, the project is guided by the advisor and one other committee member selected by the student.  Students are required to determine a thesis topic at the end of their first year of study and write a preliminary prospectus for faculty review.  The prospectus may follow some of the guidelines for Dissertation prospectus, but does not have to include primary sources or as wide a review of literature in the field area. Research extends throughout the second year and the document is typically written during winter and spring terms. Typically a Master’s thesis ranges from 60 to 100 pages.

The role of the second faculty reader varies from case to case (ranging from participation and critique throughout the process to simply reading and evaluating the finished product) and this relationship should be clearly understood by both student and primary advisor from the beginning.

Graduate School requirements and deadlines for procedure and format are extensive and are available on the Graduate School web site.  Students need to be aware of all Graduate School deadlines that apply to many steps of this process.  Students register for TA601: Research and TA503: Thesis



The Master of Fine Arts is typically a three-year program requiring a total of 81 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, of which no more than 12 may be practicum credits (TA 609).  Areas of specialization are scenic design, lighting design, and costume design.  Usually, course work is substantially completed during the first six to eight terms of study, and students work on their terminal artistic projects during subsequent terms.  An oral review of the project is held following completion of the project performances.  A written report on the project follows the review.  All M.F.A. projects are juried by the full faculty and must demonstrate high artistic ability.

M.F.A. Basic Timeline

v Terms 1-4:  coursework as determined by assessment committee and student

term projects to build qualifying portfolio, application for transfer credits

v Terms 5-6:  coursework, apply for advancement to candidacy

v Terms 7-8:  coursework, approval of prospective final project by full faculty

v Terms 8-9:  coursework, M.F.A. final project, document preparation

TA601 (Research) credits and presentation of final document

M.F.A. Degree Requirements


  • At least 12 credits of graded 600-level TA course work
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (3.5 for GTF appointments)
  • At least 20 credits in design and technology courses, including at least one each in lighting, scenery and costumes.
  • 8 credits in a related area outside of the department.
  • At least 16 credits in Theatre History, Literature, Theory

And 4 in acting/directing coursework, graded.

  • Completion and approval of final project and written document

M.F.A. Document

The final document for the Master of Fine Arts degree is somewhat unique for each project and format needs to be decided with the faculty adviser.  Essentially it is a complete record of the final product including background research, preliminary ideas, refinements, final designs, evaluation of the working process, and evaluation of the final project. Upon completion, the work is reviewed by the adviser and two additional faculty members and an oral defense is held.  The M.F.A. document is not considered a thesis and certain Graduate School deadlines do not apply.  Students need to be aware of all deadlines that do apply. See the Graduate School for details.  Students register for credit under TA 601: Research.

See the M.F.A. handbook for more detailed information.  Note that the M.F.A. does not require a foreign language.


The Ph.D. in Theatre Arts requires 9 courses in the first year and 7 courses in the second year, plus 3 to 6 credits registered in independent reading towards the qualifying examinations in winter or spring terms of the second year.  Students seeking the Ph.D. must have demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language, either from two years of successful college coursework or by passing a basic translation/comprehension exam.  Following completion of course work, students wishing to pass to doctoral candidacy must pass a qualifying examinations.  Within one month after advancement to doctoral candidacy, students must deliver a dissertation prospectus for committee approval.  The degree is granted only with successful completion and full approval of a dissertation under Graduate School rules and deadlines.

Ph.D.  Basic Timeline

v first year — complete a total of at least nine courses, including three 600-level graduate seminars –  one each term offered by doctoral faculty on various topics in advanced history, literary analysis, and production/aesthetic theory.  In addition, successfully complete at least one 500-600 level course in another department

v second year — complete at least seven courses, plus 4-6 credits in preparation for qualifying examinations and prospectus.  Two of the seven courses should be from outside of the department; also, pass foreign language proficiency exam if prior college-level coursework does not meet the minimum requirement.  Select dissertation faculty advisor and secure committee of three Theatre Arts doctoral faculty and one doctoral faculty from another department.

v end of second year or beginning of third year —  qualifying examinations and formation of dissertation committee.

v third year – following advancement to candidacy, committee approved prospectus including expected timeline for completion of the dissertation.








Ph.D. Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 16 graded credits in 600-level  graduate seminars (four courses)
  • At least 12 graded credits (or three 500/600-level courses) in a related field outside of Theatre Arts
  • Reading comprehension in a foreign language (transcript credits or exam)
  • Faculty-guided artistic production in design, acting, directing, technical production, dramaturgy, and playwriting.  
  • Qualifying examinations, oral defense
  • At least 18 credits of TA 603: Dissertation
  • Completion of dissertation and approval at oral defense.

Ph.D. Language Proficiency and Study Outside Department

The Ph.D. requires reading proficiency in one foreign language, demonstrated in credited college study of at least two years with grades no lower than B average, or a translation exam proctored by the Graduate Coordinator.  For students who are continuing from the M.A. here, or who have proven proficiency from exams or transcripts during their master’s studies, no additional foreign language review or exam is necessary.

For the Ph.D., there is also the requirement of at least three graduate courses (500/600 level) in a related field outside the department.  This requirement is partly to afford the student an additional set of perspectives or approaches to research, but also to study with potential faculty who can serve as the outside-of-department committee member for the dissertation. These courses do not all have to be in the same field, but there should be some coherence relevant to the student’s doctoral studies in Theatre Arts.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examinations

Approximately two terms before the intended week of exam dates, each student should form a committee composed of three Theatre Arts doctoral faculty – one of whom will serve as primary advisor both for the exams and the dissertation.

Students are required to take 4-6 credits in independent readings to prepare foundational research for both the exams and the prospectus, usually in spring term of their second year.  The exams take three full days of intensive writing, each day focusing on three question areas:  research towards the dissertation relevant to each faculty member’s interests or expertise, a review of particular coursework taken with each faculty member, presumably useful to the dissertation or future teaching, and one question requiring readings in an area the student and faculty member agree is a “gap” area, where no coursework or deep study has yet been applied but which may be important to the dissertation or future teaching.

It is entirely up to the student to stay in good contact with each faculty member throughout the study period, so that some emphasis or focus can be agreed on prior to the day of examination.  The student must also remember to ask each faculty member whether notes or sources are allowed during each exam day.  It is also the student’s responsibility to schedule with the department Office Manager the office or faculty meeting space available for uninterrupted writing.  A day for rest and review is recommended between each day of writing.

A doctoral student wishing to demonstrate competence in an area outside of the department, especially as it may be necessary for the dissertation, may arrange to include a question from an outside faculty member as part of a fourth day of examination.

Within two weeks after completion of writing, the student meets with the committee for an oral review and further questioning.  At this time, the committee may ask for clarification of answers or extensions of concepts presented or they may move into new areas of consideration.  The committee may vote to pass the student; they may ask for one or more questions to be rewritten on a specified date; or they may suggest other courses of action.  A student who does not write satisfactorily on the second attempt will not advance to candidacy.


Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy and Prospectus

Students who pass their qualifying exams are advanced to doctoral candidacy and should meet with the Office Manager to make sure all necessary forms are signed by the appropriate faculty and submitted to the Graduate School.

Following qualifying examinations, coursework is discouraged – but on advice of the advising committee, a maximum of two courses may be required to pursue a special need connected with the dissertation.

In consultation with the primary advisor and in keeping with research and answers for the qualifying examinations, the doctoral candidate must present to the committee a detailed prospectus within a month following advancement to candidacy or will likely lose GTF support, including teaching assignments and tuition waiver.


NOTE:  The Graduate School term limit for completing the Ph.D. is seven years counted from the first course taken at the doctoral level.








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The following guidelines are not a template or formula for writing your prospectus.  That is, the following subject headings may come in different order, reflecting your process in consultation with your faculty adviser as you explore your project’s special aims. Your project may have distinct questions not asked below, but important to your progress.  Your faculty agree, however, that these general headings and related questions can help you to organize your research agenda and strengthen your project’s potential for success.


At this stage the questions are most important, and the structure or potential conclusions will change.  In any good thesis or dissertation process, the project changes as your research advances and your thoughts move to more complex understanding of the questions.  For example, the concluding chapter will likely require a complete re-shaping of your first chapter, as you can’t (or shouldn’t think you can) know where the research will lead.


Motivating Questions


o   What do you hope to learn over the course of this study?

o   What concrete objects or subjects of study will focus your work ahead?

o   Are you making any assumptions with regard to your research aims?

o   What key words or phrases will your study rely on that may be contested by the field or at least need to be “problematized” for the sake of avoiding jargon or bias?



Disciplinary Contexts


o   How does your study relate to the existing body of work on the subject(s)?

o   What is the scope of foundational literature or other sources in your study’s area?

o   What primary sources are required as basis for your study?

o   Which leading scholars take similar or different points of view than yours?



Justification and Significance


o   Why is this study important? (Why now?)

o   How will this work serve?  (So what?)


Methods and Procedures


o   What primary sources are required as basis for your study?

o   How do you intend to access such material?

o   What special skills (translation, statistics, etc.) or timing (trips to archives, interviews, etc.) will you need and how do you plan meet those needs?


General Design


o   Offer a provisional outline of chapters, with titles and brief descriptions for each.

o   What structures are in place for special research projects (interviews, case-study,

etc.) relying on disciplines or methodologies outside theatre studies – and how do

these relate to standards for such research in their given field?

o   What appendices, charts, illustrations, or other extra documentation will your

project require?




o   What problems do you foresee and how might you overcome them?

o   How will you restrict the scope of your work  – What areas of this study’s

“field” or “area” do you intend to omit and why?

o   What is your proposed timeline – including anticipated delivery dates for

research, chapters and revisions and how will these meet the

Graduate School’s scheduled deadlines (keeping in mind a completed

draft must be delivered to your committee at least two months prior

to the Graduate School’s final defense date for that quarter, so as to

to give your committee time to review and approve a defense date

OR ask for revisions before agreeing to the defense date).

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


The Ph.D. dissertation is a work of scholarship drawing on primary sources that contributes new knowledge or insight to the field of study. Typically, a minimum of one full year is devoted to the research and writing of the dissertation, and many projects require more time.

Typically a dissertation ranges between 200 to 300 pages. The roles of the three additional committee members vary from case to case, ranging from participation and critique throughout the process to simply reading and evaluating the finished product, and this relationship should be clearly understood from the beginning by both student and primary advisor. Graduate School requirements and deadlines for procedure and format are extensive and are available on the Graduate School web site. Following the completion of the written document, a public defense of the dissertation is held with all committee members in attendance.  At this time the committee may ask for rewrites and/or accept the document as complete.

Students register for TA601: Research and TA603: Dissertation


Aims for the New Theatres (by faculty consensus, 2007-2008)


We want to aim for a future season to be:

v a season that invites engagement and investigation of community, not just of campus or town (although these can be priorities for some productions) but also of region and country.  A season accountable to current issues, cultural and political, responsive not just to community of place but community in time.  We want our theatre to open questions about our “way of life.”


v a season that aims to represent over a four-year cycle, a wide range of dramatic literature and historical theatricalities – not necessarily linked (as in “period styles”).  We want to sustain a longstanding commitment to historical eclecticism that reinforces for our students what they may be learning in our classrooms, but also offers for the campus and town audiences an array of experiences that may not be found in other theatres.


v a season that fosters joy, that is motivated by joy, that fuels both the community and the historical commitments described above, but also makes the practical learning directed towards something larger than  task or deadline.

We also want a season that aims for these ideals/challenges without ignoring practical feasibility and practical training – All directors, faculty and graduates, will make their proposals with some address of design SCOPE  – not locking into concept, but making guesses about degrees of difficulty, making guesses about the size of the production – including cast size, costumes per character –  but also scene changes, special effects, media needs, and even first impressions of “the look” or “level of realism” or “period/locale”.  We want our season plans to balance the needs for creative challenge AND the opportunities that can come from practical limitations  – for both directors and designers, faculty and students alike.


We agree to pursue the following as basic University Theatre policy:


§  Maintain rotation of Shakespeare, Musicals, Devising, and the need for comedy/uplift in each season. A season will include 5 shows, two running three weekends, three running

for the same number of performances but across only two weekends.  Each year, one

special event will be scheduled for a one-weekend run – these typically are invited guest

artists, and usually every other year hosting the Faculty Dance Concert.

§  We want to aim (ideally, not strictly) for 50 roles each year, with half going to women (again, ideally, not strictly), at the same time that we continue commitment towards improving both the diversity in our casting and the sustainability in our production processes.

Graduate Participation in University Theatre productions

Graduate students are encouraged to participate in theatre productions and may receive credit for their work (see Credit for Production, under Degree Requirements, pages 2-3).

Graduate designers are primarily M.F.A. students assigned by design faculty, but on occasion have included M.A. and Ph.D. students who demonstrate interest and skill and have worked with design faculty.

Graduate students wanting to perform in our season simply audition with all other students and are cast with no special priority or educational entitlement above undergraduate actors.

Graduate students interested in playwriting are eligible to submit short plays for potential production as New Voices, under review to participate in the KC/ACTF short play competition.

Pocket Playhouse

A graduate student who wishes to be considered for a University Theatre directing assignment must direct a production in the Pocket theatre during the fall or winter of their first year.  Such productions are sponsored by the faculty and are not part of the undergraduate Pocket Playhouse season.  All Pocket directives concerning running time, minimal technical requirements, and limited rehearsal times do apply.  Graduate students who wish to direct should submit a request to the faculty a full term prior to the desired production dates.  Multiple requests will be prioritized by the faculty according to the merit of the proposal and comparative needs of each student proposing.

University Theatre Season Selection and Graduate Directors

Faculty will invite Ph.D. students to make proposals, usually after a theme for the season has been chosen or titles are selected by faculty directors so there is more clarity about what kinds of plays the graduate students will be invited to propose.  We expect no more than three, but more often just one or two available openings for graduate directors in any given season.

Plays are proposed to the full faculty with a brief summary that offers a clear statement of design scope, facts regarding number of roles for men and for women, expected number of costumes, and discussion of any particular or especially difficult effects.  Scripts should be made available in our department office in conjunction with the proposal summaries.

NOTE:  Faculty vote on projects for a given University Season based on a variety of concerns, including the educational needs and interests of our undergraduate students, relevance to coursework or other academic events expected for the coming year, balance of historical and stylistic opportunities, balance of practical budgets and shop scheduling.  Graduate student proposals to direct for University Theatre may not be able to address all of these variables, but should certainly be made in awareness that the final decision for a season includes more than any one individual’s aspirations or sense of entitlement.




May-Britt Jeremiah, Office Manager and Events Coordinator

Ariel Ogden, Marketing Coordinator

Vicki-Vanecek Young, Costume Shop Supervisor

John Elliott, Scene Shop Supervisor


Robert Barton
B.A. 1967, Western Michigan; M.A. 1968, Ph.D. 1977, Bowling Green State. Principal area of interest is actor training, especially Shakespeare, period styles, voice, and neuro-linguistic programming. (1980)

Faber DeChaine
B.S., 1952, University of Oregon.  M.A., 1953, Michigan State; Ph.D., 1963, Minnesota.  (1964)

Grant McKernie
B.A.,1964, Northwestern; M.A., 1965, Ph.D. 1972, Ohio State. .Major areas of interest are theatre and culture and contemporary European theatre. (1979)

Horace Robinson
B.A.,1931, Oklahoma City; M.A., 1932, Iowa.  (1933)

John Watson
B.A., 1964, Lewis and Clark College.  Ph.D., 1987, University of Oregon.  Major areas of interest are theatre history, English women playwrights (1660-1900), contemporary British theatre, and directing. (1987)

Jerry Williams
B.F.A. 1964, Carnegie-Mellon; M.A. 1965, Washington.  Major areas of interest are scenic design, masks, makeup and puppetry. (1973)