Major in Theatre

Godspell, Cabaret, A Doll’s House, student-written plays: at Elmhurst’s Mill Theatre, the opportunities are rich, rewarding, and educational.

The major in theatre provides the student with skills and background necessary for entry-level positions in the profession, or for intensive study on the graduate level, leading to the M.F.A. or the Ph.D. Courses in Applied Theatre (AT) are specially designed to prepare students for life after college.

Theatre students at Elmhurst College choose from six different areas of concentration:

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Theatre design and technology
  • Stage management
  • Theatre arts administration
  • General theatre

In each, you’ll be immersed in the theory and history of drama and stagecraft and put your skills into practice. You’ll study with adjunct faculty who work as theatre professionals. You’ll participate in the American College Theatre Festival. You’ll prepare for an entry-level position in the profession, or for intensive study on the graduate level.

Major Requirements

The major in theatre requires eight core courses and five and one-half courses in an area of concentration, including applied theatre. Auditions and/or portfolio reviews are required prior to or during the first term of enrollment and/or declaration of the theatre major. Students should consult with theatre faculty before beginning the program.

Required Courses

Must be taken by every student majoring in theatre.

  • THE 226 Acting Technique I
  • THE 227 Development of the Theatre
  • THE 228 Stagecraft
  • THE 329 World Theatre and Drama in Cultural Contexts
  • THE 350 Play Analysis
  • THE 498 Theatre Capstone (in conjunction with area of concentration)
  • Two of the following:
    • THE 314 History of Musical Theatre
    • THE 331 History of Western Theatre I
    • THE 332 History of Western Theatre II
  • One of the following:
    • ENG 336 Contemporary Literature: Drama
    • ENG 345 Shakespeare
    • THE 470 Avant-Garde Theatre
    • THE 471 Holocaust Theatre
    • Theatre literature elective

Theatre Practicum

As part of the theatre core, theatre majors are required to actively participate in the main stage production season at Elmhurst College. If not cast, the student must participate in some other capacity. Enrollment in a minimum of six terms total of THE 175/275/375/475 Theatre Practicum for credit or non-credit and/or THE 176/276/376/476 Musical Theatre Practicum for credit or non-credit is required regardless of date of entry into the program.

All students majoring in theatre are highly encouraged to complete professional internships and to participate actively in appropriate professional organizations.

Areas of Concentration

Students must complete at least one area of concentration in addition to the core. Students can complete more than one area of concentration. An internship credit may be substituted for one or part of the credits within the concentration. Whether for credit or not, students are highly encouraged to pursue summer internships, auditions and tech opportunities.

  • THE 301 Voice and Movement for the Stage
  • THE 326 Acting Technique II
  • THE 424 Directing
  • ATA/ATM Applied Theatre in Acting/Applied Theatre in Musical Theatre (.50 credit)
  • Two of the following courses:
    • THE 325 Oral Interpretation
    • THE 340 Creative Drama
    • THE 352 Special Topics in Theatre (performance focus)
    • THE 426 Acting Techniques III
  • One of the following courses:
    • AMV or AMT Applied Voice (singing lessons) (.50 credit)
    • CSD 203 Phonetics I (.50 credit)
  • Any course in dance chosen from
    • THE 302-406 (.50 credit)
    • THE 173-473 Improvisation Ensemble (two terms at .25 credit)

Students completing the concentration in acting must audition each term on campus and participate in end-of-the-term program assessment showcases when enrolled in performance courses and ATA/ATM.

  • ATD Applied Theatre in Directing (.50 credit)
  • THE 173–473 Improv Ensemble (two terms at .25 credit)
  • THE 238 Intermediate Design for the Stage
  • THE 424 Directing
  • Any course in dance chosen from:
    • THE 302–406 (.50 credit)
  • One of the following courses:
    • THE 301 Voice and Movement for the Stage
    • THE 326 Acting Technique II
  • Two of the following courses:
    • THE 340 Creative Drama
    • THE 352 Special Topics in Theatre (performance focus)
    • THE 421 Choreography of Dance (note prerequisites)
    • THE 426 Acting Technique III

Students completing the concentration in directing should serve as stage manager or assistant stage manager for at least two productions. Students are requested to enroll in THE 424 in their junior year prior to proposing capstone directing projects.

  • ATT/ATX Applied Theatre in Design/Applied Theatre in Costume (two terms at .50 credit)
  • THE 238 Introduction to Design
  • THE 328 Intermediate Design for the Stage
  • THE 338 Costume Construction
  • THE 428 Design for the Stage
  • KIN 204 Emergency Procedures (.50 credit)
  • One of the following courses:
    • ART 115 Drawing Studio
    • ART 120 Painting Studio
    • ART 125 Design Studio
    • THE 352 Special Topics in Theatre (design focus)

Students completing the concentration in theatre design and technology must produce actual designs for the production season in at least two of the following design areas: scenery, lighting, costume and sound.

  • ATS Applied Theatre in Stage Management (.50 credit)
  • ATT Applied Theatre in Lighting (.50 credit)
  • KIN 204 Emergency Procedures (.50 credit)
  • THE 238 Introduction to Design
  • THE 424 Directing
  • Theatre Elective
  • Two of the following courses:
    • COM 312 Small Group Communication
    • COM 315 Intercultural Communication
    • COM 322 Conflict Management
    • COM 450 Leadership and Communication

Students completing the concentration in stage management must stage manage at least two productions and design in at least one area.

Five of the following courses:

  • ATB/ATS Applied Theatre in Theatre Business Administration/Applied Theatre in Stage Management (.50 credit)
  • BUS 230 Principles of Marketing
  • BUS 250 Management Theory and Practice
  • BUS 261 Financial Accounting
  • BUS 263 Accounting and Financial Management for Non-Business Majors
  • BUS 340 Business Finance (note prerequisite)
  • COM 312 Small Group Communication
  • COM 319 Business and Professional Communication
  • COM 450 Leadership and Communication
  • One of the following courses:
    • THE 238 Introduction to Design
    • ART 113 Introduction to Art Software
    • ART 216 Introduction to Graphic Design (note prerequisites)
    • ART 325 Visual Communication (note prerequisite)

Students completing the concentration in theatre arts administration should pursue an internship with a theatre, an arts institution and/or an institution in the nonprofit sector. Students are strongly recommended to complete a complementary minor in communication, business, intercultural studies or other discipline.

Any six course credits in theatre beyond the core.*

One course chosen from the following:

  • AMV or AMT Applied Voice (singing lessons) (.50 credit)
  • THE 302-406 (.50 credit)

*Note the following limitations: Only two courses in any area of applied theatre; only two sections of THE 176-476 Improvisation Ensemble.

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