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Major Requirements

Graduation requirements for the Theatre Arts Major

When you declare the theatre arts major, we will assign you a faculty advisor. You may change your advisor by filling out a form you can obtain from the office staff. Your advisor can help you with course selection, schedule planning, and degree completion. Make an appointment to see your advisor regularly to confirm your progress and plans. Note that you can, of course, consult with any faculty member at any time.

Twice a year, Theatre Arts faculty cancel one day of class meetings in order to schedule meetings with all advisees, particularly new students to the major.

In Fall, Seniors, Juniors and Transfer students sign up. In Spring, Freshmen, Sophomores and Transfer students sign up. In addition to our regular “Advising Days,” we encourage all Theatre Arts majors and minors to check in with their academic advisors once a term, especially near the time to register for the next term’s classes (usually starting in Week 8)

Students have final responsibility for satisfying their degree requirements for graduation. Only those students who have completed all course work and any additional graduation requirements will be allowed to take part in the department’s commencement ceremony. Those who believe that they have justification for an exception may petition the faculty by writing to the Department Head at least three weeks prior to Finals Week, Spring term.

Theatre Arts Major Requirements

Group I – Required Core Courses

TA 210: Introduction to Design
All aspects of design in theatre, with an emphasis on developing a sense of visual imaging for production. The course includes a laboratory component, with assignments made in stagecraft, costume construction, or lighting. This course is part of a sequence with TA 211 and TA 212, intended for first-year majors.

TA 211: Theatre Production I
Basic stagecraft and lighting in order to prepare students for backstage work; there is a laboratory requirement to be assigned in stagecraft or lighting.

TA 212: Theatre Production II
Costume construction and makeup in order to prepare students for presenting the actor’s image; there is a laboratory requirement in costume construction.

TA 250: Acting I
An introduction to basic concepts and vocabulary for the actor. There are no prerequisites, but students who wish to take further acting courses must present auditions or submit applications.

TA 271: Introduction to Theatre Arts
Play analysis and structure, incorporating theatre aesthetics and the role of theatre in society.

TA 367, 368, 369: History of Theatre I, II, III
Theatre from its origins to the present day. These may be taken in any order. The faculty recommend that majors complete all three courses by end of junior year. Each is a group satisfying course in Arts and Letters.

TA 470: Theatre Majors Seminar
This course surveys future trends in contemporary theatre and prepares all Junior-standing Theatre Majors to be thinking about Senior year auditions, internships, projects and thinking about futures beyond graduation.

TA 490: Theatre Capstone

This degree requirement can be fulfilled by taking any one of the four regularly offered topics under TA490: Play Direction, Playwriting, Dramaturgy, or Devising. At least two of these are offered every year. Pre-requisites include all 200-level major requirements and at least one of the Theatre History courses.

TA 490 courses are intended to challenge students to synthesize previous course work and production experience, and are typically taken in the senior year. Please note: students cannot “double dip” one course for both their Theatre Capstone and one of the IIIA or IIIB advanced group requirements.

 Group II – Production Credits

NOTE: TA 210, 211, 212 are prerequisites for TA 321, 322, 323 and 324.

Three assignments from:

TA 321: Scenery Production
Completion of a supervisory level position on a University Theatre production, either Robinson or Hope, as a crew head or an assistant in scenery or properties. 1-3 credits.

TA 322: Costume Production
Completion of a supervisory level position on a University Theatre production, either Robinson or Hope, as a crew head, stitcher, or an assistant in costuming. 1-3 credits.

TA 323: Lighting Production
Completion of a supervisory level position on a University Theatre production, either Robinson or Hope, as a crew head or an assistant in lighting. 1-3 credits.

TA 324: Production
Completion of a supervisory level position on a University Theatre production, either Robinson or Hope, as a stage manager, assistant director or dramaturg. 1-3 credits.

Group III – Advanced Coursework

Six four-credit, upper-division courses – three courses in each of the following two areas:

III A: acting, directing, design, technical production, devising or playwriting

III B: history, literature, criticism, or dramaturgy
NOTE: for one course in area B, ONE upper division course in another department may be substituted with prior approval from the department head and/or faculty advisor

All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade unless the course is offered P/N, as in the case of TA 321-324. All graded courses must be completed with a C or better, so a C- or lower is not satisfactory.

Of the 180 credits required for graduation, 62 must be taken in upper-division courses (300 level or higher). You must complete 168 credits with grades of A, B, C, D, or P*; the latter grade reflects passing work in a course offered only pass/no pass.

In plotting out your course work, consider the following points:

  1. All theatre arts majors have the same required courses. All are students of theatre as a whole and course requirements are selected to guide students through a well-rounded major with experiences in all fields of theatre.
  2. Most courses are not offered every term and some are not offered every year. Check the course schedule carefully to make sure your plans are feasible.
  3. Lower-division courses may not be taken for upper-division credit by adding another assignment.
  4. If you sign up for a crew after the registration deadline, you may register for credit for that crew the following term only.
  5. Regularly-taught courses may not be taken in another term, or at another time, under TA 405: Reading. Please plan to take these courses when they are offered.
  6. Transfer students may petition the department head for special consideration with regard to waiving degree requirements. Consult your advisor to initiate this process.


Theatre Arts Grading Standards

What follows is meant to help students understand departmental standards regarding the value of each letter grade. Faculty in Theatre Arts will have different procedures, scales, and references for how they grade, and different courses require different modes of evaluation, but the following reflects departmentally agreed meaning for each letter.

A = complete success in idea, exploration, expression, extraordinary work reflective of genuine investment, discovery, and critical thinking   – mastery

B = success in meeting most expectations of the assignment, good work reflective of sincere effort and basic comprehension – competence

C = some success in meeting minimum requirements only, poor organization, weak technical or group focus, half-rehearsed, lack of critical thinking – incoherence

D = significant lack of completion, ineptitude, disrespectful attitude towards others, failure to engage some minimum requirements, serious lapse of attention  – indigence

F = major failure to meet deadlines and basic commitments, extraordinary lack of discipline or focus, clear evidence of plagiarism, cheating, bullying  – negligence

NOTE: In the Department of Theatre Arts, a grade of A+ is rare. 100% with perfect attendance or total points or straight As across a term do not guarantee an A+ – instead, this grade is entirely a matter of subjective instructor evaluation above and beyond the excellence described for an A grade.