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. Training includes a rigorous curriculum, production opportunities, and collaboration with professionals through our Professional Theatre Initiative. Students are regularly mentored by working professional faculty and advisors through their weekly Colloquium, hands-on, in-process Production advising, and end-of-semester conferences.

The Stage Management program aims to develop and foster the stage manager as theatre artist: a collaborator and facilitator of a rehearsal and performance environment that encourages creative exploration and storytelling; an adaptable and artful leader capable of innovative problem-solving; and a skilled communicator who can speak the language of actors, directors, designers, and the production team. Through a required five-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.

Learning Outcomes

Through their required coursework and production assignments, Stage Management students will:

  • Demonstrate a high level of technical and interpretive Stage Management skills sufficient to obtain professional positions in the performing arts.
  • Demonstrate spoken and written critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills in an arts-based discipline.
  • Demonstrate an ability to enrich creative storytelling and take artistic risks.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and ability to engage with diverse communities as a theatre artist.

Requirements

All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Stage Management will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Aesthetic Exploration & Historical Consciousness, as well as some of the requirements in Communication; Diversity, Civic Engagement & Global Citizenship; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

Program of Study (minimum of 130 credits)

First Year

All first-year Design, Production, and Stage Management students are admitted to the Theatre Design, Production & Management core curriculum. The first-year theatre 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 first 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 their 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 Theatre Core section for complete distribution guidelines for the first year.

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 299 Stage Management 2: The Stage Management Team in Process 3
Concentration electives 1 & 2^ 3 3
Drama Literature elective* 3
Performance elective* 2
Directing elective* 2
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Total credits 16 14
Third Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0
CFA TH 553 Colloquium 1
CFA TH 397 Production 3
CFA TH 399 Stage Management 3: Types & Styles 3
Concentration elective 3^ 2
Drama Literature elective* 3
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4
Study Abroad or additional coursework† 16
Total credits 16 16
Fourth Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 497 & 498 Production 3 3
CFA TH 494 Stage Management 4: Professional Lifetime Skills 3
CFA TH 495 Production Management 2
CFA TH 594 Theatre Management 2
Concentration electives 4 & 5^ 2 2
Theatre History of Art History* 3
Design elective* 3
Performance elective* 2
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Total credits 18 17

*Students select Drama Literature, Directing, Performance, Theatre/Art History, and Design electives in consultation with the student’s faculty mentor and academic advisor. Courses from which a student may select include but are not limited to:

Drama Literature

  • CAS EN 355 Modern Drama 1
  • CAS EN 356 Modern Drama 2
  • CAS EN 363 Shakespeare 1
  • CAS EN 364 Shakespeare 2
  • CAS LR 355 Chekhov: The Stories & Plays (in English Translation)
  • CFA TH 102 Dramatic Literature 1: Greeks to the Late 19th Century
  • CFA TH 201 Dramatic Literature: 1850–1950
  • CFA TH 202 Dramatic Literature: 1950–1990
  • CFA TH 401 Dramaturgical Methods and Investigations
  • CFA TH 402 Contemporary Dramatic Literature: 1990–Present
  • CFA TH 505 Dramatic Criticism 1
  • CFA TH 506 Dramatic Criticism 2

Directing

  • CFA TH 240 Beginning Directing
  • CFA TH 453 Undergraduate Masterclass
  • CFA TH 454 Undergraduate Masterclass

Performance

  • CFA TH 110 Speech Communication
  • CFA TH 120 Acting & Performance 1
  • CFA TH 130 Movement for Theatre 1
  • CFA TH 131 Movement 1: Introduction to Movement for Theatre
  • CFA TH 132 Movement 1: The Speaking Body (prereq: CFA TH 131)
  • CFA TH 140 Collaborative Theatre Ensemble
  • CFA TH 507 Advanced Study in Stage Violence (with instructor permission)
  • Any course listed as a Drama Literature elective

Theatre or Art History

  • CAS AH 111 Introduction to Art History 1: Antiquity to the Middle Ages
  • CAS AH 112 Introduction to Art History 2: Renaissance to Today
  • CAS AH 220 Islamic Art
  • CAS AH 233 Art of Greece
  • CAS AH 234 The Art of Rome
  • CAS AH 240 Medieval Art
  • CAS AH 284 Arts in America
  • CAS AH 333 Classical Art
  • CAS AH 377 American Furniture
  • CAS AH 391 Twentieth Century Art to 1940
  • CAS AH 392 Twentieth Century Art 1940 to 1980
  • CFA MH 211 History & Literature of Music 1
  • CFA MH 212 History & Literature of Music 2
  • CFA TH 555 History of Theatre 1
  • CFA TH 556 History of Theatre 2

Design

  • CFA TH 263 Scene Design 1
  • CFA TH 275 Costume Design 1
  • CFA TH 283 Lighting Design 1
  • CFA TH 287 Sound Design 1
  • CFA TH 571 Media Design 1

Students electing to take courses to fulfill their Drama Literature, Directing, Performance, Theatre/Art History, and Design electives that are not listed above require the approval of the School of Theatre Academic Advisor and completion of a course substitution form.

†In this semester, students will complete up to 16 credits of additional coursework toward their degree, including major requirements, minor requirements, and/or the BU Hub. These credits may be fulfilled through a Study Abroad experience or elective coursework inside or outside the major.

^The required concentration for stage managers consists of five 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).