Theatre Program Overview
Students in Manhattanville’s theatre major program study the foundations of acting, voice, and speech as well as dramatic literature, production, and design. This four-year theatre program develops students’ technical skills in performance and knowledge of theory, supported by studio practice and performance opportunities.
Areas of study you can pursue through the bachelor’s in theatre program include:
- Acting and Performance
- Technical Theatre
- Stage Management
- Dance and Choreography
- Interdisciplinary Collaboration
The BA in Theatre is ideal for students interested in all areas of theatre, whether you already have a background in a particular area or if you have a broad interest in the art form and a passion to follow a career in the industry.
The core curriculum of the BA in Theatre incorporates elements of performance, as well as the research and practice of the theory behind the craft. With an emphasis on each student’s unique creative process, theatre major requirements allow students to explore collaborations within the theatre arts and between theatre and other disciplines.
Due to the performance requirements of the theatre major, you’ll likely take more than the 120 credits required for the Bachelor of Arts designation. Requirements include:
43 credits in core major courses
Participation in two theatre productions and one stage crew practicum
Senior thesis seminar supporting final productions
Total of 90 liberal arts-designated credits
Completed general education curriculum
Through production experiences and the ability to add extra training in a topic such as playwriting, acting, set design, lighting design, or costume design, students interested in all areas of theatre arts can be a fit for the BA in Theatre.
Acting and Theatre Courses
Courses in the bachelor’s in theatre degree program cover acting performance, essential backstage knowledge, stage management, and design. In some courses, you’ll prepare for and produce an actual onstage performance.
Theatre courses include:
Acting I and Acting II
Acting for the Camera
Stagecraft I and II
Survey of Dramatic Literature I: The Classics
Survey of Dramatic Lit II: Modern Drama
Review a complete list of theatre course requirements.
Theatre Degree Career Pathways
Earning a BA in Theatre can empower students to follow career paths ranging from community theatre or theatre education to starting businesses in casting, coaching, or consulting. And, of course, there are the production and performance roles such as actor, director, writer, and stagehand.
Our undergraduate theatre program prepares students for career paths across all these areas of theatre arts and more. Backed by theory-driven technical training and a holistic approach to general education, theatre majors at Manhattanville are supplied with the professional skills needed to earn their first acting role, direct their first feature, or find their first position working in production.
Actors: With the rise of streaming, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that acting will see an estimated 32% increase
in the job market, much higher than the average across occupations.
Production, Casting, and Directing: Manhattanville theatre majors will be well prepared to call the shots regarding future productions on stage or screen and to pursue graduate studies. These roles are also expected to see a higher-than-average increase in roles over 2020-2030, according to the BLS.
The unique flexibility of the degree encourages many students to earn a double major or minor in another discipline. Interdisciplinary training may allow students to find work in important areas of theatre production, like accounting, marketing, or public relations. For some careers, such as casting or teaching, there are graduate and professional certification programs the BA in Theatre provides a solid foundation for.
Whether students see themselves working on stage, in the production trailer, or in the drama classroom, the production and performance experiences of Manhattanville’s theatre degree can move them closer to their career goals.
Minor Requirements: 19 credits
|DTH 1000||Creative Process||
|DTH 1001||Acting I||
|DTH 2030||Directing I||
|DTH 3202||Survey of Dramatic Literature I: The Classics||
|DTH 4002||Acting II: Scene Study||
|DTH 4010||Voice & Speech I||
|DTH 4400||Performance Project: Theatre||
|DTH 4500A||Production Practicum Stage Crew||
Gain On-Stage Experience
Whether you have dreams of writing, directing, or performing in theatre productions, you’ll be able to get hands-on experience throughout your undergraduate journey.
In addition to in-classroom learning under the mentorship of the professional directors, playwrights, theatre educators, and actors on the faculty, students in the theatre program will apply what they’ve learned in multiple production experiences:
Theatre majors must rehearse, prepare, and participate in at least two mainstage productions
For the Spring production project, students typically perform Shakespeare
One more experience, the Production Practicum, is a stage crew experience where students assist in various areas of backstage production, from costumes to sound
Students prepare for their final productions and performances throughout a guided Senior Thesis Project experience. In this seminar-style course, theatre majors develop a theoretical structure for their work and develop a successful process for completing their final project.
Students in the BA in Theatre have completed internships for degree credit, attended conservatory training semesters at different institutions, and found other credit-earning opportunities through our close access to the theatres, studios, and arts organizations in New York City.
Acting and Performance Clubs and Organizations
Strengthen your performance resume further by participating in Manhattanville’s extracurricular theatre arts clubs:
Broadway at Manhattanville (B@M)
The Manhattanville Gilbert and Sullivan Players
Broadway at Manhattanville and other Manhattanville performing arts clubs are open to students of all majors, so they are ideal for tailoring your undergraduate experience to your interests and passions. Review all of Manhattanville’s student organizations.
The BA in Theatre admissions process includes the submission of an audition packet comprised of a prepared performance and supporting documents.
First, make sure you’ve completed an application for admission to Manhattanville. Then, submit the necessary documents as well as your virtual audition (if not auditioning in person).
The complete theatre program audition submission should include:
Essay describing why you would like to study theatre in our program and outlining
your career goals
Resume detailing performance, education, and experience prior to applying and any other skills you may have (musical instruments, etc.)
A letter of recommendation from a teacher in the field
Performance component: two contrasting monologues done from memory
On-campus auditions are held in the winter and spring for the following academic year. Students should audition for Manhattanville’s theatre program in the spring prior to entering Manhattanville. Or, submit a theatre major audition online through our ACCEPTD portal anytime.
Each student’s application and theatre audition package, including GPA and test scores, will be evaluated to determine eligibility for scholarship awards. Learn about the acceptance and performing arts scholarships available to Manhattanville students.
Four On-Campus Performance Spaces
Theatre majors extend their talents across four different stages on campus. Our robust performance facilities host many events, from student projects to visiting workshops and festivals.
- Little Theatre: An intimate yet grand space for mainstage productions
- EX Theatre: Home to a range of performances, from black box theatre to Fresh Ink, a festival featuring new works
- Reid Castle: The annual Manhattanville Shakespeare Festival is hosted in this regal 19th- century castle
- Pius X Hall: Workshops, student recitals, and more
- Students can also run lines and refine monologues in one of our ten soundproof practice rooms.
Shawn Bible, Professor - Advanced Modern Dance, Choreography, Dance on Camera, Dance Concert
Jeff Kaplan, Assistant Professor - Survey of Dramatic Literature, Junior Seminar, Creative Process, Acting, Composition
Ken Rothchild, Scene Designer, Dramatic Literature, Senior Seminar
Andrei Kisselev, Ballet Technique
Allison Pagano, Yoga, Modern Technique
Shawn Garnier, Jazz, Hip-Hop
Christien Methot, Lighting Design
Vincent Mraz, Acting, Intro to Acting, Creative Process
Bradley Ellis, Contact Improvisation
Carol Fox Prescott, Acting, Guest Director
Corey E. Esannason, Yoga
Timothy Miller, Yoga
Valerie Hubbs, Dance Therapy I & II
Jon Huberth, Acting for the Camera I & II
Jeff Wanshel, Playwriting
Apply to the BA in Theatre
Just minutes away from the endless opportunities of New York City, students in Manhattanville’s Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degree program learn how to construct, produce, perform, and theorize about theatre in all forms.