Theatre Freshman Core

All freshmen are admitted into the freshman core curriculum for either Performance or Design & Production.

The freshman core is designed to provide an appropriate context for faculty evaluations of each student’s strengths, interests, and potential for success in the upper years of training. At the end of the freshman year, each student declares a major. This decision is reviewed by all members of the School of Theatre faculty before a student is officially enrolled in his or her major.

Liberal Arts Distribution Guidelines

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs require 28 credits (or seven courses) of liberal arts courses to complete the course of study for graduation. These 28 credits (or seven courses) must include a 100-level writing course (WR 100) along with a variety of courses that fulfill one of the following three tracks:

Students must acquire 12 credits (three courses) from a combination of social science, language, and literature courses. Students must receive at least 4 credits from each of these disciplines.

1. A liberal arts distribution as follows:
a. social sciences—4 or 8 cr
b. language and literature—4 or 8 cr
c. philosophy or religion—4 cr
d. liberal arts electives—8 cr


2. A minor through an approved CAS-designated program of study


3. An individually designed plan of study (i.e., Arts Administration or Russian Literature) outlined in a detailed written proposal, and pre-approved by the faculty at the end of the first year of study.

Performance Core

All freshmen Performance students are admitted into the freshman core Performance curriculum. The Performance core provides a foundation for all future study in either the Acting or Theatre Arts majors. Through improvisation, scene study, ensemble work, and exercise, students begin the journey toward the free, integrated, and transformable expression of the voice, body, intellect, imagination, and emotion.

Performance core classes include:

  • Acting
  • Movement
  • Voice & Speech
  • Alexander Technique
  • Theatre Ensemble
  • Stagecraft
  • Introduction to Dramatic Literature

Program of Study

First Year 1st 2nd
Intro to Dramatic Lit 3 -
Drama Lit 1 Greeks–1850 - 3
Voice and Speech 1 2 2
Acting 1 3 3
Theatre Ensemble 1 - 2
Movement 1 2 2
Alexander Technique 1 - 1
Stagecraft 1 1
Matinee 0 0
English Composition or 4 -
Liberal Arts elective - 4
15 18

Successful completion of the Performance core will result in the choosing of a major for advancement: either BFA—Acting or BFA—Theatre Arts.

Design & Production Core

All freshmen Design & Production students are admitted into the freshman core Design, Production & Management curriculum. The Design & Production core provides a foundation for all future study in either design (lighting, scenery, costume, or sound), production (technical or costume), stage management, or theatre arts design & production. By creating a base of artistic and technical skills, students begin to explore the breadth and depth of what it means to be a professional theatre artist today.

Design & Production core classes include:

  • Introduction to Theatre Literature
  • Introduction to Design
  • Introduction to Theatre Practice
  • Writing Seminar
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Drafting 1
  • Freshman Colloquium
  • Production
  • Theatre Ensemble
  • Matinee
  • Liberal Arts electives

Choose 2 of:

  • Scenery Construction
  • Costume Construction
  • Lighting Crafts
  • Sound Systems Basics
  • Introduction to Stage Management

Choose 1 of:

  • Drafting 2
  • AutoCAD 1
  • VectorWorks 1
  • Figure Drawing