Capstone/Thesis/Honors Thesis Guidelines

2019 Production of “We Are Proud to Present…” Photo Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen

The Department of Theater and Dance offers multiple options for the culminating experience for Theater majors.   Please see the Academic Requirements as listed in the catalog for more details: Theater Academic Program.

Below is a guide to choosing capstone or thesis options for Theater Makers and Theater Studies/Dramaturgy students with the specific requirements and expectations related to each.

Theater Makers Capstone-Creative Project & Portfolio

Theater Makers Capstone-Creative Project & Portfolio

Sukanya Shukla ‘20 Acting Capstone-Nina in Stupid F#@king Bird.
Photo Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen.

Sukanya Shukla ‘20 Acting Capstone – Nina in Stupid F#@king Bird.
Photo Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen

This practitioner-focused option allows students to work on a capstone in acting, directing, playwriting or design and complete a specific project designated by the department. It is by invitation of the departmental faculty only and involves one or two semesters of original research culminating in a creative project and accompanying portfolio focused on the artistic process.  

For acting, the student will portray a designated role in a specific production. For directing, a student will direct a specific play. For playwriting, the student will write an original play and have a staged reading.  For design, the student will accomplish the design for an appropriate project as discussed by the student and their advisor.

Supporting this creative project, the capstone experience includes a substantive portfolio examining the process and product of creative research.  It also represents the students’ understanding of contemporary and/or historical theater practice, its theoretical and cultural context and connection to contemporary best practices.  This portfolio could be the foundational work that students continue to develop as they apply to professional theater internships or Graduate Program MFA, MA, (post Bates) programs post-Bates.

Theater Makers Capstone Requirements

The requirements below are the minimum expectations which must be fulfilled to be eligible for a capstone experience in these fields.

Acting Capstone Requirements:

Course work: THEA 261, THEA 263, THEA 361
Production work: Two major roles in productions at Bates.

Design Capstone Requirements:

Course work: THEA 261, THEA 350
Production work: After successfully completing THEA 350:
THEA 360 A. Independent Study – Stage Management
THEA 360 B. Independent Study – Assistant Director
THEA 360 D. Independent Study – Directing

Directing Capstone Requirements:

Course work: THEA 261, THEA 350
Production work: After successfully completing THEA 350:
THEA 360 A. Independent Study – Stage Management
THEA 360 B. Independent Study – Assistant Director
THEA 360 D. Independent Study – Directing

Playwriting Capstone Requirements:

Course work: ENTH 289, THEA 223, THEA 240, THEA 340
Additional work: One completed script.
Production work:
THEA 360 C. Independent Study-Production Dramaturgy

Guidelines for Capstone Assessment

Creative Project & Process:  80% (40% process/40% presentation)

A substantial theater project in acting, directing, playwriting, or design with an emphasis on the process. 

Portfolio:  20%

This can be done in a variety of creative formats. 

Proposal & Portfolio Guidelines

Proposal and portfolio specifications for the following fields can be found by clicking the link below:

ACTING

DESIGN

DIRECTING

PLAYWRITING

 

Ali Greene ‘20 Directing Capstone-The Gap with playwright Emma Goidel.
Photo Credit: Tim Dugan.

Ali Greene ‘20 Directing Capstone – The Gap with playwright Emma Goidel.
Photo Credit: Tim Dugan

Theater Studies/Dramaturgy Written Thesis

Theater Studies/Dramaturgy Written Thesis

Dana Professor of Theater, Martin Andrucki directs Brady Chilson '23 in Love/Sick.
Photo credit Phyllis Graber Jensen

Dana Professor of Theater, Martin Andrucki directs Brady Chilson ’23 in Love/Sick.
Photo credit Phyllis Graber Jensen

This option focused on scholarly research and writing, offers Theater Studies/Dramaturgy students the opportunity to explore topics in dramatic literature, theater history, the theoretical and social dimensions of performance, or other appropriate areas of scholarly interest.  The traditional senior thesis involves one or two semesters of original research and writing, culminating in a substantial paper on a research topic of the student’s design.

Dramaturgy, History, Literature, Criticism Requirements

Course work: THEA 101, THEA 200, THEA 220, THEA 223
2 additional courses in Dramatic Literature or Theory
Production work:
THEA 360 C. Independent Study-Production Dramaturgy

Guidelines for Thesis Assessment

Written Portion: 100%
This should be 40 – 70 pages in length.

Theater Makers Thesis-Creative Project & Written Component

Theater Makers Thesis-Creative Project & Written Component

Rebecca Berger ‘19 Directing Thesis-The Wolves.
Poster Design:Rachel Forcillo '18.

Rebecca Berger ‘19 Directing Thesis – The Wolves. Poster Design: Rachel Forcillo ’18

Theater Maker students who elect this option will structure their written work and scholarly research around a creative project designated by the department in acting, directing, playwriting, or design.  

The project process and written portion of the thesis represents the students’ independent original research based on an understanding of contemporary and/or historical theater practice, its theoretical underpinnings, cultural context, and research methodology.

Theater Makers Thesis Requirements

The requirements below are the minimum expectations that must be fulfilled to be eligible for a thesis experience in these fields.

Acting Thesis Requirements

Course work: THEA 261, THEA 263, THEA 361
Production work: Two major roles in productions at Bates.

Design Thesis Requirements

Course work: THEA 130, THEA 231, THEA 232, THEA 233
Production work: One of the following:
THEA 360 E. Independent Study – Assistant Design in the Area of Focus
THEA 360 F. Independent Study – Design

Directing Thesis Requirements

Course work: THEA 261, THEA 350
Production work: After successfully completing THEA 350:
THEA 360 A. Independent Study – Stage Management
THEA 360 B. Independent Study – Assistant Director
THEA 360 D. Independent Study – Directing

Playwriting Thesis Requirements

Course work: ENTH 289, THEA 223, THEA 240, THEA 340
Additional work: One completed script
Production work:
THEA 360 C. Independent Study-Production Dramaturgy
https://www.bates.edu/theater/academic-program/thesis/

Guidelines for Thesis Assessment

Creative Project & Process: 70% (35% process/35% presentation)
A substantial theatre project in acting, directing, playwriting, or design with an emphasis on both the scholarly research and the process.

Written Portion: 30%
This portion of the creative thesis project should be 35 – 60 pages in length.

Proposal & Thesis Guidelines

 

Jack Willis ‘19 Acting Thesis, Michael Driscal ‘19, Ethan Winglass Acting Thesis ’19-We Are Proud to Present…
Photo Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen.

Jack Willis ‘19 Acting Thesis, Michael Driscal ‘19, Ethan Winglass Acting Thesis ’19 – We Are Proud to Present…
Photo Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen

Honors Thesis

Honors Thesis

Hope French ‘18 Honors Thesis Acting-Harper Pitt in Angels in AmericaPhoto Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen.

Hope French ‘18 Honors Thesis Acting – Harper Pitt in Angels in America
Photo Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen

Honors Thesis involves two semesters of original research and writing either focusing on a creative project and/or a research topic approved by your advisor.  It culminates in a substantial paper on a research topic of the student’s design and also requires an oral examination by faculty members and an outside evaluator.

“The program encourages students to achieve mastery of a specific topic within the context of a major. The program gives qualified students an opportunity to conduct extensive independent study and research in their majors.”  Such an effort requires that the student possess an excellent understanding of the subject area, its theoretical underpinnings, and its research methodology.  The student must also be able to think critically and comprehensively about the topic, and must be able to advance a well-formulated argument. 

Participation in the Bates Honors Program is by invitation of the theater faculty.  The following are minimum objective criteria for such an invitation:

Overall grade-point average: 3.30 – Departmental average: 3.70

Honors in Acting

Major roles in at least two Bates productions, at least one of which must have been faculty-directed; distinguished work in THEA 261, THEA 361 & THEA  362

Honors in Directing

Distinguished work in THEA 350, THEA 360 A, THEA 360 B  & THEA 360 D.

Honors in Design

Distinguished work in the relevant design courses, and design work on at least two productions at Bates, at least one of which must have been faculty-directed.

Honors in Dramaturgy, History, Literature, And Criticism

Distinguished work in the relevant courses at Bates, including a demonstrated ability to write vivid, coherent English.

Honors in Playwriting

Successful completion of at least two one-act plays, or one full-length play before senior year.

All Honors Theses

A substantial section of the written portion must address scholarly, historical, and theoretical questions.

Guidelines for Honors Thesis Assessment 

The Bates College honors guidelines state that the thesis counts for 60% of the honors award, while the oral examination counts for 40%.

Thus, the written portion of the honors thesis counts for 25% of 60%—i.e. 15% overall.

Proposal and thesis specifications can be found by clicking the link below:

HONORS