Theatre, Theatre Studies Concentration (M.A.) - Graduate - 2009 University Catalog

You are viewing the 2009 University Catalog. Please see the newest version of the University Catalog for the most current version of this program's requirements.

The Master of Arts (MA) in Theatre, Theatre Studies concentration is designed for students who want to reinvigorate their previous theatre experience, pursue their passion for the first time, or prepare for subsequent doctoral studies.  The concentration surveys both the history of theatre and dramatic literature while at the same time provides opportunities for hands-on training. Study of pedagogical developments in educational theatre enhances a curriculum which ties critical research with the production of plays.

Further information on the concentration, including faculty, facilities and admission requirements may be found on the Department of Theatre & Dance and Graduate School webpages.

THEATRE w/CONC: Theatre Studies

Complete 33 semester hours including the following 4 requirement(s):


    Complete 2 courses for 6 semester hours:.

    THTR 501 Research Methods in Theatre 3
    THTR 534 Graduate Theatre Readings 3

    Complete 4 requirement(s):

    1. Complete 3 courses for 9 semester hours: .

      THTR 505 Dramaturgy 3
      THTR 513 Modern and Contemporary Theatre History 3
      THTR 517 Theatre Criticism 3
    2. Complete 1 course for 3 semester hours from the following list.

      THTR 511 Tragic Elements in Drama 3
      THTR 512 Comic Elements in Drama 3
    3. Complete 1 course for 3 semester hours from the following list.

      THTR 525 Advanced Acting Workshop 3
      THTR 535 Advanced Directing Workshop 3
    4. Complete for 3 semester hours.

      THTR 599 Independent Study 1-3

    Complete 3 courses for 9 semester hours from the following list. Non-departmental courses require written approval from advisor.

    THTR 504 Contemporary Theatre 3
    THTR 507 Theatrical Production 3
    THTR 508 Internship: Theatrical Practice 3-7
    THTR 509 Special Topics in Theatre and Drama 3
    THTR 514 Non-Western Drama and Theatre 3
    THTR 540 The Collaborative Process 3
    THTR 545 Scenic Design I: The Legitimate Theatre 3
    THTR 546 Scenic Design II: Performing Arts 3
    THTR 554 Stage Lighting Design 3
    THTR 555 Advanced Problems in Technical Production 3
    THTR 575 Seminar Costume Design and Construction 3
    THTR 580 Theatre Management 3
    THTR 581 Stage Management 3
    THTR 582 Production Management 3
    THTR 698 Master's Thesis 6

    Successfully complete the Comprehensive Examination.

Course Descriptions:

THTR501: Research Methods in Theatre

Foundations in research and research methodologies. A survey of resources and methods (including critical, historical and textual) in theatre to assist students in assessing and designing research. Course must be completed in first two semesters of matriculation. 3 sh.

THTR504: Contemporary Theatre

The theory and practice in today's professional theatre: writing, acting, directing and producing problems and trends of current theatrical fare. Open to all graduate students. 3 sh.

THTR505: Dramaturgy

Introduction and overview of dramaturgy as a component of the creative team. Includes units on production dramaturgy, collaboration with directors, new play development, working with playwrights and adaptation. 3 sh.

THTR507: Theatrical Production

Students pursue projects in one of the following areas: acting, directing, scenic design, lighting design, technical theatre or management. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. 3 sh.

THTR508: Internship: Theatrical Practice

Practical experience in theatre under supervision of staff member of professional, semi-professional or educational theatre, on- or off-campus. 3 - 7 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.

THTR509: Special Topics in Theatre and Drama

A selected topic in the history, literature, criticism of theory of theatre and drama not included in the regular departmental offerings will be examined in depth. May be repeated twice for a maximum of 6.0 credits. 3 sh.

THTR511: Tragic Elements in Drama

The "evolution" of tragic theory as it manifests itself in each of the periods of theatre history and dramatic criticism. Included in the examination is an evaluation of representative tragic playscripts in terms of style, structure, "tragic devices", content, and performance. 3 sh.

THTR512: Comic Elements in Drama

The "evolution" of comic theory as it manifests itself in each of the periods of theatre history and dramatic criticism. Included in the examination is an evaluation of representative comic playscripts in terms of style, structure, "comic devices", content, and performance. 3 sh.

THTR513: Modern and Contemporary Theatre History

Theatrical history associated with Western culture from 1890 to the present; the contemporary theatrical scene and its direct heritage. Major emphasis on British and continental developments with some attention to American theatre. 3 sh.

THTR514: Non-Western Drama and Theatre

Theatrical forms and dramatic literature of non-Western cultures (China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, and Africa) in historical and contemporary contexts. The influence of these forms on modern Western theatrical theory and practice (Brecht, Artaud, Brook and others) will be examined. 3 sh.

THTR517: Theatre Criticism

Historical review of the principles involved in theatre criticism from a literary perspective. While attention is given to selected historical periods, dramatic theorists and theatre critics, the focus of class is on contemporary critical methodologies that augment playscript interpretation and production. 3 sh.

THTR525: Advanced Acting Workshop

A workshop of acting styles from the classical to the modern, highlighting traditional periods, including Greek, Elizabethan, Restoration, and realistic acting. The basic assignments of the course are scene study and class presentations, individual and partner work in assignments and exercises. 3 sh.

THTR534: Graduate Theatre Readings

Reading and assessment of important texts in the theory, history, criticism and practice of theatre. Course must be completed within the first two semesters of matriculation. 3 sh.

THTR535: Advanced Directing Workshop

A workshop in play directing, including analysis and direction of scenes from realistic and period style plays. Final project includes a director's analysis and prompt script or the equivalent work in a term report on a particular approach to directing. 3 sh.

THTR540: The Collaborative Process

Course explores creative and collaborative strategies among the personnel involved in the mounting and production of a script: directors, designers, dramaturges and production personnel. It will explore techniques of script analysis, the creation of a production concept, and the effective implementation of this concept in all facets of production. 3 sh.

THTR545: Scenic Design I: The Legitimate Theatre

Scene design as related to the play, director and audience. Theatrical styles, genres, multiple, unit and simultaneous settings discussed. Includes script analysis and design work with an emphasis on visualization of design concepts, perspective sketch and modeling techniques. 3 sh.

THTR546: Scenic Design II: Performing Arts

Design problems inherent in musical comedy, opera and dance. Emphasis on planning, design and execution of scenery. 3 sh.

THTR554: Stage Lighting Design

The theory and practice of lighting design from both pragmatic and esthetic points of view. The student will focus on the function and qualities of lighting as a design medium and its application to various styles of theatrical production. Student will develop several lighting plots and schedules. 3 sh.

THTR555: Advanced Problems in Technical Production

Physical resources available to technician. Exploration of new materials and techniques as well as extensive work in standard techniques. Knowledge of drafting techniques helpful. 3 sh.

THTR575: Seminar Costume Design and Construction

Costume as one visual element of design in the theatre. Research procedure, design theory, construction techniques, use of materials. 3 sh.

THTR580: Theatre Management

The theatre as a business enterprise: production units; box office procedures; standard contractual arrangements; unions and their regulations; subscription management. Manager as a community relations specialist; publicity; the theatre as a community resource. Open to graduate students with a background in performing arts. 3 sh.

THTR581: Stage Management

Experiential study of stage management including: pre-production script analysis, organizing a prompt script, function in production meetings, implementing rehearsal schedule and company rules, rehearsal duties, technical rehearsals, and running/closing the show. Student will participate in all productions. 3 sh.

THTR582: Production Management

Experiential study of season scheduling; space scheduling; rehearsal scheduling; budgeting and pricing out costs for sets, costumes, lighting and props; management of backstage personnel; union contracts; and safety issues in the theatre and backstage. Course work supplemented by hands-on work on theatre/dance projects and spaces. 3 sh.

THTR599: Independent Study

Individual projects in theatre that result in significant research. May be repeated without limited as long as the topic is different. 1 - 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.

THTR698: Master's Thesis

Independent research project done under faculty advisement. Students must follow the MSU Thesis Guidelines, which may be obtained from the Graduate School. Students should take THTR 699 if they don't complete THTR 698 within the semester. 6 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.