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 entertainment technology, 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:

  • Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
  • Authenticity by John Morogiello from an idea by Jackob G. Hofmann and John Morogiello (world premiere production)
  • Fortinbras by Lee Blessing
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon
  • Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson
  • The Spitfire Grill by James Valcq and Fred Alley
  • Antigone by Sophokles, in a new translation by Anne Carson
  • 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 credit hours required for graduation.

  1. THTR 1951 Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum is a zero/one-credit course that enrolls all students who perform in Theatre Fairfield shows.
  2. THTR 1952 Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum is a zero/one-credit course that enrolls all students who are on crews for Theatre Fairfield shows.

Curriculum Categories

Theory
THTR 1011Exploring Theatre3
THTR 4999Capstone: Theory of Production3
Performance
THTR 1030Acting I3
THTR 1135Modern and Contemporary Dance3
THTR 1138Folk and Social Dance3
THTR 1951Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum1
THTR 2210Theatre in Production3
THTR 2230Acting II3
THTR 3240Directing3
THTR 2900Special Topics (Shell) (in Performance)3
Dramatic Literature and History
ENGL 1804Creative Writing: Drama3
THTR 1111Great Theatre of the World: Sophocles, Shoguns, and Shakespeare3
THTR 1112Great Theatre of the World: Hedda, Hanuman, and Hamilton3
THTR/ENGL 1200American Women Playwrights3
THTR/ENGL 1250American Drama3
THTR 2210Theatre in Production3
THTR 2215American Musical Theatre: History and Practice3
THTR 2900Special Topics (Shell) (in Dramatic Literatrue and History)3
Technology
THTR 1150Introduction to Entertainment Technology3
THTR 1153Stage Makeup and Costume Construction3
THTR 1158Scene Painting3
THTR 1952Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum1
THTR 2900Special Topics (Shell) (in Entertainment Technology)3
Design
THTR 1155Design I3
THTR 2253Costume Design3
THTR 2256Stage Lighting3
THTR 2288Scene Design3
THTR 2900Special Topics (Shell) (in Design)3
Arts Administration
THTR 1106Theatre Management3

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

THTR 1011Exploring Theatre3
THTR 1030Acting I3
THTR 1106Theatre Management3
THTR 1111Great Theatre of the World: Sophocles, Shoguns, and Shakespeare3
THTR 1112Great Theatre of the World: Hedda, Hanuman, and Hamilton3
THTR 1150Introduction to Entertainment Technology3
THTR 1155Design I3
THTR 1250American Drama3
or THTR 2210 Theatre in Production
THTR 2230Acting II3
THTR 2253Costume Design3
or THTR 2256 Stage Lighting
or THTR 2288 Scene Design
THTR 4999Capstone: Theory of Production3
Total Credits33

Theatre majors must participate in the majority of the annual Theatre Fairfield Productions, through THTR 1951 and THTR 1952.

Magis Core Curriculum

Beginning with the Class of 2023, all undergraduate students will be required to complete the Magis Core Curriculum. Please refer to the Curricula section of this undergraduate catalog for a detailed explanation of the Magis Core.