In addition to meeting general degree requirements, all theatre and performance majors must meet the following requirements (45–49 credits).

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

  1. THP 2020/Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies: 3 credits
  2. THP 2200/Theatre and Performance Production: 2 credits*
  3. THP 2205/Shakespeare Then and Now: 3 credits
  4. THP 2885/Theatre Histories I: 3 credits
  5. THP 2890/Theatre Histories II: 3 credits
  6. 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. At least three of these electives must be upper level (3000 or 4000), including at least one in dramatic literature or theory. In most cases, courses taken to fulfill this upper-level electives requirement also fulfill the senior project prerequisites.

Synthesis courses: 11 credits

  • THP 3890/Junior Seminar: 3 credits
  • SPJ 4990/Senior Project I: 4 credits
  • SPJ 4991/Senior Project II: 4 credits

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 faculty coordinator.

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

Junior Seminar and Senior Project

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 normally completed during the fall and spring of the senior year in one of the following areas (or a combination of these areas):

  • Directing
  • Writing for the stage or performance composition
  • Production (including stage managing or designing and executing the design for a production)
  • Performance practice (including acting a major role in a faculty-supervised student production or a faculty-directed production)
  • Alternative performance practices (e.g., solo or devised performance)
  • Theatre history, theory, or criticism (an academic essay)
  • Dramaturgy

All creative senior projects (in acting, directing, solo performance, design and writing for the stage) require a statement of artistic aims, a contextual research essay, and technical essay evaluating the process and results of the creative project.

Specific elective courses are prerequisites for each of these types of senior projects, as listed below. Students should consult closely with their faculty advisor to ensure that these courses have been completed by the end of the junior year.

In most cases, students must receive formal approval of their 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. The number of students pursuing a particular type of senior project may be limited, subject to approval by the theatre and performance faculty.

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.

  The following elective courses are prerequisites for (or strongly recommended prior to) the senior project. In most cases, courses taken to fulfill the upper-level electives requirement for the major also fulfill these senior project prerequisites.

Prerequisites (12 credits):
  1. THP 3680/Directing I (4 credits)
  2. THP 3681/Directing II (4 credits)
  3. Choose (1) of the following
    THP 3610/Contemporary Theatre (4 credits)
    THP 3640/Theatre Design for Directors (4 credits)​
    THP 3730/Collaborative Directing and Devising (3 credits)
    THP 3735/Embodied Images: Directing as Composition (4 credits)
    THP 4150/Directing Chekhov (4 credits)

Internship, dramaturge, or assistant director experience with productions in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts (junior or senior year)

Writing for the stage:
Prerequisites (8 credits):
  1. PSW 1000/Playwriting I (4 credits)
  2. PSW 2010/Playwriting II (4 credits)
    or an alternative, approved course in performance composition
Prerequisites (10 credits):
  1. THP 2800/Managing the Production (3 credits)
  2. THP 3640/Theatre Design for Directors (4 credits)
  3. An additional design or management course (3 credits) †
† Students who successfully complete THP 2895 and 3640 may be allowed to enroll in one or more of the following theatre design/technology courses:
TDT 2080/Theatre Technology I
TDT 2200/Scene Design I
TDT 2300/Costume Design I
TDT 2400/Lighting Design I
† Students who successfully complete THP 2800 may be allowed to enroll in the following theatre design/technology course:
TDT 2600/Introduction to Stage Management
Performance practice:
Prerequisites (15 credits):
  1. ACT 1055/Fundamentals of Acting (3 credits)
  2. THP 2500/Movement for Performers I (2 credits)
  3. THP 3050/Voice and Speech Essentials (3 credits)
  4. THP 3070/Acting Scene Study (3 credits)
  5. One course in performance composition, directing, or writing for the stage (4 credits)
Alternative performance practices:
Prerequisites (11–12 credits):
  1. ACT 1055/Fundamentals of Acting (3 credits)
  2. THP 2500/Movement for Performers I (2 credits)
  3. THP 3050/Voice and Speech Essentials (3 credits)
  4. THP —/One alternative performance-practices course in performance composition; for example:
    THP 3510/Solo Performance: Performing the Self in Society (4 credits) or
    THP 3685/Ensemble Creation (3 credits)
Theatre history, theory, or criticism:
Prerequisites (8 credits):
  1. THP 3250/Theories of Drama and Performance (4 credits)
  2. An upper-level course in dramatic literature (4 credits)
Students who are planning a senior project in performance studies should consult with their faculty advisor about additional course options.
Prerequisites (8 credits):
  1. THP 3000/Dramaturgy (4 credits)
  2. THP 3500/Documentary Theatre: Performing Real Life (4 credits) or
    PSW 1000/Playwriting I (4 credits) or THP 3680/Directing I (4 credits)

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