Theatre Arts Degree (B.A.), Performance Track

Overview

Our program provides the leadership, communication, collaboration, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills necessary for a career in professional theatre or for graduate study. We offer small studio and workshop classroom experiences, individualized mentoring for students in their areas of interest, and opportunities to pursue creative work in acting, directing, design, and writing.

Differentiators 

  • Student passion for subject matter; leadership roles
  • Small studio classes for more personal mentoring from faculty 
  • Individualized, guided educational experience
  • Faculty involvement with student clubs 
  • Faculty actively working as artists in New York City and across New England 

Topics Covered

  • Performance and Directing Techniques 
  • Design Techniques 
  • Theatre History 
  • Script Analysis 
  • Emerging Theatre Technologies 

Career Preparation 

  • Internship support 
  • Practical production experience 
  • Faculty guidance on applications, letters, and portfolios 
  • Guest speakers showcasing professionals working from a Theatre background 
  • Acceptance in MA/Ph.D., MFA Acting, MFA Design, MFA Theatre for Youth 

Opportunities 

  • High-quality theatrical productions 
  • Strong opportunities for involvement from the first semester 
  • Students present work at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 
  • Strong creative/collaborative environment

Internship Opportunities

  • Actors Theatre of Louisville 
  • Berkshire Theatre Group 
  • Westport County Playhouse 
  • Hartford Stage Company 
  • Barrington Stage Company 
  • Chester Theatre Company 
  • Circus Smirkus 
  • Bay Street Theatre Company 
  • St. Michael’s Playhouse 

Outcomes 

  • Hone skills in oral, written, physical, and visual communication 
  • Develop personal creative expressiveness 
  • Team building and collaboration 
  • Critical thinking and problem solving 
  • Engaging with complex philosophical and social issues that explore the nature of humanity in a community setting 
  • Focused

     mentoring

  • Connections & Events

    with professional theatre artists

  • Exposure

    to professional
    theatre productions 

Requirements

Requirements for the Theatre Arts Major - 52 Credits

The major in Theatre Arts is designed to provide students with a fundamentally sound and well-rounded bachelor of arts education and training in theatre and in its related arts of performance and design. It is the objective of the Theatre Arts Program to instill in students an abiding respect for theatre as an historical and cultural institution; to enhance their appreciation of theatre’s significant role in a society’s social, political, and cultural life; and to prepare students for the world of professional theatre and for graduate study. The bachelor of arts in Theatre Arts degree requires 52 credit hours of study, which includes 15 credit hours in one of three tracks of study: Performance, Design/Technology, or Theatre Studies. The Theatre Studies track gives students the opportunity to fashion their own areas of focus in consultation with a theatre advisor. In addition to its curricular requirements, the Program provides students with practical experience in all aspects of theatre production as part of their educational experience. The creative process, a professional attitude and work ethic, and artistic integrity are the emphases of all theatre production courses. Theatre majors are also required to fulfill the English department’s foreign language requirement.

Required Theatre Arts Core Curriculum - 37 Credits:

Tracks of Study

Theater Arts majors are required to select one of the following tracks to complete the major requirements.

Performance Track - 15 Credits
Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core .

Musical Theatre Guild
MTG offers interested students an opportunity to participate in musical theatre in any capacity on or off the stage.

Advisor

Student Theatre Association (STA)

The purpose of STA is to create a learning environment for students interested in theatre. STA will strive to provide its members with a variety of theatrical opportunities that will explore all aspects of theatre

Advisor

WHIP Improv Comedy Club
The purpose of this club is the rehearsal and performance of comedy improv. by WSU students.

Advisor

The Theatre Arts Program at Westfield State University gave me the creative space to discover my passion for acting, the tools I needed to take my craft to the next level, and the hunger to continue pursuing opportunities on stage, on film, and in a classroom after graduation.

Rachel Cofsky

Class of 2017

Notable Faculty & Alumni 

  • James Jackson, Jr., Obie Award Winning Actor and Singer 
  •  Alyssa Wright, CEO and Founder of Wright Consulting Group 
  • Philanthropy & Fund-Raising Consultant and contributing writer at Forbes 
  • Barrett Leddy, Voice Actor 
  • Bridget Collins, Lighting Supervisor, The Huntington Theatre Company 
  • Madeleine Hebert, National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Award for Excellence in Lighting Design. Accepted MFA Candidate at Carnegie Mellon, Cal Arts, New York University and The University of Ohio 
  • Stuart Holland, Event Audio Technician/Sound Designer, Roger Williams Zoo 

Still have questions?

Sabine Klein, Ph.D.,
Theatre Arts Program Coordinator