William and Mary

Majoring in Theatre

Theatre inherently embraces the liberal arts, fusing historical and theoretical studies with creative work. We expect theatre majors to become knowledgeable about all facets of theatrical practice including direction, design, technical production, and performance.  Our undergraduates excel because the department provides major opportunities for students to fulfill high level production assignments and in-depth scholarly research, including Honors projects, while investigating a variety of theatrical genres.

The Practicum in Theatre is an important part of the Theatre Major.  These assignments provide leadership opportunities, resume-building experiences, and close contact with facutly mentors.

A major in Theatre requires a minimum of 36 credits in a variety of theatre courses to ensure a well-rounded program. Students considering a Theatre major are advised to take either THEA 200 or THEA 152 in their freshman year. (Students taking 200 may not take 152 for credit and vice versa.)

Core Requirements of the Theatre Major:

  1. 200 and 200L. Introduction to Theatre
    152. Freshman Seminar: Introduction to Theatre

  2. 201. Beginning Acting
    205. Stagecraft
    300. Fundamentals of Design for the Theatrical Arts
    328 and 329. Survey of Theatre History
    380. Practicum in Theatre, two units
    407. Direction

  3. One of the following:
    317. Playwriting
    331. Feminist Theory and Contemporary Theatre
    332. Sex, Race, Plays, Films
    336. African American Theatre History I
    337. African American Theatre History II
    410. Theatre and Society in 20th-Century America
    461. Topics in Theatre History, Theory and Criticism
    481. Dramatic and Theatrical Theory

  4. One of the following:
    309. Costume Design
    310. Scene Design
    312. Sound Design
    314. Stage Lighting Design

  5. One of the following:
    One Dance technique course (any level including Danc 111, 211, 212, 261, 262, 264, 311, 312, 411, 412)
    DANC 303. Alexander Technique
    DANC/THEA 333. South and Southeast Asian Folklore Performance
          Please Note:  Students with previous dance experience should take the Dance Placement Evaluation during Fall Orientation to gain permission for intermediate level modern, ballet or jazz courses.

Required Credit Hours: 36

Major Computing Requirement: Theatre 306, 309, 310, 312, 314, or 320

Major Writing Requirement: To pass the Major Writing Requirement in Theatre, majors must earn a “paper grade” of “C-” or better in two courses from among Theatre 328, 329, 331, 332, 336, 337, 410, 461 and 481. The “paper grade,” a part of the final course grade, will be the average of all short and long papers “weighted” according to the course syllabus. Instructors in these courses will provide a series of opportunities for students to demonstrate their ability to write essays containing sustained and well-developed thought in clear and effective prose. Instructors will comment upon and direct more than one paper in a course or more than one draft of a long paper, thus giving students the chance to benefit from the instructor’s critical assessment.