Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Department of Theatre

Kirk A. Domer, Chairperson

 


Undergraduate Programs

The purpose of this department is to offer theatrical experiences of professional caliber to the Michigan State University student, to offer various levels of training to prepare some students for careers in theatre, and to provide opportunities for many students to perform in all aspects of this art as an expressive and social outlet. It is the intent of the department to provoke and sustain interest in the theatre as a source of truth and insight into the human condition, to preserve and investigate further the theatre's historical traditions, and to present new plays which reflect the present condition of society.


Theatre - Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre is designed for students who wish to gain broad experience in theatre and its contributions to cultural development. Students who select this degree program will develop skills needed to create and appreciate new theatrical work, to understand the history of theatre, and to help navigate a professional life in the arts. They will gain a comprehension of theatrical theory and practice as a foundation for graduate study or for the beginning of a career in the profession, or in numerous career paths in the arts industry.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the  Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Theatre major is met by completing Theatre 492. This course is referenced in item 3. a. (1) below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Arts and Letters for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. The following Theatre courses (39 credits):
    (1) All of the following courses (26 credits):
    THR 101 Acting I 3
    THR 110 Theatrical Play Analysis 3
    THR 111 Introduction to Technical Theatre 3
    THR 111L Introduction to Technical Theatre Laboratory 1
    THR 300A Theatre Practicum - Production Emphasis 2
    THR 300C Theatre Practicum - Area Emphasis 2
    THR 331 Studies in Contemporary Theatre 3
    THR 341 Beginning Play Directing 3
    THR 431 Studies in Theatre History 3
    THR 492 Senior Seminar (W) 3
    The completion of Theatre 492 satisfies the department's capstone course requirement.
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    THR 211 Introduction to Lighting Design 3
    THR 212 Introduction to Costume Design 3
    THR 214 Introduction to Scene Design 3
    THR 216 Introduction to Sound Design 3
    THR 219 Introduction to Projection Design for the Stage 3
    (3) Theatre electives:  10 additional credits in Theatre courses approved by the Department of Theatre. [NOTE:  A student with a major in Theatre may earn a maximum of 50 credits in Theatre and Dance courses.]


Theatre - Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre is designed for students wishing to prepare for a professional career in theatre. Admission to the program is by audition and portfolio review, which occurs during the spring semester of each year. In addition to required theatre education courses, students choose an area of concentration in either acting or design. The concentration provides highly focused course work devoted to professional and practical skill development and production process and collaboration.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre

  1. The University requirements for the bachelor’s degree as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Theatre major is met by completing Theatre 492. This course is referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Arts and Letters for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Students may earn a maximum of 70 credits in Theatre (THR) and Dance (DAN) courses.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following courses. A minimum grade of 2.0 in each course is required (26 credits):
    THR 101 Acting I 3
    THR 110 Theatrical Play Analysis 3
    THR 111 Introduction to Technical Theatre 3
    THR 111L Introduction to Technical Theatre Laboratory 1
    THR 300A Theatre Practicum – Production Emphasis 2
    THR 300C Theatre Practicum – Area Emphasis 2
    THR 331 Studies in Contemporary Theatre 3
    THR 341 Beginning Play Directing 3
    THR 431 Studies in Theatre History 3
    THR 492 Senior Seminar (W) 3
    The completion of Theatre 492 satisfies the department’s capstone requirement.
    b. One of the following courses. A minimum grade of 2.0 in each course is required (3 credits):
    THR 211 Introduction to Lighting Design 3
    THR 212 Introduction to Costume Design 3
    THR 214 Introduction to Scene Design 3
    THR 216 Introduction to Sound Design 3
    THR 219 Introduction to Projection Design for the Stage 3
    c. One of the following concentrations.  A minimum grade of 2.0 in each course is required (31 credits):
    Acting
    (1) All of the following courses (10 credits):
    THR 201 Acting II 3
    THR 202 Voice Studio I 2
    THR 207 Movement Studio I 2
    THR 301 Acting III 3
    (2) At least 21 credits from the following courses (21 credits):
    THR 204 Topics in Acting/Directing I 1 to 6
    THR 304 Topics in Acting/Directing II 1 to 6
    THR 401 Acting IV 3
    THR 402 Voice Studio II 2
    THR 404 Topics in Acting Directing III 1 to 6
    THR 407 Movement Studio II 2
    THR 413 Stage Make-up 3
    THR 441 Advanced Play Directing 3
    THR 491 Practicum: Acting 1
    THR 493 Internship in Theatre 1 to 3
    Design
    (1) Three of the following courses not taken to satisfy requirement 3. b. above (12 credits):
    THR 211 Introduction to Lighting Design 3
    THR 212 Introduction to Costume Design  3
    THR 214 Introduction to Scene Design 3
    THR 216 Introduction to Sound Design 3
    THR 219 Introduction to Projection Design for the Stage 3
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    THR 411 Stage Lighting Design 3
    THR 412 Stage Costume Design 3
    THR 413 Stage Make-up 3
    THR 414 Stage Scene Design 3
    THR 416 Stage Sound Design 3
    THR 419 Projection design for Live Performance 3
    (3) At least 19 credits from the following courses (19 credits):
    THR 314 Stagecraft 3
    THR 337 Motion Graphics for Performance Design 3
    THR 361 Topics in Lighting Technology 3
    THR 362 Topics in Costume Technology 3
    THR 364 Topics in Scenery Technology 3
    THR 369 Topics in Digital Technology 3
    THR 411 Stage Lighting Design 3
    THR 412 Stage Costume Design 3
    THR 413 Stage Make-up 3
    THR 414 Stage Scene Design 3
    THR 416 Stage Sound Design 3
    THR 419 Digital Design for Live Performance 3
    THR 493 Internship in Theatre 1 to 3
    Stage Mangement
    (1) All of the following courses (9 credits):
       THR  316 Stage Management  3
       THR  466 Advanced Stage Management  3
    THR  467 Production Management  3
    (2) Two of the following courses not taken to satisfy requirement 3. b. above (6 credits):
       THR  211 Introduction to Lighting Design  3
       THR  212 Introduction to Costume Design  3
       THR  214 Introduction to Scene Design  3
       THR  216 Introduction to Sound Design  3
       THR  219 Introduction to Projection Design for the Stage 3
    (3) At least 16 credits from the following courses (16 credits):
      ACM  271 Introduction to Arts and Cultural Management   3
       ACM  461 Strategies of Arts and Cultural Management  3
       ACM  463 Event Production and Planning for Arts and Culture  3
       THR  201 Acting II  3
       THR  204 Topics in Acting/Directing I  1 to 6
    THR  304 Topics in Acting/Directing II  1 to 6
       THR  361 Topics in Lighting Technology  3
       THR  362 Topics in Costume Technology  3
       THR  364 Topics in Scenery Technology  3
       THR  369 Topics in Digital Technology  3
       THR  404 Topics in Acting/Directing III  1 to 6
       THR  411 Stage Lighting Design  3
       THR  412 Stage Costume Design  3
       THR  413 Stage Make-up  3
       THR  414 Stage Scene Design  3
       THR  416 Stage Sound Design  3
      THR  419 Projection Design for Live Performance  3
       THR  441 Advanced Play Directing  3
       THR  493 Internship in Theatre  1 to 3


Minor in Theatre

 

The minor in theatre, which is administered by the Department of Theatre, is designed for students wishing to expand their employment opportunities both within and outside the sphere of professions in theatre. In addition to preparing students for careers that are directly related to theatre, the minor will afford opportunities to expand creative, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills that will prove useful in virtually any professional area. The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts Degree or the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements of the minor should consult the undergraduate advisor in the Department of Theatre

Requirements for the Minor in Theatre

Complete 18 credits from the following courses:

               
1. All of the following courses (12 credits):  
  THR 101 Acting I     3
  THR 110 Theatrical Play Analysis 3
  THR 111 Introduction to Technical Theare 3
  THR 111L Introduction to Technical Theatre Laboratory 1
  THR 300A Theatre Practicum – Production Emphasis 1
  THR 300C Theatre Practicum – Area Emphasis 1
2. Complete an additional 6 credits of Theatre electives.  

Minor in Dance

The Minor in Dance, which is administered by the Department of Theatre, offers a unique opportunity for students to study dance and its practical applications. The minor consists of technique-based courses designed to provide a wide variety of skills in conjunction with practical leadership within the discipline. The Minor in Dance prepares students for careers that are directly related to dance while affording opportunities to expand creative, collaborative and interpersonal communication skills that will prove useful in many professional areas.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.  

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult the undergraduate advisor in the Department of Theatre.

Requirements for the Minor in Dance

Complete 16 credits from the following:
1. A minimum of 12 credits from the following courses, including reenrollments:
DAN 251 Introduction Dance 2
DAN 351 Dance Technique I 2
DAN 352 Dance Technique II 2
DAN 451 Dance Technique III 2
DAN 452 Dance Technique IV 2
2. Both of the following courses (4 credits):
DAN 300 Dance Practicum 1
DAN 354 Dance Choreography 3
Additional movement-focused courses, especially in theatre, including indepedent study as applicable, may be substituted as approved by the academic advisor.

 


Minor in Musical Theatre

The Minor in Musical Theatre, which is administered by the Department of Theatre, offers a unique opportunity for students to study musical theatre and its practical foundations. The minor consists of individually prescribed blocks of courses designed to provide a guided performance and academic experience tailored to each student’s career goals. The Minor in Musical Theatre prepares students for careers that are directly related to musical theatre while affording opportunities to expand creative, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills that will prove useful in many professional areas.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements of the minor should consult the undergraduate advisor in the Department of Theatre.

Requirements for the Minor in Musical Theatre

               
Complete 22 credits from the following:  
1. All of the following courses (14 credits):  
  THR 202L Voice Studio I Laboratory 6
  THR 304 Topics in Acting/Directing II 2
  THR 404 Topics in Acting/Directing III 2
  THR 495 Musical Theatre Workshop 4
  Students should enroll in the appropriate topic for THR 304 and 404 as directed by the academic advisor.
2. A minimum of 8 credits from the following courses:  
  DAN 351 Dance Techniques I 2
  DAN 352 Dance Technique II 2
  DAN 451 Dance Technique III 2
  DAN 452 Dance Technique IV 2

Study and Participation in Theatre and Dance for Non-Majors

Students with an avocational interest in theatre are urged to enroll in Theatre 101, 110,  211, 212, 350, and 410 and 3 credits of theatre history, and to participate in the production program of the department. Ample opportunities for experience in all phases of theatre activity are available through the Arena Theatre and the Studio 49 Theatre programs.

The Department of Theatre offers a wide variety of courses in dance for students who wish to study the art and participate as performers on an avocational basis. Courses include dance and movement studios, choreography, labanotation, history of dance, and dance production. Students are accepted into the Michigan State University Repertory Dance Company through regular auditions.

 


Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree in Theatre

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre
Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre
 
The department welcomes applications from Michigan State University Theatre undergraduate students in their junior and senior year.  Admission applications must be made during the prior spring semester for an anticipated spring graduation or the prior fall semester for an anticipated fall graduation to allow admission before the final semester as a Theatre undergraduate.  Admission to the program requires a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.5, completion of the required prerequisites for the master’s program and an approved program of study for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre at the time of admission. Admission to the Linked Bachelor’s-Master’s program allows the application of up to 15 credits toward the master's program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or an external accredited institution. The number of approved credits, not to exceed 15, are applied toward the credit requirement of the master's degree. Credits applied to the Linked Bachelor's-Master's program are not eligible to be applied to any other graduate degree program.

Graduate Study

The Department of Theatre offers Master of Fine Arts degree program.  The program is designed to provide advanced work for persons preparing to teach or enter professional theatre.

Department of Theatre Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree

Admission

Applicants must meet the general requirements for consideration for admission to master's and doctoral degree programs in the College of Arts and Letters referenced in the College statement.

In addition, an international applicant is required to have fulfilled the university's English language proficiency requirement as described in the Graduate Education sectionof this catalog in one of the following three ways:

  1. Have an total score of 580 (paper version) or 237 (computer version) or 92 (Internet version) or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language with no subscore below 55 (paper version) or 21 (computer version) or 20 (Internet version) and have the approval of the English Language Center.
  2. Have an average score of 85 or higher on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery with no subscore below 83 and have the approval of the English Language Center.
  3. Have an average score of 85 or higher on the English Language Center Test with no subscore below 83 and have the approval of the English Language Center.

Academic Standards

The student must:

  1. Maintain a grade–point average of 3.30 or higher in courses in the Department of Theatre.
  2. Accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree.


 


Theatre - Master of Fine Arts

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university, of the College of Arts and Letters, and of the Department of Theatre, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

When applying for admission to the Master of Fine Arts degree program in theatre, applicants must select a concentration in either acting or design. The audition and interview procedures for each concentration are as follows:

  1. Acting: Students applying for admission to the Master of Fine Arts degree program with a concentration in acting must audition for selected faculty at nationally designated venues in Chicago or New York City or on the Michigan State University campus. Students should contact the Head of Acting to schedule an on-campus audition. The acting curriculum is sequential and admissions occur every three years.
  2. Design: Students applying for admission to the Master of Fine Arts degree program with a concentration in design must present their design portfolios for review and be interviewed by the design faculty. Students should contact the Head of Design for an appointment.

To be admitted to the Master of Fine Arts degree program in Theatre on regular status, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in theatre or the equivalent of 30 credits in theatre studies from a recognized educational institution.

Guidance Committee

The student's guidance committee should be constituted by the end of the student's second semester of enrollment in the program.  The committee determines an appropriate program of study in consultation with the student.

For a student who elects the acting concentration, the committee must consist of two or more faculty members in the area of acting and one faculty member from outside the acting area.

For a student who selects the design concentration, the committee must consist of two faculty members in the area of design and one faculty member from outside the design area.

Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre

The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 60 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's guidance committee.  Students must complete one of the following concentrations:

Acting (60 credits):
(1) All of the following courses:
THR 801 Practicum: Acting 18
THR 804 Practicum: Voice 6
THR 805 Practicum: Movement 6
THR 830 Introduction to Graduate Studies 3
THR 831 Studies in Theatre History 3
THR 832 Comparative Drama and Criticism 3
THR 834 Professional Aspects 2
THR 870 Collaborative Studio in Theatre 3
THR 894 Special Projects in Theatre 6
Electives approved by the student’s guidance committee 10
Students must enroll in 1 credit increments for Theatre 894. Each credit is associated with one of six major performance projects. Students must participate in production activities during each semester of enrollment in the program.
Design (60 credits):
(1) All of the following courses (40 credits):
THR 811 Practicum: Production Design and Technology 9
THR 813 Period Resources and Research 3
THR 818 Design Studio 9
THR 819 Applied Design Studio 1
THR 830 Introduction to Graduate Studies 3
THR 831 Studies in Theatre History 3
THR 832 Comparative Drama and Criticism 3
THR 834 Professional Aspects 2
THR 870 Collaborative Studio in Theatre 3
THR 894 Special Projects in Theatre 4
Students must enroll in 1 credit increments for Theatre 894. Each 1 credit is associated with one of four required design projects. Students must participate in production activities during each semester of enrollment in the program.
(2) Three of the following courses (9 credits): 3
THR 411 Stage Lighting Design 3
THR 412 Stage Costume Design 3
THR 414 Stage Scene Design 3
THR 416 Audio and Visual Technology 3
THR 419 Digital Design for Live Performance
(3) Electives approved by the student's guidance committee (11 credits)

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits must have been completed within the time limit for the degree.