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ARTS & SCIENCES

THEATRE
Overview

The study of Theatre at The College of William & Mary encompasses classes, laboratories, and theatrical
productions that teach students to understand, appreciate, and pursue the various aspects of theatre within
the College’s liberal arts framework, including the study of theatrical history and theory, the analysis of dramatic
literature, the study of producing plays, the theatrical performance itself, and the study and evaluation of
performances. The Theatre program emphasizes the value of active inquiry rather than passive exposure in
acquiring knowledge. Beginning students receive models, guidelines and opportunities to experiment, while
advanced students undertake major independent projects, both scholarly and creative, that test models, explore
new approaches, and expand course offerings

Theatre Major/Minor

An undergraduate arts degree in any field will not be “vocational” - it will be foundational. A liberal arts
education opens each of us to the widest range of our intellectual potential. Theatre, in particular, demands a
fusion of knowledge, hands-on skills, imagination, and human interaction. Our Theatre majors develop a wide
range of career and life skills including the ability to:




Collaborate, work independently, lead a team, and follow another’s direction
Imagine what does not yet exist, communicate in different modes, and think creatively to solve problems
Organize, prioritize, adapt, meet deadlines, and work efficiently
Relate well to people of varying backgrounds, and work well under pressure
Develop commitment, initiative, curiosity, self-discipline, and a desire for excellence

Theatre majors are expected to become knowledgeable about all facets of theatrical practice including
dramaturgy, direction, design, technical production, and performance. Our undergraduates enjoy opportunities
to directly fulfill high-level production assignments and in-depth scholarly research with faculty and guest
artists in a collaborative environment.

Performance and Production Opportunities

There are many opportunities for new and returning students to participate in William & Mary Theatre as
performers, designers, directors, and technical crew. Each year, a Theatre and Dance Open House is held during
Fall Orientation for those interested in learning how to get involved. Students regularly participate in a variety
of production roles including: scenic design, carpentry, properties, stage management, running crew, scene
painting, costume design, costume construction, make-up, wardrobe crew, lighting design, electrics and, of
course, performers.

Faculty

Members of the Theatre Faculty are intensely involved in scholarship and creative work. Scholarly and creative
activity supports faculty development as artists-teachers-scholars, and the teaching process is enriched when
students are given the opportunity to be involved in faculty research. Theatre faculty participates in a range
of scholarly and creative activity in the arts through extensive original work in the form of direction, design,
production, playwriting, dramaturgy, choreography, and performing, in addition to research and publication.
Collaboration within the department as well as with faculty in other arts, humanities and social science disciplines
is also an integral aspect of faculty research and teaching.

Alumni

Theatre students develop into dedicated artists and technicians and often find they have forged working
relationships and friendships that last a lifetime. Majors, Minors, or those simply involved in theatre productions
at The College of William & Mary have gone on to successful careers in the performing arts as technical directors,
lighting, costume, scenic, and sound designers, stage managers, producers, directors, playwrights, actors and
arts administrators. Beyond the performing arts, Theatre majors have also pursued careers in other fields such
as event planning, teaching, business, medicine, law, education, and information technology.

ARTS & SCIENCES

THEATRE
Auditions/Interviews
An audition or interview is not required for admission to the College of William & Mary Theatre program.
Prospective students who feel their level of previous theatre experience would allow them to contribute to
William & Mary Theatre activities may submit a performance DVD or production portfolio with their application.
Submitted materials must be accompanied by the Arts Supplement Form, and will not be returned.
Auditions for theatre performances and production roles are open to all students, faculty and staff at the College
without regard to age, sex, race, or ethnic background. Productions are cast from auditions that are open to
freshmen through seniors, majors and non-majors. We seek casting that is integral to the action of a play or
the artistic vision of its creator or director. We embrace the creative and artistic possibilities of diverse and
multicultural casting.

Coursework
Theatre Majors are required to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of theatre courses selected from the
following offerings:
Thea 200 and 200L - Introduction to Theatre
Thea 152 - Freshman Seminar: Introduction to Theatre
Thea 201 - Beginning Acting
Thea 205 - Stagecraft
Thea 300 - Fundamentals of Design for the Theatrical Arts
Thea 328/329 - Survey of Theatre History
Thea 380 - Practicum in Theatre
Thea 407 - Direction
Thea 317 - Playwriting
Thea 331 - Feminist Theory and Contemporary Theatre
Thea 332 - Sex, Race, Plays, Films
Thea 336 - African American Theatre History I
Thea 337 - African American Theatre History II
Thea 410 - Theatre and Society in 20th-Century America
Thea 461 - Topics in Theatre History, Theory and Criticism
Thea 481 - Dramatic and Theatrical Theory
Thea 309 - Costume Design
Thea 310 - Scene Design
Thea 312 - Sound Design
Thea 314 - Stage Lighting Design
+ One (1) Dance course
Theatre Minors must complete a minimum of 22 credit hours of theatre courses.

Contact Us
Department of Theatre, Speech & Dance
Christopher Owens, Chair
Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall
601 Jamestown Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 221-2660

Director of Theatre
Laurie Wolf
PBK, Room 226
(757) 221-2671
ljwolf@wm.edu

www.wm.edu/as/tsd/theatre