Theatre Major (B.A.)

Theatre Major (B.A.)
Theater professor teaching a class

What is theatre?

There is no area of human endeavor that the theatre does not touch; so to teach and learn about theatre is to teach and learn about human life. Whether you live for the stage, have a love of costumes or see yourself running things behind the scenes, a theatre degree will allow you to engage with your passion for the performing arts, and for the life that the performing arts imitate. You’ll study performance, theatre history, and the elements of design and theatre technology. The program was designed with a relatively light credit load, allowing you to combine your theatre studies with another major.

Why study theatre at UNH?

In addition to our award-winning faculty, the UNH Department of Theatre and Dance offers more than 25 performance opportunities every year in musicals, plays or dance concerts, including student productions. You’ll enjoy opportunities for independent study and you’ll be eligible to apply for R.E.A.C.H., financial assistance provided to students who participate in internships with professional theatre or dance organizations. Our Cultural Stages program brings acclaimed playwrights, choreographers and other theatre artists from around the world to UNH. Our January Term study-abroad program offers a 10-day experience of London theatre with insights into politics and society.

Potential careers

  • Actor
  • Arts organization director
  • Company manager
  • Director
  • Marketing professional
  • Theatre director
  • Youth programmer
  • Image of Alexa Wynschenk
    Theatre & English Teaching Major | Middle School Theatre Arts teacher
    What are you currently doing for work and what was the path you took to get here? I am currently in my 5th year of teaching Middle school theatre. I studied theatre and English teaching at UNH. I became passionate about verbatim, ensemble based and social justice theatre. I gained a lot from taking Directing courses with David Kaye and directing alongside Deb…
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

The comprehensive theatre major provides a well-rounded course of study which encourages inquisitive students who have a wide range of theatre/dance interests to tailor a program that will challenge but also broaden their intellectual horizons. Its lower required credit load also makes it ideally suited to students who want to combine their theatre studies with another major, such as business administration, international studies or social work. Contact Szu-Feng Chen, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-4445.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course.  Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.  Students must also complete a digital portfolio that demonstrates fulfillment of student learning outcomes related to their area of study.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 436History of Theatre I4
or THDA 438 History of Theatre II
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 462Ballet I4
or THDA 463 Theatre Dance I
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 11
THDA 798Senior Thesis2
or THDA 799 Capstone Project
Select 4 credits of the following:4
THDA 436
History of Theatre I
or THDA 438
History of Theatre II
Famous Dancers of the 20th Century
THDA 450
History of Musical Theatre in America
THDA 541
Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship
THDA 632
Interpretation of Shakespeare in Theatre
THDA #638
American Theatre: 1920-1970
THDA 721
Arts Integration
THDA 727
Methods of Teaching Theatre
Select 4 credits of the following:4
THDA 458
Costume Construction
THDA 475
Stage Makeup
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
THDA 583
Introduction to Puppetry
THDA 641
Stage Management
THDA #650
Scene Painting for the Theatre
THDA 651
Rendering for the Theatre
THDA 652
Scene Design
THDA 683
Advanced Puppetry
Select 4 credits of the following:4
THDA 462
Ballet I
THDA 463
Theatre Dance I
THDA 522
Storytelling, Story Theatre, and Involvement Dramatics
THDA #532
The London Experience
THDA 552
Acting II
THDA 555
Acting The Song
Special Topics
THDA 624
Theatre for Young Audiences
THDA 655
Musical Theatre Scene Study
THDA 741
THDA 755
Musical Theatre Repertoire
THDA 758
Acting III
Elective 600-799 Level Courses 28
Total Credits43

The practicum ensures a breadth of experience in the major, including sets, costumes, lighting, props, box office, marketing, and performing.  Students must register for practicum every semester.  They are notified of their practicum assignment at the beginning of each semester.


Includes those in Sections II, III, and IV

Core Student Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre major: On completion of the B.A. in Theatre, students will:

  • Recognize and distinguish between various styles and forms of theatre or dance that have shaped the evolution of these disciplines.
  • Effectively communicate artistic ideas and/or critical analysis of theatre or dance works through appropriate oral, written or practical means.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and fundamental skill level of the basic areas of theatre or dance production in areas related to performance, design, technology or management.
  • Create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions (i.e., design, dance, directing, acting).

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