Academic program



The major in theater combines the study of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the present with the study and application of acting, directing, dance, and design. Students thus acquire skills in production and performance while learning the history and literature of one of the world's major forms of artistic expression. Majors are prepared for graduate work in the humanities, further professional training, or a career in the field. The theater major is also a valuable asset for a wide variety of careers—such as business, law, or teaching—requiring collaborative effort, public poise, imagination, and a broad background in the liberal arts. In addition to its academic work, the department annually produces more than a dozen plays, films, dance concerts, and other performance events in its three theaters. These require the participation of large numbers of students, both majors and non-majors. The department invites all members of the community to join in the creation of these events. Majors in theater who are interested in secondary school teaching should consult the Department of Education about requirements for teacher certification. More information on the theater curriculum is available on the website (bates.edu/theater).

Major Requirements for classes of 2019 and beyond. The theater major comprises two tracks, one in Theater Studies and the other in Creative Production and Performance. Track A, Theater Studies, focuses on the study and production of live theater and requires twelve courses, including a creative thesis. Track B, Creative Production and Performance, provides an overview of theater history and production, and requires ten courses, including a written thesis.

Track A: Theater Studies (10 Courses)
1) All of the following core requirements:
THEA 101. Theater and Film: An Introductory Survey.
THEA 130. Introduction to Design.
THEA 132. Theater Technology.
THEA 200. The Classical Stage.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting.

2) One of the following core requirements:
THEA 220. The Modern Stage: Ibsen to O'Neill.
THEA 222. The Modern Stage: Beckett to the Present.

3) Production requirement completed by end of junior year.

4) A minimum of three additional courses, primarily based on the options listed below. Where
applicable, students should complete courses sequentially. They should consult with their major advisor before signing up for any electives.
THEA 263. Voice and Speech.
THEA 231. Scene Design. or THEA 232. Lighting Design. or THEA 233. Costume Design.
THEA 240. Playwriting. or THEA 242. Screenwriting.
THEA 370. Directing.
DANC 151. Introduction to Dance Composition.
AA/DANC 252. Contemporary Issues in Dance.

5) THEA 457 or 458, Senior Thesis. Written theses are by departmental invitation only. Students in this track will undertake a substantial academic written thesis. Topics for theses are subject to departmental approval.

Study Abroad: Theater Studies majors intending to study abroad must consult with their advisor well in advance of their junior year.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. There are no additional restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the major.

Track B: Creative Production and Performance (12 Courses)
1) All of the following core requirements:
THEA 101. Theater and Film: An Introductory Survey.
THEA 130. Introduction to Design.
THEA 132. Theater Technology.
THEA 200. The Classical Stage.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting.

2) At a minimum, one of the following core requirements:
THEA 220. The Modern Stage: Ibsen to O'Neill.
THEA 222. The Modern Stage: Beckett to the Present.

3) Production requirement completed by end of junior year.

4) At least five additional courses based on the specific area of focus and the requirements listed below. Majors are highly encouraged to participate in a minimum of one course, production, or project related to their area of focus each semester. Where applicable, students should complete courses sequentially. They should also consult with their major advisor before signing up for electives.

Option A: Acting Focus
THEA 263. Voice and Speech.
THEA 362. Advanced Acting. or THEA 364. Advanced Voice and Speech. 2 half-credit courses in movement and performance for 1 credit total (selected from 270 courses in
dance technique and 290 courses in acting) 2 additional courses chosen in consultation with your advisor.

Option B: Directing Focus
THEA 370. Directing.
THEA 362. Advanced Acting. or THEA 364. Advanced Voice and Speech.
THEA 360. Independent Study in Directing
2 additional courses chosen in consultation with your advisor With prior approval from the advisor, a professional internship may substitute for one elective.

Option C: Design Focus
THEA 231. Scene Design. or THEA 232. Lighting Design. or THEA 233. Costume Design.
1 additional course, or independent study, specific to design concentration (ex: scenic drafting,
advanced lighting design, or THEA 235. Dress and Adornment in Western Culture.)
THEA 360. Independent Study in Design. 2 courses in Art and Visual Culture – one must be a studio course, both must be approved by major advisor.

5) THEA 457 or 458, Senior Thesis. Creative thesis is by departmental invitation only. To be eligible for a creative thesis, students must have completed the at least eight of the eleven required courses, including THEA 101. Topics for theses should involve a substantial artistic project and are subject to departmental approval.

Study Abroad: Creative Production and Performance majors intending to study abroad should consult with their advisor well in advance of their junior year.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. . There are no additional restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the major.

Major Requirements for classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018. The theater major comprises two tracks, each requiring ten courses. Track A, Drama on Stage, focuses on the study and production of live theater. Track B, Narrative Film and Video, combines work in digital video production with the study of film as a dramatic medium.

Track A: Drama on Stage:
1) All of the following:
THEA 101. Theater and Film: An Introductory Survey.
THEA 130. Introduction to Design.
THEA 200. The Classical Stage.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting.

2) One of the following:
THEA 220. The Modern Stage: Ibsen to O'Neill.
THEA 222. The Modern Stage: Beckett to the Present.

3) One of the following:
THEA 132. Theater Technology.
THEA 231. Scene Design.
THEA 232. Lighting Design.
THEA 233. Costume Design.

4) One of the following:
DANC 151. Introduction to Dance Composition.
THEA 263. Voice and Speech.
THEA 370. Directing.

5) Two additional courses in theater, which may include one course credit for THEA 290 performance.

6) THEA 457 or 458, the senior thesis, by departmental invitation. Students who are not
invited to complete a thesis must fulfill their [W3] requirement by completing an additional
course in theater with an augmented writing component making it a [W2] course.
Alternatively, they may fulfill their [W3] requirement by completing a [W2] course in art
and visual culture, dance, English, a foreign language, music, or rhetoric. Students
pursuing this option must consult with their advisors before selecting the [W2] course,
which may not be taken pass/fail.

Track B: Narrative Film and Video:
1) All of the following:
THEA 101. Theater and Film: An Introductory Survey.
THEA 130. Introduction to Design.
THEA 132. Theater Technology.
THEA 232. Lighting Design.
THEA 242. Screenwriting.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting.
THEA 370. Directing.

2) Two additional courses in film theory or history chosen from the Bates curriculum in
consultation with the major advisor.

3) THEA 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.

Courses completed in off-campus or study-abroad programs in film may substitute for one or more of these requirements.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. There are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the major, except for a [W2] course taken in lieu of the [W3] requirement (see above).

Minor in Theater. The minor in theater consists of six courses drawn from the following:

1) THEA 101. Theater and Film: An Introductory Survey.

2) Five courses from the following two lists:

a) Two or three of the following:
DN/TH 104. What is Performance?
DANC 151. Introduction to Dance Composition.
THEA 130. Introduction to Design.
THEA 132. Theater Technology.
THEA 231. Scene Design.
THEA 232. Lighting Design.
THEA 233. Costume Design.
THEA 235. Dress and Adornment.
THEA 261. Beginning Acting.
THEA 263. Voice and Speech.
THEA 362. Advanced Acting.
THEA 364. Advanced Voice and Speech.
THEA 370. Directing.
THEA s26. Theater Production Workshop I.
RH/TH s40. Digital Video Production.

b) Two or three of the following:
THEA 200. The Classical Stage.
THEA 205. Shakespeare on Film.
THEA 220. The Modern Stage: Ibsen to O'Neill.
THEA 222. The Modern Statge: Beckett to the Present.
THEA 240. Playwriting.
THEA s33. Central European Theater and Film.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. There are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option with the minor in theater.