Undergraduate Theatre Program
Office:    Elleonora P. McWilliams Hall
Phone:    (504) 314-7760
Fax:    (504) 865-6737

prog_ugt1Founded in 1937 by theatre's luminary Dr. Monroe Lippman, the theatre program at Tulane University today remains seriously dedicated to the art of live dramatic theatre. Through decades, the program has graduated many students of the art and mounted hundreds of memorable productions around the campus. Sparking national attention, its creative endeavors have included the publication, through 1967, of the respected and acclaimed Tulane Drama Review. Today the program is housed on the Newcomb campus in a facility completed in 1996 through a generous donation by Mrs. W. Kent McWilliams. Since 1984, imaginative productions have been staged in the Albert J. Lupin Memorial Experimental Theater proving the creative skill of a strong design faculty. Tulane students have been frequent winners in the regional design competition of the American College Theatre Festival. Its 1990 production of Craig Lucas'sReckless received Honorable Mention as one of the best collegiate theatre productions in the country. The acting faculty represent professionals with a wide range of experience including specialization's in musical composition, musical theater, film and other media performance, dialects, acting Shakespeare, and clowning and improvisation.

prog_ugt2Their stage credits include acting or directing in such venues as Theater X in Milwaukee, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Oregon Shakespeare, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, and the Portland Stage Company. Some film and television credits include Tightrope, Storyville, The Big Easy, Orleans, and A Gathering of Men. Joined by the Newcomb Dance faculty in 1989, Tulane's acting program has been further enhanced with professional stage choreography by the dance faculty who also teach special offerings in movement for actors. Our Theatre Lab provides students with the beginnings of on-camera training and intense vocal study. Recent guest artists who have appeared on campus to speak with majors include Brian Batt, Theatre 122's Jane Comfort and Company, Blythe Danner, Bruce Paltrow, and Anne Bogart.

A faculty with Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theatre, film and television experience provides the enthusiastic student multiple opportunities to learn. Challenging undergraduate programs within a liberal arts environment offer students involvement in and appreciation of the performing arts at a high level of excellence. Those students interested in pursuing professional careers in Acting, Directing, Design, Technical Theatre, History, Theory and Criticism can also find good preparation for the specialized training of graduate schools.


Undergraduate Degrees

The Theatre Program offers two undergraduate degrees:  the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine arts.  The BFA can be in either the design/technical area or in acting and candidates apply ay the end of their sophomore year.  No audition is required for admission into the B.A. program.  

Both programs offer opportunities to develop skills in acting, costume design, directing, lighting design, management, scene design, technical production, theatre history, theory and criticism.



Students interested in being theatre majors are strongly encouraged to seek departmental advisement in regards to creating a curriculum plan, especially if considering either a semester or year abroad. Majors should finish the core curriculum as early as possible, as they are prerequisites for all other departmental courses. The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in theatre consists of: THEA 2010, 3340, 3350, 3311, 3312, 3313, and 1 from 3311-3314, 4710, 4720, 4730, plus one dance course (24 credits). 

Performance Emphasis: THEA 1090, 2110, 3010, 3030 (1 credit), 3210, 3610 (1 credit), 6980, plus DANC 3350 for a total of 44 credits;  DEGREE PLAN SHEET FOR B.A. PERFORMANCE

Design/Tech Emphasis: 6 from THEA 6220, 6230, 6310, 6330, 6340, 6350, 6440, 6460, 6470, 6480, 6550, 6700, 6750, 6760, 6770, 6780, 6790, 6810, 6820, 6830, 6850, 6860, plus 6900 for a total of 45 credits. Students aiming toward graduate study in this discipline should take additional courses according to a planned sequence. Courses both in theatre and in such disciplines as English, history, music, art, and dramatic literature courses in classics, French, Italian, German, Russian, and English are expressly recommended for this purpose. DEGREE PLAN SHEET FOR B.A. DESIGN/PRODUCTION

Generalist Emphasis: 3 additional theatre courses at any level (9 credits), 3 additional theatre courses (or accepted out-of-department-see below) at 3000 level or above (9 credits), plus one Department Approved Capstone Experience Course (3 credits) for a total of 45 credits

Possible Courses Outside Department

CLAS 3060 Greek Tragedy and Comedy
ENLS 3130 Intro to Drama
ENLS 3230 Shakespeare
ENLS 3640 Screenwriting
ENLS 4150 Early Modern Drama
ENLS 4260 Shakespeare I
ENLS 4270 Shakespeare II
ENLS 4840 Performance Studies
FREN 4420 17th Century Drama
FREN 4470 20th Century Drama
GERM 4430 German Drama
GREK 4040 Greek Comedy
LATN 4010 Roman Comedy
MDAR 3400 Intermediate Screenwriting
MUSC 3320 Musical Theatre in America
SPAN 6430 Drama of the Golden AGe



The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in theatre is designed for students who want professional training in theatre performance or production. The student concentrates in either the acting or design/production area. For admission to either program, students must apply no earlier than the end of the freshman year and no later than the first semester of their junior year.

Performance Emphasis:  Entry into the B.F.A. Performance Track is by audition only. The major consists of the same core curriculum as the B.A. track (24 credits). In addition, the student takes 32 credits of performance courses DANC 3550, THEA 1090, 2090, 2110, 3010, 3030 (4 times), 3090, 3210, 3610 (1 credit), 4010, 6010, and 6980 or 6990. The total is 59 credits.    DEGREE PLAN SHEET FOR B.F.A. PERFORMANCE

Design/Production Emphasis:  Entry into the B.F.A. Design/Production Track is by application to the Head of the Design Program. The major consists of the same core curriculum as the B.A. In addition, the student takes THEA 3210, 6410, 6420, 6530, 6540, 6900, 6990, plus five three-credit electives that must be at the 300 level or above in one's area of specialization. BFA Stage Management candidates may substitute either DANC 4710 or 4720 for THEA 6540. The total is 60 credits.  DEGREE PLAN SHEET FOR B.F.A. DESIGN/PRODUCTION

Minor:  The following courses are required for a minor in theatre: THEA  2010, 2110, 3340, 3350, 3990 (taken twice), and two from THEA 4710, 4720, 4730 plus one elective for a total of 23 credits.


Tulane University Theatre: Theatre Courses

prog_ugt3THEA 1010 Plays and Playwrights (3)
Staff. An introduction to the literature of theatre from the Greeks to the present with emphasis on the script in performance. Does not count toward the major.

THEA 1020 Theatre Arts (3)
Staff. From script to production: theories, methods and personnel involved in staging the dramatic work. Does not count toward the major.

THEA 1050 Language of Performance (3)
Staff. An interdisciplinary discussion course. This course meets three times per week, and is required of all theatre and dance majors. An introduction to the ways in which dance, theatre, and other related performative forms create and communicate meanings through various modes of production of languages or performance. This course examines the various verbal, visual, and kinesthetic languages employed by artists to generate and exchange meaning in performance. Same a DANC 1050.

THEA 1090 Voice I (3)
Staff. Development of relaxation habits, physical alignment, breath control and release, tone production, and articulation.

THEA 2010 Performance I (3)
Staff. Corequisite or prerequisite: THEA 1050. A structured and at times spontaneous exploration of space, time, shape, sound, scenario, motion, and expenditure of energy to the end of attracting and holding the attention of the audience. Students may not receive credit for both DANC 1510 and DANC 2010/THEA 2010. Same as DANC 2010.

THEA 2070 Video Production I (3)
Prof. Gural. An introduction to the basic techniques of video film production. Topics will range from use of the camera to basic lighting techniques for video and film. Students will gain experience as director, camera and sound operators, and talent during exercises and short projects.

THEA 2080 Video Production II (3)
Prof. Gural. A continuation of skills and techniques covered in Video Production I, this course will  also introduce the student to the techniques of storyboard, pre-production, directing, and editing.

THEA 2090 Voice II (3)
Staff. Development of relaxation habits, physical alignment, breath control and release, tone production, and articulation with emphasis on corrective tutorial work.

THEA 2100 Fundamentals of Acting (3)

Staff. Class and workshop sessions in developing fundamental skills in the art and craft of acting as a creative process. Does not count toward the major.

THEA 2110 Beginning Acting (3)
Staff. Class and workshop sessions in developing fundamental skills in the art and craft of acting as a creative process.

THEA 2990 Performance Practicum (1)
Staff.  Course is open to students cast in roles of Department Productions.  Permission of Production’s Director Required.

THEA 3010 Intermediate Acting (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 20. Continuing development of acting skills focused primarily on work within the text. (Scenes, monologues, two other texts related exercises)

THEA 3030 Suzuki Method of Acting (1)
Prof. Sandoval. Internationally renowned theatre director Tadashi Suzuki developed the well-established Suzuki Acting Method. Technically speaking, the method consists of training to learn to speak powerfully and with clear articulation, and is also used to enhance the expressiveness of the whole body. It is thus that actors can learn the best way to exist on the stage. The goal is therefore to make it possible for actors to develop their ability of physical expression and also to nourish a tenacity of concentration. The class activities include a series of exercises involving the physical center of the body in motion off center/on center within a consistent level of energy. This training is a vocabulary necessary to materialize the theatre and requires assimilation of the vocabulary by the actor as a second instinct. These techniques should be studied, mastered, until they serve as an “operational hypothesis,” so that the actors may truly feel themselves “fictional” on stage. For actors to realize the images they themselves pursue, they will have to develop at least this basic physical sensibility.  May be repeated for a total of 4 credits.

THEA 3090 Stage Speech I (3)
Staff. Corrective work on individual regional speech habits, articulation, and phrasing.

THEA 3210 Directing I (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 201 and approval of instructor. A theoretic and applied study of the basic elements of directing, including script analysis, blocking, composition, dramatic focus, and actor coaching. Staged scenes using outside actors make up a major part of the course activities.

THEA 3220 Directing II (3)
 Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 321 and approval of instructor. Advanced studies in the principles and practice of directing. Course activities involve scene study and staging with special emphasis give to advanced techniques in composition, working with actors, and design collaboration.

THEA 3230 Playwriting I: Finding Your Voice (3)
Staff. The majority of exercises and discussions throughout this class will focus on finding your voice of expression. This can only be done by jumpstarting your writing. With that in mind, this class will throw you almost immediately into the act of habitually writing by insisting upon regular journaling, assigning a consistent stream of exercises that involve more radical theatrical approaches, and the creation of a monologue and ten-minute play.

THEA 3240 Playwriting II: The Long Good One Act (3)
Staff. By the end of this semester, the student will have completed a 20 to 30 page one act.

THEA 3340 Theatre Production and Design I (3)

Prof. Sachs, Cupsa. Corequisite: THEA 3990. Corequisite or prerequisite: THEA 1050. An integrated introduction to the disciplines of scenic, costume, and lighting design coupled with the practical considerations of construction and execution of the design process. First of two semester course with Theatre 335. One year sequence required of all theatre majors.

THEA 3350 Theatre Production and Design II (3)

Prof. Sachs, Cupsa. Corequisite: THEA 2050 or 3050. Second semester in the sequence of Theatre Production and Design. Prerequisite: THEA 334. A continued exploration of the disciplines of scenic, costume, and lighting design coupled with the practical considerations of construction and execution of the design process. A finished final presentation will be required. One year sequence required of all theatre majors.

THEA 3410 History of Costume (3)
Staff. An illustrated history of dress and society from the ancient Greeks to the present. Assignments emphasizing interpretation of costume research for the stage. Laboratory required.

THEA 3510 Rehearsal Techniques for Actors and Directors (3)
Staff. Exploration of the interaction between actor and director during scene study with emphasis on developing the analytic and rehearsal techniques fundamental to the production process.

THEA 3910, 3920 Special Topics (3, 3)
Staff. Specialty courses for undergraduates in performance techniques, projects, and theatre related subjects as designed by visiting or permanent theatre faculty.  For specific offering, see the Schedule of Classes. For description, consult the department.

THEA 3990 Theatre Practicum (1)
Prof. Sachs, Staff. Required of all theatre majors. Course is open with credit to all students of the University and is designed to provide the student with practical production experience in the areas of set, costume, lighting, sound, and box office management. May be taken a total of four times.

THEA 4010 Advanced Acting (3)
Staff. Prerequistes: THEA 2010, 3010. Continuing development of acting skills focused primarily on characterization, the use of subtext and imagery for the actor.

THEA 4090 Stage Speech II (3)
Staff. Corrective work on individual regional speech habits, articulation, and phrasing with added emphasis on the speaking of verse material.

THEA 4320 Movement Stories (3)
Prof. Hayley. An interdisciplinary studio course that examines creation of and communication of stories through movement and theatre approaches with emphasis on creativity and invention. Same as DANC 4320.

THEA 4400 Clowning and Improvisation (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 1050, 2010. A course that will teach students a form of French clowning popularized by Bataclown. The act of clowning as will be practiced in this class is based on corporeal, emotional, and vocal expression. Each student will create her or his own individualized clown character through improvisational exercises. A midterm research paper with presentation and final performance will be required of all.

THEA 4410 Theatre and Social Change (3)

Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 1050 & 2010. Students are introduced to Augusto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed” techniques. They will be used to explore such issues as identity and representation, gender, oppression, empowerment, racism, and environmental racism, homophobia, and peer pressure.

THEA 4560, 4570 Internship Studies (1-3, 1-3)

Staff. Prerequisites: approval of instructor and department. An experiential learning process coupled with pertinent academic course work. Open only to juniors and seniors in good standing. Registration is completed in the academic department sponsoring the internship on TUTOR. Only one internship may be completed per semester. Note: A maximum of three credits may be earned in one or two courses.  May also count as Capstone Experience.

THEA 4710 History of Theatre I (3)
Staff. Prerequisite: THEA 1050. An introductory course in the conventions, physical conditions, and techniques of theatrical production in the Western tradition from the Greek classical period through the Elizabethan period. Emphasis will be placed on the study of seminal texts from Aeschylus to Webster.

THEA 4720 History of Theatre II (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 1050 and 4710. Studies of Neoclassical France, the Enlightenment, the romantic period, and the rise of realism. Emphasis will be placed on the achievements of such figures as Voltaire, Garrick, and Goethe, and seminal texts from Racine to Dumas fils.

THEA 4730 History of Theatre III (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 1050, 4710, 4720. A survey of the history of theatre from naturalism to modernism and beyond. Emphasis will be placed on the achievements of such figures as Wagner, Stanislavski, Meyerhold, and Brecht, and the seminal texts from Ibsen to Kushner.

THEA 4880 Writing Practicum (1)
Staff. Corequisite: three-credit departmental course. Prerequisite: successful completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement. Fulfills the college intensive-writing requirement.

THEA 4900 Capstone Theatre History Seminar (3)
Staff.  Prerequisite: approval of instructor. In this course students will undertake in-depth research on a topic of contemporary relevance to the discipline of theater. A complete description will be available the semester it is taught by the respective professor.  Counts as Capstone Experience.

THEA 4910, 4920 Independent Studies (1-3, 1-3)
Staff. Prerequisite: approval of instructor.  May count as Capstone Experience. If chosen as a Capstone Experience (coupled with THEA 5110), the project must have sufficient depth to meet the criteria for such an undertaking. No matter what topic chosen, the project must demonstrate that the student has a thorough understanding of their field of theatre studies and apply it to this project.

THEA 4970 Filmmaker and Actor Workshop (3)
Staff. A workshop specifically intended for filmmakers and actors to develop and prepare a short script for production.

THEA H4990-H5000 Honors Thesis (3, 3-4)
Staff. Prerequisites: approval of chair of department and Honors Committee. For qualified seniors.  Counts as Capstone Experience.

THEA 5110 (0) Capstone
Staff. This number is used in conjunction with another Capstone course when the student has the option of taking more than one Capstone eligible class.

THEA 5550 Capstone 1 (3)
Staff. The capstone courses for the coordinate major in digital media production are designed to bring together students from different disciplines (art communication, dance, English, music, and theatre) to collaborate on a year-long video production, using skills learned in required and elective classes. Upon completion, the final project will receive a public screening. Same as MUSC 5550.

THEA 5560 Capstone 2 (3)
Staff. The capstone courses for the coordinate major in digital media production are designed to bring together students from different disciplines (art communication, dance, English, music, and theatre) to collaborate on a year-long video production, using skills learned in required and elective classes. Upon completion, the final project will receive a public screening. Same as MUSC 5560.

THEA 6010 Approaches to the Style and Genre of Acting (3)
Staff. Prerequisite: approval of instructor. Investigation and work with theatrical styles and genres in acting.

THEA 6020 Special Topics in Acting (3)
Staff. Prerequisite: approval of instructor. One or more topics will be covered each semester, e.g., Acting Shakespeare.

THEA 6110 Acting for Other Media (3)
Prof. Gural, Sandoval. Prerequisites: THEA 2010 and approval of instructor. This course is designed to train the acting student in techniques that are required for successful performance in film, television, and radio. Students will explore the differences between acting for the stage and for the "mechanical" media and will be assigned scenes and copy to perform on camera and on microphone.

THEA 6130, 6140 Ensemble Production (1-3, 1-3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 1050, 2010. Development of the ensemble in relation to specific genres and playwrights culminating in a public performance.

THEA 6220 Theatre Makeup (3)
Staff. This studio style course explores the different types of theatrical makeup and it uses in different venues. The student is provided with supervised time in class to develop application skills both on themselves and using live models as well as thinking critically about an application. Topics covered during a semester include the use of wigs and ventilated hairpieces, using appliances or latex prosthetics; character makeup, design.

THEA 6230 Special Effects (3)
Staff. Introductory course designed to expose the student to the various types of special effects available, and their uses in the entertainment industry.

THEA 6310 Advanced Technical Problems (3)
Staff. A survey of the traditional methods of constructing and mounting scenery for theatre. A practical approach to planning technical production. Includes budgets for time and material, organization of shops and crews, and standards in drafting the production.

THEA 6320 Advanced Technical Production (3)
Staff. A survey of the nontraditional methods of constructing and mounting scenery. Includes welding for the stage, an introduction to sound design, and stage furniture repair and refinishing. Laboratory in addition to lecture.

THEA 6330 Fundamentals of Lighting (3)
Prof. Sachs. A course in the art and craft of stage lighting. Basic electricity and color theory. Lighting instruments and their control. Practical experience in lighting the production. Laboratory in addition to lecture.

THEA 6340 Computer Technology for Lighting (3)
Prof. Sachs. Advanced problems in stage lighting. Structured approach to the development of lighting for the stage. Analysis of available lighting control options. Practical experience in preparation of light designs for production. Laboratory in addition to lecture.

THEA 6350 Theatrical Drafting and Model Making Techniques (3)

Staff. Prerequisite: THEA 3340, 3350. MFA/BFA students only. A course in the basic drafting and model making techniques to first year graduate students. Foundation for Scenic Design CAD, Fundamentals of Lighting, Scene Design I, II, Technical Direction I, II, and Lighting Design I, II.

THEA 6410 Design Fundamentals I (4)
Staff. Prerequisite: approval of instructor. The development of scenic and costume designs from the modern viewpoint. Techniques of drawing, rendering, and perspective in relation to designers’ presentation and portfolio. Laboratory.

THEA 6420 Design Fundamentals II (4)

Staff. Prerequisite: THEA 6410. A continuation of Theatre 6410. Equal emphasis on the designers’ process and rendering techniques. Watercolor, pen and ink, scenic models.

THEA 6440 Rendering for Designers (3)
Prof. Cupsa. The development of the individual's graphic skills in regard to rendering for theatrical purposes. Stress will be placed on accurately representing designs on plates in a professional fashion and on the manipulation of different mediums.

THEA 6460 Advanced Costume Rendering (3)
Staff. Prerequisite: THEA 6440 and instructor approval. MFA/BFA students only. To improve drawing/costume rendering skills. A course to advance the costume design student's understanding of the human body and how it moves and behaves, thus enhancing the student's ability to communicate through costume design rendering; exploration of the anatomy of the body, including the skeletal and muscular systems, how they interact and how they move; and exploration of how different fabrics  behave on the body and how the body's movement is affected by clothing.

THEA 6530 Period Styles for Designers I (4)
Staff. In-depth study of the styles of architecture, decor, furniture, and costume from antiquity through Elizabethan England, 1625. Research and design adaptation assignments.

THEA 6540 Period Styles for Designers II (4)
Staff. Further study in architecture, decor, furniture, and costume from Charles I through modern including Eastern cultures. Research and design adaptation assignments.

THEA 6550 Stage Management (3)
Staff. Introduction to the multifaceted job of stage management.

THEA 6700 Sound Technology (3)

Prof. Sachs. Introductory level course designed to expose the student to the theories and technology of the professional audio world.

THEA 6710 Modern Drama From Ibsen to Brecht (3)
Staff. Seminar on five modern European dramatists. Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht.

THEA 6720 Seminar in Contemporary Drama (3)
Staff. Analysis of principal trends in the contemporary European and American theatres.

THEA 6760 Costume Technology (3)
Staff. Concentrated introduction to the methods, tools, and techniques used in the construction of costumes for the theatre. Focus will be placed on standard shop equipment, fabrics, and general construction techniques.

THEA 6780 Topics in Advanced Costume Technology (3)
Staff. Prerequisite: THEA 6760 or approval of instructor. (1) Advanced study in two primary pattern development techniques as well as with patterning software. Some time will be spend of dressmaker details and simple tailoring. (2) Men's and women's tailoring techniques. Focus will be placed on traditional methods of hand and machine tailoring as applied to theatrical attire. (3) Millinery. Focus will be place on the primary construction methods for historic and/or contemporary hats: felt bodies, and frames. Various types and styles of finishes and decoration will also be explored.

THEA 6800 Practical Applications (1-3)
Staff. A design lab where the students put theory into practice. The lab assignments will be tailored by the faculty to the individual students needs. The objective is to provide actualized work experience in conjunction with faculty mentoring on design work productions. May be repeated 4 times for credit.

THEA 6810 Theatrical Photography (3)
Prof. Sachs. Prerequisite: approval of instructor. Basic photography and darkroom techniques designed specifically for theatre design students to document their work. Both black and white and color will be covered.

THEA 6820 Scene Design CAD (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 3340, 3350, 6410, 6420. We will introduce and explore Computer Aided Design using primarily the Vector Works program with its practical applications to theatrical scene design.

THEA 6830 Scene Painting (3)
Staff. Prerequisites: THEA 3430, 3440, 6410, 6420. This is a collaborative class based upon professional practices of scenic studios. We will examine the working relationship between the scenic designer and the scenic artist, and look at historical changes to the profession over the past 400 years. There will be extensive time spent drawing and painting and learning techniques to realize different faux finishes. This introductory class will culminate will a full sized color drop, with all in the class participating.

THEA 6840 Design for Other Media (3)
Prof. Cupsa, Staff. This course explores the making of a TV production from the standpoint of the producer's, director's and designers' involvement in the overall planning and execution, both in the studio and in the field, with special emphasis on set design.

THEA 6850 Design for Dancers (3)
Prof. Sachs. Designed to expose the dancer/choreographer to the theories of lighting and sound design as it applies to dance.

THEA 6900 Portfolio Techniques (3)
Staff. Prerequisite: final academic year standing. This course will prepare the student's portfolio, as well as the student, for the professional world. Stress placed upon plate layout, organization of materials, selection of pieces for inclusion, etc. Additionally, job search techniques and interview preparation will be explored.

THEA 6910, 6920 Special Topics (3, 3)
Staff. Courses offered by visiting professors or permanent faculty. For specific offering, see the Schedule of Classes. For description, consult department.

THEA 6990 B.F.A. Thesis Production (3)
Staff. Required for B.F.A. students. Students work in area of emphasis culminates in either the design of a mainstage production or being cast in a major role in a mainstage production.  A written thesis is required. Counts as Capstone Experience.

Tulane University, Dept. of Theatre & Dance, 215 McWilliams Hall, New Orleans LA 70118, 504.314.7760