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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


College of Arts and Humanities - School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
2806 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, 301-405-6676
Director: L. Smiley
Professors: M. Hebert, F. Hildy, H. Huang, S. Reese
Associate Professors: F. Carpenter, D. Conway, L. Felbain, L. Frederik Meer, J. Harding, M. Kachman, E. Lee, B. MacDevitt, L. Smiley
Assistant Professors: J. Barclay Newsham, J. Mezzocchi
Lecturers: C. Barger (Coordinator, Lecturer), K. Rothman (Visit Asst Prof, Lecturer)
Professors Emeriti: P. Gillespie, R. Meersman, W. Patterson, R. Pugliese, D. Wagner

The Major

Small classes, diversity, and a close-knit environment promote a strong sense of community within the Theatre major.  An extensive production schedule offers students a myriad of opportunities to practice their craft.  A supportive and stimulating environment fosters creative development and spurs achievement.  Our comprehensive curriculum embraces the liberal arts approach to theatre study and cultivates skills - discipline, creativity, self-confidence, and critical thinking - that are valuable in all career fields.  Students gain a strong foundation in theatre arts and have the opportunity to tailor the degree to their strengths and interests.  Our performance and design/production faculty cluster members are active in their fields (members of Actors Equity and United Scenic Artists), providing students a vital link to the world of professional theatre.  Our scholarship faculty cluster members regularly publish and participate at national and international conferences.  Situated in close proximity to the vibrant Washington/Baltimore theatre communities, students have ready access to the best of contemporary and classical productions at more than 80 professional theatres.  Through professional affiliations with many of these theatre companies, students enjoy unique opportunities such as internships, workshops, partnership projects, and blended productions.  An audition, portfolio, or interview is not required for admission to the program.  Courses offered by this Department may be found under the following acronym(s): THET, TDPS, DANC, AASP, HONR, JAPN, JWST, WMST, ANTH.

Program Objectives

Our Mission

The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies advances and transforms the research and practice of theatre, dance, and performance studies through its commitment to excellence and innovative education in the performing arts. 

Our Vision

We envision a School that serves as a national model for collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship in the performing arts. The Theatre program offers a balanced liberal arts education that integrates production, design, and scholarship.  The B.A. in Theatre seeks to introduce students to the history, theory, and literature of theatre; to offer them insights into the cultural diversity that has shaped the creation of theatrical forms around the world; to allow them to develop their own aesthetic sensibilities and perspectives as an artist and audience member; and to offer them practical training in the areas of theatre craft, which ranges from design, to directing, and to performance.

Program Learning Outcomes

By the end of their undergraduate work students should be able to demonstrate fundamental knowledge of theatre performance, design, history, craft and literature analysis.  They will also be able to demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills and the ability to communicate with both written and spoken word and artistic vision. Students will also develop the ability to interpret and analyze dramatic texts with critical understanding of content and methodology.  They will expand their awareness of the basic methods and principles for creating a dialogue between theory and practice.  Finally, students will develop the ability to work effectively within a collaborative environment.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

Theatre is housed in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art performing arts "village" comprised of ten interconnected structures occupying 318,000 square feet and situated on a 17-acre site at the northwest end of the campus.  The Center is designed to serve the theatre, music, and dance programs of the University. The Center also houses the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library. With 30 classrooms, 50 practice and rehearsal rooms, and fully outfitted costume, electric, scenic production, paint, and properties shops, the Center serves more than 5,000 students, 200 faculty and staff, and numerous regional, national, and international audiences and professionals. For further information, visit the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center website at https://theclarice.umd.edu .

Admission to the Major

An audition/portfolio is not required to become a Theatre major.

Placement in Courses

Many Theatre performance and production courses above the Sophomore level require an audition, interview, and/or permission of the Department. 

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for the College of Arts and Humanities include a minimum of 45 upper-level credits and the Global Engagement Requirement.  Students in the Theatre major prior to the Fall 2009 semester should consult the unit for prior curriculum requirements.

  FOUNDATION SERIES (16 credits): 
TDPS201Introduction to Technical Production
THET116Fundamentals of Theatrical Design
THET222Foundations of Acting and Performance
THET223Text and Context in Western Theatre
TDPS479Production Practicum (1 credit repeated four times)
  *Foundation Series courses may be taken in any sequence.
  *THET222, THET223, one credit of TDPS479, and either THET116 or TDPS201 must be completed by the end of the second semester or 30 credits.
  *TDPS479 (4 - 1 credit courses for a total of 4 credit hours) cannot be taken until TDPS201 is completed.
  *TDPS479 must be completed in 3 different areas - costume, scenic, lighting and sound 
  *Students are expected to complete one TDPS479 course by the end of the 2nd semester or 30 credits, and all 4 courses by the end of the 6th semester or 90 credits.
  AREA MENU (18 credits): 
  Students must take courses from each Area as delineated below. Students may enter the Area Menu after completing appropriate prerequisites.
Performance Area: 3 credits required
Design Area: 6 credits required; 3 at the 300-400 level
History/Theory: 9 credits required; THET390, THET391, 3 at 400 level
Performance Area (3 credits required): courses marked with an * require an audition.  Students may only audition twice for each course requiring an audition for enrollment.
THET210Movement for Actors
THET285The Art of Communication and Presentation
THET310Voice for the Actor I*
THET324Acting: Character Development*
THET325Acting: The Actor's Process Part I*
THET330Play Directing I
THET360Voice Archetypes
THET411Voice for the Actor II*
THET420Acting IV: Language and the Actor*
THET424Movement II: Advanced Studies in Movement for the Actor*
THET425Acting: The Actor's Process Part II*
THET430Play Directing II
THET451Musical Theatre Workshop I*
THET452Musical Theatre Workshop II*
Design/Production Area (6 credits required): 
 Some courses require departmental or instructor approval
THET273Theatre Graphics I
THET274Introduction to Stage Management
THET282Stage Makeup
THET284Stage Costume Construction I
THET371Scenic Design I
THET372Stage Property Design
THET373Rendering for the Theatre I
THET377Lighting Design I
THET380 Sound Design 
THET383Costume Design I
THET384Stage Costume Construction II
THET457Advanced Lighting Technology
THET465History of Fashion for the Theatre
THET470Advanced Stage Craft
THET471Design Studio in Scenery
THER472 Scene Painting 
THET473Rendering for the Theatre II
THET474Stage Management
THET475History of Art, Architecture, and Décor for the Theatre
THET477Design Studio in Lighting
THET481Theatre Graphics II
THET482Scene Painting II
THET483Design Studio Costume

History/Theory Area (9 credits; THET390, THET391, 3 must be at the 400 level):

THET390Theatre History I
THET391Theatre History II
THET408Seminar: Theory and Performance Studies
THET488Special Topics in Theatre History Before 1800
THET489Special Topics in Theatre History from 1800 to Present
  All seminars offered at the 400/600 level require undergraduate students to obtain permission from the instructor and to have completed either THET488 or 489. This includes: THET408/608, THET410/610, THET486/686, THET487/608, THET498/698.

12 Supporting credits must come from THET courses; 15 credits of Supporting Courses must be upper level (300-400) coursework. Supporting course credits may come from the Performance, Design/Production, or History/Theory Area menus OR any combination of the four menus. Students may also petition to their advisor for other suitable courses to be accepted, conditional on course work relating to their area of focus. For course prerequisites contact the Department that is offering the course or check Testudo online .

For a complete listing of Supporting Courses check the Undergraduate page of the Theatre website at http://tdps.umd.edu/ .

Major requirements include 55 credits of course work in Theatre.  46 credits of these must be THET and 9 Supporting Courses may come from approved courses outside the unit.  Of the 55 credits, at least 28 credit hours must be upper level (300-400 series).  No course with a grade less than "C-" may be used to satisfy major or supporting area requirements. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation. No course for the major may be taken Pass/Fail or Audit.

Other Requirements for the Major

As the Area and Supporting Course Menus do not require specific course choices, students may select courses according to their interests and abilities.  In consultation with their advisor, students may choose to tailor their degree and create a focus in a specific area of interest to prepare them for the profession or entrance to graduate school. 


The College of Arts and Humanities has a dual track advising system where students meet with college advisors to discuss their general education and college requirements and with departmental advisors to discuss their major requirements.  The Theatre major requires mandatory advising each semester to keep in touch with our student base and assist majors and double majors with curricular and co-curricular choices. Advising procedures and instructions to sign up for an advising appointment can be found on the TDPS website at  http://tdps.umd.edu and under the heading "BA Theatre."

Or, you may contact:

Susan Miller, Coordinator of Student Services and Academic Advisor


Theatre majors may register for up to 6 credits of internship work under the THET286 or THET386 course number.  Internships may be done during the academic year or during the summer. Internships may be done for credit and salary, or, an internship may be done just for credit.  Information about the internship procedure may be found on the Theatre website.  Internships are not required but are strongly encouraged. 

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Scholarships and financial assistance may be awarded to prospective and enrolled students through a number of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) scholarships, and various Theatre Scholarship/Awards Funds.  For further information visit the TDPS website at http://tdps.umd.edu and select "Scholarships and Awards" on the BA Theatre page.  The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

At the spring TDPS commencement ceremony, the Charles B. Hale Award is presented to the two members of the senior class who have done the most for the advancement of dramatic art while undergraduates at the University of Maryland. 

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