Madison University, School of Theatre and Dance Is an
Member of the National Association of
Schools of Theatre and the National
Association of Schools of Dance
James Madison University
School of Theatre and Dance
147 Warsaw Avenue, MSC 5601
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
About The JMU Theatre Program
The James Madison University Theatre program has a liberal arts orientation directed specifically toward undergraduate students. We have three basic emphases: instruction in the
theory and history of drama; instruction in the practice of theatre arts; and a full production program.
The JMU Theatre program provides numerous benefits for its students including an ability to understand and express conceptual knowledge, an appreciation of the great
works of theatre and an appreciation of the theatre as it permeates society in television, films, on the stage and in other daily activities. Training to work within a group toward a defined goal with a deadline is an integral part of the academic experience as well as training for a professional career and/or training for graduate-level theatre work.
Finally, we are proud of our commitment to provide artistic stimulation and cultural enrichment for JMU students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.
|The Bachelor of Arts Program
The JMU School of Theatre and Dance offers theatre majors a Bachelor of Arts Degree. The course work includes performance techniques, business management, directing, scenic and costume design, technology, theatre and dance history and literary theory.
|Performance, Design, and
JMU theatre sponsors four major productions each year in its main-stage season including the annual musical.
As many as twenty additional productions are mounted each year in the Experimental Theatre. The program also sponsors The
Children's Playshop each summer.
In this exclusively undergraduate program, students act the parts, construct the sets and costumes and fulfill the responsibilities for running the productions. Students also design sets, lights and costumes for many major productions and nearly all the Experimental Theatre productions. Often these productions are original student-written scripts.
JMU regularly participates
in the American College Theatre Festival. Several JMU productions
have been selected for regional competition and performers have done
well in the individual acting phase of the competitions. Two recent
productions played at the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in
JMU regularly brings guest actors, directors
and designers to campus. These professionals work with theatre
students to help them examine fresh approaches to the field.
We look with pride to alumni who are working on Broadway, in shows such as Rent, The Full Monte,
and Urinetown. Many theatre companies across the country
including The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival have been founded by
JMU Graduates. Graduates of JMU have made a mark on Hollywood as well,
as writers, performers, or technicians on films and TV shows including: Hoop Dreams, Legally
Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, Caroline in
the City, The Honeymooners, Coupling, Cheers,
& The Newhart Show
The JMU theatre faculty is made up of nine full-time members, all of whom play an active role in
teaching and advising students in the realization of productions. All are active theatre practitioners who hold terminal degrees from fine institutions such as The Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the
University of Virginia, and Yale University. Their work is complemented by four full-time dance faculty members in the school. Four additional full-time staff
members also assist in teaching and supervision.
Our brand new home in the Forbes Center features five performance venues
and sumptuous space for preparation of productions and study in theatre
and dance. This is truly one of the very finest performance centers in
Virginia if not the nation.
Stratford Players is the student drama organization open to theatre and dance majors and non-majors. Members have a significant voice in play selection and budget decisions.
Many theatre students take advantage of the JMU Semester-in-London Program where they are exposed to the rich theatrical traditions of London. Semester Abroad programs are also offered in Florence, Martinique, Paris and Salamanca.
Admission to theatre program at JMU is competitive and an audition is recommended. All prospective students must apply directly to the undergraduate admission office. The theatre program makes recommendations in the case of especially talented students.
Program Objectives for the Theatre
Upon completion of the Theatre Program, the
Theatre Student shall . . .
proficiency in the collaborative process of theatre production,
and exhibit the skills necessary to work within a group toward a
defined goal under a deadline. Such skills include the ability to
collaborate with other arts disciplines, including dance and
correct theatre terminology in all areas of theatrical
and describe various theatrical genre and staging formats, with
strong proficiencies in one or more areas.
differentiate and characterize a variety of different
styles of theatrical production, including non-traditional and
analyze important works of dramatic literature from the past and
present including works of criticism and theory as well as the
reading list of plays.
and describe the important periods and movements in world theatre
history, including the works of leading playwrights, actors,
directors and designers.
express the interrelationship between the live
theatre and the existing and emerging technological media through
which dramatic and performative pieces may be created and
and communicate in writing informed critical assessments of
theatrical performances, including all aspects of artistic and
and distinguish basic production processes to include acting,
directing, design, technical production and
participated regularly in public performances of various scales
and styles. The student will have experienced a variety of
different theatrical roles among the disciplines of acting,
directing, design and theatrical production.
distinguish, and describe the basic working practices of the
professional theatre, including unions, professional expectations
and employment opportunities.