Theatre Studies


Theatre Studies Faculty Profiles

The Theatre Studies major is both an academic field of study and a practical application of that study. The purpose of the major is to provide students with a theoretical knowledge and appreciation of the history and literature of the theatre. In addition, students are instructed and given hands-on experience in production and promotion of theatrical events. The theatre is one of the oldest art forms in existence, and students learn valuable information about the way various disparate societies have evolved throughout the ages. Students are expected to work on productions as performers and technicians. The theatre department actively works to cultivate well-rounded theatre students who are knowledgeable in all areas of theatre.

Theatre Studies Major

Goals for the Theatre Studies Major

  • An understanding of the development of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the present.
  • Problem solving independently and within an ensemble
  • Developing the humanist/artist and theatre practitioner for the next generation.
  • Providing a framework for artistic collaboration.
  • Inspiring critical thinking and artistic rigor.
  • Developing comprehensive knowledge of the elements of design and stagecraft.
  • Competence to compete with conservatory-trained graduates for graduate school or casting/hiring opportunities within the industry

Requirements for the Theatre Studies Major

Students entering in 2016 who plan to major in Theatre Studies must take a minimum of 10 units. Two of the ten units must be at the 300 level. At least eight of the ten units must come from within the theatre studies department. Each student must take a course in acting, directing, playwriting, and design. Theatre Studies 203 and either 104 or 215 are also required. Students entering prior to 2016 may consult the department website and a faculty advisor to determine the former guidelines that pertain to them.  Developments in the theatre arts are a result of stage experiments. The theatre performance is an expression of theatre scholarship, it is expected that students planning a major in theatre will elect to complement formal study of theatre with practical experience in the extracurricular production program of the College Theatre and related on-campus producing organizations. Students may also remain on campus over the summer or Wintersession (depending on housing availability) to gain experience with the Wellesley Repertory Theatre  (the professional wing of the academic department). All students are encouraged to participate in THST 250 and THST 350 individual study offerings in order to pursue their particular area of theatrical interest.

Early consultation with the director is essential, because some of the relevant courses are not offered every year and careful planning is necessary. In addition to working with the director of the theatre program, students will be encouraged to consult with other members of the faculty familiar with the interdepartmental theatre major.

Exchange and International Study in Theatre Studies

Students majoring in theatre studies may elect to take at least one resident semester of concentrated work in the discipline to supplement and enrich their work at Wellesley. They may attend the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, another institution in the Twelve College Exchange Program, one of the many London programs offering intensive study in their discipline, or other programs approved by the department. On occasion, a student may elect to take a relevant course in the programs at Babson, Olin or MIT.

Honors in Theatre Studies

The theatre program offers a variety of opportunities for honors. After consultation with the director, the candidate will devise a proposal that incorporates both the academic and the practical aspects of the thesis. Normally, the candidate completes the research and writing segment of the thesis in the first semester. In the second semester, the candidate produces the practical/theatrical component for public performance. Applicants for honors should have a minimum 3.5 GPA in all work in the major field above the 100 level; the department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.

THST - Theatre Studies


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