Areas of Study

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

Core Curriculum 43
Pre-Major Courses 6
Major and Related Courses 36-39
Free Elective Courses 32-35


Required pre-major courses 6 hours

A study of gestures as a form of communication and as a basis for visual language. Concentration on the ability to think in pictures and to develop expressive and receptive communication skills in gestures. This course develops artistic sign language translation skills and leads to better understanding of the basic structures of American Sign Language.

A survey of and introduction to the contemporary theatre; drama, dance, music, and film. This course is a basis for all drama courses and is required prior to declaring a major in theatre arts: production/performance. Lab hours required.

Required theatre and related courses 27-30 hours

THE 281: Repeat as necessary for a minimum of 6 credits.

This internship course provides students a way to integrate theory with practice by working for an off-campus employer. Students will apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, or during stage productions, by interning at a professional theatre, a theatre organization, or in an educational setting. Students will fulfill the duties outlined in a learning contract developed with the on-site supervisor and a faculty sponsor. Student performance will be assessed via products agreed upon in the learning contract, including, but not limited to, weekly journals, reflective papers, direct involvement with stage/television/film performances, and classroom/workshop teachings.

This course is an analysis of the poetic and dramatic structure of some of Shakespeare's major comedies, tragedies, romances, and history plays, with a consideration of the background of the plays.

This course provides students an opportunity to earn academic credit by working behind the scenes in support of the design and technical aspects of a theatre production being mounted per semester. Students will develop practical skill sets and an essential knowledge of the logistics required for the successful mounting of a stage production by working in one of its related areas: stage management, scenery, lighting, costumes, props, technical production.

The student’s specific assignment will be made by the theatre faculty and/or technical director at the beginning of each production taking into consideration each student’s experience, their educational needs, and the technical needs of each production.

''This course counts toward the 6-credit Theatre Arts major/minor practicum requirement; students who have already satisfied this requirement may take it as major/minor elective credit. It may be taken as a free elective by students who are not Theatre Arts majors or minors, and it may be repeated without limit.

This exploratory course introduces students to the essentials of creative methodologies of sign language translation emphasizing content, context, and intent of performances as produced within a variety of genres and styles. Open to non-majors; recommended for ASL, interpreting, and linguistics students.

This course covers the development of performance from its beginnings to the latest contemporary movements, through the study of plays, essays, films, and other works to examine the nature of performance and how culture, economics, politics, identity, and other systematic forces influence (and are influenced by) the performing arts. Open to non-majors.

This class is designed to help the students break down and analyze theatrical scripts through readings, reinforced by watching live performances in person and/or filmed productions online as well as the exploration of varying approaches, narrative frames, and techniques designed to maximize the clarity and power of theatrical storytelling and production. Open to non-majors.

The course examines the evolutionary leaps of modern theatre from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Scripts are specifically chosen to highlight a variety of contemporary theatre-making practices ranging from interpretations of traditional dramas and comedies, new writing, physical theatre, musicals, cross-media pieces, and/or other alternative forms throughout a timeline that is defined by the emergence and acceleration of technology, resulting in redefined worldviews. Open to non-majors.

Study of pantomime and acting exercises; introduction to basic principles and techniques of acting; performance of laboratory scenes, readings, and exercises. Participation in an experimental production.

This course provides students with a general overview of the business and administrative functions of non-profit and profit theatrical and performing arts organizations as well as an introductory look at the processes and responsibilities of production management, with specific consideration given to applications relevant to Deaf theatre practices. Open to non-majors.

Elective theatre courses 9 hours

Choose nine hours:

This introductory course familiarizes students with theories of body movement and trains students in the use of physical space, rhythm, and balance for the purpose of creating mood and character through body movement within a theatrical context.

Activities offered include dance and fundamental movement. Not more than six hours of credit in dance activities may be counted toward the requirements for a bachelor's degree.

A lecture/performance course focusing on varieties of mime ranging from traditional pantomime to modern mime and the relationship of mime to sign language.

This course is one within which creating play scripts for the theatre is explored through active practice and discussion. Major components of play creating, including action, dialogue, and character development are studied and refined through the completion and workshopping of developmental assignments, providing and receiving constructive criticism, and experiencing the work of contemporary theatre makers via readings and viewings. Upon completion of the course, each student will have created and revised two ten-minute plays. Open to non-majors.

This course is designed to give the student hands on experience in the art of stagecraft. To that end, the student will have opportunities to use the basic tools, procedures, and equipment for creating the types of scenery encountered in the theatre shop environment. Other topics include construction, rigging, production processes, and stage equipment. Open to non-majors.

This hands-on course explores the qualities of light and how light functions in a variety of contexts, both in nature and as a design element relevant to text, performers, music, and environment. Students will gain basic technical working knowledge and skill sets specific to lighting design for the performing arts, with varying emphases placed on the discipline’s creative, conceptual, and collaborative aspects, applied through continuous experimentation and practice. Open to non-majors.

This course is designed to acquaint the student with major styles and periods of dress from Egyptian to pre-World War I European as a basis of later work in costume design. Viewed through slides, photographs, and actual historical documentation, a flow of design and change is seen.

This course is an exploration into costume design processes and the psychology of clothing, culminating in the development of designs resulting from character analyses specific to a theatrical play script, with period research, design, and rendering skills cultivated through continuous applications, supported by instruction in basic costume sewing, construction, and crafting techniques. Open to non-majors.

This course is an exploration of scenic design as an artistic process, in which students learn how a designer creates a stage world synthesizing narrative and visual ideas stemming from one’s interpretation of the relationship between text, space, and performers within a play production: techniques in support of this process include visual research, collage, sketching, model-making, painting, and the application of architectural scale. Open to non-majors.

This course will focus on methodology and practice of creative movement and drama for children ages 3 to 6 (preschool and kindergarten). Students will become familiar with the use of creative movement, mime, improvisation, story dramatization, storytelling, puppetry and use of multisensory stimuli and learn how to adapt activities for children with special needs. Emphasis will be on the application of these techniques to language development, social learning, concept formation, emotional development, and creativity. Resources will include multiethnic themes, stories, and folklore.

This course focuses on methodology and practice of educational drama applied to multidisciplinary learning within the first through sixth grade curricula. Students will be introduced to theme and story based improvisation, story dramatization, role play, and teacher-in-role strategies, and learn how to adapt activities for children with special needs. Curricular areas include language arts, social studies, science, and math, with additional focus on examining emotional development, and creativity. Current trends in assessment of drama will also be explored. Resources will include multiethnic themes, stories, and folklore.

This course focuses on methodology and practice of educational drama applied to multidisciplinary learning within the sixth through twelfth grade curricula. Students explore the use of theme and literature based improvisation, role play, and teacher-in-role strategies applied primarily to language arts and social studies, including sociology, history, government, and current events. Additional emphasis will be placed on examining emotional development and creativity. Resources will include multiethnic themes, stories, and folklore.

This course will begin with a review of the history, influences, and development of theatre for young audiences in the twentieth century. Particular emphasis will be placed on examining current trends in theatre for youth including; standards for professional theatre, standards for in-school theatre programs, dramatic literature, and theatre-in-education. In addition to readings from text: Children's Theatre, Children and Youth by Jed H. Davis and Mary Jane Evans, students will read selected plays from Dramatic Literature for Children: A century in Review by Roger L. Bedard, and Spit in One Hand, Wish in the Other: Six Plays by Suzan Zeder for Youth Audiences, by Susan Pearson-Davis. Student will attend theatre performances in the Washington, D.C. area.

This experimental course introduces students to the fundamentals of theatre directing and allows them--through discussions, readings, exercises, and various projects--to explore multiple forms of expression integral to the director's imagination and toolbox. Open to non-majors.

This follow-up course to THE 470, 472 and 474 is designed to give students professional on-site experience and training with deaf and hard of hearing children and children who have special educational needs. Students will meet with classroom teachers and prepare age appropriate drama lessons that support classroom long and short term objectives. Students will work in at least two different classrooms during the semester.

This course adopts a diverse and flexible approach to subject matter as a means to offer students opportunities to pursue specialized areas of performing arts production, research, and/or scholarship. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, provided that the topics differ. Open to non-majors.

A project in the field of the student's special interest, involving reading, research, discussion, and/or lab work. Title indicating content must be available at registration.

Program Outcomes

Students are expected to be fluent in the methodologies of creating artistic works and scholarly documents, and acquire the ability to integrate both methods as ways of knowing.


Students are expected to develop a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge base that may be applied to their individual creative and scholarly work.


Based on a common performance vocabulary drawn from written, visual, and physical texts, students are expected to be proficient in the artistic and scholarly processes, as well as gain the ability to reflect upon their work in an engaging, artistic, and constructive way.


Students are expected to critically, creatively, and objectively apply concepts, theories, and methodologies to a myriad of issues encountered in current and future academic, personal, and professional contexts


While in the process of creating artistic products, students are expected to demonstrate an ability to work in a positive, constructive, and compromising manner with artists and/or other students of various artistic disciplines.


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B.A. in Theatre Arts: Production/Performance

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