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Theatre Curriculum

Both in study and practice, theatre at the College is directed toward developing an understanding and appreciation of the interrelationship of actor, script, performing space, and audience.

The Department’s curriculum centers on courses that explore performance (acting and directing), text (literature and playwriting), and performing space (design and technology), and that recognize—in various considerations of styles, periods, history, standards, and conventions—the essentiality of the audience in completing the theatre circle.

Acknowledging the unique and elemental nature of theatre as live performance, the Department emphasizes direct and personal expression through production experience. Students from all majors participate in the production of plays and enroll in theatre courses. Theatre majors are guided through the academic and production programs to hone their specialty area of emphasis while cultivating a generalist approach to theatre.

The Department is committed to helping students focus their career goals in theatre and prepares students to meet them by advising them from declaration about opportunities outside the Red Brick Wall to complement their work within the Department.

The Department presents two or three productions each academic year, with additional productions added through directing class, independent study projects, and allied programs. The production season serves as laboratory work for the academic program and production work is an inherent part of the major.

Theatre majors are expected to develop skill in their specialty area through course work and assignments in every department production. This apprenticeship path leads to earning a major role or production responsibility that can serve as their capstone project in their senior year. Theatre majors receive regular evaluations to ensure their successful progress along that path.

Seasons of plays are chosen with deliberation. The Department strives to offer an artistically compelling and socially relevant season of plays to its students, to the College community, and to Lynchburg in general, a season that is entertaining while advancing our knowledge of the human condition.

The Department is dedicated to exposing each student to the breadth of theatrical expression in their time on campus, emphasizing the best of period and contemporary work and the variety of production styles, while providing an individually crafted program of study and set of experiences that maximizes artistic growth.


Bachelor of Fine Arts

Students who intend to enroll in the B.F.A. must apply to the program.

Audition is required for the acting track and portfolio review for the design and technology or directing tracks.

Juried review required at the end of each year to continue in the program.

Students in the theatre B.F.A. are expected to assume a leadership position in multiple productions and to select their additional courses in consultation with their advisor.

Students may choose the option to pursue multiple tracks and can receive a B.F.A. in more than one area of study if all the appropriate requirements are completed.

Recommended Courses Outside of the Department

For students interested in performance: courses in business management and marketing, literature, media and culture, psychology, dance, and voice.

For students interested in design and technical production: courses in art studio, geometry, and engineering physics

Course Offerings

Below is a list of available theatre courses offered by the Performing Arts Department. Consult the Registrar’s Office and the College Catalog for registration information.

THTR 1107 - Production Lab

Practical experience with departmental productions in the area of performance, stage management, technical production, and/or theatrical design. Placement will be decided by an interview by the instructor in conjunction with department faculty and/or assignment to a specific project with a current production. A minimum number of laboratory hours will be required for satisfactory completion of the assignment or project. The amount of laboratory hours shall be based upon the nature of the project and dependent upon the credit hours selected. Hours: 1 or 2 (stage management or crew head only). Prerequisite: permission of the Department. Offered on a Pass/Fail basis only. May be repeated for credit.

THTR 1111 - Stagecraft

An introduction to the principles of design as they apply to performance and the design process. This is a project-based class in which students will practice the basic techniques of costume, scenery, and lighting design. Practical experience with departmental productions. Hours: 4.

THTR 1117 - Basics Of Design

An introduction to the principles of design as they apply to performance and the design process. This is a project-based class in which students will practice the basic techniques of costume, scenery, and lighting design. Practical experience with departmental productions. Hours credit: 4.

THTR 1123 - Beginning Acting

This course explores the process of preparing for a role. Through improvisational exercises and scene study, students explore approaches to the creative state, discovering physical actions, defining simple objectives, developing powers of observation, character development, expressing the super-objective, communicating subtext and the magic if. The course culminates in a final scene presentation. Hours credit: 4.

THTR 1142 - Introduction To Theatre

A general orientation to dramatic and theatrical conventions, theatre periods and styles, dramatic genres, theatre organization and production. The roles of audience, actor, director, playwright, and designer. The reading and discussion of plays and musicals. Viewing and reviewing the play in production. Hours credit: 4.

THTR 1185 - Thtr One Time Only

Hours credit: 4. One time only.

THTR 1190 - Independent Study

THTR 2212 - Topics In Theatre

Specialized study in areas of theatre technology, production, styles, or genres. Depending upon topic, course work may extend from a minimum of four weeks to the entire semester, and may call for practical experience with departmental/Sock & Buskin and senior theatre majors' productions. Hours credit: 1, 1.5, 2, or 3. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Offered at the discretion of the Department. May be repeated for credit when topic differs.

THTR 2215 - Lighting Design

An introduction to stage lighting, including the study of elementary electricity, optics, manual and computerized control, and the principles of lighting design. Exploration of the process of lightining through the analysis of design choices and development of lighting designs using standard graphic conventions. Practical experience with departmental productions. Hours credit: 4.

THTR 2216 - Scenic Design

An introduction to the design of theatrical scenery. Basic design techniques to be explored include thumbnail studies, scaled drafting of ground plans and design drawings, architectural rendering, paint elevations, and scale model building. Practical experience with departmental/Sock & Buskin and senior theatre majors' productions. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: Theatre 1117.

THTR 2217 - Sound For Theatre

An introduction to sound as a design element in stage production, the aural landscape, recording and sound creation techniques, sound reinforcement and reproduction in performance. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: THTR 1117 or permission of the Instructor.

THTR 2221 - Costume Design And Technology

An introduction to the art of design with specific emphasis on its relation to costuming for the theatre. Students will explore the use of various media and techniques used for the creation of costume design. A variety of rendering techniques may be explored including collage, watercolor, and transfer drawing. Students will also receive an introduction to costume construction techniques for the stage. Topics include basic stitching technique for costume construction, identification and use of costume shop tools and equipment, shop safety and protocols, and professional wardrobe practices. Work on department productions is required. Credit hours: 4. Prerequisite: THTR 117. Alternate years: offered Spring 2021. (AE)

THTR 2222 - Computer Drafting

An introduction to computer aided drafting. This is a project-based course in which students will use programs such as AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Google SketchUp, and a photo editing software. This course is open to all majors and minors. Credit hours: 4. No prerequisites.

THTR 2224 - Intermediate/advanced Acting

This course builds upon the foundation laid in Fundamentals of Acting. Through movement and vocal exercises, scene study and topic specific exercises, this course introduces students to performing in a variety of styles and techniques, including the acting methods of Laban, Meisner, Chekov, Suzuki and Anne Bogart's Viewpoints, and addresses non-traditional, verse, absurdist and post-modern texts. The class runs on a three-semester cycle that rotates the subject matter every three semesters. The course culminates in a presentation of final scenes. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: THTR 1123R or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit with consultation with the instructor required after 9 credit hours.

THTR 2228 - Movement For The Stage

This course aims to further the development of artistic expression through movement and body awareness. Students will learn the importance of physical expression as it relates to creating acting choices and other theatrical principles. The class will achieve this through the exploration of techniques such as core strengthening, conditioning, Suzuki, Laban, yoga, flexibility, stage combat, dance, visualization/movement exercises, clowning/mask, and monologue/scene work. The course will also work to foster a collaborative approach to theatre through partner and ensemble projects. Hours credit: 4. May be repeated for up to 6 credit hours. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

THTR 2233 - Fundamentals Of Directing

Detailed play analysis. Development of the director's concept. Instruction in stage composition, picturization, movement, rhythm, and pantomimic dramatization. Direction of scenes from outstanding contemporary plays. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: THTR 1117 and 1123 or permission of the instructor.

THTR 2235 - Voice And Diction

Voice and diction will develop student ability in vocal production and enhance clarity in public presentations. Students will be introduced to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and will address individual regionalisms. Students will improve their vocal power and clarity through physical and vocal exercises as well as individual presentations. Hours credit: 4. May be repeated for credit up to a maximum of six hours. May meet concurrently with MUSC 2235 for the first half of the session.

THTR 2241 - History Of The Theatre

A detailed survey of Western theatre in form and style with emphasis on production techniques and forces affecting the development of the theatre as a cultural phenomenon. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: any 3-credit 1100-level theatre course or permission of instructor.

THTR 2244 - Script Analysis

Play analysis techniques for dramatic literature from a variety of historical periods. Students will focus on language and structure created by playwrights with special attention given to dramaturgical conventions of various epochs. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: any 3-credit 1100-level threatre course.

THTR 2245 - Stage Management

An introduction to theatre organization and the forms and procedures of managing for the stage, including pre-planning, the rehearsal process, production management, and running a performance. Students will focus on organization and communication skills and the stage managers role in the production process. Practical experience with departmental productions. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: 1100-level theatre course or permission of the instructor.

THTR 2273 - Thtr One Time Only

Hours credit: 4. One time only.

THTR 2288 - Theatre One Time Only

Hours credit: 4. One time only.

THTR 2288S - Thtr One Time Only

Hours Credit: 2. One time only.

THTR 3311 - Design/technology Portfolio

This class will focus on presenting a polished and professional physical portfolio as well as the skills needed to be effective in design presentations and production meetings. The course will seek to further develop previous work and to help student designers and technicians build their professional image through mock presentations, interviews, and adjudications by guest artists. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: THTR 2201 or 2215 or 2216 or 2217 or 2219 or 3348. Alternate years.

THTR 3337 - Directing Workshop

Further study and practice of concepts and techniques developed in Fundamentals of Directing (Theatre 2233). Detailed examination and application of twentieth-century directing theories. Direction of short plays or scenes from classic and modern plays. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: Theatre 1142 and 2233. May be repeated for credit. Offered as needed.

THTR 3347 - Performance Portfolio

This course is the pre-professional training that acting and directing students need to prepare them for graduate school and job pursuits. Actors will explore the skills and techniques that encourage effective auditioning. For them, the class will focus on personal preparation, script analysis, cold reading, effective interview techniques, receiving directorial adjustments, and monologue work. Resume preparation and headshot selection will also be touched upon. For directors, the class will guide each student through the process of creating their own directing portfolio and resume. Both actors and directors will develop the flexibility and confidence to handle actual job interviews and auditions. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: THTR 1123 or 2233. Alternate years.

THTR 3386 - Thtr One Time Only

Hours credit: 4. One time only.

THTR 3388 - Thtr One Time Only

Hours credit: 4. One time only.

THTR 4490 - Independent Study

THTR 4493 - Prof Development Seminar

Seniors will use resume, interview, portfolio, and audition skills developed in THTR 3347/THTR 3311 to prepare for the actual process of applying for graduate school/professional theatre work through conferences like Southeastern Theatre Conference, Unified Professional Theatre Auditions, and University Resident Theatre Association. The instructor will guide each student through their individual process of applying for post graduate opportunities. Credit Hours: 1. Prerequisite: permission of the department.

THTR 4494 - Senior Project

Senior Project includes directed work in one or more of the following areas as arranged with the Department - design, technical production, management, directing, acting, playwriting, or dramatic literature. Seminar study and research. Hours credit: 4. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

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