Theatre Major: Youth Drama Option (B.A.)

Theatre Major: Youth Drama Option (B.A.)

Theater students performing

What is the youth drama option in theatre?

If you love the dramatic arts and see the possibilities for connecting with young children through creative programming, the youth drama option is for you. This theatre degree program will give you tools to work with children in settings inside and outside the classroom. Whether you’re interested in elementary school teaching or working as an artist, you’ll learn advanced skills in storytelling and theatre, and you will have the opportunity to work with our Master Puppeteer. This program will give you hands-on teaching experience and the option to pursue a fifth-year master’s degree in teaching through the UNH Education Department.

Why study youth drama 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 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. With the addition of the fifth-year master’s program, you’ll be able to obtain your New Hampshire teaching certificate in elementary education.

Potential careers

  • Arts program director
  • Artist-in-residence
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Nonprofit administrator
  • Professional storyteller
  • Puppeteer


Jamie Clavet

Marketing & Promotions Specialist
Phone: (603) 862-2150
Office: Theatre & Dance, Paul Creative Arts Center Rm D22, Durham, NH 03824

Raina Ames

Phone: (603) 862-3044
Office: Theatre & Dance, Paul Creative Arts Center Rm M112, Durham, NH 03824

Connect with us


Curriculum & Requirements

Anyone interested in teaching elementary-aged students would benefit from the youth drama option. Consider pairing this with family studies or early childhood education. Youth drama is for those students who wish to use dramatic arts as a teaching tool, either in the elementary classroom or as a teaching artist. Our comprehensive curriculum is specifically designed to train teachers to use storytelling and creative drama to enrich the classroom. Work with our master puppeteer to take Introduction to Puppetry as well as Advanced Puppetry. Through comprehensive class and laboratory work, students obtain hands-on theatrical teaching experience so that, by the time they reach graduation, they have spent significant hours teaching children. Whether pursuing the fifth year graduate certification program or entering the professional theatre education world directly after the undergraduate degree, students will leave UNH with sound theoretical training in addition to practical instruction on how to use drama to enhance learning outcomes, address classroom discipline issues and, of course, bring the arts to life in the classroom.

Contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044,

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 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 463Theatre Dance I4
THDA 520Creative Drama4
THDA 522Storytelling, Story Theatre, and Involvement Dramatics4
THDA 583Introduction to Puppetry4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
THDA 624Theatre for Young Audiences4
THDA 683Advanced Puppetry4
THDA 721Arts Integration4
THDA 727Methods of Teaching Theatre4
THDA 729Community Oriented Drama Programs4
THDA 760Teacher Planning for Theatre4
THDA 799Capstone Project (must be taken in senior year)2
EDUC 500Exploring Teaching 24
Total Credits58-62

State Teacher Certification

Youth Drama options often pursue elementary education certification. In order to obtain state licensure, students must apply to either the UNH Department of Education or another university for acceptance into a fifth year masters of education (M.Ed.) degree program, which fulfills state requirements for certification. Students who are accepted into early graduate admission may take up to 12 credits toward the masters degree while finishing their undergraduate degree. For further clarification regarding fifth-year certification options, contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044,

MATH 601Exploring Mathematics for Teachers I 14
EDUC 605Educational Perspectives in Critical Times 14
EDUC 701/801Human Development & Learning: Cultural Perspectives 24
MATH 703Teaching of Mathematics in Grades K-5 14
EDUC 703F/803FTeaching Elementary School Science 24
EDUC 703M/803MTeaching Elementary Social Studies 24
EDUC 706/806Introduction to Reading in the Elementary School 24
EDUC 751A/851AEducating Exceptional Learners: Elementary 14
EDUC 808Literacy Assessment for Elementary Classroom Teachers4
Must be taken concurrently with EDUC 900A
EDUC 809Supporting Readers in Elementary Classrooms4
Must be taken concurrently with EDUC 901A
EDUC 900AInternship and Seminar in Teaching6
EDUC 901AInternship and Seminar in Teaching6
Total Credits52

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:

In addition to the department-wide learning outcomes for THDA students in theatre, upon completion of the major a THDA student in the Youth Theatre option will:

  • Design effective lesson plans and activities using the guidelines established in the National Core Arts Standards and including a coherent scope and sequence of content.
  • Develop and refine a personal teaching philosophy.
  • Demonstrate effective teaching strategies, including established skills as a group leader in dramatic activities as well as expanded knowledge of teaching methods and group management.
  • Evaluate content and structure of teaching abilities through analysis and reflection.
  • Develop and compile teaching materials appropriate to student developmental levels and individual learning styles.
  • Develop technical skills in storytelling and puppetry performance techniques.
  • Develop an understanding of the theoretical, historical and cultural roles of drama through puppetry, storytelling and creative drama.
  • Develop practical skills and materials appropriate for job or graduate school applications in theatre for youth or elementary education.

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thompson hall in summer
student at Career Event