Performing Arts Building, A407
- Clayton Austin, Chair
- Professors: D'Andrea (Robinson professor), Davis
- Associate professors: Austin, Gero, Johnsen-Neshati
- Assistant professors: Elston, Kurtz
- Term associate professor: McDonald
- Term assistant professors: Chew, Raybuck
- Adjuncts: Clark, Lechter, Lee, McManus, Nanni-Messegee, Mountain, Murray, Wallace
The Theater Department offers all course work designated THR in the "Course Descriptions" chapter of this catalog.
The BA degree stresses the breadth of a liberal arts education in the belief that such study, combined with serious practical training and experience, offers the best preparation for a life in the theater. Students electing to major in theater complete the theater core, which is a group of courses providing a broad introduction to the various theater arts and striving to create a shared body of knowledge within the department's student population.
To organize their advanced work within the major, students elect a course of study that includes classes in at least two of three areas: performance, design and technical theater, and theater studies. The department aims to prepare students for graduate study or entry into the profession through rigorous, concentrated, and individualized training. However, students are encouraged to maintain wide-ranging interests both inside the department and throughout the university's extensive offerings.
Students seeking to earn a BA as a second bachelor's degree, either concurrently or sequentially, must complete all theater degree requirements including foreign language.
Students must earn a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in their major.
The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students seeking a BA in theater fulfill this requirement by successfully completing THR 350 or THR 351.
|Written communication: ENGL 101 and 302
Non-native speakers of English with limited proficiency may substitution ENGL 100 for ENGL 101. Students must attain a minimum grade of C in ENGL 100 or 101, as well as in 302, to fulfill degree requirements. Students are reminded that the English Department offers proficiency exams for credit and exemption from this requirement.
|Either: appropriate placement score on quantitative skills and one of MATH 108, 110, 111, 113, 115, 125; or IT 250; or STAT 250|
|or lower placement score requiring MATH 106|
|Arts (outside the major)||3|
|Natural science (including one laboratory science)||7|
|Social and behavioral sciences||3|
Students must demonstrate proficiency at the intermediate level, either by exam or course work, in one foreign language offered by Mason.
|Theater Core Requirements||32–33|
|Additional arts (outside the major)||3–4|
|THR 150, 151 Drama, Stage, and Society I and II||6|
|THR 200 Play Production Practicum (1 each, repeated for a total of 4)||4|
|THR 210 Acting I||3|
|THR 230 Introduction to Technical Theater I||3|
|THR 329 Directing I||3|
|THR 350 Script Analysis||3|
|One upper-level dramatic literature course(THR 351, 352, 355, 359, 395, or 424)||3|
|One from the following group of 1-credit mini-courses:||1|
|THR 201 Stage Management, THR 202 Literary Management, or|
|THR 203 Production/Company Management|
Twenty-one credits of 300- and 400- level courses, chosen from at least two of the following areas: performance, -design and technical theater, and theater studies.
This area is designed for the serious student of acting with performance aspirations. Solid grounding in the fundamentals of analysis and basic training of the actor’s instrument are complemented by intensive, individualized instruction in the various facets of the actor’s craft.
|THR 300 Voice and Speech Fundamentals||3|
|THR 301 Voice and Speech for the Performer||3|
|THR 303 Movement for Actors I||3|
|THR 304 Movement for Actors II||3|
|THR 310 Acting II||3|
|THR 320 Beginning Modern Acting||3|
|THR 321 Acting Shakespeare||3|
|THR 322 Alexander Technique/Stage Combat||3|
|THR 345 Puppetry: History and Technique||4|
|THR 365 Characterization||3|
|THR 420 Advanced Modern Acting||3|
|THR 421 One-Person Show||3|
|THR 423 Audition Techniques: Stage and Camera||3|
|THR 425 Verse Speaking||3|
|Design and Technical Theater
This area prepares students for further study and work in the design and technical fields. Courses in this area are also strongly recommended for students interested in directing.
|THR 314 Lighting Stagecraft||3|
|THR 330 Seminar in Technical Theater||3 +|
|THR 332 Seminar in Costume History||3|
|THR 333 Stage Design||3|
|THR 334 Lighting Design||3|
|THR 335 Costume Design||3|
|THR 336 Advanced Theater Technology||3|
|THR 343 Costume Draping and Drafting||3|
This area is designed to provide the theater generalist with thorough preparation for further study and work in directing, dramaturgy, theater criticism, theater scholarship, playwriting, and teaching. For specific teacher certification requirements, students are directed to the Office of Teacher Education.
|THR 340 Directing II||3|
|THR 351 Dramatic Theory and Criticism||3|
|THR 352 Dramatic Literature Seminar||3|
|THR 355 Moral Vision in American Theater||3|
|THR 359 World Stages||3|
|THR 380, 381 Playwriting I, II||3, 3|
|THR 395 Theater as the Life of the Mind||3|
|THR 424 Contemporary Women Playwrights||3|
|THR 440 Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy||3|
|THR 480 Advanced Playwriting||3|
|THR 491 Majors Seminar in the Profession||3|
|THR 496 Text in Performance||3|
|THR 490 Special Topics in Drama, THR 494 Field Experience, and THR 497 Independent Study may be applied to the appropriate area.|
Group 1: Performance/Design (including acting, directing, design, stage management)
Group 2: Production Crew (including run crew, wardrobe, set construction, costume construction, electrics)
Group 3: Production Administration (including positions such as master electrician, company manager, publicity manager, dramaturg)
Minor in Theater
The theater minor consists of 18 credits in theater, selected in consultation with a faculty adviser and approved by the department chair.
Honors in Theater
Students wishing to pursue Honors in Theater should contact the department chair.
Participation in Theater Department productions with the GMU Players is expected of all declared majors. Up to 4 practicum credits, 1 credit per assignment, can be awarded for satisfactory completion of performance and production assignments in the major, including faculty- or guest-directed GMU Players mainstage, studio, or Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) productions.
TFA, a professional theater in residence within CVPA, offers students the chance to work closely with professional artists. TFA productions regularly employ student assistants in stage management, directing, dramaturgy, technical crews, and production and company management. Students are eligible to audition for roles or understudy assignments in TFA productions, and may participate in the membership candidate program through Actor's Equity Association.