The BA major in Theatre and Performance is designed for intellectually curious, adventurous, and bold theatre makers and thinkers.

The program provides a solid liberal arts education in the theatre, combining academic scholarship and artistic practice, with particular emphasis on theatre as a forum for collaboration, experimentation, and social engagement.

Academic Excellence

Students in Theatre and Performance engage equally in “thinking” and “doing,” with foundational courses in theatre history and dramatic literature, electives in multiple theatrical cultures and innovative modes of creation, and practical courses in the art of making theatre. Majors have numerous opportunities to gain experience in a variety of creative roles, including acting, design, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting, production, and stage management. They are also encouraged to enhance their education with courses in disciplines across the college, as well as in study abroad programs.

Artistic Exploration

The BA in Theatre and Performance produces a vibrant theatre season, consisting of professionally directed Mainstage productions, focusing on new and innovative plays, as well as student-created projects that have run the gamut from devised ensemble pieces to solo performances to reinterpreted classics. The new and state-of-the-art Center for Media, Film, and Theatre (CMFT), with two flexible black box spaces, is the principal venue for the program’s performances. Whether witnessing world-renowned performers at the Performing Arts Center, learning from invited guest artists, or taking sponsored trips to such venues as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Playwright’s Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, and Theatre for a New Audience, students will experience the best of contemporary theatre–and participate in creating the theatre of the future.

Social Engagement

The BA Program in Theatre and Performance is designed for students who understand theatre as a means of engaging with the world, and they are encouraged to pursue projects that express their own perspectives and concerns.  In Applied Theatre, students have further opportunities to engage in social justice movements through the art of theatre. Graduates of the program, whether working in the professional theatre, education, or other fields, bring their experience of creativity, collaboration, and community into their careers.

Please note: Admission to the Theatre and Performance BA program is separate from and has no bearing on admission to the Acting BFA program.

Updated 9.22.21


In addition to meeting General Education requirements, and all other degree requirements, including Senior Project, all theatre and performance majors must meet the following major requirements (54-66 credits).

Beginning with the class entering in Fall 2023, the Theatre and Performance major requires a Concentration to be declared no later than the fourth semester. 

Students who declare this major must earn a grade of C or higher in all courses required for the major, excluding the senior project. To progress in the major, students who do not meet this minimum grade standard must repeat the course(s).

Six foundation courses: 18 credits

  • THP 2020/Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies: 3 credits
  • THP 2200/Theatre and Performance Production: 2 credits*
  • THP 2205/Shakespeare Then and Now: 3 credits
  • THP 2885/Theatre Histories I: 3 credits
  • THP 2890/Theatre Histories II: 3 credits
  • THP 2895/Production Practicum: 4 credits

*THP 2200 is a 1-credit course that must be taken twice (2 credits total). Transfer students need to take it only one time (1 credit).

Five elective courses: 16–20 credits

Students choose five electives in consultation with their faculty advisor. Independent studies and internships cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. The remaining three must include:

  • One upper level (3000-4000) THP elective

Synthesis courses: 12 credits

  • THP 3890/Junior Seminar: 4 credits
  • SPJ 4990/Senior Project I: 4 credits
  • SPJ 4991/Senior Project II: 4 credits

Students normally take the junior seminar (THP 3890) in the spring of their junior year, during which they develop and submit their senior project proposal for approval. The senior project is completed during the fall and spring of the senior year.

Internships and study abroad are highly recommended. Courses in other disciplines (outside the major) may count toward requirements for the major if approved in advance by the department chair.

Transfer students may meet some requirements for the major with courses taken elsewhere, subject to approval by the department chair and the registrar.

Concentrations and Senior Projects

Theatre and Performance majors must declare one of the following concentrations prior to enrolling in Junior Seminar. Each concentration requires particular courses, and the declared concentration will determine the nature of the student’s senior project. The number of students pursuing a particular concentration may be limited, and is subject to approval by the Theatre and Performance faculty. The concentration-specific requirements listed here should be completed prior to enrolling in Senior Project I, unless specified otherwise. Students should consult closely with their faculty advisor every semester to ensure that these courses have been completed successfully by the end of the junior year.

 The senior project in Theatre and Performance is a rigorous project which requires research and writing, regardless of concentration. All concentrations except Theatre History/Theory/Criticism require the execution of a creative project (such as the performance of a production or the writing of a script) as well as the following scholarly components: a statement of artistic aims, a contextual research essay, and a technical essay evaluating the process and results of the creative project. The concentration in Theatre History/Theory/Criticism does not require a creative component, and consists solely of a scholarly project.

In most cases, students must receive formal faculty approval of their specific senior project proposal by the end of the Junior Seminar. Acceptance of proposals is not automatic. It is dependent on adequate student preparation and fulfillment of required courses, as well as faculty availability and expertise. Students may be asked to submit an alternate proposal or take additional courses before proceeding.

Advanced students who plan to explore the intersections of two or more areas in their senior project should consult with their faculty advisor well in advance to shape an acceptable course of study and senior project.


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Minor requirements:

The minor in theatre and performance provides students with the opportunity to pursue an interest in the discipline without committing to the full array of requirements for the major.

Students interested in the minor should consult with a member of the theatre and performance faculty, then submit a completed Application for a Program of Minor Study. Upon admission to the minor, the student will be assigned a minor advisor from the theatre and performance faculty.

Academic Requirements for the Minor in Theatre and Performance

Five courses, to include: 

  • Two of the following lower-level foundation courses:
    • THP 2020/Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies (3 credits)
    • THP 2050/Introduction to Applied Theatre (3 credits)
    • THP 2205/Shakespeare Then and Now (3 credits)
    • THP 2885/Theatre Histories I (3 credits)
    • THP 2890/Theatre Histories II (3 credits)
  • Three electives in theatre and performance
    • Two electives at any level (can include courses from the above lower level foundation list.)
    • One elective at the upper-level (3000+). Examples of courses include:
      • JOU 3780/Criticism/Reviewing Workshop
      • LIT3224/Shakespeare and Rebellion 
      • LIT3532/Body, Race and Performance
      • PHI3205/Shakespeare and Philosophy
      • PSW3155/The Art of Rewriting, Killing our Darlings
      • PSW3310/Book Writing, Story Structure in Musical Theatre
      • SCP3356/Theatre of the Oppressed, Process to Action
      • SPA3715/Modern Hispanic Theatre 



  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • MFA, Stanford University
    • PhD, Columbia University
  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
  • Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • BA, Yale University
  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    • BA, SUNY Buffalo
    • MA, Columbia University
  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    Assistant Production Manager and CMFT Shops Supervisor
  • Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • BFA, Howard University
    • MA, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • BA, Yale University
    • PhD, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Production Manager, Theater and Performance
    Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    • BA, Pomona College
    • MFA, Southern Methodist University
  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    Director of New Plays Now

    BS, New York University 

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance

    • MA, University of Texas, Dallas
    • MFA, Academy of Dramatic Arts, Charles University (Prague)
    • Advanced Master Artist, Czech Republic
    • MLS, Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven)
    • PhD, Academy of Dramatic Arts in Prague (DAMU)

  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    • BFA, Marymount Manhattan College
    • Directing program (three-year graduate-level fellowship), The Juilliard School
  • Lecturer of Acting
    Lecturer of Theatre and Performance (Part Time)
    • BA, Middlebury College
    • MFA, L’Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacque Lecoq
  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    • BFA, Purchase College, SUNY
  • Lecturer of Theatre and Performance
    • Ph.D. The Graduate Center, CUNY (Theatre and Performance)
    • M.Phil The Graduate Center, CUNY (Theatre and Performance)
    • MA New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (Performance Studies)
    • BA, Pace University (Theatre Directing and Anthropology)
  • Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • BA, UC Berkeley
    • MFA, University of Iowa
  • Lecturer, Theatre and Performance
    • MFA, Rutgers Mason Gross
    • BA Theatre and Performance, Purchase College
  • Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance
    • BA, Harvard University
    • MFA, New York University

Contributing Faculty

  • Professor of Acting
    • BA, Purchase College, SUNY
    • MFA, Southern Methodist University
  • Assistant Professor of Playwriting
    • BA, Goddard College
    • MFA, University of Southern California
  • Lecturer of Theatre Design/Technology
    • BA, University of California, San Diego
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts
    Director, Conservatory of Theatre Arts
    • AB, University of Chicago
    • MFA, Yale School of Drama
  • Lecturer of Acting
    • BFA, MFA, Purchase College, SUNY
  • Assistant Professor of Literature
    • BA, SUNY Buffalo
    • MA, University of Rochester
    • PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Associate Professor of Acting
    • BA, New York University
  • Lecturer of Theatre Design/Technology
    Production Manager, Conservatory of Theatre Arts
    • BA, San Francisco State University