Learning Goals

The Department of Theater Arts is dedicated to the study, practice, appreciation and interpretation of theater and performance, with an emphasis on its collaborative nature and a focus on the social, cultural, political, environmental and economic diversity of theatrical expression within the global/transnational context.


Understanding how theater has an impact on the world is important. It is also valuable for a student to learn what is involved in creating a role, working in an ensemble, making the space of the theater come alive with design, and to learn how to communicate and be clear about ideas and the basic needs for a production. To this end, our students learn to:

  1. Engage conceptually and critically with theater text, performance and production.
  2. Have an understanding of the complex history of theater, its cultural roots and impact on society.
  3. Develop knowledge and skills in varied theatrical genres, styles and techniques.
  4. Obtain experiential knowledge of stage and performance practices.
  5. Delve into specific areas of interest through electives and more advanced study.

Core Skills

As a major or minor, students can specialize in a particular area of theater performance or study a variety of methods and disciplines. Also, students are given the opportunity to develop original material and perform their own work in the theaters provided by the department. Through our required courses, students:

  1. Develop knowledge and a foundational understanding of the theatrical process.
    → Required course(s): THA 2a Theater Foundations or THA 10a Theater as Collaboration
  2. Understand analysis of plays from varying periods, genre and styles, and investigate classical and contemporary theater from a global perspective.
    → Required course(s): THA 11a Theater Texts & Theory I or THA 11b Theater Texts & Theory II or THA 150a Global Theater
  3. Demonstrate and implement a working knowledge and vocabulary of performance methodologies, skills and techniques.
    → Required course(s): THA 21b Fundamentals of Acting or THA 23a Movement for the Stage
  4. Understand the visual elements of theater and its capacity for world-building.
    → Required course(s): THA 125b The Art of Scenography: Scenic Design and Invention for Performance or NEW Course: Theater and the Visual Imagination
  5. Become well versed in the analysis, research and reflection required to conceptualize and/or contextualize theatrical works.
    → Required course(s): THA 70a Directing or THA 71a Playwriting or THA 148b Fundamentals of Dramaturgy
  6. Explore the management and production roles in professional theater as well as the variety of career possibilities related to the study of theater.
    → Required course(s): THA 27a Wellness Models for Sustainability in Theater or THA 101a Stage Management or THA 138a The Business of Show Business
  7. Gain the tools to make socially and ethically responsible theater by contextualizing diverse and/or marginalized theater traditions as part of a global society.
    → Required course(s): AAPI/THA 116a Asian American Performance or THA 142b Women Playwrights or THA 144b Black Theater and Performance or THA 145a Queer Theater or THA 146a Theater and the Holocaust or THA 147a Latinx Theater
  8. Work in a backstage capacity to understand the technical elements of a theatrical production.
    → Required course(s): THA 30a Theater Practicum

Theater Arts and Social Justice

Through our required courses and electives, we encourage students to:

  1. Bring humane awareness to casting choices, discussion of material selection, rehearsal etiquette, consent, intention and audience/community engagement.
  2. Possess an understanding of how theater has been used outside of the traditional realm for community building and individual growth.
  3. Explore the creation of original work that can be used for giving voice to social issues through collaboration and interaction within performance.

Upon Graduating you will be able to

  1. Understand and apply a foundational knowledge of theater history, dramatic literature and theory from a global perspective.
  2. Utilize varied and collaborative disciplines in the creation of theatrical productions and original works.
  3. Remain vibrant and adaptive to new discoveries, methodologies, interpretations and relationships with other disciplines, including law, medicine, education, social work and a variety of other fields.
  4. Pursue advanced study and/or engage in the industry at a professional level.
  5. Find conscious ways to give voice to social justice issues with artistry and connectedness.