Theatre Studies & Dramaturgy (BA)


Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts/Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Program Description

The study and analysis of theatre require an interdisciplinary approach.  Students must learn about playwriting, acting, directing, design, and production.  They must hone critical skills, delve into historical research, and practice effective communication.  The Theatre Studies & Dramaturgy program challenges students to analyze the content of performances as well as the contexts in which they occur.  Moreover, students must learn to put theoretical thinking into creative action by participating directly in the making of theatre.  Asking students to approach theatre both as an object of scholarly study and as a process of production, the program offers training for future theatre makers, educators, critics, and scholars.  It introduces students to professional paths in the performing arts such as dramaturgy, play development, advocacy, and arts administration.  It also prepares students for success in other fields that value interpretation, exploration, and collaboration.

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Learning Outcomes

By completing the Theatre Studies & Dramaturgy Program, students will:

  • Recognize and describe cultural and historical forces that form the background for theatrical practices in a global context
  • Speak with fluency about theatre history and theatre practices today
  • Display critical and creative thinking skills through course assignments as well as through production and independent work
  • Demonstrate strong writing skills, in a variety of genres (expository, creative, business, etc.) and for a variety of audiences (scholars, audience members, funders, etc.)
  • Exhibit strong research skills, applied both to course assignments and to production work
  • Probe current theatre-making structures and investigate career paths within the collaborative field
  • Apply skills learned in classes to actual theatre production and/or theatre-related practices
  • Practice a language other than English (in part as demonstration of language and translation skills, in part as demonstration of professional suitability for an increasingly diverse market)

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Admission and Special Requirements

Admission Requirement

In addition to completing the Webster University admissions application, students who intend to pursue the Theatre Studies & Dramaturgy major must submit a sample essay highlighting critical skills directly to the theatre department and interview with the head of the program, either in person or remotely.

Special Program Requirements

Only courses completed with a grade of C- or above will count toward fulfilling the specific requirements of the major.  Students will spend one semester studying abroad.  Students will also undertake a practicum capstone assignment to complete program requirements.

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Degree Requirements

A minimum of 128 credit hours consisting of the following:

  • 51 required credit hours
  • Applicable university global citizenship or general education program hours
  • Electives

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Required Courses: 33 credit hours

  • THEA 1000 Production Applications (2 hours)
  • THEA 1080 Studio Acting I (3 hours)
  • THEA 2060 Introduction to Dramaturgy and Play Analysis (3 hours)
  • THEA 2030 History of Theatre: Greeks to Elizabethan (3 hours)
  • THEA 2040 History of Theatre: Restoration to 1915 (3 hours)
  • THEA 2050 History of Theatre: 1915 to Present (3 hours)
  • THEA 2100 Introduction to Theatre Design (3 hours)
  • THEA 3710 Directing I (2 hours)
  • THEA 4060 Advanced Dramaturgy Seminar (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2170 Playwriting (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2500 Global Dramatic Literature (3 hours)
  • INDZ 3000 Practicum (2 hours)

Required Distribution: 18 Credit Hours

6 credits in literature (from courses below, although other literature courses could be approved)

  • ENGL 2210 Literature into Film (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2250 Literary London (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3050 Topics in Drama (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3100 Modern Drama (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3130 Contemporary Drama (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3190 Comedy and Satire (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3210 Tragic Themes (3 hours)
  • ENGL 3500 Contexts (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4150 Shakespeare I (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4160 Shakespeare II (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4500 Literary Criticism (3 hours)

3 credits in theatre skills (from sample courses below):

  • THEA 2080 Studio Acting II (3 hours)
  • THEA 3720 Directing II (2 hours)
  • THEA 3070 Creative Dramatics: Social Issues (3 hours)
  • THEA 3030 Topics in Theatre (2-3 hours)
  • THEA 3040 Topics in Theatre (2-3 hours)
  • THEA 4500 London Theatre (3 hours)
  • ENGL 4400 Advanced Writing Workshop/Playwriting (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2190 Creative Writing  Translation (3 hours)

3 credits in the history of a cognate art (from courses below, although other relevant courses could be approved as substitutes):

  • ARHS 2210 Introduction to the History of Western Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2320 Introduction to Asian Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2350 Introductory Topics in Art History (3 hours)
  • DANC 2210 Dance History (3 hours)
  • FLST 2050 History of Film (3 hours)
  • MUSC 2030 Survey of Music History I (3 hours)
  • MUSC 2040 Survey of Music History II (3 hours)

3 credits in professional writing skills (from sample courses below):

  • WRIT 2072 Writing for Change (3 hours)
  • WRIT 2090 Writing in the Workplace (3 hours)
  • WRIT 2400 Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hours)
  • WRIT 3100 Report and Proposal Writing (3 hours)

3 credits of an International Language

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