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The Theater and Dance Major
The Theater and Dance major provides an inter-disciplinary foundation in the arts of theater and dance, and in their history, theory and literature. At intermediate and advanced levels, majors pursue flexible study in their artistic interests. No prior experience is required to major in Theater and Dance.
Every major undertakes a senior project. Majors may choose to integrate aspects of artistic practice, or to focus more closely on such specific areas as choreography, playwriting, directing, design, acting, performance installation or video production.
Majoring in Theater and Dance requires successful completion of a minimum of nine and one-half courses, one of which is associated with the required senior project and thesis.
At minimum, majors must complete a number of courses in each of five categories:
- the three Core Courses,
- two courses in the History, Literature and Theory of Theater and Dance (one of which must be THDA 114),
- two courses in the Arts of Theater and Dance,
- one advanced studio course, and
- the Majors Series (Production Studio and one or two Senior Departmental Honors courses).
Majors must also attend rehearsals and required meetings outside of usual class times.
Please see below for more detailed information on fulfilling requirements in each category, along with the THDA Major Course Checklist.
Prospective majors should complete the three Core Courses by the end of the sophomore year, if possilbe, and if not, certainly by the fall of the junior year. Majors intending to study abroad and/or to double-major, should plan with particular care. The Core Courses serve as pre-requisites for other required courses in the department; completetion of the major may not be possible if the Core Courses are not taken early enough. Any student interested in declaring a theater and dance major should consult with department faculty as soon as possible to discuss interests and course planning.
An advanced studio course is required as preparation for the Senior Project. Most advanced studio courses require pre-requisites beyond the Core Courses, and not all advanced studio courses or their pre-requisite courses are offered every semester. Therefore, students should plan a sequence of pre-requistites for possible advanced studio courses with care, and discuss any questions with faculty as soon as possible. Please see also the pages on The Senior Project and Course Timing.
THEATER AND DANCE MAJOR REQUIREMENTS
THE CORE COURSES
- THDA 111: The Language of Movement
- THDA 112: Materials of Theater
- THDA 113: Action and Character
Two of the three Core Courses are offered every semester in rotation. If possible, all three Core Courses should be completed by the end of sophomore year.
COURSES IN THE HISTORY, LITERATURE AND THEORY OF THEATER AND DANCE
- THDA 114: Sources of Contemporary Performance (required); and
- at least one elective course the History, Literature and Theory of Theater and Dance
THDA 114 should be taken during the sophomore year, but no later than junior year.
With permission, select courses offered by other departments or during study abroad may be taken to fulfill the elective. Double-majors may not count such a course for both majors.
COURSES IN THE ARTS OF THEATER AND DANCE
- at least two intermediate-level courses in the Arts of Theater and DanceIntermediate-level courses need not be in the same area. Sequenced half-courses in an area of dance or The Craft of Speaking may be combined to fulfill the Arts of Theater and Dance requirement.
ADVANCED STUDIO COURSE
- at least one advanced studio course in the Arts of Theater and Dance
This category includes courses in dance and choreography, acting, directing, playwriting, speaking, performance installation, video production, and design.
Majors should plan to complete an advanced studio course before the end of the junior year, noting that most have a pre-requisite that must be completed first.
THE MAJORS SERIES
- THDA 400H: Production Studio
- THDA 498 and/or 499, or 498D, or 499D: Senior Departmental Honors
THDA 400H is the course taken to receive credit for the required stage management assignment, completed during the junior year or earlier. Majors enroll in one or two Senior Departmental Honors courses for work on the senior project and written thesis.
See also, The Senior Project.
REHEARSALS, PERFORMANCES & MEETINGS
All majors attend:
- production meetings, rehearsals and performances as required;
- an individual interview with faculty during exam week each semester; and
- meetings during the junior year
to develop senior project proposals.
See also, Required Meetings.