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 is one of the few programs in the nation that combines these two disciplines into a single trajectory. With a focus on creating the self-sufficient theatre artist, this option is designed to develop the skills and artistry necessary for a wide-ranging career in theatre. You’ll take multiple levels of acting, voice and movement,and directing courses and delve into virtually every aspect of the theory, history and practice of theatre. With immense opportunity for hands-on experience in all areas of theatre, students graduating with a theatre degree will have built a formidable base of knowledge and skill for work on stage and beyond.

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
  • Photo of Danielle Barrett
    Theatre & History Majors | Academic Coordinator at Rosie's Theater Kids / Acting Coach
    What are you currently doing for work and what was the path you took to get here? I currently work at Rosie's Theater Kids, a non-profit after-school theatre program co-founded by Rosie O'Donnell, which provides musical theatre training to underserved teens in NYC. I moved to the Big Apple five years ago to develop my career as an actor. Definitely took some twists…
    Learn More

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 David Kaye, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-0667.

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
THDA 438History of Theatre II4
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 462Ballet I4
or THDA 463 Theatre Dance I
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 552Acting II4
THDA 570Movement & Vocal Production4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
THDA 741Directing4
THDA 742Directing II4
THDA 758Acting III4
THDA 759Acting: Period and Style4
THDA 799Capstone Project2
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
Total Credits58-62

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.

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).

Additional Student Learning Outcomes for Option in Acting and Directing: In addition to the shared department learning outcomes for all THDA students, upon completion of the major with an Option in Acting and Directing, students will:

  • Achieve at minimum an intermediate proficiency in fundamental skills related to theatrical performance.
  • Utilize critical thinking and writing skills to analyze plays for both the performance of roles and the direction of productions in a range of styles and genres.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with all participants in the interactive and creative process of theatre.
  • Form, communicate and defend verbally and in writing value judgments about quality and aesthetics of performance and directing in works of theatre.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic terminology of acting and directing as well as leading practitioners and theorists of the acting and directing process.

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