Theatre Major

The Theatre Program at Fairfield offers students a liberal arts education balanced between theory and practice: we study theatre and we make theatre. Students work with theatre professionals in acting, dance, design, directing, playwrighting, production, and stagecraft, and study with professors specializing in history, literature, and criticism of the stage. Students leave Fairfield with a solid foundation in theatre production skills, as well as a strong understanding of the cultural and intellectual contributions theatre continues to make in our world. 

Goals for students taking theatre core courses are:

  • To gain factual knowledge of all aspects of theatre in practice and theory.
  • To develop the specific skills required for working theatre professionals.
  • To develop creative capacities as artists, thinkers, and problem solvers.

In advanced courses, students' abilities are enhanced through rigorous engagement in analyzing, critically evaluating, and creating theatre art.

Theatre Fairfield is the production company of the program. Participation in Theatre Fairfield productions is open to all students at the University, regardless of major or minor. We think of Theatre Fairfield as our practical laboratory, where we experiment and refine concepts we are learning in the classroom. Theatre Fairfield's season includes professionally directed and designed productions as well as pieces that feature student playwrighting, directing, designing and acting.  In any given four-year period, we produce plays from many historical periods and styles: musicals, comedies, serious plays, period plays, contemporary works, and original plays. Every student has the opportunity to be a performer, writer, director, producer, designer, technician, dramaturg, and critic, and there are many opportunities for advanced work in all of these areas. A group of four production interns, chosen by competitive scholarship, works closely with faculty and staff in administering Theatre Fairfield's season.

Recent productions have included:

  • The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
  • Pack of Lies by Hugh Whitemore
  • The Art of Dining by Tina Howe
  • A Man's World by Rachel Crothers
  • Avenue Q by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty
  • Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel
  • Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
  • Stop Kiss by Diana Son
  • Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco
  • An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  • Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by distinguished guest artist Barbra Berlovitz
  • Machinal by Sophie Treadwell
  • The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien
  • Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin
  • Dead Man Walking by Tim Robbins
  • The Birds by Aristophanes
  • Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig
  • The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman

In helping students become well-rounded theatre people, this program emphasizes good research and good communication skills, which are essential to work in the theatre, as well as to all aspects of life. Courses stress the development of written, verbal, and artistic abilities. The program also advocates double-majors and/or minors with other disciplines such as English, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, communication, and modern languages, as well as double-majors with the School of Business.

Studying in the Theatre Program prepares students for any career that requires creativity, communication skills, and good business practice. Our graduates include managers, lawyers, and educators, as well as theatre professionals working in all aspects of the industry.

Credit for Theatre Fairfield Productions

In order to understand the nature of theatre, you must engage in the process of making theatre. Therefore, major and minor coursework is supplemented by required participation in Theatre Fairfield productions.

Students earn course credit for such participation. This acknowledges and embraces the educational nature of production work. Grades in these classes are figured in the student GPA, but the class hours count over and above the 120 hours required for graduation.

  1. TA 0094 Theatre Fairfield: Performance Practicum is a one-credit course that enrolls all students who perform in Theatre Fairfield shows.
  2. TA 0095 Theatre Fairfield: Production Practicum is a one-credit course that enrolls all students who are on crews for Theatre Fairfield shows.

Curriculum Categories

Theory
Introduction to Theatre
Capstone: Theory of Production
Performance
Acting I
Theatre Fairfield: Performance Practicum
Modern and Contemporary Dance
Folk and Social Dance
Theatre in Production
Acting II
Acting for the Camera
Directing
Special Topics
Dramatic Literature and History
Creative Writing: Drama
World Theatre I
World Theatre II
American Drama
Asian Theatre
American Women Playwrights
Theatre in Production
American Musical Theatre: History and Practice
Special Topics
Technology
Theatre Fairfield: Production Practicum
Stagecraft
Stage Makeup and Costume Construction
Scene Painting
Design
Design I
Costume Design
Stage Lighting
Scene Design
Special Topics
Arts Administration
Theatre Management
Internships and Independent Studies
Internship
Independent Study

For a 33-credit major in theatre, students complete the following: 

TA 0011Introduction to Theatre3
TA 0030Acting I3
TA 0106Theatre Management3
TA 0110World Theatre I3
TA 0111World Theatre II3
TA 0120American Drama3
or TA 0210 Theatre in Production
TA 0150Stagecraft3
TA 0155Design I3
TA 0230Acting II3
TA 0253Costume Design3
or TA 0256 Stage Lighting
or TA 0288 Scene Design
TA 0310Capstone: Theory of Production3
Total Credits33

Theatre majors must participate in the majority of the annual Theatre Fairfield Productions, through TA 0094 and TA 0095.