The Department of Theatre Arts offers a major leading to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in theatre arts or communication/theatre arts (which is especially designed for those seeking teaching certification). Theatre arts majors may utilize study in the department as preparation for a career in theatre or graduate work in theatre.
Students seeking certification at the secondary level select an emphasis in both communication and theatre arts, receiving general background in both disciplines.
A declared minor in theatre arts may be used to enhance another field of study or to develop specific skills or interests of the student. Most of the courses in theatre arts are open to students of any major, and drama productions frequently involve students concentrating in a variety of academic disciplines.
CMU has a chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, a national honorary fraternity in theatre (advisor: Dr. Mark Kelty).
Theatre Arts Minor
TA103 Basic Principles of Theatre (3)
TA111 Acting I (3)
TA113 Script Analysis (3)
One (1) from the following:
TA384 Theatre History I (3)
TA386 Theatre History II (3)
TA388 Dramatic Literature and Criticism (3)
Guided Electives (200-300 level courses) in Theatre (5-6 hours)
Theatre Arts Courses
TA100 Portfolio Review. 0 hours. Portfolio Review is an annual external review of the student's professional preparation. Students audition for a panel of active theatre professionals with two monologues and a song (optional), a complete and current résumé, and a professional headshot. (Capstone: required each year in residence.) Grading: Pass/Fail. Fall.
TA103 Basic Principles of Theatre. 3 hours. An introduction to the art of theatre including an introduction to both classic and modern plays, analysis and criticism of the plays and an examination of the roles of the director, the actor, the designer, and the technician. Fulfills "Fine Arts" requirement.
TA111 Acting I. 3 hours. This course introduces students to the craft of realistic acting focusing on the theory and practices originated by Constantin Stanislavski and his followers in the U.S. Students will read and practice exercises developed by the masters, applying them to individual exercises and scene work. Fulfills FINE ARTS requirement. Fall of odd years.
TA113 Script Analysis. 3 hours. This course focuses on the analysis of play scripts with an emphasis on developing insights for theatre practitioners: designers, actors, and directors. Fulfills "Fine Arts" requirement. Spring of even years.
TA190 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Introductory course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
TA211 Acting II. 3 hours. This course concentrates on developing strong dramatic characterizations through classroom exercises and scene work based on the theoretical concepts of Stanislavski, Meissner, and others. Fulfills FINE ARTS requirement. Prerequisite: TA 111 or instructor's permission. Spring of even years.
TA245 Oral Interpretation. 3 hours. Introduction to the oral communication of literature, focusing on the study of vocal technique and vocal training. Studies in the analysis of the literary work in preparation for performance, with emphasis on the development of specific skills in interpretive reading. Fulfills FINE ARTS requirement. Fall of even years.
TA250 Stage Makeup. 3 hours. The practice and theory of theatrical makeup, including character analysis, applied according to the different style and genre demands of the theatre. Fulfills FINE ARTS requirement.
TA252 Stage Movement. 3 hours. An introduction to different techniques of movement and sensory awareness used in actor training, including warm-ups and stage combat and their connection to the development of the acting process. Spring of odd years.
TA253 Stagecraft. 3 hours. Students learn and practice the major aspects of technical theatre via classroom instruction and hands-on set construction in the scene shop. Developing an understanding of the history of stage construction and design as being able to articulate a critical response to theatrical design work are outcomes of the course. Fulfills Fine Arts Requirement.
TA260 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
TA268 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-5 hours.
TA290 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Intermediate-level course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
TA301 Interactive Theatre. 3 hours. Students study, practice, and rehearse the "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" techniques developed by Augusto Boal. Class members create scripts, work on improvisational acting skills, and are trained in subject matter such as psychology/counseling, healthy relationships, and group facilitation. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
TA303 InterActive Practicum. 0, 0.5, or 1 hour. Focusing on the Augusto Boal's Rainbow of Desire methodology, class members create and present vignettes that promote discussion about important issues such as healthy relationships. Students work in teams to create scripts, work on improvisational acting skills, and are trained in such subject matter areas as psychology/counseling, healthy relationships, and group facilitation. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. May be repeated for credit.
TA354 Theatrical Design I. 3 hours. This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of theatrical design for scenery, lights, and sound. Prerequisite: TA253 or instructor's permission.
TA360 Special Problems. 1-5 hours. Independent study or research on a subject of interest to an individual student. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.
TA365 Directing Techniques (Capstone). 3 hours. A study of play production, concentrating on the art of directing. Students will learn and apply principles of directing theory, including production conceptualization and stage composition. Students will apply analytical techniques learned in previous coursework and from the rehearsal hall. Of special value to teachers preparing to present dramatic or musical productions, to those preparing for religious education, and to those preparing for professional theatre careers. Culminates in production of student-directed One-Act Plays on the Little Theatre stage. Prerequisite: TA111, TA113, TA211, and TA384; or instructor's permission. Fall of odd years.
TA368 Internship and Field Experiences. 1-5 hours each semester.
TA374 Theatrical Design II. 3 hours. Techniques and history of design, including both scenic and lighting design. Students may concentrate in the design area of their choice. Prerequisite: TA354.
TA384 Theatre History I. 3 hours. A study of theatrical history and drama from the golden age of Greece through the Renaissance. Fulfills FINE ARTS requirement. Prerequisite: TA103 or instructor's permission.
TA386 Theatre History II. 3 hours. A study of theatrical history and drama from the Restoration through today. Fulfills "Fine Arts" requirement. Prerequisite: TA103 or instructor's permission.
TA388 Dramatic Literature and Criticism. 3 hours. The study of dramatic literature from the golden age of Greece through today with an emphasis on 20th century drama. Fulfills HUMANITIES requirement. Prerequisite: TA113 or instructor's permission.
TA390 Special Topics. 1-5 hours. Advanced course on a topic not included in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission.