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School of Theatre and Dance

Mission Statement

The School of Theatre and Dance is rooted in the belief that the relevant artist is the thinking artist who couples the mastery and embodiment of concrete skills with knowledge of and sensitivity to the cultural environments of ideas, artistic forms and other persons. The school trains and educates artists, scholars and teachers in the rich traditions and current practices of dance, theatre and musical theatre. Dedicated to the value of the intensive B.A., the school’s programs blend liberal arts education and critical thinking with intensive, pre-professional training and practice. Faculty foster an environment that values and cultivates creative, passionate, disciplined, curious, innovative, engaged, articulate, collaborative and independent-thinking artists and scholars. Committed to a teaching approach that emphasizes mentorship and individual attention to students, faculty members of the school empower students in the development of their own personal strengths, provide them with tools and opportunities to realize their potential, and equip them for successful work in professional environments, graduate programs and to be lifelong learners.

Goals

To realize this mission, the School of Theatre and Dance strives to:

  • Develop in students the ability to work productively and sensitively in creative and collaborative processes.
  • Offer multiple opportunities for students to self-initiate and self-produce work in a context supportive of experimentation.
  • Produce performances and creative experiences of high quality.
  • Present performances by and learning experiences with visiting artists.
  • Motivate students to take active responsibility for their work, processes and careers.
  • Promote, support and enable faculty professional development so that teachers continue to provide the education for students that only growing, current and active creative artists and scholars can provide.
  • Inspire and prepare students to be advocates for the arts.
  • Foster an understanding of the roles of the artist and the arts in society.
  • Advance dynamic partnerships with diverse communities.

Career Opportunities

For information about career opportunities in theatre and dance, contact the appropriate coordinator:

Theatre Coordinator:  Zachary Dorsey

Dance Coordinator: Kate Trammell

Musical Theatre Coordinator: Kate Arecchi

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a number of co-curricular activities and organizations. They allow students to apply and experiment with the theories they learn in the classroom and gain practical experience in their field.

  • Alpha Psi Omega
  • Associate Dance Ensemble
  • JMU Children’s Theatre
  • Contemporary Dance Ensemble
  • Dance Studio Productions
  • Dance Theatre
  • Studio Theatre Productions
  • Experimental Series Productions
  • Workshop Productions
  • Mainstage Productions
  • National Honor Society for Dance Arts
  • Stratford Players
  • Virginia Repertory Dance Company
  • USITT Student Chapter

Special Admission and Retention Requirements

Admission to the dance major is competitive and an audition/interview is required. Contact the school office by calling (540) 568-6342 or visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for current audition information.

Admission to the musical theatre major is competitive and an audition/interview is required. Contact the school office by calling (540) 568-6342 or visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for current audition information.

Admission to the theatre major is competitive and an audition or portfolio review and interview is required. Contact the school office by calling (540) 568-6342 or visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for current audition information.

A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all courses that apply to a major in the School of Theatre and Dance. All School of Theatre and Dance majors must complete the General Education program. Theatre/Musical Theatre majors cannot take THEA 210. Introduction to Theatre, to meet the visual and performing arts requirements. Courses from other academic units may not be counted both for the School of Theatre and Dance majors and for another major.

Degree and Major Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Dance

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a B.A. in dance. A dance major must fulfill degree and major requirements.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Credit Hours

General Education 1

 41

Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 2

 0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses

 3

University electives

 14-28

Major requirements (listed below)

 48-49


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures’ placement test. 

Dance Major Requirements

All students pursuing a B.A. degree in dance must complete the core requirements.

Core Courses

Credit Hours

Choose one of the following:

2

DANC 142. Elementary Ballet

 

DANC 143. International Folk Dance

 

DANC 144. Ballroom Dance

 

DANC 146. Jazz Dance

 

DANC 325. Dance in Community (3 credits)

 

DANC 390. New Directions in Dance

 

THEA/DANC 100. Theatre and Dance Colloquium (6 enrollments)                 

0

THEA/DANC 171. Performance Production

3

THEA 273. Visual Aspects

3


 

8-9

 

Majors Courses

Credit Hours

General Requirements:

DANC 245. Dance Improvisation

2

DANC 248. History of Dance

3

DANC 320. Anatomy and Somatic Studies for the Dancer

3

DANC 345. Dance Composition I

3

DANC 445. Dance Composition II

3

DANC 449. The Dance Professional

3

DANC 479. Methods of Teaching Dance

3

Two semesters for a total of four credits: 1

4

DANC 240. Intermediate Modern Dance I

 

Two semesters for a total of four credits:

4

DANC 340. Intermediate Modern Dance

 

DANC 110. Associate Group Dance Repertory I

1

DANC 210. Associate Group Dance Repertory II

1

DANC 211. A, B. Contemporary Dance Ensemble Repertory I

2

DANC 311. A, B, Contemporary Dance Ensemble II

2

One semester for a total of two credits:

2

DANC 440. Advanced Modern Dance

 

Select four credits from the following courses:

4

DANC 242. Intermediate Ballet I

 

DANC 342. Intermediate Ballet II

 


 

48-49

1 The student is required to complete 10 credits in modern and four credits in ballet technique, with placement to be assessed in conference with dance faculty. Modern, ballet and jazz technique classes all have an advanced level course in the curriculum. The requirements listed above are the minimum level expected of dance major students. Most majors will take additional technique courses as university electives throughout their study in the dance program.

Recommended Schedule for Dance Majors

First Year

DANC 110. Associate Ensemble (fall)

DANC 171. Performance Production

DANC 210. Associate Ensemble (spring)

DANC 240. Intermediate Modern (fall and spring)

DANC 242 or DANC 342. Intermediate I or Intermediate Ballet II

DANC 248. History of Dance


 

 

Second Year

THEA 273. Visual Aspects

DANC 143DANC 144 or DANC 146. Folk, Ballroom or Jazz Dance

DANC 211. Contemporary Dance Ensemble Repertory I (fall)

DANC 245. Dance Improvisation

DANC 311. Contemporary Dance Ensemble Repertory II (spring)

DANC 340. Intermediate Modern II (fall and spring)

DANC 342 or DANC 442. Intermediate or Intermediate Ballet II


 

 

Third Year

DANC 320. Anatomy and Somatic Studies for the Dancer

DANC 345. Dance Composition I

DANC 479. Methods of Teaching Dance

DANC 411 or DANC 312. Contemporary Dance Ensemble

Repertory III or Virginia Repertory Dance Company

Other dance technique courses to fit the student's schedule.


 

Fourth Year

DANC 445. Dance Composition II

DANC 449. The Dance Professional

Other dance technique courses to fit the student's schedule.


Teacher Licensure in Dance

In addition to general education and theatre and dance requirements, students desiring PreK-12 teaching licensure in dance must complete 19 credits of additional course work in kinesiology, health science, education, psychology and 12 credits of student teaching. It is necessary to be admitted to the teacher education program prior to enrolling in professional education courses.

Course Requirements

Students seeking licensure are encouraged to consult regularly with the faculty adviser of dance education. The undergraduate degree leading to licensure must include the following minimum requirements in dance:

  • Credit must be earned in each area: ballet, folk, jazz and modern dance (8 credits)
  • Credit must be earned beyond the beginning level of ballet, folk, jazz and modern dance (3 credits)
  • Credit must be earned in dance composition, dance improvisation and dance production (minimum of 7 credits)
  • Credit must be earned in human anatomy, kinesiology, and injury prevention and care for dance (9 credits)
  • Credit must be earned in history of dance (3 credits)

Required Courses

Credit Hours

ATEP 205. Introduction to Athletic Training (spring, junior)

3

DANC 325. Dance in Community

3

DANC 490. Special Studies in Dance: Teaching Practicum

1

(prior to student teaching)

 

EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education

3

DANC 480. Student Teaching

12

PSYC 160. Life Span Human Development (may double count)

3

KIN 202. Biological Foundations in Kinesiology and Recreation (fall, junior)

3

READ 420. Content Area Literacy, K-12

2


 

30

Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a B.A. in musical theatre. A musical theatre major must fulfill degree and major requirements.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Credit Hours

General Education 1

41

Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 2

0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)

3

University electives

4-18

Major requirements (listed below)

58


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student's chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test.

Musical Theatre Major Requirements

All students pursuing a B.A. degree in musical theatre must complete the core requirements listed below.

Required Courses

Credit Hours

Choose one of the following:

2

DANC 140. Elementary Modern Dance

 

DANC 142. Elementary Ballet

 

DANC 143. International Folk Dance

 

DANC 144. Ballroom Dance

 

DANC 245. Dance Improvisation

 

THEA/ DANC 100. Theatre and Dance Colloquium (6 enrollments) 

0

THEA/DANC 171. Performance Production

3

THEA 273. Visual Aspects

3


 

8

Musical Theatre Program

Courses

Credit Hours

Core Requirements

8

Program Requirements:

 

Choose three of the following (Choose three different areas of main stage production for one credit each from scenery, lighting, costumes or management)

3

THEA 204/304. Scenery Practicum

 

THEA 205/305. Lighting Practicum

 

THEA 206/306. Costume Practicum

 

THEA 207/307. Management Practicum

 

THEA 208/308. Performance Practicum

1

THEA 211. Performance Analysis        

3

THEA 251. Acting I: Basic Acting         

3

THEA 253. Musical Theatre Laboratory1                  

2

THEA 315. The European Theatre Tradition to 1800

3

THEA 316. The European Theatre Tradition from 1800

3

THEA 251. Acting II: Intermediate Acting

3

THEA 353. Music Theatre Performance

2

THEA/MUS 357. Music Theatre History and Analysis

3

Choose one of the following:

3

THEA 441. Senior Seminar in Theatre

 

THEA 442. Senior Seminar (1 credit) and THEA 449. Honors Thesis (2 credits)                      

 

THEA 454. Advanced Music Theatre Performance

2

THEA 455. Auditioning for Musical Theatre            

1

DANC 146. Jazz Dance

2

DANC 246. Intermediate Jazz

2

DANC 346. Intermediate Jazz II/Musical Theatre Styles

2

MUAP 114. Group Voice for Musical Theatre 1

2

MUAP 214. Private Voice for Musical Theatre 2    

4

MUS 100. Keyboarding Skills I

1

MUS 101. Keyboarding Skills II           

1

MUS 141. Theory I: Writing and Analysis                 

3

MUS 143. Theory I: Aural Perception and Analysis

1


 

58

1 Two enrollments of one credit each.

2 Four enrollments of one credit each.

Recommended Schedule for Musical Theatre Majors

First Year

THEA 171. Performance Production

THEA 211. Performance Analysis

THEA 251. Acting I: Basic Acting

THEA 253. Musical Theatre Laboratory

DANC 146. Jazz Dance

MUAP 114. Group Voice

Other technique courses to fit the student’s schedule

 

Second Year

THEA 273. Visual Aspects of Theatre

MUS 100/101. Keyboard Skills I & II

THEA 351. Acting II: Intermediate Acting

THEA 353. Music Theatre Performance

THEA 357. Music Theatre History & Analysis

DANC 246. Intermediate Jazz

MUAP 214. Private Voice 

Practicum

Other technique courses to fit the student’s schedule

 

Third Year

THEA 315. The European Theatre Tradition to 1800

THEA 316. The European Theatre Tradition From 1800

THEA 454. Advanced Music Theater Performance

MUS 141. Theory I: Writing and Analysis

MUS 143. Theory I: Aural Perception and Analysis

DANC 346. Intermediate Jazz II/Musical Theatre Styles

MUAP 214. Private Voice

Practicum

Other technique courses to fit the student’s schedule

Fourth Year

THEA 441. Senior Seminar in Theatre

or THEA 442. Senior Seminar AND THEA 499. Honors Thesis

THEA 455. Auditioning for Musical Theatre Practicum

Other technique courses to fit the student’s schedule

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a B.A. in theatre. A theatre major must fulfill degree and major requirements.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Credit Hours

General Education 1

41

Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 2

0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)

3

University electives

17-31

Major requirements (listed below)

45


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student's chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test.

Theatre Major Requirements

All students pursuing a B.A. degree in theatre must complete the core requirements.

Core Courses

Credit Hours

Choose one of the following:

2

DANC 140. Elementary Modern Dance

 

DANC 142. Elementary Ballet

 

DANC 143. International Folk Dance

 

DANC 144. Ballroom Dance

 

DANC 146. Jazz Dance

 

DANC 245. Dance Improvisation

 

THEA/DANC 100. Theatre and Dance Colloquium (6 enrollments)

0

THEA/DANC 171. Performance Production                                                            

3

THEA 273. Visual Aspects                                                                   

3


 

8

Theatre Program

Courses

Credit Hours

Core Requirements

8

Program Requirements:

 

Choose four of the following (Choose four different areas of main stage production for one credit each from scenery, lighting, costumes, management or performance)

4

THEA 204/304. Scenery Practicum

 

THEA 205/305. Lighting Practicum

 

THEA 206/306. Costume Practicum

 

THEA 207/307. Management Practicum

 

THEA 208/308. Performance Practicum

 

THEA 211. Performance Analysis        

3

THEA 251. Acting I: Basic Acting         

3

THEA 315. The European Theatre Tradition to 1800

3

THEA 316. The European Theatre Tradition from 1800

 3

THEA 481. Theory and Performance Studies

3

Choose one of the following:

3

THEA 441. Senior Seminar in Theatre

 

THEA 442. Senior Seminar (1cr.) and THEA 449. Honors Thesis (2cr.)               

 

Performance Requirements (choose one)

3

THEA 351. Acting II: Intermediate Acting

 

THEA 355. Directing

 

Design/ Technology Requirements (choose one)  

3

THEA 271. Technical Theatre

 

THEA 331. Technical Costuming

 

THEA 332. Survey of Costume History

 

THEA 333. Costume Design

 

THEA 374. Stage Lighting

 

THEA 375. Sound Design

 

THEA 376. Scene Design

 


 

36

 

Concentration Courses

Credit Hours

Theatre majors may fulfill the requirements for one or more concentrations or complete nine THEA credits not already applied to the major. 1

9

Theatre Studies Concentration

 

Choose any nine THEA credits not already applied to the major or six THEA credits and one of the following courses:

 

THEA 449. London Theatre

 

THEA/ENG 485. American Theatre

 

ENG 317. Shakespeare's Tragedies and Romances

 

ENG 318. Shakespeare's Comedies and Histories

 

ENG 320L. Shakespeare on the Page and Stage in London

 

ENG 333. Modern Drama

 

ENG 334. Contemporary Drama

 

Performance Concentration

 

THEA 452. Acting III: Contemporary Scene Study

 

THEA 453. Acting IV: Approaches to Heightened Language

 

THEA 460. Auditioning and Professional Issues

 

Design/Technology Concentration

 

Choose two courses not already applied to the major:

 

THEA 333. Costume Design

 

THEA 374. Stage Lighting

 

THEA 375. Sound Design

 

THEA 376. Scene Design

 

Choose one course not already applied to the major:

 

THEA 271. Technical Theatre

 

THEA 331. Technical Costuming

 

THEA 336. Stage Makeup

 

THEA 371. Advanced Technical Theatre

 

THEA 471. Stage Management

 

THEA 473. Advanced Design and Rendering

 

THEA 390/490. Special Topics (with permission)2

 

Theatre Education Concentration

 

Students who complete the theatre education track earn K-12 teaching licensure in theatre. This track requires 12 THEA credits.

 

THEA 320. Theatre Teaching Methods – Primary Level

 

THEA 321.  Theatre Teaching Methods – Secondary Level

 

THEA 310. Theatre for Young Audiences

 

THEA 325.  Theatre  Teaching Practicum

 

For the theatre education concentration, the following courses (20 credit hours) are required in addition to the concentration courses with THEA designations.

 

PSYC 160. Life Span Human Development (may double count)

 

EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education

 

THEA 480. Student Teaching

 

READ 420. Content Area Literacy, K-12

 


 

45

1 Students in concentrations receive concentration-related advising. In order to formally pursue a concentration, students must apply for the concentration at the end of the sophomore year. 
2 THEA 390, Directed Projects; THEA 490, Special Studies; THEA 499, Honors; No more than four hours of practicums may be applied to the theatre major, and no more than 10 hours of special studies (including practicums) may be applied to the theatre major.

Recommended Schedule for Theatre Majors

First Year

THEA 171. Performance Production

THEA 211. Performance Analysis

Theatre Major General Requirements

 

Second Year

THEA 273. Visual Aspects

THEA 315. The European Theatre Tradition to 1800

THEA 316. The European Theatre Tradition from 1800

Theatre Major General Requirements

Theatre Major Performance or Design/Technology Requirement

Dance Core Requirement

 

Third Year

THEA 481. Theory and Performance Studies

Theatre Major General Requirements

Theatre Major Performance or Design/Technology Requirements 

Concentration Requirements

 

Fourth Year

THEA 441. Senior Seminar in Theatre

or THEA 442. Senior Seminar AND THEA 499. Honors Thesis

Theatre Major Performance or Design/Technology Requirements 

Concentration Requirements

Teacher Licensure in Theatre

Adviser: Leah Kirkpatrick

Phone: (540) 568-6507

In addition to general education and theatre and dance requirements, students desiring PreK-12 teaching licensure in theatre must complete eight credits of additional course work in education and psychology and 12 credits of student teaching. Within the major requirements, students interested in licensure must complete 12 hours of theatre education courses as part of their theatre education track. It is necessary to be admitted to the teacher education program prior to enrolling in professional education courses. For a complete description of admission and retention policies and procedures for teacher education, refer to the College of Education.

Students seeking licensure are encouraged to consult regularly with the program adviser of theatre education. The undergraduate degree leading to licensure must include the following minimum requirements in theatre:

  • Theatre education track requirements (12 credits)
  • All theatre major core requirements (8 credits)
  • All theatre major non-concentration requirements (25 credits)
  • Directing to fulfill the major performance requirement (3 credits)

The following is a list of the required courses leading to PK-12 theatre licensure and a suggested sequence of when each may be taken. The first four theatre courses are concentration requirements; THEA 355 fulfills the performance requirement for the major and Virginia teacher licensure.

Required Theatre Courses

Credit Hours

THEA 310. Theatre for Young Audiences (second or third year)

3

THEA 303. Topics in Theatre (Methods – Primary) (second or third year)

3

THEA 303. Topics in Theatre (Methods – Secondary) (second or third year)

3

THEA 490. Special Studies in Theatre (Practicum) (fall semester fourth year)

3

THEA 355. Directing (must be taken to fulfill the concentration performance requirement)

3


 

15

 

Required Education and Psychology Courses

Credit Hours

PSYC 160. Life Span Human Development

3

EDUC 300. Foundations of American Education

3

READ 420. Content Area Literacy. K-12

2

THEA 480. Student Teaching

12


 

20

Minor Requirements

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a minor with options in theatre or dance. No audition or portfolio review is required for the theatre minor or dance minor. The following chart outlines each option's specific requirements.

Theatre Minor

Theatre Minor Adviser: Zachary Dorsey

Phone: (540) 568-6342

Courses

Credit Hours

Choose one of the following:

3

THEA 171. Performance Production

 

THEA 273. Visual Aspects

 

Choose one of the following:

3

THEA 210. Introduction to Theatre

 

THEA 211. Performance Analysis

 

Electives selected from the theatre-designated courses with the approval of the minor adviser

15


 

21

Dance Minor

Dance Minor Adviser: Suzanne Miller-Corso

Phone: (540) 568-3924

Courses

Credit Hours

DANC 245. Dance Improvisation

2

DANC 248. History of Dance

3

Electives from contemporary dance techniques and/or folk and ballroom

10

techniques with approval of minor adviser

 

Electives selected from dance-designated courses and/or dance related courses at the 300 or 400 level with approval of minor adviser.

6


 

21

Creative Writing Minor

The cross disciplinary minor in Creative Writing is designed to give students an opportunity to develop their writing talents across a number of literary forms and communication contexts.

Film Studies Minor

The cross disciplinary minor in Film Studies is designed for students who wish to extend their critical understanding of visual communication and narrative form by studying how movies tell stories, convey information and influence audiences.

Credit by Examination

A student may earn credit for a course in the School of Theatre and Dance by passing an examination. The school administers credit by examination tests during only the first two weeks of a fall or spring semester. The tests will not be offered during summer sessions. A student can take a credit by examination test only once during a semester.

A student must request permission for credit by examination by the end of the semester that precedes the semester in which he/she wants to take the examination. Theatre and dance majors who want to meet a major requirement through examination must take the examination before their final year of study. The school does not offer credit by examination for performance or design courses such as acting, directing, scene design, lighting design, costume design, makeup, stage management, dance technique, composition and ensembles.