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The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 50 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option or advising pattern, are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Laptop Requirement

To complete this program, the student must have the use of a laptop computer. Please consult with the department for current hardware and software requirements. Students qualify to receive special education discounts on computers and software sold through the Associated Students Bookstore (an Apple authorized campus store). For some programs, in an effort to lower student expenses, bundles consisting of a specially priced Apple laptop computer with the program's required software will be made available at the beginning of each academic year through the Associated Students Bookstore. This laptop computer package is expected to serve the student for the entire length of the program.

Degree Program Core: 18 units

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Declared Theatre or Musical Theatre major or minor.
This course introduces students to the field of theatre as both art and business. Students engage with inspirational readings about the nature of theatre as well as learning about trends within the industry for jobs and training beyond the BA level. Students develop tools for job seeking as well as engaging with critical explorations on what the nature of theater in the 21st century is. 3 hours lecture. (015862)
Prerequisites: Declared Theatre or Musical Theatre major or minor.
This studio course introduces the basic principles and practices of acting craft in the areas of script analysis, movement, voice/speech, acting technique, and rehearsal methods. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (015858)
Prerequisites: Declared Theatre or Musical Theatre major or minor.
This studio course introduces the basic principles and practices of theatre design in the areas of script analysis, scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (015860)
Prerequisites: For Theatre and Musical Theatre majors: THEA 150; for Theatre minors and all others: THEA 110.
A course in the principles and methods employed by directors, designers, and actors to comprehend dramatic literature as scripts for theatrical performance. 3 hours lecture. (009513)
Prerequisites: THEA 150, THEA 160, THEA 170, THEA 250.
This course is a survey of the theoretical and historical trends in performance from the ancient world to the advent of realism in the 19th century. Students discover key moments in the theatre history as well as signature scripts which represent the theatrical world of antiquity to Western Europe in this time frame. Students focus on the intersections of popular culture, political and social trends, and theatre through antiquity, the medieval period, the Renaissance, Neoclassicism, and Realism. 3 hours lecture. (021169)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher. THEA 250
This course is a survey of the theoretical and historical trends in performance from the 19th century to the contemporary period. Students discover key moments in theatre history as well as signature scripts which represent the theatrical world of America and Western Europe in this time frame. Students engage in critical written and oral discourse about the nature of theatres, dramaturgy, and history. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. Formerly THEA 350. (009232)

Technical Theatre Practica: 2 units

2 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Applied study of costume and makeup practices through participaton in costume construction and on wardrobe and makeup crews for department productions or other approved activities. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009230)
Applied study of scenic, lighting, and other technical theatre practices through participation in scenery construction and painting, and on lighting, sound, and stage crews for department productions or other approved activities. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009238)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study of theatre production practices through participation in a department production as an assistant stage manager or as an assistant to the director or designer or other approved activity. 1 hour activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009546)

Note: No more than 4 units of practica may be counted toward degree requirements.

Electives: 30 units

A minimum of 8 units of electives must be upper division. No more than 4 units of practica may be counted toward degree requirements.

Dramatic Literature/Criticism/History: 3 units

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This is a survey course examining theatrical performance throughout the world focusing primarily on non-western forms. It examines representative examples of theatrical performance within specific cultures or geographic locations and explores the social and cultural connections between performance and society. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (021114)
This course serves as an introduction to the connections between theatre and politics, ranging from traditional theatre to performance art. It examines the nature of political theatre and performance and introduces key figures such as Bertolt Brecht, Augusto Boal, and Guillermo Gomez-Pena. Students see live performance, read theoretical and performance texts, and develop a critical discourse about the nature of politics, power, and performance. Students also engage in performance practice as well as theory, formulating a creative work in response to a contemporary performance issue. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (021151)
This course is an introduction and critical exploration to the connections between theatre, gaming, and the digital body of the performer, Students read excerpts from critical theory and performance texts, view live performances, and play digital games to expand on this transforming sense of self. Students engage in digital performance practice as well as theory, formulating a creative work in response to their own sense of the digital body which reflects their postmodern identity. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (021152)
This course is also offered as MCGS 315 .
A study of identity as expressed through performance in theatre and other media. The course focuses on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Students see live performances, read classic and contemporary performance texts, and gain exposure to key figures who engage with identity politics in performance in the contemporary consciousness. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (009520)

Technical/Design: 9 units

2 courses selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
An introduction to technical theatre production in the areas of scenery, property construction, and painting. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. Formerly THEA 120. (009213)
An introduction to technical theatre production in the construction of stage costumes, accessories, and masks. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. Formerly THEA 122. (009514)
An introduction to technical theatre production by the transformation of the actor by means of paint and plastic application to meet the requirements of theatrical production. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. Formerly THEA 123. (009215)
Prerequisites: THEA 120, THEA 160; THEA 205 or THEA 206.
This course provides a basic background in the history and work of Theatrical Stage Managers. Included are script breakdowns and analysis for rehearsal, preparing the prompt book and other paperwork for technical rehearsals and productions, reading technical drawings, audition and rehearsal processes, scheduling and communications, managing equipment and personnel, working with actors, directors, and designers, as well as creating resumes and job hunting. 3 hours discussion. (021195)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: THEA 120, THEA 170, THEA 250.
A study of the visual interpretation of plays of various theatrical periods and styles through sketches, renderings, and models. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009268)
Prerequisites: THEA 121, THEA 170, THEA 250.
Corequisites: Concurrent enrollment in THEA 205 for lighting crew is required.
A study of the visual interpretation and enhancement of plays through the use of light. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009234)
Prerequisites: THEA 170, THEA 222, THEA 250.
A study of the visual interpretation and enhancement of plays through the study of the design and history of costumes for various theatrical forms, including plays, operas, musical theatre, and dance. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009235)
Prerequisites: THEA 120, THEA 170.
This course introduces students to a variety of basic techniques and skills used to produce painted scenery for the stage. These skills are used to create a series of projects that are designed to inform the students how to interpret and understand visual sources then translate these to the stage. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (020855)
This course serves as a basic level technology and design course for theatrical sound design. Combining the basics of audio, equipment, and science with design-focused projects, the student should gain an awareness of audio as a theatrical design element and the process by which sound is designed for live theatrical production. The course combines theoretical knowledge with practical resulting in a blend of technical and artistic projects. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (021159)
This course serves as an introduction to a relatively new design field in theatre, new media. The course introduces criticism as well as practical elements to prepare young artists to work with new media in a performance environment, be it in a traditional theatre or an artistic installation. The course places students in creative positions, sometimes in teams, sometimes solo, to develop installation pieces which involve the use of new media as design and narrative elements. 3 hours lecture. (021171)
Prerequisites: May take any of the following: THEA 325, THEA 370, THEA 371, THEA 372.
Advanced problems in scene design, lighting design, or technical production. Special attention is given to verbal and visual communication, and folio presentation and presentation. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009266)

Performance: 9 units

2 courses selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
An introduction to technical theatre production by the transformation of the actor by means of paint and plastic application to meet the requirements of theatrical production. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. Formerly THEA 123. (009215)
Development of movement techniques for performance. A course for majors in Theatre and Music. Open to interested non-majors. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. Formerly THEA 130. (009225)
A beginning course in voice and diction, the principal aim of which is to increase the clarity and expressiveness of each student's "natural" speaking voice. An essential program of study and practice for performers, but equally valuable to anyone whose career aspirations require effective vocal communication. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. Formerly THEA 140. (009217)
Prerequisites: THEA 150, THEA 230, THEA 240; either THEA 160 or THEA 112H, or permission of the instructor.
An extension of the work begun in THEA 160 to enhance students' understanding and skill in the areas of analysis, creative imagination and believable theatrical behavior. Through exercises, guided improvisations, discussions, journal writing and scene work, students develop a personal methodology of approach to the problems of acting. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009227)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Development of the skills for effective dramatization of literature in the elementary classroom or children's theatre, including creative dramatics, storytelling, oral interpretation and group readings. 3 hours discussion. (009224)
Prerequisites: THEA 160, THEA 230, THEA 260.
The analytical and physical movement techniques for performance introduced in THEA 130 are refined and expanded; students create solo, duet, and group movement pieces. Rotating topics covered include mime, stage combat, commedia, or mask work. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (002498)
Prerequisites: THEA 260.
The aim of this course is to help advanced acting students develop the knowledge, sensitivities, and skills needed to act in plays in which dramatic action and thematic content must be carried primarily through an active and richly textured speaking of the text. Classroom and out-of-class activities will include analysis, voice language exercises, and the preparation of scenes and soliloquies. Rotating topics covered include Shakespeare and other classic styles, as well as modern poet-dramatists. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009531)
Prerequisites: THEA 250, THEA 260.
Further classroom study and practice of various approaches to the problems of acting in comedies and dramas. Special emphasis is given to the analysis and physical/vocal acting challenges of texts other than contemporary realism. Topics and focus of the course rotate in alternate years. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009523)
Prerequisites: THEA 250, THEA 260.
Further classroom study and practice of various approaches to the problems of acting in musical theatre. Special emphasis is given to the analysis of music and lyrics and the challenges of acting the song. Topics and focus of this course rotate in alternate years. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009259)
Prerequisites: THEA 360 or THEA 361.
An intensive study of performance techniques for various kinds of plays that require specific manners, gestures, movement, and speech to fulfill the dramatic situation. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009251)
Prerequisites: THEA 170, THEA 250.
A theoretic and applied study of the basic elements of directing, including script analysis, blocking, composition, dramatic focus, and actor coaching. A series of staged scenes using outside actors are a central part of the course activities. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009529)
Prerequisites: THEA 360 or THEA 361.
Advanced study in special acting problems such as auditioning or mask work, or intensive scene work concentrated on a particular playwright, style, genre, or technique. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009260)

Additional Electives: 9 units

9 units selected from:

All other Theatre courses

Special Theatre Requirements

Students must participate in auditions for all Theatre productions or make portfolio presentations.

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

9 units selected from:

Catalog Cycle:12