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:

1. Distribution List: Students take one course in each of the following areas:

A. 1 Social Science, 1 Language/Literature, 1 Philosophy/Religion

B. Students take an additional course in either one of the following areas: Social Science or Language/Literature

C. Students take two more liberal arts classes of their choosing (4 credits each)


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.

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
CFA TH 101 Intro to Dramatic Lit 3
CFA TH 102 Drama Lit 1 Greeks–1850 3
CFA TH 111 & 112 Voice and Speech 1 2 2
CFA TH 121 Acting 1 3 3
CFA TH 128 Theatre Ensemble 1 2
CFA TH 131 & 132 Movement 1 2 2
CFA TH 138 Alexander Technique 1 1
CFA TH 147 & 148 Stagecraft 1 1
CFA TH 099 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.

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:

  • CFA TH 101 Introduction to Dramatic Literature
  • CFA TH 151 & 152 Introduction to Design 1 & 2
  • CFA TH 169 Introduction to Theatre Practice
  • CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar
  • CFA TH 167 & 168 Drawing and Painting 1 & 2
  • CFA TH 163 Drafting 1
  • CFA TH 153 & 154 Freshman Colloquium
  • CFA TH 197 & 198 Production
  • CFA TH 128 Theatre Ensemble
  • CFA TH 099 Matinee
  • Liberal Arts electives

Choose 2 of:

  • CFA TH 170 Scenery Construction
  • CFA TH 182 Costume Construction
  • CFA TH 186 Lighting Crafts
  • CFA TH 190 Audio Fundamentals
  • CFA TH 194 Introduction to Stage Management

Choose 1 of:

  • CFA TH 164 Drafting 2
  • CFA TH 160 AutoCAD 1
  • CFA TH 162 VectorWorks 1
  • CFA TH 178 Figure Drawing