The Department of Theatre Arts keeps consistent with the university’s mission to serve 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.
To accomplish this mission the Department of Theatre Arts:
- Offers its students the highest quality undergraduate programs in performance, musical theatre, 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 children’s shows, studio productions, and a variety of workshops and readings which enhance the cultural environment of the university and its programs.
- Organizes a residency for 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 Edinburgh International Theatre Festival in Scotland and at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
- 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 multiple 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 various 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.
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 pre-requisite placement in courses within the major.
DEGREE PROGRAMS IN THEATRE ARTS
BACHELOR OF ARTS
Theatre Arts with Options in:
Theatre Arts Management
BACHELOR OF FINE 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. Specific goals related to the B.A. in Theatre Arts include:
- To develop understanding and practice of theatre arts by focusing on the verbal, physical, visual and research aspects of the craft.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MUSICAL THEATRE (B.F.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:
- Vocal production and techniques sufficient to present complete roles in full productions.
- Vocal interpretation and role preparation skills that enable understanding and performance of roles in a wide variety of styles and formats.
- Musicianship, keyboard competency, and analytic skills.
- 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.
- Understanding of basic production elements such as make-up, costume, sets and props, and lighting.
- Knowledge of the musical theatre canon, along with its history and development within the theatre.
- Portfolio preparation of musical and non-musical material for auditions and/or graduate school.
For further information, see the university Undergraduate Catalog.
Pam McDaniel, Chair
Department of Theatre Arts