Theatre (THEA)

How to Read Course Descriptions

THEA 1.     Introduction To Theatre. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Primarily for non-majors interested in acquiring a background of information in theatre. Plays, history, acting theories, technical methods and people in the theatre. Lectures, demonstrations and discussions will characterize the greater portion of the course.

THEA 2.     History of the Theatre: Ancient to Renaissance. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Broad survey of the nature and development of theatrical performance from ancient times through the Renaissance which emphasizes the relationship between theatre and the larger philosophical social and political concerns of its time.

THEA 3.     Theatre History After 1660. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Investigates the relationship between the development of theatre styles, structures and institutions, and philosophical, political, and cultural practices after 1660. Considers plays, production styles, theatre as an institution, and issues of representation of gender, race and class.

THEA 5.     Aesthetics of Theatre and Film. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Interpretations of seminal dramatic scripts emphasizing the aesthetics of the theatrical art in relation to the cinematic medium.

THEA 9.     Appreciation Of Acting. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Examination of the art of acting, including a review of actors and acting - past and present. Basic exercises in voice and diction, movement, and character will be utilized.

THEA 11.     Acting Study I. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Theatre and Dance Majors or Minors or instructor permission.


An introduction to, and a solid working foundation of, the basic building blocks of the acting craft. Through ensemble building, personal reflection, physical commitment, and vocal awareness exercises, students have the opportunity to improve and grow as an actor in both individual and partnered performance. Key learning goals include the ability to understand, interpret and execute the foundational elements of drama (plot, character, thought, and language).

THEA 14.     Stage Makeup and Costume Construction. 3 Units


This course provides a comprehensive look at the technical side of stage makeup and stage costumes, with an emphasis on makeup application and costume construction. Students learn use of materials, equipment, theatre terminology, and the practical aspects of costume and stage makeup realization. Students work on costume and makeup projects from start to finish in the makeup lab and costume shop.

Note: MAY NOT be taken concurrently with THEA 16 or THEA 20 without instructor permission.

THEA 16.     Stagecraft. 3 Units


Principles of scenic and stage prop construction, techniques of mounting and shifting stage scenery, and the study of ground plans and construction drawings for theatrical production. Lecture/lab activity.

Note: May not be taken concurrently with THEA 14 or THEA 20 without instructor permission.

THEA 20.     Lighting. 3 Units


Principles of stage lighting, fixtures, control and color. Introduction to basic concepts and practices of lighting design. Lecture/lab activity.

Note: May not be taken concurrently with THEA 14 or THEA 16 without instructor permission.

THEA 21.     First Year Seminar: Becoming an Educated Person. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Understanding Personal Development (E)


Introduction to the nature and possible meanings of higher education, and the functions and resources of the University. Designed to help students develop and exercise fundamental academic success strategies and to improve their basic learning skills. Students will have the opportunity to interact with fellow classmates and the seminar leader to build a community of academic support and personal support.

THEA 100.     Script Analysis. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 2, THEA 3

Corequisite(s): THEA 3


Through lecture and discussion, students explore the foundational elements of play scripts. The class investigates the structure of a play as well as its use of character, thought, plot, diction, song, and spectacle to analyze how a play's social and cultural elements inform potential productions.

THEA 102A.     Voice and Movement I. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11.


Introduction to the basic fundamentals of voice production and movement for the actor. Basic anatomy and physiology, relaxation, alignment, and breath work and its connection to movement. Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and physical strengthening exercises are used in combination with vocal exercises to develop the actor's voice and body. Vocal and physical improvisation are introduced through various voice and movement exercises.

THEA 102B.     Voice and Movement II. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11, THEA 102A or instructor permission.


Strengthening and enhancing the vocal work developed in Voice and Movement I is continued with an in depth study of the International Phonetic Alphabet and its importance when performing heightened language plays. Solo presentation and a devised final ensemble project round out the THEA 102B course requirements.

THEA 104.     Acting Study II. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11, THEA 102A or instructor permission.


To further develop the basic concepts of acting through scene work from the American modern repertoire. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of a play's given circumstances, and the commitment required to make bold, active tactic choices when developing a character. Further investigation of the actor's process in analyzing text and incorporating research through character analysis, as it ties into performance, are explored.

THEA 106.     Latin American Film. 3 Units


Exploration of the major movements in Latin American cinema beginning with the initial impetus of the Argentine and Mexican film industry of the late 1940's and the relationship of their aesthetic formulas to the cultural and socio/political climate of major Latin American nations.

THEA 107.     Directing. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 2, THEA 3, THEA 11, THEA 14, THEA 16, THEA 20, THEA 100


Practical experience in production procedures, characterization and basic principles of play direction. Analyzes directing techniques. Lecture/lab activity.

THEA 109.     Musical Theatre. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11


Practical study in singer-actor performance techniques. Major consideration is given to coordination of gesture and/or choreography, dialogue, melody, and lyric. Lecture/lab activity.

THEA 110.     Acting Study III: Advanced Acting. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11, THEA 102A and/or THEA 102B, THEA 104 or instructor permission.


The study of ways to research, rehearse and perform advanced acting styles and techniques with an emphasis on text analysis, given circumstances, subtext, and heightened language.

Note: May be taken twice for credit.

THEA 111.     Audition Technique. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11, THEA 102A &/OR THEA 102B, THEA 104; Musical Theatre minors must also take THEA 109.


An in-depth study of the business of becoming a working professional actor and the techniques needed when auditioning for a professional theatre company. Students prepare an audition repertoire that is appropriate to their age and type; audition for a panel of theatre professionals and receive feedback for both areas of skill and those needing improvement. Resumes, headshots, trade papers, skill sets, and financial budgeting are examples of the areas included within the content of this course. An introduction to television/commercial and musical theatre audition techniques is also incorporated.

THEA 113.     Acting Styles: Shakespeare. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 11, THEA 102A &/or THEA 102B, THEA 104


Designed to familiarize the intermediate acting student with the very specific demands of performing the works of William Shakespeare. Beginning with an in-depth study of the structure and meter of verse poetry, THEA 113 provides the vocal, physical, and analytical tools with which to approach this material in an intelligent and confident manner. Scene and monologue work is detailed and extensive.

THEA 115.     Puppetry. 3 Units


Play production with puppets. Practical work in constructing and manipulating various kinds of puppets. Simple puppets for use at elementary level; hand puppet production. Lecture/lab activity.

THEA 115A.     Multicultural Puppetry. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1), Race & Ethnicity Graduation Requirement (RE)


Multicultural puppetry was developed to introduce the student to the techniques and construction of puppetry and its use in a multicultural setting. Puppetry has been found to be an excellent tool for the teaching of multiculturalism to children. Emphasizes the methodology in the development of multicultural/multilingual scripts and their use in the implementation of curriculum. The ability to speak a second language is not a prerequisite.

THEA 118.     Children's Theatre. 3 Units


Study of special problems and techniques in the production of formal and improvisational drama for children; a consideration of techniques, methods and materials for use in the classroom to support and supplement curricular goals.

THEA 120A.     Practicum in Technical Production. 1 Unit


Practical experience in handling technical stagecraft problems, stage management, and crew management. Activity and participation in major productions. Four hours per week minimum required in workshop.

Note: THEA 120A requires students to work on one departmental production a semester for a minimum of 4 hours/week; may be repeated for credit.

THEA 120B.     Practicum in Technical Production. 2 Units


Practical experience in handling technical stagecraft problems, stage management, crew management. Activity and participation in major productions. Eight hours minimum a week required workshop.

Note: THEA 120B requires student to work on two departmental productions a semester for a minimum of 8 hours/week; may be repeated for credit.

THEA 120C.     Practicum in Technical Production. 3 Units


Practical experience in handling technical stagecraft problems, stage management, and crew management. Activity and participation in major productions. 12 hours minimum a week required work shop.

Note: THEA 120C requires students to work on three departmental productions a semester for 12 hours/week; may be repeated for credit.

THEA 121.     Rehearsal and Performance. 1 Unit


Participation in the preparation, rehearsal and performance of a departmental production. Approximately 50 hours of participation (including rehearsal and performance time) for one unit of credit. Admission by audition. A total of six undergraduate units may be taken.

THEA 123.     Lighting and Set Design. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 16 and THEA 20 or instructor permission.


Advancement in the methods of developing concepts for and of productions involving analysis of the script, research and spatial awareness in relation to scenic and lighting design.

THEA 131.     Costume Design. 3 Units


Study of costume history, design elements, play and character analysis, rendering and presentation techniques, and production procedures. Practical experience in the basics of costume construction with a focus on character interpretation and collaboration with other theatre artists.

THEA 140.     Black Drama in the African Diaspora. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Survey of the contributions of theatre artists in the African Diaspora. The reading list includes dramas from Africa, the Caribbean and United Stats and focuses on how social, cultural, and political climates influence Black Drama.

THEA 144.     Women and Theatre: Staging Diversity. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Race & Ethnicity Graduation Requirement (RE), Arts (Area C1)


Survey and performance course that focuses on identity theories and the contributions of contemporary female theatre artists. Lecture two hours; lab two hours.

Cross Listed: WOMS 144; only one may be counted for credit.

THEA 155.     Contemporary World Cinema. 3 Units


A historical review of the development of major international film styles and themes. Theoretical and critical concepts derived from this study of international film and then used as the basis to analyze contemporary films of South America, Europe, India, East Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Emphasis is on both the development of formal film techniques and a comparison of the unique cultural values that shape the film narrative style.

Crosslisted: FILM 155

THEA 170.     African American Theatre and Culture. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70 or 71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Writing Intensive Graduation Requirement (WI), Arts (Area C1)


Survey of African American theatre and drama as a reflection of African American history and culture from slavery to today. This is a writing-intensive course.

THEA 173.     Contemporary Chicano/Latino Theatre: Themes and Performance 1965-Present. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1)


Study of contemporary Chicano/Latino, Chicana/Latina theatre and drama from 1965 to the present, and its approaches toward performance. The course focuses on new trends, influences and new developments in playwriting, directing, performance styles, and its impact on the movie industry.

THEA 174.     Multicultural Perspectives in American Theatre. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Race & Ethnicity Graduation Requirement (RE), Arts (Area C1)


Study of the historical and artistic contributions of Native Americans, Chicano/Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans to American Theatre. Focuses on a range of plays from various ethnic and racial groups, forming a multicultural classroom experience; specifically study groups, from 1965 to the present, and examine the cultural, sociological and political climate in which these plays were created.

THEA 175.     Multicultural Perspectives in American Film. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Arts (Area C1), Race & Ethnicity Graduation Requirement (RE)


Study of the historical and artistic contributions of Native American, Chicano/Latino, African-Americans and Asian American to the American cinema. The course will concentrate on a range of films with an emphasis on multicultural theoretical and critical writings and will examine the cultural and socio-political climate in which these films were crafted.

THEA 190.     Senior Production. 2 Units

Prerequisite(s): THEA 2, THEA 3, THEA 11, THEA 14, THEA 16, THEA 20, THEA 100, THEA 120A, THEA 104, THEA 107, THEA 120 (3 units), THEA 121 and THEA 123 or THEA 131.

Corequisite(s): THEA 120 (3 units) may be taken concurrently if needed


This capstone course provides practical experience in theatrical production by focusing on the foundational elements of play production and the collaborative page-to-page production process.

THEA 194.     Theatre-Related Work Experience. 3 - 12 Units

Prerequisite(s): Consent of Department chair.


Supervised employment in a company or producing agency working on theatre-related work, arranged through the Theatre and Dance Department and the Cooperative Education Program office. Requires preparation of application packet, completion of a 3-6 month full-time or part-time work assignment, and a written report. No more than 3 units will be counted towards the degree.

Note: Open only to upper division or graduate students with appropriate course preparation.

Credit/No Credit

THEA 195.     Fieldwork. 2 - 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Junior or Senior standing and permission of the instructor of record.


Internship with local theatre company or arts organization that provides direct, supervised experience with different aspects of performance and/or theatre management. Requires students to maintain a journal and submit a final paper to faculty internship coordinator. Graded: Credit/ No Credit Units: 2.00 - 3.00

Credit/No Credit

THEA 199.     Special Problems in Theatre. 1 - 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Instructor permission.


Individual project or directed reading.

Note: Departmental petition required.

THEA 500.     Culminating Experience. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Advanced to candidacy and permission of the graduate coordinator.


Completion of a thesis, directing project, or playwriting project.