The BA degree stresses the breadth of a liberal arts education in the belief that such study, combined with serious practical training and experience, offers the best preparation for a life in theater and screen.

Students complete the theater core. To organize their advanced work within the major, students select 24 credits of 300-400-level courses, chosen from any area of emphasis in Theater or students elect a course of study from four concentrations:

  • Performance (Acting and Directing)
  • Design and Technical Theater
  • Playwriting and Dramaturgy
  • Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12
  • Theater Studies

Banner Code: AR-BA-THR

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

Mason Core

Foundation Requirements
Oral Communication3
Information Technology3
Quantitative Reasoning3
ENGH 101Composition (Mason Core) 13
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core) 13
Core Requirements
Literature3
Arts 23
Natural Science 37
Western Civilization/World History3
Global Understanding3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Total Credits37
1

Nonnative speakers of English with limited proficiency in the language may substitute ENGH 100 Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core) for ENGH 101 Composition (Mason Core). Students must attain a minimum grade of C in ENGH 100 Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core) or ENGH 101 Composition (Mason Core), as well as in ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core), to fulfill degree requirements.

2

Course must fall outside the major. Students earning a concentration in Design and Technical Theater must take ARTH 101 Introduction to the Visual Arts (Mason Core), ARTH 102 Symbols and Stories in Art (Mason Core), ARTH 200 History of Western Art I (Mason Core), or ARTH 201 History of Western Art II (Mason Core).

3

Must include at least one laboratory science course.

Major

Theater Core Requirements

Note: All THR majors may not double count THR courses within the major. All THR courses count either towards the degree core or the concentration, but not both.

THR 150Greeks to Restoration (Mason Core)3
THR 151Romanticism to Present (Mason Core)3
THR 191Practical Theater Seminar 10
THR 196Performance or Design Practicum1
THR 197Stage or Literary Practicum1
THR 198Theatrical Construction Practicum1
THR 199Production Run Crew Practicum1
THR 201Stage Management3
THR 210Acting I (Mason Core)3
THR 230Fundamentals of Production (Mason Core)3
THR 300Voice and Speech3
Select one course from the following:3
Movement for Actors
Advanced Movement for Actors
Unarmed Stage Combat
THR 329Directing3
THR 350Script Analysis3
THR 411Great Film Directors (Mason Core)3
or THR 412 Great Film Performances (Mason Core)
Synthesis3
Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (Mason Core)
Text in Production (Mason Core)
Design in the Discipline3
Select one course from the following:
Scenic Design
Lighting Design
Costume Design
Principles of Design
Puppetry
or permission of Director
Writing in the Discipline3
Select one course from the following:
Playwriting I
Playwriting II
Screenplay Workshop
Advanced Screenplay Workshop
Translation Adaptation for Stage Screen
or permission of Director
Dramatic Literature3
Dramatic Theory and Criticism 2
Dramatic Literature Seminar 2
Moral Vision in American Theater
World Stages (Mason Core) 3
Theater as the Life of the Mind (Mason Core)
Contemporary Women Playwrights
or permission of Director
Total Credits46
1

Must be taken four times during course of study.

2

May fulfill either dramatic literature requirement or PWD concentration requirement but not both.

3

May fulfill either Mason Core Global Understanding requirement or dramatic literature requirement but not both.

Theater Concentrations

Theater majors earning a BA in Theater must select one of the following concentrations: 

Concentration in Design and Technical Theater (DTT)

Provides a foundation of knowledge, technique, and experience in one or more areas of theater design and technology in preparation for advanced study and professional work in the field.

THR 339Principles of Design3
Select two courses from the following:6
Costume Crafts
Event Technology
Lighting Stagecraft
Sound Engineering
History of Fashion and Dress
Costume Pattern Drafting
or permission of Director
Select one course from the following:3
Scene Painting
Seminar in Technical Theater
Drafting and Model Making
Scenic Design
Lighting Design
Costume Design
Sound Design
Makeup Design
Advanced Lighting Design
or permission of Director
Upper-Level Theater Electives12
12 credits of 300-400 level THR coursework
Total Credits24

Concentration in Performance (PFM)

Designed for the serious student of acting and directing with professional aspirations. Solid grounding in the fundamentals of performance analysis and basic training of the actor's instrument are complemented by a rigorous, sequential instruction in the various facets of the actor's craft.

At its core, the Performance Concentration is a blend of Modern and Classical actor training using a Stanislavski-grounded approach balanced with techniques for understanding texts written two hundred years before "motivation" and "characterization" entered the critical vocabulary. Rounding out the curriculum is specialized study in vocal production and movement technique. Matriculation in this program expresses a profound commitment to a rigorous intellectual, physical and emotional investigation of the discipline of performance over a two-year period. Professional development is enhanced with ongoing student progress reviews, support and advising from Performance Concentration faculty.

THR 301Advanced Study in Voice3
THR 310Acting II3
or permission of Director
Select one course from the following:3
Performance Studio
Acting Shakespeare
Advanced Studies in Directing
Acting for the Camera
Advanced Performance Studio
or permission of Director
Select one course from the following:3
Advanced Movement for Actors
Unarmed Stage Combat
Characterization
Advanced Stage Combat
One-Person Show
Audition Techniques: Stage and Camera
Musical Theater Workshop
or permission of Director
Upper-Level Theater Electives12
12 credits of 300-400 level THR coursework
Total Credits24

Concentration in Playwriting and Dramaturgy (PWD)

Acknowledges a creative and practical connection between the work of the playwright and dramaturg. Students choosing this area of specialization will focus on the literary aspects of theater, such as playwriting, dramaturgy, screenwriting, translation, adaptation, season planning, and theater criticism. Students seeking specialized experience as a playwright or dramaturg will choose from a selection of required and recommended courses designed to expose students to a broad range of contemporary and classical texts, deepen their understanding of dramatic structure, encourage collaboration, and foster opportunities for new play development. Students are encouraged to consult their advisors on complementary courses of interest outside the major, such as in the visual and performing arts, Film and Video Studies, English and Foreign Language. This concentration gives students access to a variety of hands-on opportunities within the School of Theater and the professional world.

12 credits of required coursework chosen from the following in consultation with a faculty adviser based on the student's area of interest.12
Literary Management
Dramatic Theory and Criticism
Dramatic Literature Seminar
Moral Vision in American Theater
World Stages (Mason Core)
Characterization
Playwriting I
Playwriting II
Screenplay Workshop
Theater as the Life of the Mind (Mason Core)
Great Film Directors (Mason Core)
Great Film Performances (Mason Core)
One-Person Show
Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (Mason Core)
Advanced Playwriting
Advanced Screenplay Workshop
Translation Adaptation for Stage Screen
Collaborative Lab Experience
Senior Capstone Project
or permission of Director
Upper-Level Theater Electives12
12 credits of 300-400 level THR coursework
Total Credits24
1

May fulfill concentration requirement or dramatic literature requirement but not both.

Concentration in Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12 (THEA)

Designed for students interested in pursuing theater education. In addition to transcript review and the submission of an essay detailing goals for the concentration, students must:

  • Have earned 45 to 60 credits.
  • Submit scores for the Praxis Core (Reading, Writing, and Mathematics) tests to the committee. (It is strongly recommended that students take the Praxis Core tests as soon as ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core), a course in literature, and a course in mathematics have been completed.)
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 2.80 in all course work completed at Mason and in course work at all institutions of higher learning combined.
  • Earn no grade lower than a C in theater and professional education courses needed for graduation.

Upon fulfilling THR 448 Foundations of Theater Education, THR 449 Elementary Theater Education, THR 450 Secondary Theater Education, EDRD 300 Literacy and Curriculum Integration, EDUC 301 Educationally Diverse Populations: Handicapped, Gifted, Multicultural, and EDUC 302 Human Growth and Development students must complete 15 weeks of a full-time student teaching internship (THR 455 Theater Education Internship). Applications for placement, subject to approval of the unit, are submitted to the Field Placement Specialist in the College of Education and Human Development at the beginning of the previous semester. In addition, students must pass the VCLA before student teaching.

Required Core Courses
THR 448Foundations of Theater Education3
THR 449Elementary Theater Education3
THR 450Secondary Theater Education3
EDRD 300Literacy and Curriculum Integration3
EDUC 301Educationally Diverse Populations: Handicapped, Gifted, Multicultural3
EDUC 302Human Growth and Development3
Six credits of6
Theater Education Internship
Total Credits24

Concentration in Theater Studies (THST)

Designed for the Theater generalist. Students pursuing a concentration in Theater Studies will have an individualized program of study focused on the discipline. Students engage with both creative and conceptual inquiry in the development of artistic practice. In consultation with a faculty adviser, the student drafts a curriculum contract outlining an individualized program of courses for a total of 24 credits of upper-division THR courses (300-400 level).

General Electives

BA students must use general electives for one of the following. After fulfilling one of these options, the remaining general electives may be taken inside or outside of the department. All students are required to take a minimum of 45 credits of upper-division courses (300-400 level).0-13
Demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language (0-9 credits)
Complete a minor (15-21 credits)
Complete a double major outside their primary field of study (15-21 credits)
Complete a double degree outside their primary field of study (15-21 credits)

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students who have completed 75 credits may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. Students apply for Honors in Theater by submitting to the Director (by November 15 or April 15) a two-page written statement outlining their reasons for pursuing advanced coursework and specific professional goals, along with the names of two Mason theater faculty members who have agreed to serve as references.

Students satisfy the honors course sequence by taking three honors-specific courses from their chosen concentration. They must also maintain an overall GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.75 within the major.

Theater, BA/Arts Management, Accelerated MA

Overview

Undergraduates in Theater may apply to the accelerated master's degree in Arts Management.  If accepted, students will be able to earn a BA in Theater and an MA in Arts Management after satisfactory completion of 150 credits.

Students choosing the accelerated option must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. The regular designed timeframe would be a start in the Fall and the completion in the Summer five years later, but longer time frames may also be available.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to accelerated master's programs must have completed at least 75 credits that apply to their undergraduate degree (with at least 24 credits at Mason) and no more than 90 credits. Applicants should submit an Accelerated Master's Program Application, available from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Graduate Studies. It includes the proposed conferral date for the undergraduate degree and the two graduate courses that are to be applied to the undergraduate degree.

Interested students should contact the Arts Management Program Office for more details about the application process.

Accelerated Option Requirements

As an undergraduate, the accelerated master's student is to complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major. On completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form (which shall incorporate all of the Graduate Admission requirements of the university) and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. The Internal Internship (AMGT 740 Internal Internship) will be within Theater at Mason (generally with the School of Theater). Students will begin their master's program in the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree, and they may also begin in the summer term.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with permission of the School of Theater. Permission to take a graduate course for reserve graduate credit is normally granted only to Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation and must be approved by the Dean's Office.

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.