Department of Theatre
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Williams Theatre 128 ~ 260-481-6551
The student learning outcomes for the degree are as follows:
- Conceptualize the theatre complex - Demonstrate in practice, verbally, and in writing, an understanding and appreciation for all of the practical aspects of theatre, including: Acting, Design, Directing, Stage Management, and Technical Production.
- Apply literary analyses to distinct practice analyses - Demonstrate the ability to analyze a text to suit the needs of the specific practical areas of theatre in a classroom setting, a rehearsal setting, and in the performance arena.
- Develop a historical timeline - Understand the major trends in the development of Western Theatre, including developments in: dramatic literary genres, practical applications in production design and technology and performance styles emerging out of various periods and locales.
- Link theatre to its contexts - Develop a general familiarity with the various socio-political contexts out of which each period of Dramatic Literature and accompanying production practices have emerged.
- Write critically - Be able to demonstrate familiarity with the rudiments of academic critical writing by: drafting an essay in clear thesis, body and conclusion format, focusing the essay’s argument on specific aspect(s) of a dramatic work and utilizing a combination of close-reading skills (primary source analysis) and research skills (secondary source analysis).
- Apply rhetorical strategies - Use various rhetorical modes to demonstrate the use of critical-thinking skills (both orally and in writing) related to the academic and scholarly elements of theatre history and its various cultural contexts (including movements, practitioners and societies).
- Transform the abstract into the concrete - Apply abstract, intellectual concepts about a work of theatre to the various practical areas of production.
- Collaborate - Exhibit a collaborative spirit within the classroom, the production process, and the Department as a whole, by forming original ideas about a dramatic work and subsequently entering into a group collaboration process, in which one’s own concepts become part of the group’s conceptual integration process through empathetic listening and give and take of ideas.
Students who are passionate about Theatre will have the opportunity to immerse in all aspects of the Theatre B.A. program. This nationally accredited Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre requires students to develop a broad education in Theatre Arts but also provides some concentration on specific areas of the profession: acting, musical theatre, directing, and design/technology.
Students study and work one-on-one with dedicated and professionally active faculty. Students benefit from the small size of the department through opportunities to act, direct, and/or design in major productions during their entire four-year course of study, starting in the freshman year. Many professions encompass the theatre complex, including but not limited to: scenic design, costume design, special effects and make-up, to technical direction, fight mastery, literary and theoretical scholarship, dramaturgy, sound design, lighting design, and performance. Students will learn the wide array of possibilities.
All courses for this degree program are conducted on-campus.
Declaring This Major:
It is possible to declare a Theatre Major first semester of the freshman year. Students are not required to audition prior to becoming a Theatre Major. However, interested high school seniors are encouraged to contact the Department of Theatre directly, in order to schedule an audition for consideration of scholarship funding. Students offered a scholarship are expected to claim Theatre as their primary major as a requirement of accepting the award.
General Education Requirements and Program Requirements:
Theatre Majors must earn a C- or higher in all Statewide General Education core courses, a grade of C- or higher on all Theatre core courses and a grade of D- or higher is required in open electives courses. An overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher must be maintained throughout the pursuit of the degree.
The four categories of course completion requirements collectively total 120 credits for degree completion as detailed below:
1. General Education Courses: 33 credits from a specified variety of subject areas across the University’s curriculum (C- or higher required).
2. Theatre Core Courses: 42 credits from a specified variety of Theatre subject areas, designed to introduce students to the wide range of specialties that comprise the theatre complex of professions (C- or higher required).
3. Theatre Concentration: 18 credits of concentration courses. Students are required to elect one of the Department of Theatre’s Concentrations in their choice of: Acting, Musical Theatre, Design/Technology or Directing. In order to complete one of the Concentrations, students take a collection of pre-determined bundles of upper division theatre electives. Each bundle consists of 18 credits. The faculty has grouped together courses as a mode of providing the student an option to specialize in a particular theatre field. This experience in acquiring a certain degree of specialization helps the student to make decisions about going on to graduate school, a professional apprenticeship or an internship in their chosen area.
4. Open Electives: 27 credits; students finish out the Theatre BA by completing 27 credits of courses from any area of the University’s offerings. Open electives give students a great deal of flexibility in deciding how they will complete their degree requirements (D- or higher required).
Please Note: Students may choose to major or minor in an additional field. When this is the case, students are allowed to replace the requirement to complete a Theatre Concentration with either a minor or a major in an additional field. In these cases, rather than completing a Theatre Concentration of 18 credits and 27 additional open electives, the Department of Theatre allows the student to use the 45 credits beyond the General Education Core and the Theatre Core to fulfill the major or minor requirements in the other department at the University. In this case, these 45 credits function concurrently as the core of a secondary major or minor in another department at the University and also as Theatre electives in the Theatre B.A. If the student drops the other major or minor, the student is then still required to complete one of the Theatre Concentrations, as per the instructions above.
To earn the B.A. with a Major in Theatre, students must satisfy the requirements of Purdue University Fort Wayne (Regulations ) and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (Colleges ). Theatre majors must earn a C- or higher in all Statewide General Education Core courses and all Theatre Core courses. A grade of D- or higher is required in open electives courses, and an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher must be maintained.