Theatre Arts

College of Creative Arts
Dean: Keith Morrison

Department of Theatre Arts
CA 103
415-338-1341
Chair: Roy Conboy

Undergraduate Adviser: C. Baron
Graduate Coordinator: M. Kowsar

Faculty

Professors—Eilenberg, Goto, Howard, Hunt, Kowsar, Mahler, Peters, Schechter

Associate Professors—Baron, Conboy, Washington

Assistant Professors—Kennedy, Roehrman, Wilson

Programs

B.A. in Drama
Minor in Drama
M.A. in Drama
M.F.A. in Theatre Arts: Concentration in Design/Technical Production


Program Scope

The Department of Theatre Arts offers a comprehensive program of both practical and theoretical courses for undergraduate and graduate students whose interests center in various aspects of educational and professional theatre.

The curricula provide the student with background for advanced study in the dramatic arts, for teaching, or for a career in professional theatre. As a center for the training of future theatre artists and audiences, the department is committed to introducing a diversity of theatrical traditions and cultures to students. To this end, the department employs its four theatre spaces as learning laboratories, in which students collaborate with faculty and guest professionals; studio workshops and advanced stage productions in those theatres are the culmination of classroom study and rehearsal in and out of class.

Faculty members encourage and facilitate collaboration with off-campus area theatres, in ways that enlarge their experience and open new connections between students and the community. This contact with the community offers students an education grounded in practical professional stage practices as well as university classes and production on campus.

The diverse backgrounds of both faculty and students in the program provide our campus and community with a wealth of theatrical experiences and attractions. Graduates of the program have gone on to professional success in the Bay Area and elsewhere, with positions of leadership in theatre, television, film, and theatre education.

Fundamental to the major program is a core of required courses designed as a foundation upon which to elect, upon advisement, one of the following areas of emphasis: performance, play development and dramaturgy, or technical theatre and design.

The minor program is not a requirement for any credential or degree but it is intended to give the student an opportunity to pursue an interest in theatre arts on an organized basis.

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Theatre Arts is offered with a concentration in design/technical production. The three-year Master of Fine Arts program is designed to provide rigorous, professional graduate training to prepare students for careers as professional theatre artists or artist teachers. In the design/technical production concentration, the focus is on specialized skills in the areas of scene design, costume design, lighting design, and/or technical production management.

The M.F.A. program is organized to combine the elements of professional practice and scholarly work to project a production concept through a specific discipline. The philosophy of the curriculum is based on two necessities of the theatrical art: collaboration and discipline. Students progress through a full-time sequence of courses which trains them to work with other specialized theatre artists in realizing a total work of theatre, as well as to excel in their own chosen arts. The program is designed to develop the candidate's practical skills and personal strengths towards motivating communication, commitment, and support among the production group.

The Master of Arts in Drama provides training for students wishing to expand their knowledge and increase their competence in the fields of history and literature of the theatre, acting, directing, theatre design, and production; seeking teaching credentials where the master's degree is required; and preparing for further graduate work elsewhere.

Facilities

The Department of Theatre Arts produces its plays in four theatre spaces: McKenna Theatre, a large auditorium that seats 760 people; the Little Theatre, a proscenium stage that seats 250 people; the Studio Theatre, a space that seats 90 people; and the Brown Bag Theatre, which accommodates 55 people.

Theatre Arts classes and production work are also conducted, with professional supervision, in our Scene Shop, Costume Shop, Properties Shop, and Sound Design Laboratory. Some plays have also been staged outdoors, in front of the Student Center, with lighting provided by the California sun.

Career Outlook

Career opportunities in theatre arts include performance and technical positions in professional, regional, and community theatres, as well as the areas of film and television, for actor, director, stage manager, designer (lighting, costume, scenery), and craftsperson (seamstress, carpenter, props artisan). Teaching positions range from elementary and high school theatre classes through community college and university curricula in all aspects of the dramatic arts. Other career possibilities include such diverse fields as sales, advertising, design (interior, fashion, display), child care, and recreation.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN DRAMA

The core consists of the twenty-seven units listed below while the area of emphasis consists of eighteen units of required and elective courses. No fewer than twelve units, planned with and approved by an assigned adviser, must be taken in residence study.

Online course descriptions are available.

Core Courses Units
TH A 130 Acting Workshop I 3
TH A 205 Introduction to Technical Theatre and Design 2
TH A 240 Evaluating the Theatrical Script for Production 3
Units selected from the following 6
TH A 310 Stage Scenery and Properties
TH A 312 Costuming and Make-Up
TH A 313 Stage Lighting and Sound
TH A 340 Principles of Directing 3
TH A 401 Theatre Backgrounds: 500 B.C.-1642  1 3
TH A 402 Theatre Backgrounds: 1642-1900  1 3
TH A 403 Theatre Backgrounds: 1900-Present  1 3
TH A 515 Stage Management or 3
  TH A 519/520   Theatre Management and Laboratory
Area of Emphasis (one Area of Emphasis chosen from below) 18
Total 45
Areas of Emphasis
Performance
TH A 125 Movement I: Skills 3
TH A 223 Voice I: Skills 3
TH A 230 Acting Workshop II 3
Units chosen on advisement from one of the following clusters 9
Acting
TH A 330 Acting Workshop III
TH A 423 Voice II: Styles
TH A 430 Acting Workshop IV
TH A 530 Acting: The Play
TH A 531 Styles of Acting
Directing
TH A 440 Acting/Directing Workshop
TH A 531 Styles of Acting
TH A 640 Directing: Collaborative Concepts
TH A 660 Advanced Play Development Workshop
TH A 690 Brown Bag Theatre Company (5)
TH A 691 Advanced Multicultural Production Workshop
Lyric Theatre
TH A 330 Acting Workshop III
TH A 333 Lyric Theatre Workshop
TH A 423 Voice II: Styles
TH A 425 Movement II: Styles
TH A 433 Musical Theatre Workshop
TH A 533 Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop
Asian Theatre
TH A 330 Acting Workshop III
TH A 332 Asian Acting for Western Actors
TH A 408 Asian Plays and Performance Styles
TH A 425 Movement II: Styles
TH A 430 Acting Workshop IV
TH A 525 Movement III: Techniques
TH A 532 Asian Theatre Workshop
Other
Units selected from the following on advisement:
TH A 330 Acting Workshop III
TH A 332 Asian Acting for Western Actors
TH A 333 Lyric Theatre Workshop
TH A 335 Rehearsal and Performance Technique
TH A 408 Asian Plays and Performance Styles
TH A 423 Voice II: Styles
TH A 425 Movement II: Styles
TH A 430 Acting Workshop IV
TH A 433 Musical Theatre Workshop
TH A 440 Acting/Directing Workshop
TH A 525 Movement III: Techniques
TH A 530 Acting: The Play
TH A 531 Styles of Acting
TH A 532 Asian Theatre Workshop
TH A 533 Advanced Musical Theatre Workshop
TH A 640 Directing: Collaborative Concepts
TH A 660 Advanced Play Development Workshop
TH A 690 Brown Bag Theatre Company (5)
TH A 691 Advanced Multicultural Production Workshop
Play Development and Dramaturgy
Units chosen from the following: 12
TH A 406 The Art of Comedy
TH A 408 Asian Plays and Performance Styles
TH A 460 Play Development Workshop
TH A 605 Writing and Performing Monologues
TH A 660 Advanced Play Development Workshop
Elective units on advisement 6
Technical Theatre and Design
TH A 305 Design Graphics for Stage and Screen 3
TH A 504 Historical Styles for the Theatre: Pre-history-1700 3
TH A 505 Historical Styles for the Theatre: 1700-Present 3
One course selected from the following which was not taken as part of the core: 2
TH A 310 Scenery and Properties Laboratory and Crew (2)
TH A 312 Costuming and Make-Up Laboratory and Crew (2)
TH A 313 Lighting and Sound Laboratory and Crew (2)
Elective units chosen from the following: 7
TH A 315 Theatre Production: Technical Crew (1)
TH A 410 Scene Design for Stage and Screen
TH A 411 Costume Design for Stage and Screen
TH A 413 Stage Lighting Design I
TH A 415 Sound Design in Theatre (2)
TH A 510 Advanced Stagecraft
TH A 610 Practicum in Theatre
TH A 611 Seminar in Costume Design and Technology
TH A 613 Stage Lighting Design II
TH A 615 Seminar in Technical Theatre Arts

Teaching Credentials in the Single Subject Approved Program in English (Drama) require completion of courses in English as well as Theatre Arts. For details on this program, please consult credentials advisers in the English Composition and Secondary Education offices.

MINOR IN DRAMA

A minimum of twenty-two units, of which at least eleven must be at the upper division level, should be planned with an assigned adviser.

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN THEATRE ARTS

Graduate Advisers—Kennedy, Roehrman, Wilson

Admission to the Program

Applications for classified status in the M.F.A. program are accepted beginning November 1 of the preceding year, for admission the following Fall. Applicants are required to file two applications, one to the university and one to the Theatre Arts Department. Admission to classified status requires acceptance by both the university and the Department of Theatre Arts. A departmental application form may be obtained by writing to: Department of Theatre Arts, Graduate Coordinator, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, California 94132.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: evaluation of graduate student's statement of purpose, which is a written requirement for admission to classified standing in the Theatre Arts Department. On the basis of this material the graduate coordinator may properly advise a student on the need to obtain additional skills in writing. If remedial work is required it is so indicated as a condition to classification. Level Two: judged by a graduate student's written work while enrolled in TH A 701 or 709. It is expected that papers written for this course will demonstrate scholarly style.

Completion of the Degree

To complete the M.F.A., students must satisfy all university and Department of Theatre Arts requirements. The university requirements are described in the front of the Graduate Education section of this Bulletin. Department requirements are provided in detail by the M.F.A. graduate coordinator and M.F.A. concentration advisers. In addition to satisfactory completion of the course requirements, the department requires satisfactory performance on yearly departmental reviews, participation in the department's production program, and the successful completion of a final creative project or thesis. The Department of Theatre Arts accepts a limited number of transfer units on a course-by-course basis, only on advisement.

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts: Concentration in Performance

At present, this program is suspended due to budget constraints.

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts: Concentration in Design/Technical Production

Core Requirements Units
TH A 705 Seminar: Performance and Production Theory 3
TH A 711 Collaborative Processes in Theatre 3
TH A 740 Play Production Concepts 3
TH A 757 Internship in Theatre 3
TH A 894 Creative Work Project 3
Total for core 15
Concentration
One of the following: 3
TH A 701 Seminar: Theatre History and Historiography
TH A 702 Seminar: Shakespearean Production Style
TH A 710 Seminar in Stage Arts
TH A 750 Design Studio 9
TH A 810 Advanced Practicum in Theatre 9
Electives on advisement 24
Total for concentration 45
Total for degree

60

MASTER OF ARTS IN DRAMA

Graduate Advisers—Eilenberg, Hampton, Howard, Kowsar

Admission to Program

Applicants should submit the following directly to the graduate coordinator: (1) statement of purpose (include proposed area and/or areas of emphasis); (2) copy of transcript; (3) three letters of reference from people who know the applicant's theatre work; and (4) information considered important but which does not appear on the transcript.

Students must meet university departmental requirements, and must normally have completed an undergraduate major in Theatre Arts. Consideration is given to students with a strong undergraduate minor or other relevant work. Admission to the program is based on the Theatre Arts Graduate Committee's evaluation of a student's previous work and supportive materials.

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Level One: evaluation of graduate student's statement of purpose, which is a written requirement for admission to classified standing in the Theatre Arts Department. On the basis of this material the graduate coordinator may properly advise a student on the need to obtain additional skills in writing. If remedial work is required it is so indicated as a condition to classification. Level Two: judged by a graduate student's written work while enrolled in TH A 707. If papers written for this course do not earn a superior grade, students must secure the graduate coordinator's permission before enrolling in other 700 level courses.

Besides meeting all general requirements, a diagnostic examination on the entire field of drama may be given at the time of registration to aid the graduate adviser in developing each student's program. Weaknesses in any area may necessitate enrollment in specified courses selected in order to build strength in the area. Such courses are usually taken in addition to the minimum number of units required for completion of the graduate major.

Program

All upper division courses in Theatre Arts in acting, directing, management, and design are acceptable upon advisement except: TH A 300, 310, 312, 313, 315, 335, 401, 402, and 403.

Online course descriptions are available.

Core Requirements Units
TH A 700 Theatre Research Methods 3
TH A 701 Seminar: Theatrical History and Historiography 3
TH A 707 Seminar: Theatrical Writing 1
TH A 709 Seminar: Dramatic Literature and Criticism 3
Other Requirements
Selection of one seminar from the following: 3
TH A 702 Seminar: Shakespearean Production Style
TH A 703 Seminar: The American Stage
TH A 704 Seminar: Contemporary Plays and Performance
TH A 705 Seminar: Performance and Production Theory
TH A 894 Creative Work Project or 3
  TH A 898   Master's Thesis
Upper division or graduate course in drama 3
Supporting upper division or graduate courses in related subjects approved by graduate major adviser 12
Minimum total 31
  and Master's Comprehensive Written Examination (If failed may be repeated once only and must be repeated within a year of the failure.)

Master's Thesis or Creative Work Project. Depending upon the educational and professional aims of the student, the departmental graduate committee recommends whether a master's thesis or creative work project is to be undertaken by the individual student.


Footnotes

  1. If a candidate has previously been credited with an appropriate equivalent course, either TH A 412 or 505 may be substituted with approval by an assigned advisor.


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Last modified July 05, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu