Thesis/Capstone Guidelines

Theater Makers Creative Project and Portfolio Component

This creative project option allows Theater Maker 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.  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.   Conducting a senior capstone not only draws on a student’s past artistic and academic experience, it also requires considerable independent thinking and creativity, self-discipline, and effective time management. 

Supporting this creative project, the capstone experience also includes a substantive portfolio examining the theoretical basis, contextual implications, and the process and product of the creative research.  It also represents the students’ understanding of contemporary and/or historical theater practice, its theoretical underpinnings, its 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 MFA programs post-Bates.    


To deepen and specify a personal approach to creating theater.

To apply practiced techniques and creative research to the process and production. 

To cultivate a professional, collaborative, and creative process.

To analyze textandidentifyitsstructural components in order to make informed creative choices.

To develop a professional approach to the production process.

To reflect on the process and production experience and describe an artistic approach through the creation of a portfolio with post-graduate connections.

Theater Makers 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 362;
Production work: Two major roles in student or faculty-directed productions at Bates.

Design Capstone Requirements

Course work: THEA 130 plus one additional course in design.
Production work: Major production responsibility for one faculty-directed production at Bates; stage management of one department production.

Directing Capstone Requirements

Course work: THEA 261, THEA 370
Production work: One production directed at Bates for credit as a THEA 360 in Theater after successfully completing THEA 370; stage management of one department production.

Playwriting Capstone Requirements

Course work: THEA 240, THEA 339.  Additional work: One completed script.
Production work: stage manage or serve as dramaturge for one department production.

Guidelines for Capstone Assessment

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

A substantial theatre project (role, play, design) with emphasis on the process. 

Portfolio:  20%

This can be done in a variety of creative ways-website, Google Slides, Prezi, etc. 

Proposal & Portfolio Guidelines

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