Introduction

The Theatre and Dance Department offers courses and co-curricular activities in dance and theatre. Our introduction and history courses are traditionally academic, while others, such as acting, directing, stagecraft, design, dance technique and choreography classes, emphasize projects in the practice of theatre or dance along with reading, writing, and discussion. Students with an a vocational interest in performing arts interact with serious vocational students in all aspects of our programs. Students at all levels of experience are welcomed; some become accomplished artists and artisans over the course of up to four years of intense involvement, while others find their undergraduate experience enriched by enrollment in a single course or involvement in a single play or dance concert, and look forward to a life as more knowledgeable and enthusiastic audience members.

The Theatre Arts major offers students a choice of a number of options within the basic major. Students may elect an emphasis in Acting/Directing, Dance, Dramatic Literature or Design and Technology. It is expected that majors will be active in the Mermaid Players and/or the Dance Theater Group.

The Inter-arts major in Dance & Music provides interdisciplinary study that combines work in both the Theatre and Dance department and the Music department.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

THDA 101, Introduction to Theatre
THDA 102, Dance and Culture
THDA 200, Introduction to Dance and the Western Tradition
THDA 203, Acting
THDA 210, Topics in Design and Technology for the Theatre

Acting (THDA 203) is a prerequisite for Advanced Acting (THDA303) and Directing (THDA 205). Acting or a dance class is a prerequisite for Movement and Text (THDA 300). Directing is a prerequisite for Advanced Directing (THDA 305). Theatre Arts majors should take THDA 101, Introduction to Theatre or THDA 102, Dance and Culture before Theatre History Seminar or Dance History.

The best way to become involved in theatre or dance at Dickinson is to participate in the Mermaid Players or Dance Theatre Group.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Theatre and Dance.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Division IC:
THDA 101, Introduction to Theatre
THDA 102, Dance and Culture
THDA 200, Introduction to Dance and the Western Tradition
THDA 203, Acting
THDA 210, Topics in Design and Technology for the Theatre

Writing Requirement:
THDA 313, Theatre History Seminar
THDA 316, Dance History Seminar

U.S. Diversity Requirement:
THDA 316, Dance History Seminar

Suggested curricular flow through the major

First Year
Intro (THDA 101) or Dance and Culture (THDA 102)
Acting (THDA 203)
Intro to Dance Western Tradition (THDA 200)
For Design/Tech emphasis- Topics in Design (THDA 210)

Sophomore Year
Topics in Design (THDA 210)
Directing (THDA 205) or Fundamentals of Choreography (THDA 204)
Possibly Theater (THDA 313) or Dance History Seminar (THDA 316) if not offered in senior year
For Design/Tech- ARTH 101 or 102, 122 or 123
For Drama Lit- course in dramatic lit in other department

Junior Year
Dramatic Literature (taken outside department or abroad) or Topics in Dance and Body (THDA 214)
If not going abroad: Advanced Directing, or Applied Choreo, Movement and Text or Advanced Acting, Topics in Design

Senior Year
Advanced Directing or Applied Choreo
Topics in Design
Theater or Dance History Seminar
Advanced Acting or Movement and Text
Senior Project
For Design Tech- independent study or ARTH classes
For Drama Lit- drama lit class

Senior Portfolio Review. A preliminary review takes place in the fall, and the final review at the end of the second semester senior year.

Dance emphasis students are expected to take technique classes every semester and all majors should be active in the co-curriculum.

Honors

Major GPA of 3.5. 
The Honors projects may consist of:

  1. A research based thesis in literature, aesthetics, dramaturgical analyses or history of any of the theatre arts; or
  2. A creative project in acting, dance, design, direction, or choreography. Performance projects should be supplemented by production materials as requested by the department as well by a research paper relating the project to its specific theatrical context.

All honors students will take an oral examination at the end of their final semester in the general field of the honors project/paper.

Co-curricular activities/programs

Dance Theatre Group and the Mermaid Players are Dickinson’s co-curricular student theatre and dance organizations. Together with the department, they produce high quality, well-attended productions and concerts which are supervised by faculty and professional artists. They are open to all students regardless of class year or major field. The department also produces smaller-scale productions which are often supervised by experienced and committed students; these include the “Senior Projects,” “Lab Shows” and “Freshman Plays” theatre programs and the "Fresh Works" dance program. Auditions open to all students (with the exception of Freshman Plays, open only to first-year students) are held before each production. All students are encouraged to participate backstage by signing up on the call board (a bulletin board located near Mathers Theatre in the HUB) to work in the scene shop or costume shop. No experience is necessary and patient instruction, often from experienced students, is always available.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad, but study abroad is not a requirement. Students should consult with the Chair of the department and the Executive Director of Center for Global Study and Engagement, Michael Monahan.

Additional Remarks

Ballet CPYB Certificate Program: The CPYB ballet certificate program is designed for the pre-professional ballet student interested in combining intensive weekly ballet training with pursuit of college level courses. The certificate program is comprised of eight courses that combine daily studio training with academic study. Requirements: Ballet instruction at or beyond 1B level 2years- four credits, one 2 semesters performing a DTG mainstage production including work with a guest choreographer. Other course work includes (THDA 102) Introduction to Global Dance Studies, (THDA 200) Introduction to Dance and the Western Tradition, (THDA 214) Special Topics in Dance and the Body (Anatomy), Dance History Seminar (THDA 316).