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Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre

BFA in Theatre (Emphasis in Acting & Directing | BFA in Theatre (Emphasis in Design and Technology)BFA in Theatre (Emphasis in Teaching Certification) | BFA in Musical Theatre (Emphasis in Theatre, Dance, and Music) | Minor in Theatre | Course Descriptions


Chair: Penelope A. Hasekoester     (936) 294-1330    

Faculty: Laura Avery, Elizabeth Freese, Kristina Hanssen, Eric Marsh, Maureen McIntyre, David McTier, Thomas Prior, Leslie Swackhamer

Website: www.shsu.edu/~drm_www/

Theatre reflects the human condition in the study of a wide range of behavior, relationships, periods of history, social configurations, and aesthetic styles. Involvement in this collaborative art form finds students growing in theatre skills and techniques, better understanding themselves, solving problems, working within a group and meeting production deadlines.

Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs are available in theatre and musical theatre. The BFA in Theatre requires that the theatre major first studies each area of the theatre to gain substantial knowledge of acting, technical theatre, costuming, lighting and scenic design, stage makeup, history, criticism, and directing. From that background, a person may specialize in acting/directing, design/theatre technology, or teacher certification. The BFA in Musical Theatre has areas of emphasis in theatre, dance, and music.

Students have the opportunity to audition and possibly be cast in shows every semester. As they develop expertise in areas of their primary interests, advanced students are chosen to stage manage, design lights, sets, costumes, sound, makeup, and direct major productions. Productions are staged in either the large, 375-seat proscenium theatre or the 90-seat thrust theatre. The theatres themselves, as well as the scene and costume shops are equipped with excellent technical equipment. Guest directors and professional workshops provide students additional contacts with other people in professional theatre. The proximity to Houston also allows students exposure to many venues of professional theatre, opera, dance, film and other forms of entertainment.

Academic Programs

Advisement

It is recommended that all theatre and musical theatre majors are advised by faculty in the department.

Highlights

The Theatre and Musical Theatre programs at Sam Houston State University:

  • are active in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival(KCACTF).
  • have been invited to participate at the Regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival consistently since 2000.
  • were invited to perform The Laramie Project at the National KCACTF Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2003.
  • have an internship with the Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) in Houston. 
  • have an internship program with STAGES Repertory Theatre in Houston.
  • have an internship program with Classical Theatre Company in Houston.
  • have an internship program with Texas Repertory Theatre Company in Houston.
  • have an internship with Main Street Theatre in Houston
  • have private auditions on the Sam Houston State University campus for SHSU theatre and musical theatre students with Broadway Theatre Project, The Performing Arts Project and The Broadway Artists Intensive
  • have guest artists in the areas of acting, directing, playwriting, stage management, and design. These have included Edward Albee, James Black, Andrew Campbell, Rod Caspers, Dave Clemmons, Kevin Cooney, Judy Dolan. Sofia Gomez, Greg Graham, Jean Guy LeCat, Luc LaFortune, Robert Marks, James McLure, Keith Pitts, Mark Ramont, Georgia Stitt, and Michael York.
  • have a New York showcase for selected graduating senior musical majors

The program also holds memberships and participates in:

  • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF)
  • Musical Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA)
  • National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT)
  • Southwest Theatre Association (SWTA)
  • Texas Educational Theatre Association (TETA)
  • Texas Nonprofit Theatres (TNT)
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT)

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre are well prepared for rewarding careers in professional or educational theatre or for graduate school.

Suggested Minors

There is no minor required for a BFA in Theatre or Musical Theatre.

Student Organizations

  • Alpha Psi Omega - honorary national drama fraternity
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology

Internships/Apprenticeships

The Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre has a professional internship program with Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), Houston. This internship allows Sam Houston State University students to work with the Humphrey’s School of Musical Theatre and to work with Theatre Under The Stars in a performance as well as an arts administration capacity. In addition, internship programs in acting and in some areas of technical theatre have been developed with STAGES Repertory Theatre, The Classical Theatre Company, Texas Repertory Theatre, and Main Street Theatre.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available through the theatre program for theatre and musical theatre majors. Performance, technical and design auditions are held each spring for freshman and transfer students entering in the fall. Continuing scholarships are available for application toward the end of each semester. Contact the department or visit the website for further information.

Student assistantships are available for advanced theatre students who work in scenery, properties, costuming, lighting, and management.

Curriculum

Required Courses for Major

All theatre majors are required to register for THEA 1115, THEA 1116, THEA 1117 or THEA 3115, THEA 3116, THEA 3127, production crew classes, for 4 semesters. Musical theatre majors with a theatre emphasis are required to register for 4 semester hours of production crew. Musical theatre majors with a dance or music emphasis are required to register for 2 hours of production crew. These semester hours do not reduce the requirements for 3-hour courses necessary for the major.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Theatre-Acting and Directing Emphasis

A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Acting and Directing consists of the following requirements: THEA 1115, THEA 1116 or THEA 1117 for two semesters, THEA 3115, THEA 3116 or THEA 3127 for two semesters, THEA 1330, THEA 1331, THEA 1332, THEA 1364, THEA 2330, THEA 2331, THEA 2332, THEA 2368, THEA 3337, THEA 3365, THEA 3369, THEA 3370, THEA 3372, and THEA 4333, one design course from THEA 2360, THEA 2361, THEA 3334, THEA 4330, THEA 4361, THEA 3360, THEA 4360, or THEA 4371, THEA 4363, THEA 4366, THEA 4367, 3 hours of advanced theatre electives, 3 hours of art or music, and 3 hours of dance, and 3 additional hours of upper division English. A minor is not required in this degree program.

Note: Students should use elective and/or minor hours to satisfy the 42 advanced hour requirement.

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Theatre-Design and Technology Emphasis

A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Design and Technology consists of THEA 1115, THEA 1116 or THEA 1117 for two semesters, THEA 3115, THEA 3116 or THEA 3127 for two semesters, THEA 1330, THEA 1331THEA 1332THEA 1364THEA 2330THEA 2331, or THEA 2368, THEA 2360THEA 2361, THEA 3331, THEA 3334, THEA 3337, THEA 3360THEA 3362THEA 4360 or THEA 4371THEA 4363THEA 4365, and THEA 4366, 9 hours of advanced theatre electives, 9 hours of art, an additional 3 hours of English. No music is required.

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Musical Theatre With Theatre Emphasis

A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre is available with an emphasis in theatre, music, or dance. The theatre emphasis requires 48 hours of theatre, 16 to 27 hours of dance and 24 hours of music. The dance emphasis requires 30 to 48 hours of dance, 31 hours of theatre, and 24 hours of music. The music emphasis requires 40 hours of music, 31 hours of theatre, and 19 to 27 hours of dance.

Entry into the musical theatre program is by audition only, and those auditions are scheduled toward the end of every semester. Contact the Theatre Program for information.

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major in Theatre With Teaching Certification

A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with secondary teaching certification requires a minor in another academic area (18-24 hrs.) beyond the courses listed below.

3 Digit to 4 Digit Crosswalk

Theatre Minor

A Minor in Theatre usually consists of the following courses: One 3-hour course in THEA 1330, THEA 1331, or THEA 1332, three 1-hour crews THEA 1115 (scene shop), THEA 1116 (costume shop), THEA 1117 (box office), one 3-hour course in THEA 4363 (Theory & Criticism) or THEA 4392 (Dramaturgy), one 3-hour course in acting THEA 1364 (Acting I), one 3-hour course in management THEA 3365 (Stage Management), one 3-hour course from THEA 3337 (History of Costume), THEA 3360 (History of the Theatre I), or THEA 4360 (History of the Theatre II), and three 3-hour theatre electives (nine hours) whose focus is the student’s area of interest.

Auditions

Auditions for productions are open to all SHSU students.


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