Department of Theatre Arts

http://www.towson.edu/theatre

OFFICE

Center for the Arts 3037, 410-704-2792
Fax: 410-704-3914
theatre@towson.edu

Programs Of The Department 

The study of theatre engages students in an exploration of the world from multiple perspectives, while developing their artistic skills and cultivating their capacities for collaboration, critical-thinking, creative problem-solving, and effective communication.

Courses for majors and minors provide a comprehensive study of the art form and advanced work in areas of artistic specialty. Students also learn theatre by doing theatre and gain practical experience through participation in faculty and guest directed productions, as well as student-generated projects, including performances created by students in our graduate program. Other curricular and extra-curricular activities involve students in the development of new work and engage them in life outside the university through community outreach projects and professional collaborations.

Coursework for the general university population uses the theory and practice of theatre to address the learning objectives of several core categories.  Auditions for productions are open to all undergraduate students.

The department offers the following undergraduate degree programs:

  • The B.F.A. in Acting provides rigorous preparation for graduate study or for entry-level opportunities in the acting profession. An audition/interview is required for entry into the acting program.
  • The B.A./B.S. in Theatre Arts contains two tracks:
    • The Design and Production track provides a broad foundation in all areas of theatre design and technical production, while preparing the student for graduate study or entry-level professional work in scenic, costume, lighting, sound or makeup design, or technical direction, construction and support. Undergraduate students often design faculty-directed productions or work in lead technical positions on them.
    • The Theatre Studies track integrates academic inquiry and performance exploration through a comprehensive study of the art of theatre in relations to multiple communities, from local to global. This program of study is well suited for students with interests in areas of theatre such as directing, dramaturgy, theatre administration, and educational outreach, among others.  
  • The minor in Theatre Arts allows students to complement another major or career path, or to explore an area of personal interest.

All degree programs in Theatre Arts are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Career Options for Theatre Arts Majors

Career opportunities in theatre include professional acting; directing; technical production; costume, makeup, lighting, and scenic design; stage management; dramaturgy; playwriting; education and outreach; and theatre administration. Graduates of the Department of Theatre Arts at Towson University work on stage and behind the scenes in every major theatre center in the country. Recent students have been accepted to respected theatre graduate programs across the nation.

The university’s undergraduate degrees in theatre also provide students with transferrable skills that will lead to success in any profession. Alumni of the department have put their theatre education to use in fields such as law, business, and education.

Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available for continuing students. These include named scholarships such as the Askew, the Charles S. Dutton, the Gillespie/Loeschke, the John Glover, the Audrey Herman, the Nina Hughes, the Walter F. Kramme, the Christopher Legg, the Steve Yeager and the Peter Wray scholarships. More information on scholarships is available at http://www.towson.edu/cofac/departments/theatre/resources/scholarships.html

Graduate Program 

Towson University's M.F.A. in Theatre Arts cultivates the self-generative artist through an interdisciplinary, process-oriented and collaborative experience. Every student will engage with a diverse range of practical approaches and theoretical perspectives in order to help develop an individual aesthetic that is expressed through the creation of new work.

The program is designed as an experimental, self-directed process that will challenge, expand and develop each participant's artistic vision. It is for artists who cannot be content working in a single discipline or in the traditional conservatory model. The program is dedicated to educating and invigorating world citizens of theatre who engage deeply in our local and global communities, and wish to combine the life of an artist with the skills and sensibilities of entrepreneurs and educators. For more information, see the TU ­Graduate Catalog, call 410-704-2791 or visit http://www.towson.edu/cofac/departments/theatre/gradtheatre/.

 

Minor In Theatre Arts 

Courses

THEA 100 INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE (3)

Theatrical experience through study of the various types, styles and production processes of the theatre. Theatre as a public art and its relationship to Western and other cultures. Core: Arts and Humanities.

THEA 101 ACTING I (3)

Development of imagination through improvisation, exercise, and simple scenes. GenEd I.E or Core: Creativity & Creative Development.

THEA 102 HONORS ACTIING I (3)

Development of imagination through improvisation, exercise, and simple scenes. Honors College course. Core: Creativity & Creative Development or GenEd I.E.

THEA 103 INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN THEATRE (3)

Theatrical experience through study of the various types, styles, and production processes of the theatre. Theatre as a public art and its relationship to our culture. GenEd II.B.1 or Core: The United States as a Nation.

THEA 105 MOVEMENT FOR THE ACTOR I (3)

Tension release, alignment, and physical characterization utilizing movement theories. Prerequisite: THEA 110 or consent of instructor.

THEA 109 ACTING I FOR DESIGN/PRODUCTION AND THEATRE STUDIES (3)

Introduction to acting skills. Basic performance vocabulary and fundamentals. Includes text work, improvisation and performance exercises. This course will also incorporate the elements of acting through the lens of the total theatre maker. Prerequisites: Major standing: Design/Production Track or Theatre Studies Track or consent of instructor.

THEA 110 ACTING I FOR BFA (3)

Introduction to acting skills. Basic performance vocabulary and fundamentals grounded in the language of Stanislavsky. Includes text work, improvisation, and performance exercises. Prerequisite: audition/placement into ACTG-BFA.

THEA 111 VOICE FOR THE ACTOR I (3)

Theory and practice in vocal production, application to the freeing, development, and strengthening of the voice. Prerequisite: THEA 110 or consent of instructor.

THEA 125 SCRIPT ANALYSIS (3)

Interpretation and analysis of playscripts as the basis for public performance, from the viewpoints of audience members and practitioners. Introduction to research methods for contemporary performance. GenEd I.B.

THEA 126 HONORS SCRIPT ANALYSIS (3)

Interpretation and analysis of playscripts as the basis for public performance, from the viewpoint of audience members and practitioners. Introduction to research methods for contemporary performance. Honors College course. GenEd I.B.

THEA 142 INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE DESIGN (3)

Creative aspects of theatrical design from concept to realization. GenEd I.E or Core: Creativity & Creative Development. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 201 SCENIC DESIGN I (3)

Influence of acting, directing, audience and aesthetics on the development of scenic design. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 202 ACTING II (3)

Technique and practice of scene study: analyzing a script, rehearsing a scene and playing an action. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: THEA 110, THEA 105 and THEA 111 or consent of instructor.

THEA 204 CREATING COMMUNITIES OF ACTION (3)

Explorations and exercises in structured and improisational theatre games to empower students as facilitators in a variety of fields to build classroom, work-related and community-based ensembles for enhanced learning and productivity outcomes. Class is repeatable for a maximum of six units. Prerequisite: Towson Seminar. Core: Creativity.

THEA 205 THEATRE GAMES (3)

Exercises in "game structures" to develop creativity, encourage work on personal acting techniques and free the actor from mechanical stage behavior. Prerequisite: THEA 101.

THEA 209 SOUND DESIGN (3)

Electronic and acoustic information and their relationship to theatre spaces and artistic applications.

THEA 210 AUDITION TECHNIQUE (3)

Selection, preparation, and presentation of audition pieces for stage, television, film and other media. Prerequisites: THEA 110, THEA 111 THEA 105, and consent of instructor.

THEA 211 HISTORY OF THEATRE AND DRAMA I (3)

Relationship of theatre and drama to other fine arts and humanistic studies from their origins to 1600. Prerequisite: THEA 125.

THEA 212 HISTORY OF THEATRE & DRAMA II (3)

Relationship of theatre and drama to other fine arts and humanistic studies from 1600 to 1850. Prerequisite: THEA 125.

THEA 213 HISTORY OF THEATRE AND DRAMA III (3)

Relationship of theatre and drama to other fine arts and humanistic studies from 1850 to the present. Prerequisite: THEA 125.

THEA 231 MIME AND PHYSICAL THEATRE TECHNIQUE (3)

Ensemble exercises and performance projects utilizing gesture, illusions, and walks. GenEd I.E.

THEA 242 COSTUME, DRESS AND SOCIETY (3)

A survey of history of dress and its relation to art, style, and society. Lab required. Core: Arts and Humanities or GenEd II.C.1.

THEA 245 MAKEUP DESIGN I (3)

Theories and techniques of designing stage makeup for a variety of characters and roles. Lab/Class fee will be assessed. Prerequisite: Theatre major/minor or consent of instructor.

THEA 251 STAGECRAFT I (3)

Production techniques, construction procedures, painting, props and lighting. Lab required.

THEA 253 COSTUME DESIGN I (3)

Design techniques, research, drawing, and painting. Examining the relationships between theme, character, stage picture, and production limitations. GenEd: I.E. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 255 LIGHTING DESIGN I (3)

Developing awareness of light and its application as a form of aesthetic expression. Lab required. Prerequisite: Theatre major or consent of instructor.

THEA 257 STAGE MANAGEMENT (3)

Theatrical production focusing on the duties and responsibilities of stage managers.

THEA 261 ACTING FOR MUSICAL THEATRE (3)

An introduction to the acting problems inherent in musical theatre performance. Theory and practice. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 271 SPECIAL TOPICS (3)

In-depth study of a selected area dependent upon faculty and student interest. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units provided a different topic is covered. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

THEA 301 TECHNIQUES OF COMEDY (3)

An introduction to the theories and uses of comedy. Varied practice in comic performance with an emphasis on material emanating from the students' experiences. Prerequisites: THEA 110 or THEA 102, or THEA 190 or THEA 110, and one other acting course or consent of instructor.

THEA 302 INTERMEDIATE SCENE STUDY (3)

A continuation of the work of THEA 202, focusing on scene study, script analysis, and character development. Modern realism through contemporary non-realism. Prerequisite: THEA 202 or consent of instructor.

THEA 303 CULTURE DIVERSITY IN CONTEMPORARY THEATRE (3)

An examination of both the construction of cultural identity and issues of cultural conflict as they are expressed in contemporary theatre. GenEd II.C.3 or Core: Diversity and Difference.

THEA 304 HONORS CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN CONTEMPORARY THEATRE (3)

An examination of both the construction of cultural identity and issues of cultural conflict as they are expressed in contemporary theatre. Honors College. course. GenEd II.C.3 or Core: Diversity and Difference.

THEA 306 THEATRE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION (3)

An examination of theatre organizations, their missions within the community and business models used for producing theatre. Areas such as management, marketing, development, and finance will be explored through lecture, discussion and creative projects. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing in major; OR consent of instructor.

THEA 307 THEORIES OF THEATRE (3)

Theories in acting, directing, design and dramaturgy from the classical through the modern period. Requires grade of C or better to fulfill Core or GenEd requirement. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 or ENGL 190, THEA 211, THEA 212, THEA 213, or consent of instructor. Core: Advanced Writing Seminar or GenEd I.D.

THEA 308 VOICE AND MOVEMENT INTERGRATION (3)

Flexibility responsiveness and integration of vocal and physical expression. Prerequisite: THEA 101 or THEA 102, or THEA 109 or THEA 110, or consent of instructor.

THEA 309 ACTING III (6)

Character development, approaching a script, structuring a scene, relating to environment, ensemble work and audition techniques. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 310 THEATRE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE (3)

Examination of the theory and practice of theatre as a catalyst for social change. Development of original performances to address significant issues in contemporary American experience. Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or ENGL 190 or consent of instructor. GenEd II.B.3 or Core: Ethical Issues and Perspectives.

THEA 312 SHAKESPEARE (3)

Shakespeare reading facility, text analysis, contemporary vocabulary in scenes and monologues. Prerequisites: THEA 302, THEA 322.

THEA 314 PLAYWRITING (3)

Principles and processes playwrights use to create tests for the stage explored through the analysis of existing plays and the development of students' original scripts in a workshop setting. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 and THEA 125; or consent of instructor.

THEA 315 ADVANCED SCENE STUDY (3)

Building advanced acting skills through the exploration, study, and performance of psychologically complex characters, challenging genres, or non-traditional theatrical forms. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: THEA 302 or consent of instructor.

THEA 316 THEATRE OF CROSSING CULTURES (3)

Students will apply the actor's process of creating a role through character research, text analysis, and ensemble building to the practice of crossing cultural boundaries. This process will help students understand how race, class, and gender shape individual identity and community experience. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 or ENGL 190. GenEd II.C.3 or Core: Diversity and Difference.

THEA 317 ENSEMBLE THEATRE LABORATORY (3)

An exploration of the ensemble process used to create original theatre. Prerequisites: THEA 109 OR THEA 110; THEA 142; and one of THEA 211, THEA 212, or THEA 213.

THEA 318 TOPICS IN STAGE COMBAT (3)

Creating the illusion of violence for live theatrical performance. The specific weapons or techniques covered will be determined by the course instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units with different weapons or techniques.

THEA 320 COSTUME CONSTRUCTION FOR THEATRE (3)

Principles and techniques of sewing and patterning costumes for use in theatrical productions. Prerequisites: THEA 253 and (THEA 109 or THEA 110) or consent of instructor. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 322 VOICE FOR THE ACTOR II (3)

Theory and practice of vocal production applied to period, contemporary and original texts. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: THEA 302 or consent of instructor.

THEA 327 ACTING FOR THE CAMERA (3)

Development of camera acting skills and taped/directed scene study. Prerequisite: THEA 101, THEA 102, THEA 109, THEA 110, or consent of instructor.

THEA 331 DIRECTING I (3)

Fundamentals of play directing through exercises, directorial play analysis and projects in directing short scenes. Prerequisites: THEA 110 or THEA 109, THEA 125 and one of the following: THEA 211 or THEA 212 or THEA 213 or consent of instructor.

THEA 332 MIME & PHYSICAL THEATRE STYLES (3)

Advanced mime technique, ensemble exercises and performances in the Italian, Oriental, French and American styles, including community service performances. Prerequisite: THEA 231 or consent of instructor.

THEA 335 MOVEMENT FOR THE ACTOR II (3)

Listening and responding to impulses within oneself and the ensemble. Prerequisite: THEA 202 or consent of instructor.

THEA 345 SPEECH AND DIALECT FOR THE THEATRE (3)

Analysis and application of spoken English through the International Phonetic Alphabetuding techniques to learn and perform English language accents and foreign language dialects for the stage. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: THEA 110, THEA 105, THEA 111 or consent of instructor.

THEA 346 MAKEUP DESIGN II: PROSTHETIC MAKEUP DEVELOPMENT (3)

Special effects in character makeup using advanced techniques. Prerequisite: THEA 245. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 351 STAGECRAFT II (3)

Application of new technological approaches to stage construction, rigging and organization. Prerequisite: THEA 251 or consent of instructor. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 354 COSTUME DESIGN II (3)

Fabric selection, budget, preparation, and pattern choices. Prerequisite: THEA 253.

THEA 355 LIGHTING DESIGN II (3)

Color, organization and approaches to lighting design. Lab required. Prerequisite: THEA 255.

THEA 357 DRAFTING FOR THE THEATRE (3)

A practical introduction to drafting for the theatre. Prerequisite: THEA 142. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 358 PROPERTIES DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION (3)

Materials, tools and techniques for executing property design. Not open to those who have successfully completed THEA 107. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: THEA 142 and consent of instructor. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 359 TECHNICAL PRODUCTION IN THEATRE (3)

Detailed analysis of the business of Technical Theatre including budgeting, scheduling, personnel and project management. Prerequisites: THEA 142; one of the following: THEA 201, THEA 209, THEA 251, THEA 255, THEA 353; or instructor consent.

THEA 361 SCENIC DESIGN II (3)

Relationship of concept, script, aesthetics and research to a production's design and style. Prerequisite: THEA 201.

THEA 362 ADVANCED ACTING FOR MUSICAL THEATRE (3)

Advanced work in musical theatre, including work with a partner on duets and songs, contextualized in scenes of greater length with greater acting/musical challenges than in THEA 261. Prerequisites: THEA 261 and /or consent of instructor.

THEA 365 THEATRE STUDY ABROAD (9)

One term exchange program in acting, design or theatre studies at universities abroad. Prerequisites: junior/senior standing and consent of department.

THEA 380 TOPICS IN DIVERSITY (3)

Racial, ethnic, class, gender or sexual identity through the theatre as created by and about members of that group. May be repeated for a total of up to six units provided different topics are taken. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 or ENGL190. GenEd II.C.3 or Core: Diversity & Difference.

THEA 401 COMMUNITY OUTREACH IN THEATRE (3)

An experiential study of the value of arts in the local community. In a program that uses storytelling and other theatre activities, University students will work in a Baltimore City school with 3rd. grade students in order to encourage and enhance the experience of reading. Prerequisites: THEA 110 or THEA 109.

THEA 402 TOWSON THEATRE INFUSION (3)

Field experience as Teaching Artists for the education outreach component of a Theatre Department production. Students will prepare and deliver classroom programs or students at local schools who will be attending a student matinee of a Theatre Department production. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: THEA 142 and THEA 331; or consent of instructor.

THEA 410 CATALYST THEATRE II (3)

Examination of social issues occuring on college and high school campuses and the creation, development and performance of original scripts. Prerequisites: THEA 202 or THEA 310 and consent of instructor.

THEA 421 DIRECTING II: THE CONTEMPORARY PLAY (3)

Preparation techniques and directorial approaches to contemporary drama. Individual directing projects of scenes from representative contemporary dramas. Prerequisite: THEA 331 or consent of instructor.

THEA 423 ADVANCED STUDY IN MOVEMENT THEATRE (3)

Develop, prepare and perform a solo or ensemble piece. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: THEA 332 and THEA 335.

THEA 425 ADVANCED STUDY IN ACTING STYLE (3)

Development of facility in acting techniques applied to specific performance styles. May be repeated for a maximumum of 9 units. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 427 ADVANCED STUDY IN DIRECTING (1-9)

Independent study in preparation, rehearsal and production of special directing projects. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: THEA 331 and consent of instructor.

THEA 429 ADVANCED STUDY IN THEATRE PRODUCTION (1-9)

Independent study in theatre production. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 431 DIRECTING PERIOD PLAY (3)

Research techniques and directional approaches to period drama. Individual directing projects of scenes from representative period dramas.

THEA 433 ADVANCED STUDY IN STAGE MANAGEMENT (1-9)

Independent study in stage management. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: THEA 257 or consent of instructor.

THEA 443 STRUCTURAL DESIGN AND SAFETY (3)

Stress analysis, safety practices and construction techniques. Prerequisites: MATH 115, THEA 251 or consent of instructor.

THEA 445 SCENE PAINTING (3)

Techniques for painting scenery. Lab required. Prerequisite: THEA 201 or consent of instructor. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

THEA 463 PERIOD STYLE FOR DESIGN (3)

Historical periods and styles and their relationship to the visual arts, literature, and society. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 471 ADVANCED SPECIAL TOPICS (1-3)

Advanced study of selected area dependent upon faculty and student interest. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: THEA 142; THEA 110 or THEA 109; at least one of THEA 211, THEA 212 or THEA 213; and consent of instructor.

THEA 480 ADVANCED STUDY IN THEATRE DESIGN (1-9)

Independent study in costume, scenery, or lighting design. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 486 THEATRE DESIGN PORTFOLIO (1)

Portfolio production for Design and Production majors. Capstone course. Prerequisite: senior status.

THEA 487 PROFESSIONAL THEATRE SEMINAR (1-12)

A term-long internship in a resident theatre company. Prerequisite: Theatre major and consent of instructor.

THEA 488 THEATRE VISITATION AND ANALYSIS ABROAD (3)

Analysis and critique of theatre productions. Prerequisites: junior/ senior standing and consent of department.

THEA 489 SENIOR ACTING SEMINAR (3)

Auditioning techniques, unions, agents, resumes, the transition from student to professional and the realities of professional theatre. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

THEA 490 PERFORMANCE PRACTICUM (1-3)

Performance in a theatre production sponsored by the Towson University Department of Theatre Arts. Eligible productions determined by the department. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: Audition and approval of instructor.

THEA 491 PRODUCTION DRAMATURGY (1-3)

Practical experience in production dramaturgy, which will include a combination of research, text analysis and education outreach. This is a project course related to specific theatrical productions and therefore assignments will be determined by the instructor, student and director. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units. Prerequisites: THEA 125; at least one of either THEA 211, THEA 212 or THEA 213; permission of instructor.

THEA 492 THEATRE PRODUCTION: ACTING (1)

Experience involving the process of applying acting skills to scene works for directing class projects. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 units. Prerequisite: THEA 109 or THEA 110 or consent of instructor.

THEA 493 ADVANCED STUDY IN THEATRE (1-6)

Study of an academic or creative nature. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 units. Consent of instructor.

THEA 494 THEATRE PRODUCTION: SCENIC ELEMENTS (1)

Experience involving major responsibility in props, scenic construction and painting on a departmental production. May be repeated for up to 3 units. Prerequisite: THEA major or minor.

THEA 495 THEATRE PRODUCTION: LIGHTING AND SOUND (1)

Experience involving major responsibility in lighting or sound on a departmental production. May be repeated for up to 3 units. Prerequisite: THEA major or minor.

THEA 496 THEATRE PRODUCTION: COSTUME (1)

Experience involving major responsibility in costuming for a departmental production. May be repeated for up to 3 units. Prerequisite: THEA major or minor.

THEA 497 THEATRE PRODUCTION: RUNNING CREW (1)

Experience involving major responsibility in running a show. May be repeated for up to 3 units. Prerequisite: THEA major or minor.

THEA 498 THEATRE PRODUCTION: ADMINISTRATION (1)

Experience involving administrative responsibilities for departmental resources or productions. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 units. Prerequistes: THEA 125, THEA 142, and THEA 109 or THEA 110, or consent of instructor.

THEA 499 SPECIAL PROJECT IN THEATRE RESEARCH (3)

Seminar to demonstrate the student's proficiency in an area agreed upon by the student and their adviser. Prerequisite: Theatre major with senior standing or consent of instructor.

Faculty

Professors: Thomas Cascella, Thomas Casciero, Jay Herzog, Robyn Quick (Chairperson), Steven Satta, Peter Wray

Associate Professors: Naoko Maeshiba, Stephen Nunns, Diane Sadak, David White

Assistant Professor: Julie Potter