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Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theatre

major in theatre.

Entertain the pursuit of big dreams.

American playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder regarded the theater as, “the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

It's in this way that William Woods University takes a 360-degree look into the world of theatre—not just the history of theatre, but the influence of theatre on history itself.

The William Woods University Bachelor of Arts in Theatre provides you with opportunities to pursue big theatre dreams, whether that’s acting, writing, tech, designing, managing, producing, sound, lighting, music, directing and so much more.

Majors in theatre can choose from Technical and Performance Concentration.

No matter what direction you pursue, you will gain an understanding of the theatre’s various working parts. The program balances course work between acting and directing, history and literature, and technical theatre and business. Because we believe that students should understand both sides of the curtain.

On set or on stage. Right here. On campus.

Every year, we produce four mainstage productions directed by faculty and guest artists.

Because theatre majors are required to have a hand in all four major productions every year—whether on stage or on set—that’s at least 16 productions of experience, with varying genres, in your four years at William Woods.

Our staging facilites include:

  • Cutlip Auditorium – 1200 seat proscenium style theatre
  • Dulany Auditorium – 300 seat proscenium style theatre with extended apron
  • Theatre in a Theatre – The ability to create a black box theatre setting in Cutlip Auditorium
  • A green room with a kitchenette
  • A dance studio
  • Radio/Television studios
  • Two scene shops
  • An excellent costume collection and a costume construction lab

Special opportunities

  • Take advantage of opportunities for immediate mainstage experience from your first day on campus. We show no casting preferences, nor give anyone auditioning first choice of roles. Students are typically cast in mainstage productions their freshman year
  • Gain valuable acting and technical experience in four mainstage productions on two different stages, Cutlip Auditorium and Dulany Auditorium
  • Learn from a committed faculty who have professional credentials and training
  • Work at the professional level including Broadway, off-Broadway, television, motion pictures, regional theatre and community theatre
  • Students are encouraged to seek out internships
  • Benefit from small class sizes, and work one-on-one with faculty
  • Have your print or online portfolio reviewed every year and receive feedback from professionals in the field
  • A strong co-curricular program of mainstage and student laboratory productions
  • Join organizations that foster creative growth like Second Season – student directed, designed, acted and produced plays and musicals — Jesters, Served up Crispy Improv Team, and more

Career opportunities

Whether you want to design the lights, or have your name in them.

Pursue an exciting career as a/an:

  • Actor
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Designer
  • Stage manager
  • Theatre director
  • Lighting designer
  • Audio engineer
  • Special effects artist
  • Theatre teacher
  • Music/Choir teacher
  • Dance teacher
  • And more

Employers

Our alumni are working at the professional level including Broadway, off-Broadway, television, motion pictures, regional and community theatre:

  • Laura LeFaivre: Associate Producer, Sony Pictures Television
  • Joshua Potter: Post Production, Pretty Little Liars
  • Jen Steindorff: Disney World
  • Dustin Z. West: Stage/production management for The Santa Fe Opera American Theater Company & Off-Broadway theatres
  • Jared Krichevsky: Creature Designer, 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jupiter’s Rising
  • Grace Marie Cretella: Supernatural, Criminal Minds
  • Heidi Glaus: News Reporter KSDK
  • Kay Oldfather-Daigle: Silver Dollar City, Dogpatch USA, and Sunshine Two Deaf Theatre Troupe, Disney commercials
  • Bryan Schmiderer: Second City in Chicago
  • Nikki Smith: President, Deshea Designs LLC., Dallas, Texas
  • Kristen Trenary-Stremel: Owner/Teacher, Kristen’s School Of Dance
  • Adrienne Dawson Branson: Artistic Director/Owner, Tonanzio’s School Of Dance
  • Denise Waggoner: Professional stage manager, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York, New York
  • J. McGinnis: Special effects for Walt Disney World & Universal Studios, Florida
  • Kyna Roberts: Lobbyist for the arts, Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Jodi Ann Smith: Kasky Director/Owner, Times III Performing Arts Academy
  • Allison Ward: Fellow in Props – American Conservatory Theatre San Francisco
  • Shaun Speers: Facilities Manager, William Woods University
  • Jason Cavallone: Kansas City Fringe Festival playwright
  • Kelley Hazen: Cold Case, Grey’s Anatomy, Dexter, Commander in Chief, Strong Medicine
  • Robin Petrick: The Equalizer and Unsolved Mysteries
  • Donna Frogge: Co-Artistic Director of City in Motion Dance Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Stephanie Lock: Loving
  • James Fitzmaurice: Hip Hop Artist & Producer
  • Michelle Linn: News Anchor Fox23 News
  • Michael Dodson: Actor Scandal

Perspectives

William Woods has given me the tools I need to further my knowledge and prepare me for a career in theatre. As a non-traditional student, I was most impressed with the acceptance of not only the theatre department, but also the campus community as a whole. The theatre department offers acting and technical roles in mainstage productions, as well as the Jester's Club, Second Season productions. The opportunities for self-expression are always available for those students who take the initiative and have the drive to make things happen.

— Michael Dodson, BA in Theatre

William Woods to this day is one of the best opportunities that ever happened to me. It provides a safe environment that challenges its students to attain their chosen dream. It instills the values of leadership, education and compassion, always being a beacon that illuminates our paths forever.

— Gracemarie Serafina Cretella, theatre graduate, professional actress

Requirements/Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation—including 24 core major credits, a 21-credit concentration in Performance, Musical Theatre or Technical, a minor, and a year of foreign language.

Courses you may take

BUS 206 - Entrepreneurship - 3.00

A straightforward, fundamental approach to managing a small firm. Students will organize, interpret data and show the proper procedures in planning, operating, directing, and evaluating a new small business.

ENG 414 - Shakespeare - 3.00

A study of Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, and histories, and of his cultural background. Prerequisites - ENG102

THA 110 - Introduction to Theatre -A - 3.00

A historical overview of performing arts including discussions of the organization, responsibilities and importance of the creative artists in dance, music, and theatre.

THA 231 - Makeup for Stage and Film - 3.00

Elementary study and work in the art of makeup design and application for the actor. Required production laboratory.

THA 234 - Stagecraft - 3.00

An introduction to the physical theatre and stage technology. Special emphasis is placed on set design and technical drawing. Required production laboratory.

THA 240 - Stage Combat -A - 3.00

A class designed to teach actors the fundamentals of stage combat, dueling, fencing, fighting, stunt work, and choreography. A heavy emphasis on safety will be stressed in all engagements and situations.

THA 255 - Acting I Basic Skills -A - 3.00

Covers stage movement and voice production. Practical work in characterization, improvisation and scene work are required.

THA 362 - Theatre History I - 3.00

An overview of theatre history from classic Greek theatre to approximately 1700.

THA 363 - Theatre History II - 3.00

A continuation of the study of theatre history from 1700 to the current post-modern period.

THA 470 - Directing - 3.00

A study of the basic priniciples, skills and techniques underlying directing for the theatre. The course will cover a brief history of directly followed by the production process and script analysis.

THA 499 - Senior Project - 3.00

The capstone course for all theatre majors. A senior may choose to perform a one person show, design a show, direct a production, or write a major research paper. To be taken the final semester of the senior year.

Curriculum


Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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