Senior Thesis Proposal Guidelines

Written Formal Proposal Requirements

Note: Only students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major can propose a Senior Thesis.


THA 99a/99b: Senior Thesis is a two-semester in-depth inquiry, requiring a substantial investigation and execution of an artistic, production and/or scholarly idea(s).

In this proposal, please use the following questions to have an in-depth conversation with us. Get us excited, engage us and bring us into the conversation!

Thesis proposals are due the Monday after February Break to Deborah Rosenstein. After thesis proposal submission, you will be invited to attend a meeting with the Curriculum Committee to discuss your proposal (to be announced).

Proposal Questions

  1. Title: What is a proposed working title for your in-depth thesis inquiry?
  2. What is your artistic, production, and/or scholarly question(s) you hope to investigate in your thesis inquiry?
  3. In what way will you investigate this question(s) with your thesis study?
    • Point to methodologies and philosophies from your major study (either in Theater Arts and/or in other departments) that will be studied/used in your deep inquiry.
    • Point to specific courses you have taken that have informed your deep inquiry. How have these courses readied you for this undertaking?
    • Discuss the specific importance of research (and how you envision your research process) in your in-depth inquiry. Examples: Will you engage with primary sources? Do interviews? Travel to specific locations? Do observations? Engage with the scholarly work/historical work of the field of interest? Engage with professionals in the field of study or within the topic of interest?
  4. What will be the final culmination of your thesis inquiry? Final culminations can be within or outside of the Senior Festival — please specify if you are interested in having your final culmination included in the Festival. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Performance
    • Script Draft/Staged Reading
    • Dramaturgical Research Portfolio
    • Scholarly Paper
    • Design Implementation and Portfolio
    • Stage Management Production and Promptbooks
    • Movement/Choreography
    • Directing
  5. Discuss how this work connects to your other majors/minors/programs of study. Connect this work to your interdisciplinary study, if applicable.
  6. Discuss how this work connects to your future professional/educational goals.
  7. Why is this work important to the field? Why do you need to do this work now? Why would others need to see/be engaged in this work now (such as an audience, actors, fellow artists, scholars, etc.?)
  8. Please attach a working bibliography of resources you are considering for your in-depth inquiry.
  9. We strongly recommend limiting the number of actors in your pieces to 5 or less. If a cast size larger than 5 is proposed for the thesis, the proposal must include additional creative/conceptual justification. Preference for placement in Senior Festival will be given to pieces casting five or fewer actors.
  10. In addition to the Thesis Defense, seniors presenting public works will prepare a short presentation to precede their thesis performances to discuss the process and introduce the audience to the work. Seniors must work with their advisors and/or any faculty member to prepare the presentation. This is part of the academic requirement of a thesis being presented to the public.

Formatting and Deadline Details

Proposals are due the Monday after February Break to Deborah Rosenstein.

  • Double-spaced
  • 4-6 pages including bibliography.
  • 1-inch margins
  • Proofed and written with care

Proposal Review

The Theater Arts Curriculum Committee will review proposals.

Committee Members:

  • Jen Cleary
  • Adrianne Krstansky, chair
  • Ryan McKittrick
  • Mitsu Salmon
  • Robert Walsh