Chairperson: Stephen Hudson-Mairet, M.F.A.

The major in theatre arts is designed for theatre students who wish to develop their professional talents and relate them to broader understanding of the world. At Marquette the BA program in theatre arts offers intensive student-centered training in performance and/or production within a liberal arts foundation. All theatre students establish a foundation in the fundamentals of making theatre: performance, stagecraft, costume technology, theatre history and then have the opportunity to concentrate in an area of performance, design/technical theatre, directing or pursue a generalist understanding of the art form. 

Theatre arts majors are required to pursue a second minor or major in addition to their primary course of study. Students have also found it beneficial to double major in any of the areas from across the university, thereby obtaining a broad range of connections between the performing arts and other disciplines.

Theatre Arts Major

A total of 41 credits of course work must be completed for the major in theatre arts:

Required Courses

Complete a total of 3 credits of:3
Performing Arts Practicum
Additional requirements:
THAR 1100Acting 1: Fundamental Technique3
THAR 1320Basic Costume Technology3
THAR 1330Basic Costume Technology Practicum0.5
THAR 2140Voice and Movement for Stage3
or THAR 2320 Scenographic Techniques
THAR 2300Stagecraft3
THAR 2310Stagecraft Practicum0.5
THAR 2400Aspects of Theatrical Design3
THAR 2600Play Analysis 13
THAR 3953Career and Preparation Studies Seminar1
THAR 4200History of Theatre 13
THAR 4210History of Theatre II: Modern Theatre3
THAR 4240History of Period Styles3
9 hours of Theatre Arts electives9
Total Credit Hours41

Two of the following three courses are required as the dramatic literature cognate.

ENGL 2010Literature and Genre (when the topic specializes in Drama or Dramatic Literature as approved by the Digital Media and Performing Arts department)3
ENGL 4331Shakespeare 3
THAR 3620Multicultural Playwrights3

In addition to the required sequence, the following courses are strongly recommended for those students who wish to focus their nine credits of electives in a specific discipline within the performing arts:


DANC 2500Composition and Choreography3
DANC 3100Theatre Dance3
THAR 1120Acting 2: Advanced Fundamentals3
THAR 1340Make-Up3
THAR 3000Acting 3: Introduction to Character3
THAR 3100Acting 4: Shakespeare3
THAR 3500Play Direction3
THAR 3620Multicultural Playwrights3
THAR 4100Acting 5: Professional Auditions and Career Preparation3


THAR 1120Acting 2: Advanced Fundamentals3
THAR 3500Play Direction3
THAR 3620Multicultural Playwrights3
THAR 4360Theatre Management3
THAR 4500Advanced Play Direction3
Total Credit Hours15


THAR 2320Scenographic Techniques3
THAR 3500Play Direction3
THAR 3620Multicultural Playwrights3
THAR 4360Theatre Management3
THAR 4380Computer Applications for the Theatre3
THAR 4400Costume Design3
THAR 4420Lighting Design3
THAR 4440Scenery Design3
Total Credit Hours24

Participation in Theatre Productions: All theatre arts majors and minors are required to audition for theatre productions and participate in a technical, design or management capacity. All university students are invited to audition for productions or participate in any of the various capacities. Students must have a minimum 2.000 GPA to participate in any production.

Typical Program for Theatre Arts Majors

First TermHoursSecond TermHours
COMM 1000 or 12003COMM 1200 or 10003
COMM 10501ENGL 1001 or ESSV1 (MCC)3
ENGL 1001 or ESSV1 (MCC)3PHIL 1001 or THEO 1001 (MCC)3
PHIL 1001 or THEO 1001 (MCC)3THAR 1120 or 24003
THAR 11003THAR 13203
THAR 23003THAR 13300.5
THAR 23100.5 
 16.5 15.5
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
COMM 11003COMM 25003
PEAR 29640.5CORE 1929 (MCC) or elective3
THAR 2140 or 23203ENGL 2010 (Drama or Dramatic Lit)3
THAR 26003PEAR 29640.5
CORE 1929 (MCC) or elective3THAR 2400 or elective3
DSCV (MCC)1, 23DSVC (MCC)1, 23
 15.5 15.5
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
ENGL 4331 or THAR 36203PEAR 29640.5
PEAR 29640.5THAR 4210 or elective3
THAR 39531THAR elective3
THAR 4200 or elective3Minor6
THAR 4240 or elective3DSCV (MCC)1, 23
DSCV (MCC)1, 23 
Minor 3 
 16.5 15.5
First TermHoursSecond TermHours
CORE 4929 (MCC) or elective3CORE 4929 (MCC) or elective3
PEAR 29640.5PEAR 29640.5
THAR 4200 or elective3THAR 4210 or elective3
THAR 4240 or elective3THAR 49973
Minor or elective3Minor or elective3
 12.5 12.5
Total credit hours: 120

Wisconsin Teaching Licensure in Theatre Arts (Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence)

In addition to completing all requirements as specified by the College of Education, students must also complete all requirements listed under the theatre arts major.

Wisconsin Teaching Licensure in Theatre Arts (Early Adolescence/Adolescence)

In addition to completing all requirements as specified by the College of Education as well as those listed under the theatre arts major, students seeking Wisconsin teaching licensure in speech communication at the early adolescence/adolescence level must also complete THAR 3500 Play Direction and THAR 4360 Theatre Management . Both courses count as electives in the theatre arts major.

Theatre Arts Minor

Required Courses

Complete a total of 2 credits of:2
Performing Arts Practicum
Additional requirements:
THAR 1100Acting 1: Fundamental Technique3
THAR 1320Basic Costume Technology3
THAR 1330Basic Costume Technology Practicum0.5
THAR 2300Stagecraft3
THAR 2310Stagecraft Practicum0.5
THAR 2600Play Analysis 13
THAR 4200History of Theatre 13
Total Credit Hours18


THAR 1100. Acting 1: Fundamental Technique. 3 cr. hrs.

Focuses on basic stage technique for the beginning actor, including exploration, basic concepts and vocabulary, script analysis and the importance of action. Introduction to the foundations of the modern actor and the concepts of Constantin Stanislavski. Involves monologues, exercises and scene work. Prereq: THAR major or THAR minor; or cons. of instr.

THAR 1120. Acting 2: Advanced Fundamentals. 3 cr. hrs.

A continuation of the work begun in THAR 1100, focuses on honesty, simplicity and what it really means to be in-the-moment.  Units include scene work, neutral mask and an introduction to the Meisner Technique. Prereq: THAR 1100.

THAR 1320. Basic Costume Technology. 3 cr. hrs.

Primary costuming techniques. Emphasis on obtaining a working knowledge of skills necessary to construct theatrical costumes. Includes hand and machine sewing as well as some costume crafts. Students apply skills to mainstage productions. Prereq: THAR 1330, which must be taken concurrently.

THAR 1330. Basic Costume Technology Practicum. 0.5 cr. hrs.

Basic Costume Technology Practicum provides hands-on training for primary costuming techniques including hand and machine sewing. S/U grade assessment. Prereq: THAR 1320, which must be taken concurrently.

THAR 1340. Make-Up. 3 cr. hrs.

The fundamental techniques of stage makeup through using a variety of materials and exercises.

THAR 1951. MU Led Travel/Study Abroad. 3 cr. hrs.

Travel to London to explore theatre and British culture where students are introduced to many aspects of the theatre production and performance within a cultural context. Observe, participate in and reflect upon the cultural similarities and differences. Examine how the theatrical performances reflect these comparisons. Course taught in an international setting by Marquette professors and where students earn Marquette credit. Study Abroad expenses apply.

THAR 2020. Theatre Appreciation. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduces the student to the experience of theatre and seeks to give an understanding of theatrical history and practices, and a deepening appreciation of theatre as an art. In addition to a textbook, students are required to purchase tickets for a number of theatrical performances that the class attend. All tickets are negotiated at a group rate.

THAR 2140. Voice and Movement for Stage. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the foundational aspects of voice production through movement; linking of the actor's vocal, physical and emotional resources through text and sound. Movement exercises to free, develop and strengthen the voice; study and practice of relaxation, projection and resonance, breath control, variety and vibration. Prereq: THAR 1100.

THAR 2150. Acting for Non-Theatre Majors. 3 cr. hrs.

Developing individual skills through the use of theatre games, improvisation, and scene study. Development of critical knowledge of and appreciation for the theatrical performer.

THAR 2160. Voice and Speech 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Continued work on vocal relaxation and production with an added concentration on removing regionalism and substandard sounds and acquiring clear, unaffected vibrant speech for the stage. Prereq: THAR 2140 or DGMD 2205.

THAR 2180. Acting for Camera. 3 cr. hrs.

Basic Film/TV technique for the beginning camera actor, including: blocking, use of set/location, and analysis and illustration of scripts. Introduction to terminology and basic technical skills in camera/microphone usage and performance recording. Prereq: THAR 1100 or cons. of instr.

THAR 2300. Stagecraft. 3 cr. hrs.

The basic techniques of stagecrafts including construction of scenery and props, painting and rigging, lighting and running of shows. Prereq: THAR 2310, must be taken concurrently.

THAR 2310. Stagecraft Practicum. 0.5 cr. hrs.

Stagecraft practicum provides hands-on training of basic techniques of stagecraft in construction of scenery and props, painting and rigging, lighting and running of shows. S/U grade assessment. Prereq: THAR 2300, which must be taken concurrently.

THAR 2320. Scenographic Techniques. 3 cr. hrs.

A study of rendering and mechanical drawing as it relates to theatrical design. An exploration of color media and perspective. Prereq: THAR 1300; or cons. of instr.

THAR 2400. Aspects of Theatrical Design. 3 cr. hrs.

Collaborative communication techniques for theatre artists. The exploration of the designer/director/performer relationship through development of visual and three-dimensional communication skills.

THAR 2600. Play Analysis 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Analyzes tragedy and comedy. Emphasis on performance, drama theory, and historical context of plays.

THAR 3000. Acting 3: Introduction to Character. 3 cr. hrs.

Emphasis is on creating a personal process through which the actor can come to understand character, explore various approaches to creating characters, and through creative use of self, bring a character to life on stage.  Areas of study include research and text analysis, developing a vocabulary and familiarity with a variety of rehearsal techniques as tools for clarifying the objectives, obstacles, and actions of the character within the context of a play. Prereq: THAR 1120.

THAR 3100. Acting 4: Shakespeare. 3 cr. hrs.

Concentrates on the skills needed to perform Shakespearean texts through monologue and scene work. Emphasis on understanding and connecting with the material and then developing the language skills necessary to convey that knowledge to an audience. Exploration of Shakespeare as a product of the Elizabethan world, as well as its universality in modern production. Prereq: THAR 2140 and THAR 2100; or cons. of instr.

THAR 3500. Play Direction. 3 cr. hrs.

The principles of play direction as a creative and interpretative art on the stage. Prereq: THAR 1100 and Jr. stndg.

THAR 3620. Multicultural Playwrights. 3 cr. hrs.

Students explore major cultures and sub-cultures through the use of offerings from multiple playwrights of varying racial/ethnic backgrounds and alternative lifestyles and beliefs. As a means for a deeper understanding of the cultures, students explore these plays while developing script analysis skills, sharpen skills needed to effectively workshop any given script, explore the social relevance of multi-cultural playwrights and gain a deeper understanding of the power of performance theatre in bringing the larger community to awareness and empathy of variety of cultures. Prereq: THAR 2600 or cons. of instr.

THAR 3953. Career and Preparation Studies Seminar. 1 cr. hr.

Emphasis will be on dissemination of information that will prepare the student for pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. Topics include: Professional internships and jobs in the entertainment industry, career planning including graduate school, internships, entry level jobs in performance, design, technical theatre, literary management, stage management, theatre management, portfolios for design and technical theatre, resume and photos for performance, professional unions, equity contracts and organizations. S/U grade assessment. Prereq: THAR major, Jr. or Sr. stndg.

THAR 4100. Acting 5: Professional Auditions and Career Preparation. 3 cr. hrs.

Designed to prepare the student for professional auditions. Emphasis is placed on presentation, appropriate material selection, analysis and arrangement of material, and developing a repertoire of audition pieces. In addition to prepared monologues the student will develop skills for other audition situations including improvisation, interviews, cold readings, and callbacks. Prereq: THAR 2140 and THAR 3100 and cons. of instr.

THAR 4200. History of Theatre 1. 3 cr. hrs.

A chronological survey of theatre history, dramatic literature and theory from its origins to the beginnings of realism. Particular emphasis paid to major periods of theatrical achievement in the context of the culture in which they began, studying plays and critical writings as well as conjectural and documented styles in acting, design and production methods. Prereq: Soph. stndg.

THAR 4210. History of Theatre II: Modern Theatre. 3 cr. hrs.

A survey of 20th century theatre practice from realism through postmodernism and beyond. Attention given to theatre movements outside of mainstream venues such as experimental theatre, surrealism and expressionism, epic theatre, the absurd movement, applied theatre and multi-media presentations and performance art. Prereq: Soph. stndg.

THAR 4220. History of Clothing 1: From Ancient Greece to the Reign of Terror. 3 cr. hrs.

An overview of the history of clothing and fashion in Western civilization from 2900 BC through the end of the 18th century, as well as some of the socio-economic and political factors that shaped these styles. The evolution of dress as a result of artistic and cultural change, as well as changes in geographic exploration and trade are covered in a lecture/discussion format. Clothing and fashion are examined as social history and personal statements of status and power.

THAR 4230. History of Clothing 2: From Jane Austen to Austin Powers. 3 cr. hrs.

An overview of the history of clothing and fashion in Europe and North America from the French Revolution through the "Velvet Revolution," as well as some of the socioeconomic and political factors that shaped these styles. The evolution of dress as a result of artistic and cultural influence, as well as advances in technology are covered in a lecture/discussion format. Clothing and fashion are examined as social history ad personal statements of status and individuality.

THAR 4240. History of Period Styles. 3 cr. hrs.

Examines the major historical periods in Western Civilization that provide context for the majority of plays in the Western canon. An overview of the most important innovations in architecture, art, costume, furniture, decorative arts and style for each period, as they influence theatrical production. Designed for theatre performers, directors, designers, historians and generalists alike.

THAR 4320. Crafts for the Theatre. 3 cr. hrs.

A techniques course that encompasses traditional and new materials which may be used in special projects often encountered in the creation of props and costumes. Includes casting and molding, thermoplastics, mask making, foam carving, jewelry, armor, etc. Prereq: THAR 1300 or THAR 1320 or cons. of instr.

THAR 4340. Advanced Costume Technique. 3 cr. hrs.

Course covers advanced methods of costuming such as beginning pattern drafting, basic tailoring techniques, fabric modification through dyeing and painting, millinery, and costume crafts construction. Prereq: THAR 1320; or cons. of instr.

THAR 4360. Theatre Management. 3 cr. hrs.

Study and practice of theatre administration, business practices, production management and stage management.

THAR 4380. Computer Applications for the Theatre. 3 cr. hrs.

The study and use of various software packages to support the principles of scenic, lighting, and costume design. An introduction to the development of theatrical design presentation using digital technology. Explores the use of digital tools in drafting, modeling, and rendering skills as a means towards basic theatrical design.

THAR 4400. Costume Design. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the aesthetic and practical application of costume design and how it relates to the theatrical production process. Includes research, script analysis and costume renderings for in class projects. Offered alternate spring terms. Prereq: THAR 2400; or cons. of instr.

THAR 4420. Lighting Design. 3 cr. hrs.

The study and practice of theatrical lighting script analysis, research and planning techniques. Culminates in a realized collaboration. Prereq: THAR 1300; or cons. of instr.

THAR 4440. Scenery Design. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the principles and practices of designing scenery for the stage. Prereq: THAR 2400; or cons. of instr.

THAR 4500. Advanced Play Direction. 3 cr. hrs.

The study of stage directing techniques, as well as, theories and methods of directing preferred by well-known theatrical directors of the last three decades. Building upon the fundamentals of direction learned in THAR 2500, students acquire a broader knowledge base of different stage directing approaches, philosophies and methodologies. Opportunity to test principles in assigned laboratory productions and to collaborate with a student designer from THAR 4420, Lighting Design in a final One Act presentation. Prereq: THAR 2500 or cons. of instr.

THAR 4600. Playwriting. 3 cr. hrs.

Study of the structure and execution of dramatic scripts for theatre. Assignments to write and analyze scenes and one act plays.

THAR 4953. Seminar in Theatre Arts. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Specific subjects of seminars to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Variable topics.

THAR 4961. Independent Project in Theatre Arts. 0-3 cr. hrs.

0 credit is SNC/UNC grade assessment; 1-3 credits is graded. Prereq: Cons. of instr.

THAR 4986. Internship in Theatre Arts. 0-3 cr. hrs.

S/U grade assessment. Prereq: Cons. of dept ch.

THAR 4995. Independent Study in Theatre Arts. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.; cons. of artistic director. Prereq: Cons. of dept. ch.; cons. of artistic director.

THAR 4997. Senior Capstone. 3 cr. hrs.

In order to demonstrate artistic proficiency, students go beyond what has been learned in the classroom, studio, and stage, and begin to replicate the world students will encounter upon graduation. A capstone project requires student to utilize not only their core skills but to develop new "real world" skills they will need in their profession, such as decision making, presentation and communication skills. This project incorporates and synthesizes knowledge gained through coursework within the Performing Arts curriculum. Senior Capstone Projects normally take place in the spring of the final year of study and are selected through an application process in the preceding semester. Guidelines for the application process are available from the department chair. Prereq: THAR major, Sr. stndg. or cons. of instr.

THAR 4999. Senior Thesis. 1-3 cr. hrs.

The application of rigorous methodology in developing and writing a thesis under the direction of an adviser. Prereq: Cons. of dept ch.