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
J. Matos, Musical Theatre Coordinator, Musical Theatre Workshop, Performance Techniques
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

P. Baldwin, Scenic Design
G. Berberich, Acting for the Camera
S. Cally, Lighting Design
M. Chii, Scenic and Costime Design
T. Cuffari, Musical Direction
R. Decina, Acting for the Camera
A. DePoto, Acting and Playmaking with Children
S. Harris, Director
J. Johns-Lerner, Costume Technology
A. Jones, Director, Choreographer
H. Kilik, Musical Direction
D. Lifton, Applied Voice
C. Machokas, Sound Engineering
T. Nachtigall, Theatre Arts Management
E. Parkinson, Musical Theatre-Dance
J. Robinson, Cabaret Performance, Applied Voice
P. Seixas, Scenic and Costume Design
B. Shapiro, Acting for the Camera
K. Sneshkoff, Costume Design
K. Sosbe, Asst. Technical Director
J. Wise, Musical Theatre-Dance

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 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 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.  with junior standing in Theatre Arts, transfer students must exhibit competencies outlined in the WCSU Department of Theatre Arts sophomore assessment procedures (See WCSU Department of Theatre Arts Student Handbook, https://www.wcsu.edu/theatrearts/2013-14-Dept.-of-Theatre-Arts-Undergraduate-Handbook.pdf#page=12 and https://www.wcsu.edu/theatrearts/2013-14-Dept.-of-Theatre-Arts-Undergraduate-Handbook.pdf#page=27 ).

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.

DEGREE PROGRAMS IN THEATRE ARTS

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

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 122 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 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)

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Math placement course THR 181 Acting I
Writing placement course ART 100 or 101
THR 182 Tech I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
1 to 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 383 Methods of Scenic Art & Craft
THR 284 Costume Technology THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab  2 Gen Ed Courses
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI  
Gen Ed course  

Third Year

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

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 382 Directing I THR 490 Senior Portfolio
Design/Tech option elective 4 elective courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab  
3 elective courses  

Drama Studies Option (15 SH)

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Math placement course THR 182 Tech I or THR 181 Acting I
Writing placement course THR 284 Costume Technology
THR 182 Tech I or THR 181 Acting I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
1 to 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 283 Scenic Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Arts & Crafts THR 244W Playwriting
ENG 308W Shakespeare II THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 1 elective course
2 Gen Ed courses  

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 382 Directing I THR 490 Senior Portfolio
Drama Studies elective 4 elective courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab  
3 elective courses  

 Performance Option (15 SH)

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Math placement course THR 182 Tech I
Writing placement course THR 150 Performance Techniques
THR 181 Acting I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
1 to 2 Gen Ed courses  

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 202 Tech II THR 260 Voice and Diction
THR 279 Theatre History THR 289 Playmaking with Children or THR 390 Play Production
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
HPX 150 Dance Workshop  
1 Gen Ed course  

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 382 Directing I THR 388 Acting III
THR 284 Costume Technology THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Arts & Crafts
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
HPX 177 Lecture and Modern Dance 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
1 Gen Ed course  
1 elective course  

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop THR 490 Senior Portfolio
Performance option elective 4 elective courses
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab  
3 elective courses  

Theatre Arts Management Option (15 SH)

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Math placement course HUM 102 Art & Experience or ART 250 Philosophy of Art
Writing placement course THR 182 Tech I or THR 181 Acting I
THR 182 Tech I or THR 181 Acting I THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
1 to 2 Gen Ed courses  2 to 3 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 284 Costume Technology MGT 102 Intro to Business
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI  
1 Gen Ed course  

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 283 Scenic Design or THR 383 Methods of Scenic Arts & Crafts MKT 301 Principles of Marketing
COM 310 Business & Professional Speaking MIS 260 Information Systems Concepts
THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab 2 Gen Ed courses
2 Gen Ed courses 1 elective course

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 382 Directing I THR 490 Senior Portfolio
Management elective 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

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:
       
    a.   The ability to accurately perform with accompaniment 16 bars of an up-tempo and 16 bars of a ballad vocal selections.
       b.   The ability to perform a ½ minute to 1 minute monologue portraying a character close to the age of the individual auditioning.
       c.
      The ability to learn and perform a short dance phrase that demonstrates movement skills.
       d.   To receive a passing score on a sight-singing/ear-training examination.
       e.
       To take a music theory examination. (This examination is used for placement only.)

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 122 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 (54 SH):

    THR 150 Performance Techniques: Integration of Voice & Movement
    THR 181 Acting I:  Character Study
    THR 182 Technical 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 5 semesters)
    THR 370 Cabaret Performance
    THR 371 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

Choose 3 SH from the following:
    THR 255 Performance Techniques: Pantomimic Dramatization
    THR 285 Body Movement and Mime
    THR 387 Devised Theatre Workshop
    THR 389 Auditioning Techniques
    THR 390 Play Production
    THR 402 Honors Seminar in Theatre Arts

Musical Theatre Recommended Course Sequence:

First Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Math placement course THR 182 Tech II
Writing placement course THR 150 Performance Techniques
THR 181 Acting I MUS 183U Applied Voice
THR 377 Musical Theatre Workshop MUS 126 Keyboard Competency
MUS 182U Applied Voice THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
MUS 125 Keyboard Competency 2 Gen Ed courses or 1 Gen Ed course and MUS 105 Music Essentials
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab  
1 Gen Ed course  

Second Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
MUS 108 Music Theory MUS 115 Sight singing/ear training II
MUS 114 Sight singing/ear training I MUS 183U Applied Voice
MUS 182U Applied Voice THR 150 Performance Techniques
THR 279 Theatre History THR 300 Theatre Production Lab
THR 300 Theatre Production Lab THR 281 Acting II
ENG 107W Intro to Drama WI 2 Gen Ed courses
HPX 150 Dance Workshop  

Third Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
THR 284 Costume Technology THR 388 Acting III
MUS 182U Applied Voice MUS 183U Applied Voice
HPX 177 Lecture and Modern Dance THR 370 Cabaret Performance
2 to 3 Gen Ed courses 2 to 3 Gen Ed courses

Fourth Year

Fall Semester Spring Semester
MUS 100 History & Apprec of Music THR 490 Senior Portfolio
Performance elective 4 elective courses
3 electives courses  

Minor in Theatre

Eighteen semester hours in theatre which must include at least 12 semester hours above the 100-level. Emphasis must be on Theatre Arts.

Learning Outcomes 

As per NAST standards and the stated goals for this degree, students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre degree program are expected to demonstrate the following competencies upon graduation:

General Education

  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.

Theatre Studies

  1. An understanding and practice of theater arts by focusing on the verbal, physical, visual and research aspects of the craft.
  2. The fundamentals of 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. An acquaintance with a wide variety of theater repertory through the study of the history of theater, its major dramatists, attending performances, and through the production of a variety of theater works.
  4. Evidence of preparation of the skills necessary to compete for entry-level positions in theater performance, design and/or technology, theater arts management and other entertainment industry related fields, as well as, for continuation with graduate studies, and/or teaching.
  5. The ability to develop and defend informed judgments about theatre.

Theatre Studies

  1. An understanding and practice of theater arts by focusing on the verbal, physical, visual and research aspects of the craft.
  2. The fundamentals of 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. An acquaintance with a wide variety of theater repertory through the study of the history of theater, its major dramatists, attending performances, and through the production of a variety of theater works.
  4. Evidence of preparation of the skills necessary to compete for entry-level positions in theater performance, design and/or technology, theater arts management and other entertainment industry related fields, as well as, for continuation with graduate studies, and/or teaching.
  5. The ability to develop and defend informed judgments about theatre.

Musical Theatre Studies

  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. Theater 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 theater canon, along with its history and development within the theater.
  7. Portfolio preparation of musical and non-musical material for auditions and/or graduate school.

 

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