Theatre

  • Terry K. Southerington, department head
    Sarah Kennedy, Allan Moyé, Janna Segal

    This major requires a substantial portion of the coursework to be completed at the Staunton campus.

  • Requirements for the Major in Theatre

    33 semester hours
    THEA 101 or 208
    THEA 114
    THEA 115
    THEA 121 or 323
    THEA 210 4 times with 1–3 hours variable credit
    THEA 400
    THEA 401
    Three of the following: THEA 301, THEA 302, THEA 303, or THEA 304
    One of the following: FILM/THEA 119, THEA 151, THEA 153, or THEA 156
    Two of the following: THEA 217, THEA 218, THEA 219, or THEA 270

    Note: Substantial contribution to theatrical productions at Mary Baldwin College is required of all theatre majors.

    Areas of Concentration (optional)

    Acting/Directing
    THEA 101 or 208
    THEA 121
    THEA 221
    THEA 321
    THEA 323
    THEA 324

    Film
    FILM/THEA 119
    FILM/THEA 229
    FILM/COMM 254
    FILM/THEA 264
    FILM/THEA 333
    Plus one additional course approved by the department

    Theatre History/Literature
    THEA 101
    THEA 114
    THEA 115
    ENG/THEA 216
    Two of the following: THEA 217, THEA/ENG 218 THEA/AMST/WS 219, THEA/AMST 270, ENG/THEA 315

    Theatre Practice
    THEA 105
    THEA 151
    THEA 153
    THEA 154
    THEA 156
    THEA 210

    Senior Requirement: Successful completion of THEA 400 and an approved senior project registered as THEA 401 during the senior year.

    Major in Arts Management/Theatre
    Please see Arts Management, Theatre

    Requirements for the Minor in Theatre

    21 semester hours
    THEA 101 or 208
    THEA 105
    THEA 115
    THEA 121
    One of the following: FILM/THEA 119, THEA 151, , THEA 153, or THEA 156
    THEA 210 OR 211

    Note: At least 9 semester hours must be taken with on-campus MBC faculty.

    3-2 Program for BA/MLitt

    Students may pursue a bachelor of arts and master of letters (3-2 program) that allows completion of the BA in theatre and the MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance in five years. Students should see Professor Southerington during their freshman year to discuss requirements.

  • Civic Engagement Opportunities

    • Theatre in the Community engages students in theatre communities beyond the college.
    • Theatre students work with school and community theatres through service learning contracts or directed inquiries.
    • Student teachers with theatre majors are encouraged to incorporate theatre in their student teaching.
    • International course offerings explore the role of theatre in community and public life in London and Paris.
  • 101 Plays in Performance (3 s.h.) (A, W)
    Students are introduced to theatre by analyzing plays  and viewing performances in professional, academic, and community theatres. No previous knowledge of theatre  is required. Course may be repeated for credit. Course fee is approximately $175.

    105 Basic Theatre Production (3 s.h.) (A)
    Students learn how to manage a production from play selection to final performance. Brief introduction to all technical aspects of production. Extensive work in MBC productions is required. No previous knowledge is necessary.

    111 Voice, Diction, and Oral Reading (3 s.h.) (O)
    Students set individual goals for development of the speaking voice, standard American diction, clear and expressive speech, and poise in public situations. The course is appropriate for students whose first language is English and for international students, who prepare readings to demonstrate progress toward their goals.

    114 Introduction to Theatre History (3 s.h.) (A, W)
    Students are introduced to Western theatre history and drama from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance. Prerequisite for THEA 400.

    115 Introduction to Drama: Script Analysis (3 s.h.) (A, W)
    Students learn a system of play script analysis and apply it to significant plays of the modern and postmodern periods.

    119 Introduction to Video Production (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see FILM 119 in the Film listing.

    121 Acting I (3 s.h.)
    The first college-level acting course. Through a series of exercises and scene work it takes actors through the beginning steps of developing mind, body, and voice as tools for character development. No previous acting experience is required. This course is a prerequisite for further acting courses.

    151 Scene and Light Design (3 s.h.) (R)
    Students learn the responsibilities of scene and lighting designers and the steps involved in the design and communication of ideas through drafting, model building, lighting plots, and hands-on experience in MBC productions. Drafting supplies needed. Alternate years.

    153 Stage Management (3 s.h.)
    Students develop and practice the duties and skills of the stage manager in facilitating and organizing a show from planning through auditions, rehearsals, performances, tours, and strikes. Special emphasis on the stage manager’s role in a group process, as a problem preventer and solver, and as a morale officer. Alternate years.

    154 Stage Makeup (2 s.h.)
    Design, planning, and execution of makeup for the stage, including period makeup and hairstyles, character makeup, and old-age makeup. Alternate years.

    156 Stage Costume (3 s.h.) (R)
    Students learn the basics of costume construction, design, and history including basic hand and machine stitches, garment construction, color and fabric, pattern drafting, period research, and costume rendering. Laboratory work in the costume shop and individually-designed construction projects. Alternate years.

    208 London Theatre (3 s.h.) (I)
    Study-travel in London and to Stratford-upon-Avon. Course fee includes air transportation from Washington DC, hotel, theatre tickets, and all scheduled performances and activities. The course must be taken P/NC and may be repeated for credit. *Prerequisites: Application by November 1 and permission of instructor. Alternate years.

    210 Problems in Production (credit varies) (M)
    Directed experience in acting, directing, or production in the Mary Baldwin College Theatre. In May Term, working conditions approximate those of the professional theatre, as enrolled students work full time. The course may be repeated for credit. *Prerequisites: Course work or experience at MBC in the area of specialization and permission of instructor; no permission required for May Term.

    211 Theatre in the Community (credit varies) (C, M)
    Supervised experience in acting, designing, stage management, producing, or directing in the community. Students are encouraged to propose work in theatre communities beyond the Staunton- Augusta region and to propose additional work that meets the criteria for global citizenship experience. *Prerequisites: Course work or experience at MBC in area of specialization and permission of instructor.

    216 Introduction to Shakespeare (3 s.h.) (H, R)
    For course description, see ENG 216 in the English listing.

    217 Continental Renaissance Drama (3 s.h.)
    A survey of the canonized plays and dramatic theory of the non-English Renaissance. This comparative study of the major theatrical and theoretical works from the Italian Renaissance, Spanish Golden Age, and French Neoclassical period explores how these dramatic and critical works engage with their specific historical and cultural moment, and how they inform each other through cross-cultural exchanges. Offered every third year. *Prerequisite THEA 114.

    218 Shakespearean Drama in Context (3 s.h.)
    This course examines Shakespeare’s plays in their initial cultural context, and explores Shakespeare in new contexts through a study of modern and postmodern Shakespearean adaptations. Offered every third year . *Prerequisite THEA 114.

    219 Women in Theatre and Drama (3 s.h.) (G)
    A survey of American plays by and about women and the contributions of American female theatre practitioners. This course traces the development of the role of women in American theatre by examining the work of diverse American female theatre artists (playwrights, directors, actors, producers, etc.) from over the past 100 years of American theatre history. Offered every third year . Cross listed as AMST 219 and WS 219.

    221 Acting II (3 s.h.)
    Introduction to acting styles of Stanislavski, Hagen, Laban, Bogart and others. Emphasis on monologues and audition pieces. *Prerequisite: THEA 121.

    229 Advanced Video Production (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see FILM 229 in the Film listing.

    250 Playwriting I (3 s.h.)
    Through writing exercises, students learn the fundamentals of writing for the stage: character creation, dramatic structure, dialogue, theatrical perspective. The final exam is to formally submit a completed and properly formatted final draft of a short play demonstrating understanding of the principles discussed. Students will be expected to read their work in class and to participate in supportive and constructive criticism of each other’s work. Alternate years.

    255 May Term in France (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see FREN 255 in the French listing.

    264 Screenwriting (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see FILM 264 in the Film listing.

    270 African-American Theatre (3 s.h.) (D)
    This survey of African-American theatre history traces the development of African-American theatre artists (playwrights, directors, actors, producers, etc.) from the early 20th century to the present. Cross listed as AMST 270. Offered every third year.

    277 Colloquium (3 s.h.)
    Focused, intensive study of a special topic, announced annually.

    301, 302, 303, 304 Topics in Theatre (1 s.h. each)
    A two year sequence covering topics valuable to theatre majors including play readings, workshops in audition, resumes, graduate school application, guest lectures etc. Three of the four required for majors. Open to other students with permission of department head.

    315 Tudor-Stuart Drama (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see ENG 315 in the English listing.

    321 Acting III (3 s.h.)
    This course allows students accomplished in acting to concentrate on their own areas of difficulty or experience with specific emphasis on portfolio and audition.. This course may be repeated for credit. *Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Alternate years.

    323 Directing Methods (2 s.h.)
    The director’s responsibilities and practices in play selection and analysis, casting, planning and coordination of technical elements, and conducting rehearsals and performances. Focus on academic and community theatre. Previous MBC acting and technical experience is required. Students who enroll in this course are expected to take THEA 324. *Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Alternate years.

    324 Directing Practicum (3 s.h.)
    Supervised directing experience. Each student casts and rehearses a one-act play and forms a concerted whole of the play text, actors, and production elements. Public performance constitutes the final exam. The course may be repeated for credit. *Prerequisites: THEA 323 and permission of instructor. May term. Alternate years.

    333 Film Theory and Criticism (3 s.h.)
    For course description, see FILM 333 in the Film listing.

    400 Seminar (3 s.h.) (O)
    This final course for theatre majors surveys Western theatre history and drama from the Restoration to the present. Through a series of paper projects, students examine canonized plays in relation to their specific cultural and theatrical contexts. Required of the theatre major; open to other students by permission of the instructor. *Prerequisites: THEA 114 and junior or senior standing. Alternate years.

    401 Senior Project (3 s.h.) (M)
    Students demonstrate their ability to apply their skills and knowledge to the work of the theatre, present and defend a written analysis of their work and experience, and evaluate their work against their contract goals and professional standards. *Prerequisites: senior status and permission of instructor.

    Note: Directed inquiries, teaching assistantships, and internships in theatre can be arranged on an individual basis.