BA - Theatre Studies

Department of Theatre and Dance

Theatre Studies main page

Theatre Studies Program Coordinator: Dr. Debbie Saivetz; 973-655-3353

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BA Theatre Studies: The Big Picture

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theatre Studies program emphasizes both the practical and theoretical aspects of theatre -- performance, dramatic literature, theatre history, dramaturgy, and stagecraft -- within the context of a liberal arts curriculum.

Through rigorous classroom and practical training, our students develop into well-rounded, responsible theatre artists who value their collaborative artistic community. Students are prepared for broad-based careers in theatre and theatre-related professions – such acting, directing, producing, playwriting, and teaching --,as well as for advanced training programs and/or graduate study. 

We encourage all students to audition for departmental productions staged in college facilities and to participate in backstage/front-of-house production functions.

Our proximity to Manhattan allows us to attract an outstanding full-time faculty and prominent guest artists who work closely with students each semester. With Manhattan just 30 minutes away, you will be able to connect with on and off-Broadway productions and numerous internship opportunities.

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What You Will Study

The BA in Theatre Studies curriculum consists of 120 credits, including 58 credits in the major and 62 credits in General Education. Core courses include:

  • Acting
  • Voice and Movement
  • Directing
  • Playwriting
  • Stagecraft
  • Theatre History
  • Script Analysis
  • Dramaturgy
  • Collaborative Creation

Focus on the playwriting process culminates in a senior project that is created in collaboration with a professional theatre artist and performed during the department’s production season.

Students supplement the core curriculum and define their chosen tracks through elective courses– i.e., acting, directing, playwriting, design, or management. The program’s flexibility encourages students to explore their areas of interest and participate in the Study Abroad program. Unique to the department, BA Theatre Studies students can earn credit through professional internships in the NY/NJ metropolitan area. Our Plays in Performance class includes 7-8 trips to New York City that introduce students to the broad range of contemporary professional productions. 

For complete BA Theatre Studies course requirements, go to:

To learn more about Careers in Theatre, go to:

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Collaboration and Performance Opportunities

Collaborations with the Arts & Cultural Programming unit give students unique opportunities to work with world-class guest artists and theatre companies in the university’s state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater. Students perform in productions created and/or directed by nationally and internationally renowned artists and companies.

In the past, students have worked with director Robert Wood and the Pig Iron Theatre company; the London-based DV8 physical theatre company; and with director/choreographer David Gordon.

Additional performance opportunities include:

  • The annual Senior Project production
  • Departmental productions and workshops
  • Directing class scenes
  • Play-reading series
  • Participation in Players, Montclair’s student organization

Students learn by watching as well as doing. You will be able to attend more than 500 professional events on campus each year, including those presented by the Theatre and Dance Department as well as by Montclair’s Peak Performances LINK program of theatre, dance, and music productions. Students – who are sometimes cast alongside seasoned performers and renowned actors – are admitted FREE to these campus events.

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Our Faculty

More than 75 permanent faculty members and visiting professionals – including internationally renowned celebrity guest artists and artists-in-residence – mentor our Theatre and Dance students each semester. These working professionals share insights gleaned from their professional experiences in the "real world" of theatre. Faculty mentoring can often lead to opportunities beyond the classroom.

Click the links below to learn more:

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Theatre Facilities

Montclair State boasts exceptional performance facilities with impressive technical specifications.  You will perform in six well-equipped theatres, including the state-of-the-art Alexander Kasser Theater; the 946-seat Memorial Auditorium; our 2000-seat amphitheater, and the intimate L. Howard Fox Theatre.

This exceptional range of performance spaces reflects industry opportunities and prepares students for future performances in a variety of settings. 

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Student Testimonial

Malcolm McMichael – Theatre Studies Major

As a Theatre Studies major, I can audition for a variety of professional-quality performances – even as a freshman. Here, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the Musical Theatre department or in one of the sciences – everyone can audition because the department values talent. . .  I get to take hands-on classes in acting, directing, playwriting, and all the behind-the-scenes production disciplines.

I feel really lucky to go to a school that offers so many amazing opportunities. Going to a diverse university was a crucial deciding factor for me, so I’m extremely thankful that this school is exactly that.

When you ask someone about their college experiences, they might talk about parties or roommates. But for me, I can talk about my first casting call and photo shoot, or the fun of having a theater class with the head of your department! In other words, I love this university and feel that it literally acts as a doorway to personal success.

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Accreditation

The BA Theatre Studies program meets the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) – a distinction that places us among the nation’s most competitive programs. 

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Apply Now

To apply to the BA Theatre Studies Program, or to any Department of Theatre and Dance program, please visit Department Admissions.

For additional information about our programs, please visit us to tour our facilities and/or plan to attend one of our Arts Days and Open Houses

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