If indeed “all the world’s a stage,” the Theatre major offers many ways to successfully “make an entrance.” The Theatre Department offers a theatre major that includes the skills necessary to produce excellent theatre (acting, directing, design, management) along with experiences relevant to life long learning (creativity, working in a collaborative environment, achieving self-expression, and increasing self-confidence). For all students, the major stresses both general knowledge in the process of theater and skillful development in the creation of theater. In addition to course work, students gain practical experience as they immediately assume positions required to support the creation of productions in the Theatre program. Theatre majors find themselves working in a wide variety of businesses including: entertainment, performing and public speaking, on and back stage, public relations, in education, event planning, media, and law. Theatre is both a profession and an art and, whether it be graduate study, working the “business” or using theatre in other endeavors, Theatre majors will offer creative solutions to life’s challenges.
Theatre Major Requirements
A major in theater consists of 40 semester hours, including THEA 274, and THEA 376 (both taken twice), THEA 278 and THEA 377. In addition, majors must complete courses selected from the following options: THEA 277 or THEA 279, two courses from THEA 370, 371, 372, an independent study or internship and acceptance of a senior, electronic portfolio. Finally, theatre majors are required to complete nine hours of additional course work from outside THEA to be approved by the Director of Theatre.
Theatre Minor Requirements
A minor in theatre consists of 16 semester hours including THEA 274, 278, 376, 377 and one of the following three courses THEA 370, 371, 372.
Students seeking teacher certification in drama should confer as early as possible with Professor Bill Wallace of the Communication and Theatre Arts department and Professor Craig Vivian, chair of the Education department, to ensure that their program will meet state standards. Other requirements for certification are described in the catalogue. (Note: Secondary certification in a “primary teaching field” requires a minimum of 32 semester hours.) A second teaching field in a related area of study is recommended.
Internships and Independent Studies
Internships and Independent Studies are an integral part of the THEA major. All majors are required to complete an internship experience or an independent study project. Internships can be taken in a wide variety of job settings—from stage management at a local theatre company, to publicity, assistant directing, or teaching youth theatre classes. A listing of recent internships in the department can be viewed at the Theatre web site’s internship page. The internship experience usually occurs in the junior or senior year or in the summer between. THEA faculty routinely advise and assist students in finding good internships. An internship is normally for three semester hours of credit. Typically students spend between 125 and 150 hours at the internship site or about eight to ten hours per week.
Facilities and Activities
The Wells Theater, is a state-of-the-art facility featuring computerized lighting control, a counterweighted fly system, large scenic and costume shops, lighting and scenery design labs with a CAD system and large format printer, and computerized front-of-house operations. The newly opened Fusion Theatre in downtown Monmouth is a versatile space with a black-box auditorium which can seat up to 150. The theatre can be configured into arena, thrust or many other types of staging. Included in the complex is a large classroom, two dressing rooms, a library, a large art gallery, box office, scene shop and control room. The Fusion Theatre was created in partnership with the community of Monmouth, making it a gathering place for many community groups. The studio theatre houses some mainstage productions as well as smaller, experimental works. The classroom is the site of several of the department's academic courses.
As the technical changes of the music and film industry have blended with the world of theatre, theatre majors are encouraged to use the Computer/Media laboratory in Wallace Hall. The facility has Windows-based design and editing stations for 20 students, including computers equipped with software for audio/video editing, multi-media production, graphic design, web authoring and other applications.
Crimson Masque, the department’s drama society, involves well over 100 students each year in four faculty directed productions.
Alpha Psi Omega, a national theatre honor society, recognizes the dedication of those theatre students who show exceptional dedication to the creation of theater at Monmouth College. Students regularly attend the American College Theatre Festival, competing with their regional counterparts in the areas of acting, critique, stage management, directing and design.