The following list of courses represents current or recent course offerings. See the course catalog for updated information.

Theatre Design

Theatre Company

Students enrolled in this course will form a company of artists who will support departmental productions by working six hours per week in the areas of scenery, costumes, lighting, or sound. Additionally, students will fulfill back stage crew or front of house management and ushering assignments; and serve as assistant directors, designers, shop managers, and stage managers. Students will also participate in a specified number of workshops, master classes, dramatic literature lecture/discussions, and attend professional and educational performances. The final two semesters of Theatre Company must occur during their senior year.

Design Fundamentals

This beginning design course provides students the opportunity to explore the major areas of design for theatrical production: costume, scenery/props, sound and lighting. Students will be exposed to theatrical drawing, rendering, script analysis and collaboration. The format of this class will vary from discussion to lecture to group activities.  This course is open to only first year students and sophomores. Juniors and seniors may register with the permission of the instructor.

Theatre Laboratory

This course is designed to complement Theatre Company by providing a laboratory setting for students to learn and develop their skills in technical theatre which in turn will support the production component of the curriculum. 

Theatre Production Practicum

One credit is granted for assistant stage management and design positions for main-stage theatre productions. This course may be repeated for up to four credits. Prerequisite: Must be chosen for an assistant stage management or design position for the production season. For non-major students only.

Makeup Design

Design and practice in the art of stage, screen and print makeup. The course focuses on development of skills for the practicing theatre artist. 

Theatre ARts Management

Studies of the managerial aspects of creating, producing and promoting both commercial and non-profit theatre (educational, community and professional). 

Costume Design

A study of the art and practice of theatrical costume design. Emphasis will be placed on the costume designer’s requirements for pre-production. Topics covered include analysis, research, basic figure proportion, color theory, sketching, swatching and rendering. Students will present design concepts through a series of renderings for selected periods and plays.

Scenic Design

A study of the art and practice of theatrical scenic design. The focus of the course will be on the traditional approaches to scenic design and a study of the elements of composition as they apply to scenery. Students will work with different theatrical styles and settings and will present design concepts through painted renderings and/or models as well as draftings. 

Theatre Sustainability

Using the black-box space Heather Hall as a model, this course introduces students to a variety of strategies that seek to lessen the wasteful material nature often associated with traditional theatre production. Electrical energy consumption and renewable energy production are major facets of study; however, scenery, properties, costumes, performance and the business aspects of theatre production will also be explored. Also Environmental Studies 49-814.

Lighting Design

An introductory study of the art and practice of lighting design. Students are introduced to the unique process via hands-on lighting projects in the department’s performance spaces. Design projects include recorded observations of natural and artificial lighting sources followed by the study and research of a selected classic painting. Related topics include additive color theory, lighting in a variety of theatrical spaces, and working with incandescent and LED fixtures.

Audio Technology and Design

An introductory study of theatre sound systems and design for theatrical performance. Using the systems in the Department’s performance spaces, students will become familiar with mixers, effects processors, amplification and microphone technology. Students will experience the design process and gain hands-on experience as assistant designers, audio engineers and programmer/operators in plays produced by the Department. 

Scenic Elements and Stage Properties

This course specializes in the area of scenic building and properties production for the stage. Areas covered include basic sewing for the stage and more advanced prop fabrication. From initial script analysis for props, to working with designers, directors, stage management and prop assistants, the student will explore ways to build/buy/borrow or find the props best suited to the production.

Scene Painting

A practical activity-based and lecture course which specializes in the study of various paint finishes and techniques that are applied to stage scenery. When working on class assignments, students will have the opportunity to experiment with paint, binders, tools and techniques. The techniques covered serve as a foundation for further study and exploration in the art of scene painting. 

Stage Management for the theatre

An introduction to stage management for academic and professional theatre. This project-oriented course provides students with a survey of techniques and strategies aimed at modeling successful stage management. Students will gain hands-on experience by working in stage management in the Department’s performance spaces.

Theatre Performance

Voice and Movement

This is a practical, activity-based course designed to help students speak and move with ease and freedom. Voice work will focus on improving resonance and enunciation and will include work on stage dialects. Movement work will focus on body alignment and spatial awareness.

Fundamentals of Acting

This course is designed to introduce students to the processes of acting, including developing clear characters, analyzing scripts, exploring dramatic action and conflict and making bold choices in the development of scenes and monologues. Students will work on basic acting skills including movement, voice, and improvisation. Substantial written and performance work is required.

Theatre Performance Practicum

Main-stage productions are open to all University students. One credit is granted for each production. This course may be repeated for up to four credits. Prerequisite: Must be cast in a role in a main-stage production. For non-major students only.

Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a body alignment and movement technique that focuses on alignment of the spine and skeleton. When the spine and skeleton come into alignment, muscles soften, tension releases, coordination improves, and the body works more efficiently. This activity-based course focuses on group and private work with the instructor and is particularly appropriate for Theatre and Music students. May be repeated for credit.

Theatre Dance

Preparation and execution of basic movement exercises, jazz, tap and modern dance and their application to choreography for musical theatre. Also Dance 79-414.

Acting: Realism

This course investigates the analysis and performance of scenes from realistic plays Students engage in activities designed to explore advanced techniques for personalizing and physicalizing characters, playing actions and objectives, and engaging in rigorous script analysis

Departures From Realism

Study and practice of 20th and 21st-century acting techniques through research, analysis work and performance.

Musical Theatre Workshop

This course focuses on the intensive practical aspects of scene-and-song work in the repertory of popular musical theatre genres, paying particular attention to the skills needed as an actor to interpret lyrics and text within the structure of a musical play. While this course focuses on the performative elements of acting in a musical, considerable reading and critical analysis will also be required. May be repeated for credit.

Theatre for Social Change: Practice and Performance

This course explores theatre as a political, activist, problem solving, educational and aesthetic tool. Students will learn to develop interactive performances that can be used to effect social change in a wide variety of community settings.

Feminism and Performance

A course focusing on the ways culture has constructed the performance of gender on stage, in every-day life and in the media. Also Communication Studies 75-524 and Feminist Studies 04-724. (FAP) (WA)

Acting: Poetic Language

This course explores acting techniques for developing performances from texts that feature poetic language. Activities include voice and language, movement and manners and dialect work. Rigorous character and scene analysis and historical research are required.

Directing for the Theatre

Principles and practices of directing. Includes detailed analysis of the playscript and directing of laboratory or workshop productions.

Advanced Directing

This course will explore how a director transforms personal vision into social and aesthetic meaning in a theatrical event. Through lecture, discussion and in-class exercises, the course will examine how a director uses an in-depth approach to script analysis with a special emphasis on the directors use of theatrical space and conventions to project a point of view. Prerequisite: Theatre 73-894

Theatre History and Literature

Theatre Appreciation

An introduction to the various elements that contribute to the development of theatre as a specialized art form, with particular emphasis placed on the role of theatre as an artistic and humanizing experience. Topics covered include historical and cultural influences, the nature and variety of dramatic texts, the nature of acting, the functions of theatrical design and the integration of theatrical aesthetics in performance. Several plays illustrating the a…

Theatre Arts in London

A theoretical and experiential survey of the art of the theatre, its past and present, with an emphasis on the role of theatre within the society and the techniques employed to achieve its purpose. Emphasis will be upon attending performances in London. This course is taught by faculty from Goldsmith College, University of London. An additional fee is levied to pay for admission to theatre performances. (Fall in London Program only)

Introduction to Play Analysis

A course exploring various critical approaches to Western written texts intended for the stage. The selection of plays will help students develop the ability to analyze and evaluate a variety of scripts in terms of form ,structure, tone and style. Students will be introduced to some of the most important realistic plays of the twentieth century while also exploring texts that depart from realism.

Theatre History

A course exploring Western theatre and drama in a variety of periods. Theatre performances and plays will be analyzed as functions of different fields of influence (economic realities of production and attendance; politics and power relations within and outside the theatre; social norms regarding gender, race, ethnicity, religion, family, etc; aesthetic values of the time). In addition, the course is meant to introduce students to methods of critical research and issues of historiography.

East Meets West: Interculturalism and Theatre

An investigation of theatrical interculturalism in a world-wide context. This course examines the series of exchanges, imitations, misunderstandings, and betrayals that took place in theatre during the twentieth-century and the new forms produced at the intersection of cultures.


Theory and practices of playwriting. Includes the writing of scripts for theatre reading and production.


Fundamentals for the development of a dramaturgical sensibility in order to promote integration between theory (the knowledge of theatre history, dramatic literature, and criticism) and practice (the know-how and expertise needed to realize the potential of a play in a particular production). This course is a prerequisite for those students who intend to dramaturg for SSFA productions.

Costume History I

A survey of historic costume and fashion in the Western world from classical antiquity through the 18th century. This course focuses on the exploration of the relationship between social, political and cultural occurrences and fashion, art and clothing. The ability to identify historical periods by costume silhouette and major events will be acquired in addition to the procurement of a broad vocabulary of costume and fashion terminology.

Costume History II

A survey of historic costume and fashion in the Western world from the late 18th century through the present. This course focuses on the exploration of the relationship between social, political and cultural occurrences and fashion, art and clothing. The ability to identify historical periods by costume silhouette and major events will be acquired in addition to the procurement of a broad vocabulary of costume and fashion terminology. Special attention will be given to the late 20th century and the impact costume and fashion has on the student themselves.



A study of basic foot, arm and body position in ballet. The student is introduced to the barre for fundamental ballet exercises, followed by center practice and combination of dance steps.


Education in body movement through dance techniques designed to teach an understanding of rhythm and relaxation and a presentation of basic movement problems.


See Theatre 73-414


A study of jazz technique, free style movement, floor and barre work and combinations. The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a wider range of body movement and a creative means of expression for theatre dance.


An introduction to tap dance techniques, emphasizing the use of this dance in theatrical performance.