BFA–Theatre, Stage Management major

The Design & Production programs prepare talented and committed students for careers in the professional world of theatre and related entertainment media. The program curriculum stresses the development of a student as a theatre artist, focusing on collaboration, imagination, intellect, communication skills, and oral critique, as well as preparation for a professional career.

During each year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, courses in design, production, graphic skills, management, and dramatic literature follow a carefully integrated sequence of class exercises and production opportunities. The committed students who pursue the BFA–Theatre degree in Design, Production, or Management at Boston University discover who they are, what they do well, and what they are capable of doing. They learn to be collaborative theatre artists who work productively under the stresses of the theatrical profession and, most importantly, they learn to integrate design, production, and management skills with their own personal sensibility.

Students in the Stage Management major will evolve a keen theatrical sensibility, sound working knowledge of theatre production, strong organizational skills, and effective ability in personnel management. Through a required eight-course concentration in a specific area of Design (Costumes, Lighting, Scenic, or Sound), Production (Costumes or Technical), or Directing/Performance, students will gain specific skills to be more effective collaborators and theatre artists.

Program of Study (minimum of 128 credits)

First Year

All freshmen Design, Production, and Stage Management students are admitted to the Theatre Design, Production & Management core curriculum. 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.

The Theatre Design, Production & Management core provides a foundation for all future study in design (costume, lighting, scenery, or sound), production (costume or technical), stage management, or theatre arts design & production. By acquiring 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. Please see the Freshman Core section for complete distribution guidelines.

The foundational methods class for Stage Management majors in the Core is CFA TH 194 Intro to Stage Management. Should students elect not to take this course as part of the Theatre Design, Production & Management core, they will be required to take this course in the spring of their sophomore year.

Second Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 297 & 298 Production* 2 2
CFA TH 293 Stage Management 2: Skills lab 0.5
Concentration electives 1 & 2** 3 3
PD PER 100 Basic First Aid 0.5
Theatre History or Art History 3
Design elective 3
CFA TH 232 Movement: Unarmed Combat 2
Directing Requirement—2 credits. Choose one of:
  • CFA TH 240 Beginning Directing
  • CFA TH 453 Undergraduate Master Class
  • CFA TH 454 Undergraduate Master Class
Liberal Arts distribution elective 4 4
Total 17 14
Third Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0
CFA TH 553 Colloquium 1
CFA TH 397 Production 2*
CFA TH 393 Stage Management 3: Types & Styles 1
CFA TH 231 Movement: Armed Combat 2
Dramatic Literature elective 3
Concentration electives 3** 1
Concentration electives 4** 1
Liberal Arts distribution elective 4
Study Abroad 16
Total 15 16
Fourth Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 497 & 498 Production* 2 2
CFA TH 494 Stage Management 4: Preparation to Freelance 1
CFA TH 395 Production Management 2
CFA TH 594 Theatre Management 2
PE PER 150 Basic CPR 0.5
Concentration electives 5 & 6** 2 2
Concentration electives 7 & 8** 1 1
Liberal Arts distribution elective 4 4
Total 12 13.5

* Production classes in the Core are 2 credits each, as assignments are closely monitored to help students acclimate to the workload in the program. Thereafter production classes are variable credit, depending on the artistic assignment. Production assignments are made by the faculty based on individual student assessment and can be viewed in three stages of the production process:

  • Pre-production: The preparatory work before the rehearsal and build process begins.
  • Production: The rehearsal and build process through opening performance.
  • Performance: The run of the production in front of an audience.

Typically, credits will be awarded as follows:

  • Participation in one stage of the design & production process = 1 credit
  • Participation in two stages of the design & production process = 2 credits
  • Participation in three stages of the design & production process = 3 credits

Credits listed are the fewest a student can earn in a given semester.

† The School of Theatre has collaborated with the International Programs office to offer theatre-specific program options in London, England; Arezzo, Italy; and Sydney, Australia. However, there are over 40 countries available for study abroad through BU, and School of Theatre students are encouraged to investigate all options.

Students must consult with their faculty advisor for approval on any study abroad semester choices, at which time the individual faculty member can approve the proposed semester abroad. Typically, students in the Study Abroad program will take:

  • Design, Production, and Management Internship (4 cr)
  • Liberal Arts requirements (8 cr)
  • Theatre elective (4 cr)

Options and details are can be found online at www.bu.edu/abroad.

∧ Total credits per semester vary according to the courses selected. Credits listed are the fewest a student could earn. All BFA–Theatre students with a Stage Management major must earn at least 128 credits to graduate. 

** The required concentration for stage managers consists of 8 courses over three years; total credits will vary depending on course selection.

The concentration can be taken in one of the following progressions: Design (Costume, Lighting, Scene, or Sound), Production (Costume or Technical), Performance, or Self Directed (as advised).

Choose eight:

CFA TH 177 Figure Drawing 1
CFA TH 178 Figure Drawing 1
CFA TH 182 Costume Construction 2
CFA TH 255 History of Costumes 1 2
CFA TH 256 History of Costumes 2 2
CFA TH 275 Costume Design 1 3
CFA TH 276 Costume Design 2 3
CFA TH 375 Costume Design 3 3
CFA TH 376 Costume Design 4 3
CFA TH 381 Fabric Dyeing 1 1
CFA TH 382 Fabric Dyeing 2 1
CFA TH 481 Millinery 1 1
CFA TH 482 Millinery 2 1
CFA TH 497 D1 or D2 Production var
CFA TH 498 D3 or D4 Production var

Choose eight:

CFA TH 162 VectorWorks 1 1
CFA TH 186 Lighting Crafts 1
CFA TH 261 VectorWorks 2 1
CFA TH 283 Lighting Design 1 3
CFA TH 284 Lighting Design 2 3
CFA TH 383 Lighting Design 3 3
CFA TH 384 Lighting Design 4 3
CFA TH 385 Photography 1 1
CFA TH 386 Photography 2 1
CFA TH 434 Choreography & Design: Experiments in Movement & Light 2
CFA TH 497 E1 or E2 Production var
CFA TH 498 E3 or E4 Production var
CFA TH 586 Color Interaction 2

Choose eight:

CFA TH 164 Drafting 2 1
CFA TH 170 Scenic Construction 2
CFA TH 263 Scene Design 1 3
CFA TH 264 Scene Design 2 3
CFA TH 265 Scenic Painting 1 2
CFA TH 266 Scenic Painting 2 2
CFA TH 355 History of Period Styles 1 2
CFA TH 356 History of Period Styles 2 2
CFA TH 363 Scene Design 3 3
CFA TH 364 Scene Design 4 3
CFA TH 497 A1 or A2 Production var
CFA TH 498 A3 or A4 Production var

Choose eight:

CFA TH 162 VectorWorks 1 1
CFA TH 190 Audio Fundamentals 1
CFA TH 261 VectorWorks 2 1
CFA TH 287 Sound Design 1 3
CFA TH 288 Sound Design 2 3
CFA TH 289 Production Audio 1 3
CFA TH 290 Production Audio 2 3
CFA TH 497 G1 or G2 Production var
CFA TH 498 G3 or G4 Production var
COM FT 502 Sound Design for TV/Film 4

Choose eight:

CFA TH 160 Theatrical AudoCAD 1 1
CFA TH 170 Scenic Construction 2
CFA TH 265 Scenic Painting 1 2
CFA TH 266 Scenic Painting 2 2
CFA TH 269 Technical Production 1 3
CFA TH 270 Technical Production 2 3
CFA TH 271 Welding 1 2
CFA TH 272 Welding 2 2
CFA TH 497 H1 or H2 Production var
CFA TH 498 H3 or H4 Production var

Choose eight:

CFA TH 177 Figure Drawing 1
CFA TH 178 Figure Drawing 1
CFA TH 182 Costume Construction 2
CFA TH 279 Costume Production 1 3
CFA TH 280 Costume Production 2 3
CFA TH 282 Intro to Textiles 1
CFA TH 357 History of Tailoring 1 3
CFA TH 358 History of Tailoring 2 3
CFA TH 377 Costume Rendering 1 1
CFA TH 378 Costume Rendering 2 1
CFA TH 379 Costume Production 3 3
CFA TH 380 Costume Production 4 3
CFA TH 381 Fabric Dyeing 1 1
CFA TH 382 Fabric Dyeing 2 1
CFA TH 481 Millinery 1 1
CFA TH 482 Millinery 2 1
CFA TH 497 K1 or K2 Production var
CFA TH 498 K3 or K4 Production var

Choose eight:

CFA TH 110 Speech Communication 4
CFA TH 120 Acting & Performance 1 4
CFA TH 131 Movement 1: Movement for Theatre 2
CFA TH 132 Movement 2: History and Styles for Dance 2
CFA TH 138 Alexander Technique 1: An Introduction 2
CFA TH 140 Collaborative Ensemble 4
CFA TH 201 Dramatic Literature: 1850 to 1950 3
CFA TH 202 Dramatic Literature: 1950 to 1990 3
CFA TH 203 Role of the Playwright 1 3
CFA TH 204 Role of the Playwright 2 3
CFA TH 215 Singing for Actors 1 1
CFA TH 216 Singing for Actors 2 1
CFA TH 223 Fundamentals of Acting: A Physical Approach 3
CFA TH 224 Fundamentals of Acting: Narrative 3
CFA TH 227 Theatre Ensemble 2: Autobiography 3
CFA TH 228 Theatre Ensemble 2: Adaption 3
CFA TH 240 Beginning Directing 2
CFA TH 303 Playwriting 3
CFA TH 315 Music Theatre Performance Lab 1 1
CFA TH 316 Music Theatre Performance Lab 2 1
CFA TH 320 Advanced Acting & Performing 4
CFA TH 323 Advanced Physical Approach to Acting 3
CFA TH 327 Theatre Ensemble 3: Acting/Directing Lab 3
CFA TH 334 Principles of Choreography 2
CFA TH 341 Undergrad Directing 2
CFA TH 401 Dramaturgical Methods and Investigations 3
CFA TH 402 Contemporary Dramatic Literature: 1990 to Present 3
CFA TH 403 Advanced Playwriting 3
CFA TH 408 Contemporary Theatre Practice 2
CFA TH 425 Acting Shakespeare 2
CFA TH 426 Classical Technique 2
CFA TH 430 Film/TV Lab 2
CFA TH 434 Choreography & Design: Experiments in Movement & Light 2
CFA TH 441 Undergrad Directing 2
CFA TH 447 Rehearsal & Performance var
CFA TH 448 Rehearsal & Performance var
CFA TH 453 Masterclass 1 2
CFA TH 454 Masterclass 2 2
CFA TH 500 Topics in Contemporary Drama Literature 4
CFA TH 505 Dramatic Criticism 1 2
CFA TH 506 Dramatic Criticism 2 2
CFA TH 508E Contemporary British Theatre 4
CFA TH 555 History of Theatre 1 2
CFA TH 556 History of Theatre 2 2
CFA MU 223 History of Literature and Music 1 4
CFA MU 228 Masterpieces of Western Music 2
CFA MU 229 Masterpieces of Opera 2
CAS AH 111 Introduction to Western Art History 1 4
CAS AH 112 Introduction to Western Art History 2 4
CAS EN 355 Modern Drama 1 4
CAS EN 356 Modern Drama 2 4
CAS EN 363 Shakespeare 1 4
CAS EN 364 Shakespeare 2 4
CAS LR 355 Chekhov: The Stories & Plays (in English translation) 4

Liberal Arts Distribution Guidelines

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

1. Students select Liberal Arts courses in the areas of Social Science, Humanities, and Philosophy/Religion in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor.

a. Students take one course in each of the following areas:

Social Science

Areas of study from which a student may select Social Science courses include but are not limited to:

  • CAS AN – Anthropology
  • CAS AR – Archaeology
  • CAS HI – History
  • CAS IR – International Relations
  • CAS PO – Political Science
  • CAS PS – Psychology
  • CAS SO – Sociology
  • CAS WS – Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Humanities

Areas of study from which a student may select Humanities courses include but are not limited to:

  • CAS AH – History of Art & Architecture
  • CAS AR – Archaeology
  • CAS CL – Classical Studies
  • CAS EN – English
  • CAS LA, LC, LD, LE, LG, LH, LJ, LK, LN, LR, LT, LY, LZ, XL – World Languages & Literatures
  • CAS LF, LI, LP, LS – Romance Studies
  • CAS LX – Linguistics
  • CAS WS – Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Philosophy/Religion

Areas of study from which a student may select courses are:

  • CAS PH – Philosophy
  • CAS RN – Religion

Students electing to take a course to fulfill their Social Science, Humanities, or Philosophy/Religion requirement that is not listed above require the approval of their faculty advisor.

b. Students take an additional course in either one of the following areas:

  • Social Science (see suggested areas of study above), or
  • Humanities (see suggested areas of study above including Philosophy and Religion)

c. Students take two more liberal arts classes of their choosing.

OR

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

OR

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.