Theatre Arts

Pamela McDaniel, Chair
mcdanielp@wcsu.edu
VPA 239A, Westside campus
(203) 837-8422
(203) 837-8912 (fax)

Karen Walsh, Department Secretary
walshk@wcsu.edu
VPA 239, Westside campus
(203) 837-8250
(203) 837-8912 (fax)

Faculty

P. McDaniel, Chair, Acting, Directing
F. Herbert, Technical Direction, Lighting, Playmaking with Children, Play Production
T. Howard, Musical Theatre
J. Johns-Lerner, Costume Technology
E. Popiel, Costume Design, Scenic Design, Scenic Art, Puppetry, Theatre Design Fundamentals
S. Trapani, Acting, Directing, Playmaking with Children, Devised Theatre, Theatre History

Adjunct Faculty

M. Bartoli, Acting, Voice and Diction
G. E. Burgess, Intro to Theatre Arts, Devised Theatre Workshop, Directing
S. Cally, Lighting Design
M. Chii, Set Design
T. Cuffari, Musical Direction
A. DePoto, Acting and Playmaking with Children, Directing
M. Dettmer, Costume Design
R. Ercole, Acting, Performance Techniques
K. Hansen, Production Lab Supervision
J. Hickok, Director
A. Jones, Director, Choreography
H. Kilik, Musical Direction, Vocal Coach
D. Lifton, Applied Voice
M. Lopez, Costume Design
E. Parkinson, Musical Theatre-Dance, Ballet, Choreography
B. Phelps, Costume Technology
S. Renninger, Theatre Arts Management
P. Ricciardi, Performance Techniques
J. Robinson, Applied Voice
P. Seixas, Set Design
T. Swetz, Technical Direction
I. Thelen, Costume Design

Overview

The Department of Theatre Arts provides a strong theoretical and practical approach to the study of the art and craft of theatre. Students who major in Theatre Arts prepare for graduate studies and/or careers directly related to performance, design/technology, management and dramaturgy. Students also combine theatre studies with other majors and/or minors such as Music, Art and Media, to enhance work opportunities within the entertainment industry.

In addition to its academic functions, the department serves the campus and community by offering diverse theatrical performances including musicals, traditional plays and plays for children.  Connections to the greater theatre community are promoted through sponsorship of professional training workshops and performances of guest artists.

Our proximity to New York City (one hour to mid-town Manhattan) gives us an opportunity to make excellent use of its vast resources. The theatre faculty maintains close ties with professional organizations, activities and research facilities within the area, and opportunities are regularly planned to introduce students to the professional environment.

Mission

The theatre department keeps consistent with the university’s mission to serve as an accessible and responsive intellectual resource for the people and institutions of Connecticut. The department provides a thorough, modern education in the theory, skills and technology of theatre production and performance that is tailored to the individual student’s background and career objectives.

The department believes in fostering a diverse student environment with an emphasis on professionalism and a commitment to excellence.

Objectives

To accomplish this mission the Department of Theatre Arts:

  • Offers its students the highest quality undergraduate programs in performance, theory, theatre technology and design by professors that have worked professionally in their field and maintain high academic credentials in their respective areas.
  • Emphasizes performance and production techniques, writing and theatre management throughout the undergraduate curriculum to develop students’ ability to understand and deliver appropriate performance and theoretical concepts and to apply and utilize these techniques in a professional setting.
  • Provides studio and theatrical experiences using public and classroom productions to entertain live audiences. Our season each year consists of two main stage productions, two large-scale family shows, studio productions, and a variety of workshops and readings which enhance the cultural environment of the university and its programs.
  • Organizes a residency of our students in New York for a week to perform off-Broadway, take workshops, visit network television and theatrical venues and meet theatre professionals.
  • Organizes opportunities for students to perform off-campus at such venues as the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (*note: Western will host this festival for 2017 & 2018).
  • Provides a personalized learning environment for students through faculty mentored undergraduate research/creative projects and internships.
  • Prepares students for graduate education in multiple areas of theatre arts and the entertainment industry.
  • Assists students in discerning appropriate careers through diligent advising.
  • Provides students with connections and references to professional organizations (such as USITT), internship programs and job placement opportunities.
  • Arranges for New York theatre professionals to travel to our campus to conduct workshops in all aspects of theatre training.
  • Provides and fosters the growth and development of faculty by encouraging research, attendance at professional meetings, publication and presentation of scholarly work and creative performance.
  • Collaborates with organizations and institutions in all areas of the entertainment industry within the tri-state area to support professional growth of faculty as well as internship opportunities for students.
  • Expresses its strong commitment to the community by collaborating with regional elementary, junior and senior high school educators to further our programs in children’s theatre.

Transfer Admissions

All students wishing to transfer into any degree program in theatre at WCSU must meet the criteria listed for each program, including those currently attending institutions holding articulation agreements with WCSU. All applicants will be assessed in the areas of their selected option for matriculation and appropriate prerequisite placement in courses within the major.

Transfer Review Process and Transfer Articulation Policy (TAP)

Western Connecticut State University, as part of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU), accepts credits for non-theatre courses as per the Transfer Articulation Policy for students with an earned Associates Degree. Information regarding this specific classification of transfer credits can be found at the CSCU website. For the 2016-2017 academic year there are no approved “pathways” for community college students to utilize TAP and seamlessly enter Western’s Department of Theatre Arts at the junior level.

Awarding of Credit

Credit Hour: A semester hour of credit is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks;
  2. Or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time;
  3. Or at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph 1 of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Learning Outcomes for General Education

As per NAST standards and the stated goals for this degree, students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with concentrations in Design Technology, Performance, Theatre Arts Management or Theatre Studies and in the Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre degree program are expected to demonstrate the following competencies upon graduation:

General Education prior to Fall 2016

  1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively, and to communicate with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
  2. An informed acquaintance with the mathematical and experimental methods of the physical and biological sciences, and with the main forms of analysis the historical and quantitative techniques needed for investigating the workings and developments of modern society.
  3. An ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.
  4. Understanding of, and experience in thinking about, moral and ethical problems.
  5. The ability to respect, understand, and evaluate work in a variety of disciplines.
  6. The capacity to explain and defend views effectively and rationally.
  7. Understanding of and experience in one or more art forms other than theatre.

General Education for new students starting Fall 2016

General Education at Western Connecticut State University combines course-based competencies with opportunities to explore a wide range of disciplines outside of a student’s major. The university has identified 10 competencies that support academic success and prepare students for life-long learning. There are shared learning outcomes for each competency, which are embedded in courses across the curriculum.

Competencies may be satisfied in the major, minor or any other area of interest. There are no rules about how many competencies can be satisfied in the major. The only rules are:

  • All competencies must be satisfied (as listed here).
  • All students must complete at least 40 credits outside of their major discipline.

With this approach, the university has created the opportunity for students to develop essential skills and habits of mind in disciplines where they are most engaged with the material. It is important that students explore ideas from several areas of curriculum outside their major, but without an arbitrary limit on that exploration.

DEGREE PROGRAMS IN THEATRE ARTS

BACHELOR OF ARTS
Theatre Arts with options in:
Design/Technology
Performance
Theatre Arts Management
Theatre Studies

BACHELOR OF ARTS
Musical Theatre

MINOR PROGRAM
Theatre Arts

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN THEATRE ARTS (B.A.)

This degree is appropriate for students who wish to study theatre within the broader context of a liberal arts education and to emphasize areas of concentration such as performance, design/technology, theatre arts management or drama studies.  Students are encouraged to explore breadth and variety in their educational pursuits to enhance their understanding of the world around them and to give them greater career versatility as a graduate.

  1. To develop understanding and practice of theatre arts by focusing on the verbal, physical, visual and research aspects of the craft.
  2. To understand script analysis in order to develop an understanding of the relationship of production process to the period and style, content and structure of a script.
  3. To provide exposure to a wide variety of theatre repertory through the study of the history of theatre, its major dramatists, attending performances, and through the production of a variety of theatre works.
  4. To prepare students for entry-level positions in theatre performance, design and/or technology, theatre arts management and other entertainment industry-related fields, as well as, for continuation with graduate studies, and/or teaching.
  5. To encourage students to explore breadth and variety in their educational pursuits to enhance their understanding of the world around them and to give them greater career versatility as a post-graduate.

Requirements:

Students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below by option and additional free electives to total a minimum of 120 semester hours, including foreign language and exercise science.

Student Standing

Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0, with 2.5 in courses used to satisfy major requirements. Courses with grades lower than “C” will not be accepted as meeting the requirements for the major.

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Major Core Requirements (37 SH):

THR 100 Introduction to Theatre Production Lab (FY)
THR 181 Acting I: An Introduction
THR 182 Technical theatre I
THR 202 Technical theatre II
THR 279 History of theatre
THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Art and Craft
THR 284 Costume Technology
THR 289 Playmaking with Children or THR 390 Play Production
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab –– (1 SH for 7 semesters)
THR 386 Directing I
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop
THR 490 Senior Portfolio –– Theatre Arts

Options (select one) –– Required in addition to general education and theatre arts core.

Design/Technical Option (15 SH)

THR 125 Theatre Design Fundamentals
THR 304 Computer Drafting
THR 383 Methods of Scenic Art and Craft (THR 283 used in the core)
THR 383 Fundamentals of Stage Lighting
Design/Tech Electives: (select 1)
COM 146 Basic Video Production
ART 141 Drawing I
THR 297 Cooperative Education
THR 302 Costume Design
THR 402 Special Topics in Design/Tech

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Writing placement course Math placement course
THR 125 Fund of Design for THR ART 100 or 101
THR 182 Tech I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 304 Computer Drafting
THR 100 Intro Production Lab FY  THR 383 Methods of Scenic Art & Craft
1 Gen Ed course 1 Gen Ed course

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 202 Technical Theatre II THR 289 Playmaking with Children or THR 390 Play Production
THR 279 Theatre History THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 386 Lighting
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI  THR 284 Costume Technology
2 Gen Ed courses  ART 100 or 101
 1 Gen Ed course

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 386 Lighting
Design/Tech option elective Design/Tech option elective
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
1 elective course THR 382 Directing I
2 Gen Ed courses 2 Gen Ed courses

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 490 Senior Portfolio 4 elective courses
Design/Tech option elective
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
3 elective courses

Theatre Studies Option (15 SH)

THR/WRT 244W Playwriting
HR 363 Performing Shakespeare
Theatre Studies Electives:
9 SH in Theatre with 6 SH at the 200-level or higher

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Writing placement course Math placement course
THR 100 Theatre Production Lab FY THR 182 Tech Theatre II THR 284 Costume Technology
THR 181 Acting I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
2 Gen Ed courses THR 283 Stage Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Arts & Crafts
2 Gen Ed courses

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 202 Tech II THR 289 Playmaking with Children or THR 390 Play Production
THR 279 Theatre History THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab ENG 307W Shakespeare I
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
2 Gen Ed courses

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 363 Performing Shakespeare THR 382 Directing I
1 Theatre Studies Elective THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop 1 Theatre Studies Elective
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 1 elective course
2 Gen Ed courses 2 Gen Ed courses

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 490 Senior Portfolio 4 elective courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
3 elective courses

Performance Option (15 SH)

THR 150 Performance Techniques
THR 260 Voice and Diction
THR 281 Acting II: Scene Study
THR 388 Acting III: Period Styles
Performance Elective: (select one)
THR 289 Children’s Theatre Practicum
THR 252 Acting for the Camera
THR 363 Performing Shakespeare
THR 389 Auditioning Techniques
THR 402 Special Topics in Theatre Arts

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Writing placement course Math placement course
THR 150 Performing Techniques THR 260 Voice and Diction
THR 181 Acting I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 Gen Ed courses
THR 182 Tech Theatre I or THR 284 Costume Technology THR 182 Tech Theatre I or THR 284 Costume Technology
1 Gen Ed courses

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 202 Tech Theatre II THR 281  Acting II
THR 279 Theatre History THR 201 Playmaking with Children or THR 390 Play Production
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI HPX 150 Dance Workshop
2 Gen Ed courses  2 Gen Ed courses

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 382 Directing I THR 388 Acting III
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Arts & Crafts
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
1 elective course 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
1 Gen Ed course

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 490 Senior Portfolio 4 elective courses
Performance option elective
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
2 elective courses

Theatre Arts Management Option (15 SH)

THR 110 Theatre Arts Management
THR 210 Stage Management
MGT 250 Organizational Behavior
MKT 200 Principles of Marketing or MIS 260 Information Systems Concepts
Theatre Arts Management Electives: (select 1)
ACC 201 Financial Accounting
MGT 251 Human Resources Management
THR 297 Cooperative Education
MKT 310 Consumer Behavior
MKT 315 Advertising and Integrative Marketing
COM 362 Organizational Communication
WRT 245W Technical Writing
THR 402 Special Topics in Theatre

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Writing placement course Math placement course
THR 181 Acting I THR 110 Theatre Management or THR 210 Stage Management
THR 182 Tech I or THR 284 Costume Technology THR 182 Tech I or THR 284 Costume Technology
THR 100 Theatre Production Lab FY THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
2 Gen Ed courses PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
1 Gen Ed Course

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 202 Technical Theatre II THR 110 Theatre Management or THR 210 Stage Management
THR 279 Theatre History THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 201 Playmaking with Children or THR 390 Play Production MGTHUM 102 Art & Experience or ART 206 Philosophy of Art
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab MGT 250 Organizational Behavior
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI  MIS 260 Info sys Concepts or MKT 200 Prin of Marketing
1 Gen Ed course  1 Gen Ed course

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Arts & Crafts THR 386 Directing I
THR Management Option Elective THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop 2 elective courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 Gen Ed courses
2 Gen Ed courses

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 490 Senior Portfolio 4 elective courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
3 elective courses

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MUSICAL THEATRE (B.A.)

This degree offers students knowledge of and training in all aspects of musical theatre within a liberal arts context in order to compete for employment opportunities in the entertainment industry where musical talent is utilized. Students will develop the following skills:

  1. Vocal production and techniques sufficient to present complete roles in full productions.
  2. Vocal interpretation and role preparation skills that enable understanding and performance of roles in a wide variety of styles and formats.
  3. Musicianship, keyboard competency, and analytic skills.
  4. Theatre skills, acting competence, script analysis, stage movement, voice and diction for the actor, auditioning techniques and related physical skills such as modern dance, ballet and jazz.
  5. Understanding of basic production elements such as make-up, costume, sets and props, and lighting.
  6. Knowledge of the musical theatre canon, along with its history and development within the theatre.
  7. Portfolio preparation of musical and non-musical material for auditions and/or graduate school.

Admission Auditions for Musical Theatre Degree Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre degree is a specialized degree offered in collaboration with the Department of Music. Set within a liberal arts context, this degree provides students with knowledge of, and training in, all aspects of musical theatre in order to compete for employment opportunities in the entertainment industry where musical theatre is utilized.  Students will develop the following skills:

  1. Vocal production and techniques sufficient to present complete roles in full productions.
  2. Vocal interpretation and role preparation skills that enable understanding and performance of roles in a wide variety of styles and formats.
  3. Musicianship, keyboard competency, and analytic skills.
  4. Theatrical skills, acting competence, script analysis, stage movement, voice and diction for the actor, auditioning techniques, and related physical skills such as modern dance, ballet, and jazz.
  5. Understanding of basic production elements such as make-up, costume, sets and props, and lighting.
  6. Knowledge of the musical theatre canon, along with its history and development within the theatre.
  7. Portfolio preparation of musical and non-musical material for auditions and/or graduate school.

Students wishing to pursue a degree in Musical theatre in the Department of theatre Arts must adhere to the following criteria for admission:

  1. Fulfill general admission guidelines found in this catalog for the university, school and department.
  2. Perform and pass an audition, in person, for members of the faculty.  The student, through this audition, must exhibit the standards and skill sets required for entry into the Musical Theatre program, including:
      1. The ability to perform a ½ minute to 1 minute monologue portraying a character close to the age of the individual auditioning.
      2. The ability to learn and perform a short dance phrase that demonstrates movement skills.
      3. To receive a passing score on a sight-singing/ear-training examination.
      4. To take a music theory examination. (This examination is used for placement only.)
      5. The ability to accurately perform with accompaniment 16 bars of an up-tempo and 16 bars of a ballad vocal selections.

Information regarding audition dates and specific audition requirements can be found online or by contacting the Department of Theatre Arts at (203) 837-8250.

Requirements:

Students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below by option and additional free electives to total a minimum of 120 semester hours, including foreign language and exercise science.

Student Standing

Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.0, with 2.5 in courses used to satisfy major requirements. Courses with grades lower than “C” will not be accepted as meeting the requirements for the major.

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Major Core Requirements (60 SH):

THR 100 Introduction to Theatre Production Lab FY
THR 103 Ballet Fundamentals for Musical Theatre
THR 150 Performance Techniques: Integration of Voice & Movement
THR 171 Musical Theatre Workshop
THR 181 Acting I:  Character Study
THR 182 Technical Theatre I
THR 203 Dance for Musical Theatre I
THR 260 Voice and Diction
THR 279 History of the theatre
THR 281 Acting II: Scene Study
THR 284 Costume Technology
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab (1 SH for 4 semesters)
THR 303 Dance for Musical Theatre II
THR 370 Cabaret Performance
THR 372 Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop
THR 388 Acting III: Period Styles
THR 490 Senior Portfolio
MUS 108 Music Theory I
MUS 182/183 Applied Voice (1 SH for 6 semesters)
MUS 114/155 Sightsinging/Eartraining I and II
MUS 125/126 Keyboard Competency I and II
Choose 3 SH from the following:
THR 165 Stage Makeup
THR 301 Singing and Dancing for Musical Theatre
THR 370 Cabaret Performance
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop
THR 389 Auditioning Techniques
THR 390 Play Production
THR 402 Special Topics in Theatre Arts

Musical Theatre Recommended Course Sequence:

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Writing placement course Math placement course
THR 171 Musical Theatre Workshop THR 150 Performance Techniques
THR 181 Acting I MUS 183U Applied Voice
THR 103 Ballet Fundamentals THR 182 Tech II or THR 284
MUS 182U Applied Voice THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 100 Into to Theatre Production Lab FY 2 Gen Ed courses
1 Gen Ed course

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
MUS 108 Music Theory MUS 126 Keyboard Competency
MUS 125 Keyboard Competency MUS 183U Applied Voice
MUS 182U Applied Voice ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI
THR 279 Theatre History THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 281 Acting II
THR 260 Voice and Diction THR 182 or THR 284
THR 203 Dance for MT I  2 Gen Ed courses

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
MUS 114 Sight/ear training I MUS 115 Sight/ear training II
MUS 182U Applied Voice MUS 183U Applied Voice
THR 303 Dance for MT II THR 372 Adv MT Workshop
THR 388 Acting III Musical Theatre Elective
2 to 3 Gen Ed courses 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 490 Senior Portfolio 4 elective courses
Performance elective
3 electives courses

Minor in Theatre (18 S.H.)

Eighteen semester hours in theatre which must include at least 12 semester hours above the 100-level and at least 3 semesters of THR 300. Emphasis must be on Theatre Arts.

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