Theatre and Dance

Degrees in Theatre BA, BFA, MA, PhD

Degrees in Dance BA, BFA, MFA

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in both theatre and dance. These programs combine traditional studies with practical training. Ambitious seasons of theatre productions and dance concerts feature student performers and student designers, directors, and choreographers. Guest artists of national and international fame often participate in curricular and extracurricular activities. Recent guests have included Art Bridgman/Myrna Packer, Rennie Harris, Heidi Henderson, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Susan Marshall & Co., Bebe Miller, David Dorfman, Joe Goode, Kevin Wynn, and Shelley Senter in dance; Ami Dayan, Terry Berliner, Lee Blessing, Jim Moody, Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, Karen Finley, and Mark Medoff in theatre.

Students interested in theatre and dance are urged to consult with an advisor in the appropriate field to obtain both advice and the most current information concerning program opportunities and expectations.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Theatre +

The undergraduate degrees in theatre emphasize knowledge and awareness of:

• the major works of dramatic literature that are representative of the most important eras in the development of theatre and drama in the western world;
• the history of theatrical production—its styles, conventions, and socially related mores—from the ancient Greeks to the present time;
• the various means through which a theatrical concept is realized; and
• the aesthetic and intellectual relationship between theatre in its various 20th century modes and contemporary society.
In addition, students completing a degree in theatre are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

• analyze and interpret plays and literature with particular attention to acting and performance of literature, designing, directing, and/or playwriting and criticism;
• use, with safety and efficiency, the tools and equipment basic to theatre production technology;
• communicate to an audience through at least one of the components of theatrical art—acting, directing, designing, playwriting, or criticism; and
• function effectively as a member of a production team in the preparation of regularly scheduled public productions.

BA Degree in Theatre +

The BA degree program in theatre requires 38 credit hours in theatre, 3 in dance, and 6 in dramatic literature outside the department. It is a broadly based program of theatre practice and study for the student who may wish to pursue in-depth studies in another area as well. It also serves as the core of studies for a student who wishes to pursue further theatre training in one of the BFA areas of concentration. A grade of C- or better is needed in each required course toward the BA degree.

Students must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below.

Required Courses Semester Hours
THTR 1011 Development of Theatre 1: Classical 3
THTR 1019 Theatre Foundations 3
THTR 1105 Stage Technologies 3
THTR 1115 Costume Technologies 3
THTR 2003 Acting 1 or THTR 2043 Voice for the Stage 3
THTR 2021 Development of Theatre 2 3
THTR 3035 Production Practicum 3
THTR 3135 Tech Studio 2
THTR 4021 Development of Theatre 4: American Theatre 3
Electives in theatre (at least 10 upper-division) 12
Electives in dance 3
Electives in dramatic literature, outside the Department of Theatre and Dance, including at least 3 upper-division 6

Curriculum Notes

1. Choices must be advisor approved; BFAs do not have the same options as BAs.
2. BFA Performance students must take 3 credits in Shakespeare (ENGL 3563 or 3573).
3. No more than 2 credit hours of THTR 3035 may be taken in a given semester.

Recommended sequence of courses during the initial year of theatre major program, BA and BFA:

THTR 1011 Development of Theatre 1 3
THTR 1019 Theatre Foundations 3
THTR 1105 Stage Technologies 3
THTR 1115 Costume Technologies 3
THTR 2003 Acting 1 3

Graduating in Four Years with a BA in Theatre +

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress toward a BA in theatre, students should meet the following requirements:

Complete THTR 1011, 1105, 1115, 1003, 2003, or 1019, and 2021 by the end of the fourth semester
Complete 6 upper-division credit hours plus 1 credit of THTR 3035 by the end of the fifth semester
Complete 9 additional upper-division credit hours, including all practicum/ tech studio requirements by the end of the sixth semester
Complete 6 additional upper-division credit hours, plus all 3 credits in dance by the end of the seventh semester
Complete THTR 4021 by the end of the eighth semester

BFA Degree in Theatre +

The BFA degree program in theatre offers preprofessional training to a limited number of highly motivated and talented students aiming at professional careers. The BFA student pursues one of three possible areas of concentration: performance, theatre design, technology and management, or musical theatre.

Admission is limited not only due to student capacity, but also to ensure the type of individual attention necessary for effective training. Interested students should identify themselves as early as possible.

Formal application to the musical theatre concentration should be made concurrent with application to the university. Auditions/interviews will be held at the regular spring auditions for the College of Music. Formal application to the performance concentration should be made at the beginning of the second semester. Formal application to the design/technology/management concentrations should be made at the beginning of the third semester.

Admission is based on talent, academic record, motivation, and audition-interviews. Contact the department for information concerning auditions for these BFA tracks.

The college counts only 67 credit hours of THTR credits toward the total hours required for graduation. A grade of C- or higher is needed in each course required to fulfill the requirements of the BFA degree.

In addition to the general College of Arts and Sciences requirements for the BA degree, requirements for the BFA degree are as follows. (Courses taken as part of a student BFA concentration cannot also be counted towards fulfillment of the BA electives.)

Required Courses Semester Hours

Concentration in Performance

61 credit hours are required in THTR, plus 9 in other disciplines. Students accepted into the performance concentration each year constitute an ensemble and as a group follow the required sequence of courses. Specific details about this sequence are available from the department. Students in this concentration must fulfill BA requirements in theatre, with specified electives, and are required to audition for major season productions each semester.

THTR 3013 Studio 1: Building a Character 3
THTR 3023 Studio 2: Creating a Role 3
THTR 3033 Acting Practicum (1 credit repeated twice) 2
THTR 3043 Advanced Voice for the Stage 3
THTR 4013 Studio 3: Acting Shakespeare 3
THTR 4023 Studio 4: Playing with Styles 3
THTR 4033 Movement for the Actor 3
THTR 4193 Studio 5: Creating an Ensemble 3

Concentration in Design, Technology, and Management

62 credit hours are required in THTR, plus 15 in other disciplines. Students in the design, technology, and management concentration must fulfill BA requirements in theatre as advised and will use the electives in the BA requirements to fulfill prerequisites for the following.

THTR 2035 Design Fundamentals 3
THTR 4085 Theatre Management 3
THTR 4555 Production Studio (1–2 credits repeated for a total of 6) 6
Four Advanced Technical Theatre electives (as advised) 12

As advised, courses in other departments in drawing, painting, drafting, sculpture, and/or environmental design 6

Concentration in Musical Theatre

60 credit hours are required: 26 in THTR courses, 4 in DNCE courses, and 30 in the College of Music. See department website for audition information and application,
www.colorado.edu/theatredance/theatre/education.html
.

Theatre/Dance
THTR 1019 Theatre Foundations 3
THTR 1105 Stage Technologies 3
THTR 1115 Costume Technologies 3
THTR 2003 Acting 1 3
THTR 3011 Development of American Musical Theatre 3
THTR 3035 Production Practicum 3
THTR 3135 Tech Studio 2
THTR 3053 Acting 2 or THTR 2043 Voice for the Stage 3
THTR 4039 Musical Theatre Repertory 3
Electives in Dance Technique 4

Music
(MUSC 1081 Basic Music Theory/Aural if needed) (3)
MUSC 1101 Music Theory 1 2
MUSC 1111 Music Theory 2 2
MUSC 1121 Aural Skills 1
MUSC 1131 Aural Skills 1
MUSC 1802 Introduction to Music History 3
PMUS 1105 Keyboard Musicianship 1 1
PMUS 1205 Keyboard Musicianship 2 1
PMUS 1726 Voice 9
PMUS 4137 Opera Theatre 1 1
PMUS 4147 Opera Theatre 2 1
PMUS 4157 Opera Practicum 2
Non-Western Music History (2000–4000 level) 3
Western Music History (2000–4000 level) 3

Graduating in Four Years with a BFA in Theatre +

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress toward a BFA in theatre, students should meet the following requirements:

All potential BFA students in musical theatre must declare, in writing, their intention to audition before December 1, the year before they intend to start at CU. Actual auditions and interviews for the performance and design/technology concentrations must take place by the second semester of study. Students who are accepted into a major in these BFA concentrations must declare their major immediately upon acceptance. In addition to the specific course requirements listed for completing a BFA degree in the performance and design/technology/management concentrations, students must fulfill all requirements for the BA degree in theatre. Once accepted into a BFA concentration, students should meet with a departmental advisor to confirm, in writing, specific courses to be completed within the remaining semesters of study.
As
part
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the
first
two
years
of
study,
all
students
who
intend
to
enter
the
BFA
programs
in
performance
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must
complete
the
following
courses:
THTR
1011,
1019,
1105,
1115,
2003,
and
one
semester
of
3035.

Performance Concentration

Upon acceptance to the performance concentration, students must meet immediately with a departmental advisor. All BFA performance majors must complete the following courses in the prescribed order: THTR 3013, 3023, 3043, 4013, 4023, 4093. Students are also encouraged to complete EMUS 1184 (voice).
All students in this concentration must audition for all main stage departmental productions.

Theatre Design, Technology, and Management Concentration

Upon acceptance to the theatre design, technology, and management concentration, students must meet immediately with a departmental advisor.
Students in this concentration must take THTR 1019 Theatre Foundations as well as complete a design course in their chosen area by the end of the sophomore year.

Musical Theatre Concentration

All potential BFA musical theatre students must declare in writing, during the application process, their intention to audition by submitting the appropriate pre-audition materials (
www.colorado.edu/TheatreDance/theatre/application2.html
). Students who are accepted into the BFA musical theatre concentration must confirm their decision to enroll as TBFA MUS immediately upon acceptance following the audition. They must also meet immediately with a departmental advisor.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Dance +

The CU Dance Program is designed to provide a well-rounded dance education including both physical and intellectual training that instill concrete skills in performance and choreography as well as an appreciation of the role that dance plays in human culture around the world. The following areas of knowledge and experience are central to all the undergraduate degrees in dance:

• physical accomplishment at a basic level in a range of dance styles, including modern, ballet, jazz, African, and other world dance traditions, and advanced study of at least one of these styles, according to the student’s individual interests;
• experience with the process and underlying aesthetics of dance creation and composition;
• basic familiarity with cultural, sociological, and aesthetic issues important to the contemporary realities of the field of dance, including a working knowledge of major world dance styles, works of dance literature, and the history of dance;
• knowledge of the various means, such as stagecraft, costuming, makeup, and promotion, through which a public presentation of dance is realized;
• study and practical experience with the act of teaching dance, including issues of creativity, style, and pedagogical appropriateness;
• basic knowledge of tactics for prevention of injury to the dancer’s body, first aid and approaches to rehabilitation from injury, and of various somatic approaches to dance training; and
• experiential study of the relationship between dance and music, including concrete practice of skills in playing and hearing music.
In addition, students completing a degree in dance are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

• actively participate in dance as an art form with particular attention to at least one of the following areas of dance: performance, choreography, dance production, scholarship, pedagogy, or criticism;
• understand and mobilize knowledge of appropriate use of the anatomy and physiology of the body in performance and teaching;
• communicate effectively to an audience through at least one of the components of dance—performance, choreography, teaching, or scholarship; and
• function constructively as a member of a dance community in the preparation of regularly scheduled public productions.
BA and BFA students are expected to take at least one course each in modern, ballet, jazz, and African dance technique before the end of their sophomore year. Dance majors must earn a C- or better in all required courses. Students who have not placed in the major technique class (DNCE 2021, 3041, or 4061) by their second semester in dance program are strongly advised not to continue in the major program in dance. Placement into and successful completion of major technique is a prerequisite for enrollment in other required dance courses.

BA Degree in Dance +

Required Courses Semester Hours
DNCE 1012 Dance Production 1 2
DNCE 1013 Improvisation 2
DNCE 1027 Introduction to Dance and Culture 3
DNCE 2501 African Dance 2
DNCE 2005 Movement Awareness and Injury Prevention for the Dancer 3
DNCE 2014 Rhythmic Analysis 2
DNCE 2021 or
DNCE 3041 or DNCE 4061 Major Technique (Note 1) 6
DNCE 2033 Beginning Composition 3
DNCE 3027 Looking at Dance 3
DNCE 4015 Movement Analysis 3
DNCE 4016 Creative Dance for Children or DNCE 4036 Methods of Teaching Dance 3
DNCE 4017 History and Philosophy of Dance 3
DNCE 4939 Senior Project: Internship 2
THTR 1115 Costume Technologies 3
THTR 3035 Practicum 2
THTR 4029 Touring Ensemble 2
THTR 4081 Senior Seminar 3
Electives in dance technique courses ending in “1” (Note 1) 6
General electives in dance 2

Curriculum Note:

1. Students are placed at the appropriate level based on audition. Students without sufficient training will be asked to take nonmajor technique classes to make up the deficiency. These classss will not count toward the degree requirement.

Graduating in Four Years with a BA in Dance +

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for more information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress toward a BA in dance, students should meet the following requirements:

Declare the major by the beginning of the second semester.
Complete by the end of the sophomore year: 2 credits of DNCE 2021, 3041, or 4061; 2 credits of DNCE 2501.
Complete by the end of sophomore year: DNCE 2005, 1012, 1013, 1027, 2014, and 2033; THTR 1115, 3035, and 4029.
Complete during junior and senior years: DNCE 4015, 4016, or 4036; DNCE 4017, DNCE 3027.
Complete during senior year: DNCE 4939, THTR 4081.
Complete additional 4 hours of DNCE 2021, 3041, or 4061; 6 hours of additional courses ending in “1”; and 2 hours of dance electives at appropriate time with the advice of the advisor.

BFA Degree in Dance +

The BFA in dance is designed to meet the needs of highly talented students interested in preparing for a professional dance career while in an academic setting. The degree requires 67 credit hours in dance and 15–16 hours in theatre. Admission is limited by faculty consent to ensure the type of individual attention necessary for effective training. Students apply during the third semester while taking DNCE 2033. Students should be advised that 9 or 10 semesters are often needed to complete the BFA program. More than 120 hours may be needed for graduation.

Required Courses Semester Hours
DNCE 1012 Dance Production 1 2
DNCE 1013 Improvisation 2
DNCE 1027 Introduction to Dance and Culture 3
DNCE 2501 African Dance 2
DNCE 2005 Movement Awareness and Injury Prevention for the Dancer 3
DNCE 2014 Rhythmic Analysis 2
DNCE 2021, 3041, or 4061 Major Technique (Note 1) 12
DNCE 2033 Beginning Composition 3
DNCE 3024 Musical Resources 2
DNCE 3027 Looking at Dance 3
DNCE 3043 Intermediate Comp 3
DNCE 3601 Alexander Technique 2
DNCE 4012 Concert Production 1
DNCE 4015 Movement Analysis 3
DNCE 4016 Creative Dance for Children or DNCE 4036 Methods of Teaching Dance 3
DNCE 4017 History and Philosophy of Dance 3
DNCE 4053 Advanced Composition 3
DNCE 5052 Studio Concert 3
THTR 1003 or 2003 Acting or DNCE 4018 Performance Improvisation Techniques 2-3
THTR 1115 Costume Technologies 3
THTR 3035 Practicum 1
THTR 4029 Touring Ensemble total 6
THTR 4081 Senior Seminar 3
Electives in dance technique courses ending in “1” (Note 1) 9
Electives in dance 3

Curriculum Note:

1. Students are placed at the appropriate level based on audition. Students without sufficient training will be asked to take nonmajor technique classes to make up the deficiency. These classss will not count toward the degree requirement.

Graduating in Four Years with a BFA in Dance +

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for more information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress toward a BFA in dance, students should meet the following requirements:

Acceptance into the BFA by the end of the third semester with consent of dance faculty.
Complete by the end of the sophomore year: 4 credits of DNCE 2021, 3041 or 4061; 2 credits of DNCE 2501.
Complete by the end of the sophomore year: DNCE 1012, 1013, 1027, 2005, 2014, 2033; THTR 1115, 3035 and 2 credits of THTR 4029.
Complete during junior and senior years: DNCE 3024, 3027, 3043, 4012, 4015, 4016 or 4036, 4053; 4 credits of THTR 4029.
Complete during senior year: DNCE 5052, THTR 4081.
Complete at appropriate time with advice from advisor: 8 additional credits of DNCE 2021, 3041, or 4061; 9 hours of dance technique courses ending in “1”; 3 credits of dance electives; DNCE 3601; THTR 1003 or 2003 or DNCE 4018.

Minor Programs +

The dance minor is a 20-credit program open to any student enrolled at CU, regardless of college or school. For more information see www.colorado.edu/artssciences/students/undergraduate/academics/minors.html.

Graduate Degree Programs +

The MA and PhD degrees are offered in theatre. The MFA degree is offered in dance.A joint MA/MBA degree is offered in theatre with the CU Leeds School of Business.

Departmental Requirements +

Students wishing to pursue graduate work in theatre or in dance should carefully read both requirements for advanced degrees in the Graduate School chapter of this catalog and the following departmental requirements. Students should note that departmental requirements are sometimes more comprehensive than those minimums established by the Graduate School.

Prerequisites. Applicants are admitted to the graduate program in theatre and in dance on the basis of their academic records and recommendations. Students admitted who are unable to offer a substantial number of credit hours of work in the area of their intended specialization or allied fields must expect that a significant number of additional courses and credit hours are required of them in order to make up deficiencies.

Applicants for the MFA program in dance must audition in person; international students may audition by video tape. Applicants are expected to show a high level of proficiency in dance performance and choreography. Contact the dance office for specific audition dates; auditions are usually held in February or March for admission the following fall. The deadline for applications from U.S. citizens is December 15; from non-U.S. citizens, it is December 1. Applicants who want to apply for graduate part-time instructor (GPTI) positions must apply by December 1.

Diagnostic Meeting. Every student will have a meeting with faculty upon entering the program. Topics discussed in the meeting and other available information are employed to design the best possible course of study for the student. This evaluation may indicate course work as necessary above and beyound the required hours for the degree.

Advisor and Graduate Committee. For every student who declares an intention to work toward an advanced degree, an advisor and committee are designated so that a degree plan may be designed before the end of the first semester of residence.

All candidates for a degree have the responsibility of making certain that the appropriate persons or committees have been appointed to supervise the various steps in their graduate programs. Detailed instructions are available from the department.

MA Degree in Theatre +

Course Requirements. All master’s degree students in theatre are required to complete THTR 5011, 6009, and two of the following: THTR 6011, 6021, 6031, or 6041. Students can choose either a thesis or nonthesis track program.

After any undergraduate deficiencies have been removed, students must earn 30 semester hours, at least 16 of which must be in THTR courses at the 5000 level or above. Four to six thesis credit hours may be counted toward the 30-hour requirement. At least 24 of the 30 hours must be at the 5000-level or above.

Master of Business Administration/Master of Arts, Theatre, and Dance +

The Leeds School of Business, in conjunction with the Department of Theatre and Dance, offers students the ability to earn an MBA and an MA in theatre or dance through a three-year dual-degree program. Students in the MBA/MA dual-degree program pursue careers in a wide variety of fields and jobs in the world of the performing arts. Types of organizations include theatre companies, dance companies, opera companies, symphonies, arts councils, performing arts complexes, civic auditoriums, and arts presenters.

Admission. An individual must apply separately and be admitted to both programs under each school’s or college’s admission procedures and standards. Applicants are encouraged to apply to the two programs concurrently.

Course of Study. Students in the MBA/MA in theatre and dance spend the first year of their dual-degree program exclusively in either the business school or the theatre/dance program. In the second year, courses are taken exclusively in the other department. The third year offers students the opportunity to take both MBA and theatre/dance elective courses.

Credit for Courses. Dual-degree students are required to complete 43 hours of MBA course work and 24 hours of theatre/dance course work. A minimum of 67 approved credits must be completed to earn both degrees.

PhD Degree in Theatre +

Doctoral students in theatre are normally expected to earn 30 credit hours of course work beyond the master’s degree at the 5000-level or above. When approved by the student advisory committee, credits from other departments on campus may count, provided the course is taught by a member of the graduate faculty in that department.

Doctoral study in theatre is based on the following core of required advanced courses.

THTR 5011 Theory and Criticism
THTR 6009 Research Strategies and Techniques

Plus three of the following:
THTR 6011 On-Stage Studies: Classical and Neoclassical Drama
THTR 6021 On-Stage Studies: Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama
THTR 6031 On-Stage Studies: American Theatre and Drama

THTR 6041 On-Stage Studies: Modern European Drama

Beyond the core courses, studies are determined by students and their advisors, consistent with Graduate School and departmental requirements. Doctoral students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to the completion of a second-semester college level before taking the comprehensive exam. In addition to the 30 hours of course work, 30 dissertation credits (THTR 8999) are required.

MFA Degree in Dance +

Course Requirements. The three-year program requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, at least 30 of which must be taken in dance at the 5000 level or above. The program focuses on performance/choreography and secondary areas of specialization. At least 6 credit hours must be taken outside of dance in an approved allied field. The program is designed to accommodate recent BA or BFA graduates and practicing professionals desiring a graduate degree who have a bachelor’s degree.

The MFA in dance is based on a required core of courses including modern dance, ballet, African dance, Alexander technique, choreography, history, readings in dance, seminars in dance and music, research strategies, pedagogy, and a creative project or thesis. Contact the department for detailed information.

Project or Thesis. In the second year of the degree program, a written proposal for a creative project or thesis must be presented and approved. Upon its completion, an oral defense of the project or thesis is required.

Graduate Comprehensive Essay Portfolio. Three well defined essays are submitted during the final semester that demonstrate knowledge of scholarly sources and articulation of personal philosophy.

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