Theatre Major: Acting and Directing Option (B.A.)

Theatre Major: Acting and Directing Option (B.A.)

Theater student with costume and mask on

What is the acting and directing option in theatre?

The acting and directing option within the UNH theatre degree program allows you to concentrate on developing and refining your skills in the performing arts. You’ll study the history of theatre and advanced directing, as well as movement and vocal production, clowning and elements of design. Your coursework also will include a practicum each semester, giving you hands-on experience in theatre areas including sets, costumes, lighting, props, box office, marketing and performing.

Why study acting and directing 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. You’ll be able to pursue independent studies 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 campus. You can spend a January Term abroad in our London program or tour with UNH’s The Little Red Wagon, the summer professional children’s theatre.

Potential careers

  • Actor
  • Arts organization director
  • Company manager
  • Director
  • Marketing professional
  • Playwright
  • Theatre director
  • Youth programmer

Contact

Department of Theater and Dance
Paul Creative Arts Center
University of New Hampshire
30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2919
Fax: (603) 862-0298

  • Theatre Major with Acting Option | Spotlight Operator at North Shore Music Theater / Intern with Boston BeauTease
    What are you currently doing for work and what was the path you took to get here? I just finished a season with NSMT as a spotlight operator and electrician. I never actually took a lighting class in school, but knew the basic skills from practicums. At NSMT they taught me many new skills that...
    Theatre Major with Acting Option | Spotlight Operator at North Shore Music Theater / Intern with Boston BeauTease
    What are you currently doing for work and what was the path you took to get here? I just finished a season with NSMT as a spotlight operator and electrician. I never actually took a lighting class in school, but knew the basic skills from practicums. At NSMT they taught me many new skills that...

Curriculum & Requirements

Created for students with a passion for acting and/or directing, this option is designed to develop the actor and the director as an interpretive, creative and self-sufficient artist. Award-winning faculty working in the profession challenge students to strive for excellence in the art and craft of acting and directing through highly challenging coursework, performance projects and productions, as well as special workshops with acclaimed guest artists.

Contact Deb Kinghorn, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-1963, deb.kinghorn@unh.edu.

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.

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
THDA 438History of Theatre II4
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 462Ballet I4
or THDA 463 Theatre Dance I
THDA 470Movement and Vocal Production4
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 552Acting II4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
THDA 741Directing4
THDA 742Directing II4
THDA 758Acting III4
THDA 759Acting: Period and Style4
THDA 799Capstone Project2
Theory/History
Select 4 credits of the following:4
THDA 450
History of Musical Theatre in America
THDA 632
Interpretation of Shakespeare in Theatre
THDA 638
American Theatre: 1920-1970
THDA 640
Playwriting
THDA 657
Play Reading
Total Credits58-62

Explore Program Details

All students completing a major in the Department of Theatre and Dance should:

  • Develop a working knowledge of the development of theatre or dance through historical and literary study.
  • Develop a working knowledge of important artistic works that shaped the evolution of theatre or dance.
  • Develop a working knowledge of and demonstrate an ability to apply a fundamental skill level of the basic areas of theatre or dance production, including various areas related to performance, design, technology, and management.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze literary, scholarly and artistic works related to theatre or dance.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write with technical and analytical skill as well as artistic insight on theory, philosophy and artistry related to theatre or dance.

Option-Specific Learning Outcomes:
ACTING AND DIRECTING

  • In addition to the department-wide learning outcomes for THDA students in theatre, upon completion of the major a THDA student with an option in Acting/Directing will:
  • Achieve at least an intermediate level proficiency of acting fundamentals and other skills related to theatrical performance.
  • Analyze plays for both the performance of roles and the direction of productions in a range of styles and genres.
  • Gain greater access to his/her emotional spectrum.
  • Develop self-sufficiency as a creative artist.
  • Develop skills in the business of working as an actor and/or director.
  • Learn the skills needed to be an artistic leader of a production.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic terminology and history of acting/directing.
  • Analyze other actors’ performances and direction and offer constructive feedback.
  • Communicate effectively with all other artists associated with a production (actors, designers, directors, technical staff).
  • Be familiar with leading practitioners and theorists of the acting/directing process.

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