Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), Major in Theatre

Major Programs

A master of fine arts (M.F.A.) with a major in theatre will prepare students for the field of theatre, more specifically to direct theatre, lead a theatre, or to teach theatre. This degree will provide students with a strong theoretical and practical education in preparing productions so that they might have long, fruitful careers in theatre or higher education. It will also hone student skills in critical thinking, problem solving, creative analysis, and application of the craft to real world projects so that they might excel in today’s quickly changing and ever diverse theatre and academic environments.

Admission Policy

For information regarding admission application requirements and deadlines, please visit The Graduate College website at http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/th.html.

Degree Requirements

The M.F.A. program is a three-year course of study that requires 60 semester credit hours. Students pursuing the M.F.A. in theatre may choose from the following three concentrations: directing, design, or dramatic writing.

Course Work Requirements

Directing Concentration

Required Core Courses
TH 5302Text Analysis, Research and Interpretation3
TH 5303Conceptualization and Composition3
TH 5312Director/Designer Collaboration3
TH 5313History of Directing and Scenography3
TH 5342MFA Studio I3
TH 5343MFA Studio II3
TH 5352MFA Studio III3
TH 5353MFA Studio IV3
TH 5382MFA Studio V3
TH 5383MFA Studio VI3
TH 5398Final Creative Project3
TH 5340Professional Internship3
TH 5357Scene Design3
TH 5365Backgrounds of Modern Drama3
TH 5367Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism3
TH 5369Contemporary World Theatre and Drama3
TH 5371Classical and Renaissance Drama3
Prescribed Elective Courses
Choose 9 hours from the following:9
Shakespeare Through Performance
Shakespeare: Text and Context
Stage Management
Advanced Stage Lighting
Professional Internship (May be repeated; see advisor)
Advanced Studies in Costume Design
Advanced Costume Construction
Playwriting
Scene Painting
Advanced Screenwriting
Problems in Theatre
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive
Directing for Film
Theory and Practice of Dramaturgy
Advanced Film Directing
Advanced Playwriting
Play Development Lab
Total Hours60

Design Concentration

Required Core Courses
TH 5302Text Analysis, Research and Interpretation3
TH 5303Conceptualization and Composition3
TH 5312Director/Designer Collaboration3
TH 5313History of Directing and Scenography3
TH 5342MFA Studio I3
TH 5343MFA Studio II3
TH 5352MFA Studio III3
TH 5353MFA Studio IV3
TH 5382MFA Studio V3
TH 5383MFA Studio VI3
TH 5398Final Creative Project3
Prescribed Elective Courses
Choose 27 hours from the following:27
Advanced Stage Lighting
Professional Internship (May be repeated; see advisor)
Advanced Studies in Costume Design
Historical Costume Research
Advanced Costume Construction
History of Architecture and Interiors for Theatrical Design
Scene Painting
Advanced Theatre Drafting
Scene Design
Advanced Screenwriting
Problems in Theatre
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive
Backgrounds of Modern Drama
Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism
Contemporary World Theatre and Drama
Classical and Renaissance Drama
Total Hours60

Dramatic Writing Concentration

Required Core Courses
TH 5354Playwriting3
TH 5375Advanced Playwriting (Taken twice)6
TH 5331Television Writing3
TH 5358Screenwriting3
TH 5359Advanced Screenwriting3
TH 5341Dramatization and Adaptation3
TH 5398Final Creative Project3
TH 5302Text Analysis, Research and Interpretation3
TH 5365Backgrounds of Modern Drama3
TH 5367Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism3
TH 5369Contemporary World Theatre and Drama3
TH 5371Classical and Renaissance Drama3
TH 5342MFA Studio I3
TH 5343MFA Studio II3
TH 5352MFA Studio III3
TH 5312Director/Designer Collaboration3
Prescribed Core Courses
Choose 9 hours from the following9
Shakespeare Through Performance
Shakespeare: Text and Context
Professional Internship
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive
Directing for Film
Theory and Practice of Dramaturgy
Advanced Film Directing
Play Development Lab
Advisor Approved Directing Elective
Advisor Approved English Elective
Total Hours60

Master's level courses in Theatre: TH

Courses Offered

Theatre (TH)

TH 5199B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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TH 5299B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.
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2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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TH 5301. Drama Research.

An examination of problems and research techniques in drama. Historical, critical, descriptive, and experimental research approaches will be surveyed and basic procedures in research report writing will be considered. Required of theatre majors.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5302. Text Analysis, Research and Interpretation.

This course reviews various methods of analysis of a dramatic text. This includes inductive, deductive, structural, and methodical approaches. It also examines techniques for production research and explores issues of interpretation that affect the development of a play's translation into a production on stage.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5303. Conceptualization and Composition.

This course investigates conceiving and developing a production concept and/or production context. It also explores how the concept/context is useful in the formation of a plan of staging. Finally, it examines potential blocking and staging implications that result from conceptualization and context, as well as composition implications.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5310. Graduate Assistant Development.

This course is required as a condition of employment for graduate teaching and instructional assistants. This course covers topics related to employment responsibilities. This course does not earn graduate degree credit. Graded on a credit (CR), no-credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Graduate Assistantship|Exclude from Graduate GPA
Grade Mode: Leveling/Assistantships

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TH 5312. Director/Designer Collaboration.

This course examines the nature of director/designer collaboration. Areas studied and developed include the director's visual perceptions, visual interpretations, and visual choices. In addition, attention is focused on discovering and uncovering these characteristics embedded in theatrical texts.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5313. History of Directing and Scenography.

This course is a historical survey of the work of directors and designers. Particular emphasis will be on seminal production plans for notable directors and designers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5320. Directing Theatre Activities.

Designed to assist any teacher in directing theatre activities. During the course, students will direct plays or scenes. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit. Graded on a credit (CR), no credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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TH 5323. Shakespeare Through Performance.

This intensive summer study abroad program immerses students in the language and culture of Shakespeare’s plays. Incorporating a performance-based approach to the study of Shakespeare, this course includes theatrical workshops taught by professionals at leading international theatres, including the Royal Shakespeare Company.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5324. Shakespeare: Text and Context.

This intensive study abroad program immerses students in the language and culture of Shakespeare’s plays. In Stratford, academic workshops are led by scholars from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Through immersion in the cultural environment in which the plays were produced, students gain insight into the context that shaped Shakespeare’s theatre.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5330. Stage Management.

An in-depth seminar in stage management, including organization, techniques, and practices for managing stage productions from initial planning through performance.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5331. Television Writing.

This course focuses on the techniques of writing for television, including both half-hour situational comedies and hour-long dramas. Students will pitch story ideas, develop beat sheets, write treatments, and complete written scripts. Prerequisite: TH 5354.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5332. Stage Properties.

This course trains students in the craft, artistry and management of stage properties for careers in theatre, film and the entertainment industry.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5334. Figure Drawing for Theatre Design.

This course covers drawing the human figure using traditional media, technique and application. Intended for the theatre designer, this course places special emphasis on aspects of drapery as they relate to the human figure.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 1 Lab Contact Hour.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5338. Advanced Stage Lighting.

Graduate lighting design is a continuation of the principles covered in Lighting Design (undergraduate). This course will concentrate primarily on the aesthetics of stage lighting, and will cover such topics as: viewer psychological and physiological responses as they pertain to visual perception; color; script analysis; use of light in creating both static and dynamic visual compositions; development and graphic representation of a theatrical lighting design.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5340. Professional Internship.

This course provides professional hands-on experience in the theatre or film industry. Consent of Instructor required.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing|Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5341. Dramatization and Adaptation.

This course focuses on the development of new theatrical scripts based on existing stories and source material. Students will explore a variety of potential source materials, pitch adaptation ideas, and complete a written script. Prerequisite: TH 5354.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5342. MFA Studio I.

This course focuses on work with actors. Students will explore various rehearsal methods, motifs and strategies. Students will direct two short scenes for class and explore effective ways of working with actors. In addition, students will observe directors and acting coaches in the department work with and coach actors.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5343. MFA Studio II.

Builds upon the work of MFA Studio I. This course examines additional techniques for working with actors as well as tools the director can use to shape each unit of performance text in order to build a dramatic story on stage. Students will analyze, rehearse and perform a one-act play. Prerequisite: TH 5342.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5345. Advanced Studies in Costume Design.

Costume problems for entire productions.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5346. Historical Costume Research.

This course is a study of clothing, accessories, and customs of selected theatrical periods as an approach to costuming period plays.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5347. Advanced Costume Construction.

A graduate course on the advanced level that studies the construction of costumes for the stage. Advanced techniques in sewing, pattern drafting/design as well as accessories/crafts construction is included.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5350. Second Year Project.

Students in the second year of the MFA in Theatre will direct, design, or write for a departmental production. The course includes a written report of the project that demonstrates an understanding of the creative process of the chosen discipline. Prerequisite: Completed at least 18 graduate hours towards their M.F.A.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5351. History of Architecture and Interiors for Theatrical Design.

This course is a study of architecture and interiors throughout history as it impacts design for theatre. This course will look at periods of design from ancient Egypt to the early Twentieth Century.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5352. MFA Studio III.

MFA Studio III is the student's second year project. The course includes all phases of directing a play, from conception and research, to rehearsal and performance. Prerequisite: TH 5343.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5353. MFA Studio IV.

A primary focus of the course is on experimental theatre. Students rehearse and perform scene work from 20th and 21st century plays, and put together a final experimental performance project. Prerequisite: TH 5343.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5354. Playwriting.

A seminar in the art and craft of playwriting, from initial idea through a completed draft of a play. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5355. Scene Painting.

Theory and practice of scene and costume painting as developed in the Italian Renaissance and continuing into new media available today. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5356. Advanced Theatre Drafting.

A study of computer drafting techniques and procedures used in the preparation of design and technical drawings for theatrical scenery, costumes, and lighting.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5357. Scene Design.

Seminar on design, emphasizing presentation and justification of executed renderings or models for selected plays. Emphasis on styles of staging, settings, lighting and properties, and their relationship to the complete production. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5358. Screenwriting.

This course offers a comprehensive study of the art and craft of writing screenplays. During a semester of intensive writing, readings, script analyses, and critiques, writers complete assignments in storytelling, character, structure, and script development. Each writer completes a full-length screenplay as the capstone project for the semester.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5359. Advanced Screenwriting.

This course focuses on the development and revision of full-length screenplays. May be repeated for credit with different emphasis. Prerequisite: TH 5358.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5360. Problems in Theatre.

Designed to give supervised experience to qualified advanced students in theatre history, playwriting, directing, acting, technical, or other theatre problems. Research problems or actual production problems may be chosen. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5361. Oregon Shakespeare Festival Intensive.

This course examines theatre production with a specific focus on directors and directing at this country's largest Shakespeare theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Students will study issues of translating the current seasons' nine plays from script to stage, as well as analyzing the perspectives and choices of each director's production.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5363. Directing for Film.

An in-depth examination of directing theories and procedures for film with practical filming and editing exercises. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5364. Stage Directing.

Development of skills in analysis, research, staging, and production, with practical experience provided by directing scenes.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5365. Backgrounds of Modern Drama.

An analysis of those developments in dramatic literature that formed the basis of modern drama. Primary emphasis will be on nineteenth-and twentieth-century European and American drama.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5366. Directing Styles.

A study of directing different dramatic styles. Students will direct a one-act play during regular semesters. Prerequisite: TH 5364 or permission of instructor.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5367. Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism.

The study of dramatic theory and criticism from Aristotle to the present.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5368. American Theatre and Drama.

Studies in the development of the American theatre and drama from colonial days to the present.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5369. Contemporary World Theatre and Drama.

Studies of current trends in world theatre and drama.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5370. Studies in Advanced Creative Dramatics for Children.

Studies of the methods of creative dramatics and their use in the classroom.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5371. Classical and Renaissance Drama.

Seminar in Greek, French Neoclassical, and English Renaissance theatre, with intensive examination of selected works by Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, and Marlowe. Primary focus will be on analysis of the plays as performance texts, and on the historical cultural environments in which the plays were created and first performed.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5372. Theory and Practice of Dramaturgy.

Study of the practical application of historical research and textual analysis in the production of period plays and new works. Emphasis upon the dramaturg as an instrument of collaboration between members of the artistic team and as a facilitator of audience outreach.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5373. Advanced Film Directing.

An in-depth examination of narrative filmmaking that includes screenplay analysis, storyboarding, scheduling the shoot, directorial techniques, staging actors, camera placement, filming on location, and editing. Prerequisite: TH 5363.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5374. Art History for Theatrical Design.

This course focuses on major art movements since the Renaissance. Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, and other movements from throughout the world are studied in relationship to their use by theatrical designers.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5375. Advanced Playwriting.

This course focuses on an in-depth study of the techniques of playwriting and the variety of styles that a playwright might employ. The course culminates with the writing of a full-length play. Prerequisite: TH 5354.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5377. Studies in Advanced Theatre Directing.

A study of directors, theories, and problems of directing in the contemporary theatre. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5378. Play Development Lab.

This course provides a laboratory workshop development process for new plays. It provides a structured environment for rigorously revising student-written works. Prerequisites: TH 5375 or instructor approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Exclude from 3-peat Processing
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Play Development Lab

TH 5382. MFA Studio V.

This course offers a study of and experience in preparing and directing Shakespeare: from inception of a given approach to handling the language issues to performance. This course examines how professional directors actually work on production for major Shakespeare theatres in America.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5383. MFA Studio VI.

This course continues the styles work started in MFA Studio V. It focuses on directing projects from multiple periods and styles of plays. Scenes will be drawn from several periods of dramatic literature including Ancient Greece, the English Restoration, Moliere, Georgian, and other High Comedy texts. Prerequisite: TH 5382.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5387. Directing Practicum.

Study of and experience in choosing, preparing, and directing a theatre production from analysis to performance. Attention is given to theatre organization and management. May be repeated with different emphasis for additional credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5397. Diagnostic Creative Project.

This project involves the design of a relatively simple theatrical production that is produced by University Theatre. Complete production plans are prepared under faculty guidance, followed by faculty evaluation and debriefing after production. Requires Department Approval.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5398. Final Creative Project.

To be taken the last year of training. This project requires the student to direct a major University Theatre production. The student must demonstrate mastery of directing. A complete written report of the project must be approved by a faculty committee. The report is a part of the final examination for the degree of Master of Arts with a major in Theatre for students in Directing.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5399A. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s initial thesis enrollment. No thesis credit is awarded until student has completed the thesis in Theatre 5399B. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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TH 5399B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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TH 5599B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.
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5 Credit Hours. 5 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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TH 5640. Professional Internship.

This course provides professional hands-on experience in the theatre or film industry; it is intended for students who do a full-time internship over the summer or during a regular full semester. Consent of instructor required.
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6 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 40 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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TH 5999B. Thesis.

This course represents a student’s continuing thesis enrollments. The student continues to enroll in this course until the thesis is submitted for binding. Graded on a credit (CR), progress (PR), no-credit (F) basis.
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9 Credit Hours. 9 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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