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Columbia Campus    
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
  Jun 29, 2022
2017-2018 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Theatre and Dance

James Hunter, Chair/Artistic Director


The curricula in theatre arts are based on the belief that critical study, performance, and studio work are all necessary for the education of the theatre artist. Study of literature, theatre history, and theory deepens the artist’s understanding of principles and perspectives. Likewise, the studio provides the necessary practical training for the artist, and productions become the laboratory for practice of new skills gained.

The production of plays is the principal means available for coordinating all the elements of theatre art. The play is the single experience in which the knowledge and insight gained from history, theory, and criticism are given substance by the arts of the playwright, director, actor, and designer. In this way the production program of the department is an integral component of the education of graduate students.

To excel in the practical disciplines of theatre, an individual’s natural abilities must be developed through study combined with practice. Hence, while individual students with a high degree of natural talent are selected, it will be their ability to apply themselves with discipline and determination to the preparation and practice of classroom work that will lead to their final success in programs and in the profession.

The ultimate aim of our graduate program is to produce theatre artists who have knowledge of representative plays from all periods of Western European theatre history and of the theoretical foundations of Western drama and the theatre arts. They should be capable of applying that knowledge in performance and production work.

The department uses a combination of permanent faculty and visiting professionals to provide its graduate population with appropriate instructional experiences. The department also uses artists-in-residence to augment graduate instruction, play production, and the dance program.

This faculty serves graduate students in the M.A., M.A.T., and M.F.A. degree programs. With an attractive student-teacher ratio, the graduate program in theatre provides a number of forums in which experiences, ideas, and knowledge can be shared.


Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching

Applicants for the M.A. and M.A.T. degrees should hold a baccalaureate degree that includes a minimum of 24 semester hours in theatre, with grades indicating graduate ability. Applicants for the M.A.T. should submit satisfactory scores on the Miller Analogies Test. Applicants for the M.A. degree must submit satisfactory scores on the general section of the Graduate Record Examination and a recent writing sample. While there is no absolute minimum score required on the MAT or GRE, students with less than a 40 (MAT) or 1000 (GRE verbal and quantitative) usually find it difficult to complete the program and may need to justify their scores during the application process.

Master of Fine Arts

Applicants for the M.F.A. degree should hold a B.F.A. or B.A. degree from an accredited institution with a major in theatre. Acceptance of an M.F.A. applicant, determined by the departmental admissions committee, will be based upon academic records, letters of recommendation, interviews, and either the critical examination of appropriate portfolio materials or the audition.

Programs and Courses

The Theatre and Dance Department offers the Theatre, M.A.T. (P-12 Certification)  in conjunction with the College of Education .