Department of Theatre and Dance

119 E.O. Bull Center for the Arts
Harvey Rovine, Chairperson


ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: Kelly, Staruch, Studlien-Webb, Wunsch

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Case, Field, Haughey, Urrutia

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a bachelor of arts program in theatre, as well as minors in theatre and dance, which combines the foundation of a liberal arts education with the creative skills needed by the developing artist.

Students with an academic major or minor in the department are required to meet with a departmental faculty adviser to develop their curricular plans, select courses prior to scheduling, discuss career options, and to be aware of cocurricular opportunities. Handbooks are provided to entering students for their use as a guide to the development of their academic programs. Students must achieve a scholastic index of at least 2.0 in their major before they will be recommended for graduation. Grades of C- or lower in major subjects must be raised to C or better.

Department Student Activities

University Theatre; University Dance Company; United States Institute for Theatre Technology; The American College Dance Festival Association; Pennsylvania Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; Alpha Psi Omega; and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival are organizations that involve theatre and dance majors and nonmajors in theatre- and dance-related activities. For more information see the "Student Affairs" section of the catalog.

Department Apprenticeships

Although not required, professional apprenticeship experiences are available to qualified majors and minors respectively. Students and their placements are screened by the department to assure mutual satisfaction for all parties involved. For details, students should see the department chairperson.


120 semester hours

  1. General ed. requirements, pages 38-44 (48 semester hours)
    Please note that some of the general education
    courses also will be fulfilled by the required cognates.
  2. Core requirements (36 semester hours)
    DAN 130; THA 100, 103, 104, 113, 116, 118, 216, 300,
    301, 306, 307, and an advanced skill choice (300-level or above)
  3. Theatre practice (6 semester hours)
    THA 200 (6 semester hours total of this one-credit course in the following areas: costume, lighting, scenery, leadership I, leadership II, capstone project)
  4. Language options, see pages 43-44 (12-15 semester hours)
  5. Elective concentration requirements (20-21 semester hours)
    Students who have an interest in a specific area of theatre may choose to follow a prescribed course of study, in addition to the requirements outlined above.
    1. Performance (21 semester hours)
      THA 203, 303, 318, 323, 350, 406, and a dramatic LIT course
    2. Musical theatre (20 semester hours)
      Six credits of technique dance choices
      THA 221, 319, 325, 342
      VOI 181, 182; and three one-credit private
      voice lessons
    3. Design, technology, management (21 semester hours)
      THA 206, 218, 320, and another THA design choice or
      THA 414
      Nine semester hours of area focus: one 300-level THA design choice and two THA special topics courses

Minor in Theatre Arts (19 semester hours)

I. Required courses
THA 103, 104, 113, 200, and three theatre electives as advised (9 semester hours)

II. Production minor requirements
Theatre minors are expected to belong to University Theatre.
Theatre minors are required to work on half of the productions each semester. This requirement can be satisfied through specific lab hours or through participation in productions.

Minor in Dance (21 semester hours)

To fulfill this program of study, all dance minor students are required to take 21 credits in the dance curriculum. Students should follow requirements as listed under core, technique, and performance courses. Further requirements include the following: 1) involvement in the performance area for a minimum of two years which can be accomplished for credit as a dancer, choreographer, officer, or production assistant; 2) serving as a teaching assistant in a Level I technique class with assignment from the dance coordinator; 3) recording all course work in a portfolio that will be presented to the dance coordinator at the conclusion of the course of study. Auditions are not required for admittance into the program; however, each applicant has the responsibility of meeting with the dance coordinator each semester before registration begins. Applicants must obtain and complete a minor registration form through the Office of the Registrar for transcript recognition.

  1. Core and performance courses
    Required (3 semester hours)
    DAN 344
  2. Electives (6 semester hours)
    DAN 315, 441, or 442
  3. Technique courses (minimum 8 semester hours)
    DAN 210, 232, 233, 234, 235, 332, 333, 334, or 335
  4. Performance courses (minimum 4 semester hours)
    DAN 346, 446


Symbol: DAN

130 Movement for Performance (3) The purpose of this course is to improve body intelligence, providing a strong foundation for action and dance performance. Yoga- and Pilates-based exercises are icorporated to build strength and flexibility. Laban's system of analyzing movement using space/time/effort is examined along with movement sequencing, improvisation, visualization, and relaxation techniques. No previous dance or acting training is necessary.

132 Modern Dance I (3) This course is an introduction to modern dance as a 20th century art form which makes use of the integration of the "mind" and "body" into an expressive and communicative whole. The work in this class has many layers, including ongoing development of physical skills as well as explorations into improvisation, choreography, and the historical contexts that have shaped modern dance.

133 Jazz Dance I (3) An introduction to the styles, technique, and rhythmic structures of jazz dance with emphasis on increasing movement capabilities and personal expression.

134 Beginners Ballet (3) This course is designed to teach fundamental ballet technique and vocabulary at the beginning level. The emphasis will be on using anatomically sound principals to promote efficient use of the body and develop kinesthetic awareness. The course also includes an overview of the history of ballet from its origins until present day.

135 Tap Dance I (3) The primary purpose of this course is to introduce the fundamentals of tap dance technique, form, and function. Emphasis will be given to basic steps, building combinations, musicality, performance of movement, and understanding the historical background of tap dance as an art form.

136   Introduction to Ballroom Dancing (3) To teach the basic steps for ballroom dance, both standard and Latin. Emphasis will be placed on lead and follow techniques, proper footwork and positions, and how to recognize and dance to different types of music.

137 African Dance (3) Through readings, discussions, videos, movement, essays, and other intensive projects, this course will explore dance and music from West Africa and the African Diaspora.

150 Introduction to the Art of Dance (3) The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an introduction to dance as an art form as well as relate information regarding various aspects of dance. Topics include a brief history of dance, dance styles, dance in education, and dance production.

205 Improvisation (2) This course examines the nature of improvisation in terms of movement and explores the process of discovering, creating, and performing movement spontaneously. PREREQ: DAN 130 or 132 or 232 or 332.

210 The Dancer’s Body (3) An exploration of the body systems, along with injury prevention and care, especially as it applies to the dancer. This course incorporates the physical practice of yoga, Pilates, and other mind-and-body techniques as they apply to the preparation for the physical demands of dance technique.

232 Modern Dance II (2) Modern Dance II is a continuation and expansion of Modern Dance I. It will focus on modern dance as a performing art with emphasis placed on longer combination and more complex problem-solving themes.

233 Jazz Dance II (2) This course is a continuing development of jazz dance form and function (introduced in Jazz I) with emphasis on proper jazz technique, introduction of intermediate-level rhythms and combinations, expanding movement capabilities, and exploring individual expression and artistry.

234 Ballet II (2) Ballet II is an intermediate-level course designed to expand on the ballet fundamentals and basic vocabulary learned in Ballet I.

235 Tap Dance II (2) The primary purpose of this course is to introduce the fundamentals of tap dance at an intermediate level. Emphasis, musicality, and individual expression through movement.

300 Controversial Bodies: Visions of Beauty (3) This course will foster a discussion of bodily beauty across the fields of theater, dance, history, and sociology. With the physical markers of the body and beauty at its core, this course has as a central notion that the body is a social and cultural entity, and bodily beauty is constructed differently across various cultures and time periods. In particular, this course examines how figures in the performing arts have pulled the make up of beauty in opposite directions by reinforcing or subverting the norms of what is socially and politically acceptable; playing with nudity, androgyny, and ugliness; and rewriting beauty markers in terms of race, gender, age, and body type. Interdisciplinary course.

315 Dance Pedagogy (3) Basic course offering methods and materials for teaching dance technique.

332 Modern Dance III (2) Modern Dance III is a continuation and expansion on Modern Dance I and II. This course will focus on exploring various teaching techniques and style that have been developed by prominent figures in modern dance.

333 Jazz III (3) Continuing development of jazz dance technique with emphasis on individual artistry.

334 Ballet III (2) This course will expand on repertoire and proficiency of ballet steps, including advanced steps, and pointe skills. This course will introduce students to basics of ballet choreography.

335 Tap Dance III (2) This course is continuing development of tap dance technique (introduced in Tap I and II) with emphasis on proper tap technique, more advanced rhythms and combinations, musicality, improvisation skills, individual expression, and artistry.

344 History of Dance (3) The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a thorough background of dance as a fundamental form of human expression. Topics shall include the historical roots and recent status of theatrical dance forms, dance education, recent trends, and evaluation of dance as an art form in relation to man and his society. Physiological, sociological, and psychological implications; dance forms and types. Film and other materials focus on parallel developments in related arts. Writing emphasis course.

346 Repertory Development (2) This course is designed to give students experience learning new and/or existing choreography in a professional rehearsal and performance setting. Admission to the course is by audition or permission of the instructor. Auditions take place the first week of the fall semester; e-mail the instructor for audition details.

380 Cuban Rumba: Cultural Identity (3) This theory and practice course is designed for students interested in exploring the layered social and cultural history of Cuba, through the lens of its national dance, the rumba, which comprises three different dances: guaguanco, yambu, and columbia. This course will focus on the rumba while simultaneously examining its history and place within society. Inside the theoretical conversations, the focus will shift and build from its African and Spanish lineage to social repression on the island, architecture as a structure for community and performance, gender agency, and cultural identity appropriation.

399 Directed Studies in Dance (1-3) Research, creative projects, reports, readings in dance. Students must submit applications to advisers one semester in advance of registration. This course may be taken again for credit.

441 Dance Composition (3) An introduction to choreography and the creative process in which students will develop original movement phases progressing from simple to complex solo and group forms. PREREQ: DAN 232, 233, 234, 332, 333, or 334.

442 Musical Theatre Dance and Choreography (3) This course covers the appropriate methods, materials, and skills needed for preparing and staging dance in a musical production. Special emphasis will be given to the choreographic process as well as the role of the choreographer. PREREQ: DAN 232, 233, 234, 332, 333, or 334.

446 Repertory Performance (2) The purpose of this course is the study of various elements of performance and dance production. All are integrated into a final performance given in the spring semester. Admittance is by audition during the fall semester.
This course may be taken again for credit.

499 Dance Seminar (3) Intensive examination of a selected area of study in dance. Topics will be announced in advance. This course may be taken again for credit.


Symbol: THA

100 Theatre Survey (1) A survey course designed to introduce students to the full range of the theatre process including directing, performance, design, dramaturgy, and management.

101 Introduction to Theatre (3) A survey of theatre as a humanity by exploring how theatre reflects its time and country. This course teaches the student what to listen for and what to look for when attending a live theatre performance. Fulfills general education arts requirement.

103 Acting I (3) A course designed to introduce the basic skills and techniques needed by the developing actor to create successfully a character for performance on stage. Fulfills general education arts requirement.

104 Stagecraft (3) To demonstrate through written work, oral discussion, and laboratory participation an understanding of technology as the theatre artist’s instrument focusing on the basic elements of electrical systems.

113 Script Analysis (3) Introduces and applies methods for analyzing scripts intended for theatrical performance. Additionally explores an in-depth methodology of reading, analyzing, and understanding a play script intended for production. Investigate techniques used to determine how to read a play for its structure, scrutinizing the playwright’s methods of creating theatre through plot, character, and imagery, and understanding how scripts “mean” to the theater practitioner as distinct from other forms of literature.

116 Costume Construction (3) Theory and practice in theatrical costuming including organization, construction, drafting, dyeing, painting, and wardrobe management. Laboratory required.

118 Voice for the Performer (3) The goal of vocal training is the understanding of the individual voice. Voice training seeks to uncover the potential for a naturally produced vocal sound with all its capabilities and limitations. Fulfills general education arts requirement.

131 Introduction to Musical Theatre (3) A survey course of musical theatre in production with an emphasis on the artists who create the shows.

181 Voice Class I (1) Class instruction in singing skills for theatre majors and minors. Previous voice study not required.

182 Voice Class II (1) Class instruction in singing skills for theatre majors and minors. PREREQ: THA 181 or permission of instructor.

200 Theatre Practicum (1-3) This course is designed to provide theatre arts majors and minors the opportunities to participate in and learn skills directly related to specific areas of theatrical production. PREREQ: THA 104 and 116.
This course may be taken again for credit.

203 Acting II (3) Continued focus on the basic skills and techniques needed to create a role on the stage. Emphasis on character development. PREREQ: THA 103.

204 Scene Painting (3) Studio course designed to introduce students to basic skills and techniques of scenic painting. PREREQ: THA 104 and 113.

206 Graphics for the Stage (3) An exploration of graphic solutions used in the various stages of planning and executing a setting for the theatre. Scenic design, stage technician drafting techniques, and perspective techniques used exclusively in the theatre. PREREQ: THA 104.

208 Scene Construction and Rigging (3) This course develops a familiarity with scenic construction techniques and materials. Practical solutions to technical problems are discussed. Other topics include theatre safety, technical drawing, and budgeting. This course is a requirement for technical majors but an elective for all other theatre majors. PREREQ: THA 104.

210 Stage Makeup I (3) Theory and practice in design and application of various types of makeup for the stage.

212 Creative Drama (3) Theory and practice in creative techniques of expression and dramatic forms to be used as a teaching and recreational device for children and adults. Fulfills general education requirement.

213 Script Analysis II (3) To introduce students to the unique problems of interpreting dramatic texts from the classical periods of theatre history for contemporary stage production.

214 Stage Properties (3) Explores the research, design, craft, skills, and solutions involved in providing theoretical properties, defined generally as the smaller objects that complete the costume and visual setting for a given show production. Students will learn the basic vocabulary for communication and collaboration with all production staff during the production process. Students will learn how to create source and scrapbook files, property plots, maintenance and security during and after, and organizing and storage of stage properties.

216 Fundamentals of Design (3) The exploration of multiple elements of production design to create a foundation of communication for future designers, technicians, actors, directors, and stage managers. Students will learn how to manipulate design principles to support and enhance theatrical productions.

218 Virtual Production Techniques (3) This course explores several software programs used to generate and communicate elements of production design.

221 Musical Theatre Fundamentals (1) Beginning study of musical notation to provide skills to read and interpret musical theatre vocal lines. Apply basic piano skills necessary to “hear” the musical notation and transfer it to the voice. PREREQ: VOI 181.

250 Race and Gender in American Theatre (3) This course will focus on how some traditionally marginalized groups have been examined and portrayed in American theatre.

300 Career Preparation (2) Designed to educate second-semester juniors or first-semester seniors on career path options in the field immediately following college.

301 Directing I (3) An introduction of the theories and techniques of stage direction with emphasis on prerehearsal planning, play selection, script analysis and promptbooks, casting and blocking. PREREQ: THA 103, 113, and 216.

303 Acting Shakespeare (3) A course for the advanced student actor focusing on techniques essential for developing roles from classical texts with a particular emphasis on the plays of Shakespeare. Characterization, text analysis, and scansion will all be covered. It is recommended that the student take THA 118 and DAN 130 prior to enrollment in this course. PREREQ: THA 203.

304 Scene Design (3) This course identifies and explores the processes involved in creating a scenic space that is both practical and expressive. Skills in set design, representational painting, scenic drafting, and script interpretation are developed. PREREQ: THA 113 or permission of instructor.

305 Lighting Design for the Stage (3) Exploration of lighting as a means of artistic communication in the theatre. The course covers the aesthetics, tools, technology, and the graphic methods used to light a play. Special topics in lighting for other performing arts will be discussed. PREREQ: THA 113 or permission of instructor.

306 History of Theatre and Drama I (3) Examination of plays, players, and methods of theatrical production from English Renaissance to 1875. PREREQ: THA 113 or THA 213.

307 History of Theatre and Drama II (3) Examination of plays, players, and methods of theatrical production from modern theatre (1875-1900) through contemporary theatre (1975-present). PREREQ: THA 113 or 213.

309 Trends in Contemporary Theatre (3) The theatre artists, structures, and social milieu whose collective interaction can be referred to as contemporary theatre. The creative work being done in America, England, Poland, South Africa, and other nations will form the core of the course.

310 Stage Makeup II (3) Theory, development, and application of theatrical makeup according to the play, its period, the style of production, the actor, and the character. Students must have previous knowledge of the basic two- and three-dimensional makeup devices. PREREQ: THA 210.

312 Children’s Theatre (3) Production of children’s theatre for stage and television. Course elements will include script analysis and production values, publicity, and tour preparation. Students enrolled in the course will create a complete production. Fulfills general education requirement.

313 Playwriting Workshop (3) Writing the play; possibilities and limitations of the stage. Attention to sets and costuming where relevant. Characteriza­tion by action and dialogue. Problems of establishing motivation. The play’s totality in theme, character, and action. Informal readings of student work.

315 Sound Design (3) An in-depth study of sound and how it relates to theatrical production.

316 Costume History and Design (3) The history of European and American costume and its application to the period production. The process of designing costumes in various styles will be explored. Students are required to design costumes for periods studied. PREREQ: THA 113, or permission of instructor.

318 Dialects for the Performer (3) Dialects and regionalisms for the stage. PREREQ: THA 118.

319 Musical Theatre Repertoire (3) Performance course to acquaint students with styles of composition and vocal presentation in contemporary music theatre. PREREQ: DAN 130; THA 103, 203, 221; and VOI 181.

320 Staging Architecture and the Decorative Arts (3) This course aims to enhance design students’ knowledge of architectural and decorative arts time periods culminating in their ability to adapt and modify them for the various types of historically known theatre staging. Focus is on the European and early American worlds of 1500-1900’s, and the architecture, decorative arts, and economic and social conditions out of which they sprang. PREREQ: THA 113 or permission of instructor.

323 Physical Traditions in Performance (3) This course examines multicultural and historical nonstorytelling traditions of performance that stem from actor-driven creation. Throughout theatrical history, significant innovations and practices grew from creative work established not by playwrights and directors, but rather from actors themselves. This is nontext driven work relying on improvisational characterization within the structure of a historical tradition. This class studies these traditions in order to empower the actor as a part of the creative process and generate a sizeable skill set for use in all theatrical settings. PREREQ: DAN 130; THA 118 and 203.

325 Scene into Song (3) This course is designed to develop within the student actor a technique for approaching a total performance in musical theatre, integrating the spoken word with song toward a seamless presentation alongside a partner. PREREQ: THA 103, 203, 319.

342 History of Musical Theatre (3) Students will study the historical background of the true American art form, musical theatre. Emphasis will be placed on the development of the genre throughout its time. In addition, this course also studies the influential shows, artists, and music that have provided major contributions to the growth of the art form.

350 Audition Techniques (3) Auditioning is an integral part of performance and musical theatre course of study. As a professional, semiprofessional, and amateur one must audition to participate onstage. This course will move beyond foundation acting courses and translate onstage/onscreen work into an auditioning environment. Guest industry professionals audition simulations and critiques from the instructor will build and strengthen an audition portfolio that is carefully and uniquely crafted to each student’s individual needs, strengths, and type. Upon completing this course a performer will have multiple tools and a comprehensive understanding of this vital component of professional theatrical practice. PREREQ: THA 203.

399 Directed Studies in Theatre (1-3) Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in theatre. Students must apply to advisers one semester in advance of registration. PREREQ: Per­mis­sion of instructor.This course may be taken again for credit.

400 Professional Apprenticeship (3-15) This course provides a structured and supervised work experience in theatre. Students must submit an application to the department chairperson for permission. This course may be taken again for credit.

401 Directing II (3) Play direction as a creative aspect of stage production with emphasis on exploration of concept, techniques of rehearsing a play and working with actors, and the role and function of the stage manager. PREREQ: THA 301.

403 Advanced Theatre Practicum (3) A production seminar for advanced students that will culminate in a public performance. Under the mentorship of a faculty professional, the class will work as an ensemble that takes the production process from the performance potential to its final presentation. This course may be taken again for credit.

404 CAD for the Stage (3) To develop the student’s ability in utilizing the AutoCAD Release 14 environment to draft and plot scenic designs and technical drawings for the theatre. THA 218 or permission of instructor.

406 Advanced Scene Study (3) A special topics seminar with study and scene work in a variety of period, modern, and contemporary styles. Students will first focus on the physical, intellectual, and emotional demands inherent in the texts, and then on the process of moving from textual analysis to performance. PREREQ: DAN 130; THA 118, 303.

412 Theatre Arts Outreach (3) Provides students with the experience of working with children as part of an outreach program in partnership with the West Chester School District and Council of Arts.
414 Stage Management (3) Duties and responsibilities of the theatrical stage manager throughout the production process. PREREQ: THA 216 or permission.

414 Stage Management (3) Duties and responsibilities of the theatrical stage manager throughout the production process. PREREQ: THA 216 or permission.

419 Music Theatre Repertoire (3) Research, preparation and performance of a variety of music theatre genres.

499 Theatre Seminar (3) Intensive examination of a selected area of study in theatre. Topics will be announced in advance.This course may be taken again for credit.