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College of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Letters

Fine and Performing Arts Center, Room 207

About the Program

The Theatre Department's combined historical, theoretical and applied curriculum develops a wide range of knowledge and practical skills. Theatre studies prepare students for a variety of careers, and enrich many aspects of their lives. The department provides opportunities for individuals to wrestle with the important questions of human existence, including understanding themselves in many diverse and complex global and domestic cultural contexts.

All students receive training in all aspects of theatre, but as they discover their unique abilities and talents, the students will work closely with faculty advisers to tailor their experiences to suit their emerging specialties.

Why Major in Theatre?

  • Earn a living doing what you love
  • Theatre leads to jobs
  • Theatre offers many careers
  • Theatre is more than all of that
  • Theatre is an art, a vibrant field, a vocation
  • Don't spend the rest of your life saying, "I wish I had"...because you can!

Choose Theatre at ESU

  • Professionally experienced faculty
  • Excellent facilities
  • Academic preparation combined with practical application
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Multiple performance opportunities
  • Leadership development
  • Study abroad programs
  • Acquire key skills sought after by employers in any field.
  • Direct exposure to professional theatre in nearby New York City.

Performance Opportunities:

Students of any major are welcome to audition for theatre productions and are invited to participate behind the scenes in design and technical theatre. Auditions are posted on the large bulletin board in the Fine Arts Building Lobby and announced at Stage II and in Theatre classes. Auditions for the first Fall production often take place as early as the first week of school.

Students may audition beginning in their freshman year for roles in Theatre Department mainstage productions and Stage II one act plays. A number of classes also provide performance opportunities through showcases and recitals with no auditions required: Stage and Comic Technique, Children's Theatre, Directing, Advanced Acting (class entry by audition), Collaborative Theatre Workshop, and Senior Seminar.

Theatre productions encompass a range of genres including:

  • Classical Theatre,
  • Musical Theatre
  • Contemporary Theatre
  • Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Stage II Student produced and directed One Acts

More information is available from the department faculty.

What Programs are offered?

  • B.A. Theatre- Acting for Theatre, Television and Film
  • B.A. Theatre- Musical Theatre
  • B.A. Theatre- Design/Technical Theatre
  • B.A. Theatre- Directing
  • Minor in Theatre

After appropriate preparation through classes and entry-level experiences, students are invited to take on leadership positions in ESU theatre productions that bolster their resumes and often lead to internships, employment and graduate school opportunities.

Careers in Theatre

  • Entertainment is one of the biggest exports in the United States. Theatre is one of the biggest industries in nearby New York City. Theatre department alumni are working in arts and entertainment in the United States and internationally, have gone on to excellent graduate programs, and have transferred their skills to related fields.


    • Director
    • Actor
    • Artistic Director
    • Scenic Designer
    • Costume Designer
    • Lighting Designer
    • Sound Designer
    • Make-up Designer
    • Multimedia Designer


    • Theatre Professor
    • Acting Teacher
    • High School Drama Teacher
    • Education Director


    • Technical Director
    • Stage Manager
    • Costume Shop Manager
    • Scenic Carpenter
    • Scene Painter
    • Master Electrician
    • Properties Master


    • Executive Director
    • Producer
    • Production Manager
    • Publicity Director
    • Casting Director
    • Agent
    • Events Manager

    Related Careers

    "(Performing arts) producers (and directors) share many responsibilities with those who work as top executives."

    U.S. Department of Labor Statistics

    Skills shared by top executives and those trained in theatre leadership:

    • Highly developed interpersonal skills
    • An analytical mind
    • Quick assessment of large amounts of information and data
    • Evaluation of the relationships between numerous factors
    • Clear and persuasive communication
    • Ability to meet deadlines under pressure
    • Flexibility to adapt to unexpected obstacles
    • Leadership, self-confidence, motivation, decisiveness, flexibility, sound judgment, and determination

    U.S. Government Occupation Outlook Handbook 2008-9

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

  • 40 semester hours

    • Required Course in the Major:
      • Core Curriculum (20 semester hours, plus 9 directed GE credits): THTR 100, 102, 103 210, either THTR 101 or 230, 302, 304, 341, 490, and three semester hours selected from theatre studies: THTR 320, 325, 330, 335, 420.
      • Track I: Acting for Theatre, Television and Film: (20 Credits- 16 from major and 4 credits of cognates) THTR 127 (THTR 127 Movement for the Actor (3), http://www.), 211, 202, 360, three semester credits from: THTR 310, 343, or 440, and one additional credit of THTR 103 (beyond core requirement).
      • Track II: Musical Theatre (20 Credits- 15 from major plus 5 credits cognates in Music, 2 credits Directed Dance/FIT GE's) THTR 127 (THTR 127 Movement for the Actor (3), http://www.), 202, 211, 350, three semester credits from: THTR 310, 343 or 440
      • Track III: Design/ Technical Theatre (20 Credits- 17 from major, plus 3 cognate credits in Art): THTR 343, two additional credits of THTR 103 (at least one as design assistant or in technical leadership), nine semester hours (at least six must be design courses) from: 240, 301, 331, 332, or 430, and one additional theatre studies course from: 320, 325, 330, 335 or 420.
      • Track IV: Directing (20 credits- 17 from THTR, plus 3 cognate credits in MCOM) THTR 343, two additional credits in THTR 103 (at least one as AD, ASM, or SM), six additional acting/directing credits (at least one must be an acting course) from: THTR 202, 310, 440, 486, three credits of design from THTR 301, 331, or 430, and one additional theatre studies course from THTR 320, 325, 330, 335, or 420.
      • Track V: Fine Arts (20 credits- 8 from THTR plus six cognate credits in Art and six in Music) two additional credits of THTR 103 (one recommended as dramaturge, AD, SM, ASM), 6 additional Theatre credits from: 320, 325, 330,335, 343, or 420.
    • Required Cognate Courses:
      • Core: None
      • Track I: Three semester hours from: MCOM 210, CMST/THTR 163, or CMST 229, one semester hour from Dance from FIT 140, 141, or 142
      • Track II: Two keyboard credits chosen from: MUS 110, 111, 160, 161, 260, 261, 360, 361, 460, 461 and three music theory credits from: MUS 101, 220, or 320.
      • Track III: Three semester hours in studio Art (by advisement)
      • Track IV: Co-requisite: MCOM 210
      • Track V: Co-requisite: 6 credits of ART; 6 credits of MUS (at least 3 semester hours be from Fine Arts Music courses).
    • Additional Requirements: Directed GE Courses:
      • Core: 9 credits of directed GEs: One Humanities Fine Art THTR 100, one humanities performing art THTR 210 plus doubling up in either fine or performing art with THTR 101 (PA) or 230 (FA)
      • Track I: NONE
      • Track II: Two FIT credits in Dance from FIT 140, 141 or 142
      • Track III: NONE
      • Track IV: NONE
      • Track V: NONE
    • Residency Requirement: A minimum of 12 upper division theatre credits at East Stroudsburg University.

Minor in Theatre

  • 19 semester hours

    Students enrolled in technical theatre courses will gain practical as well as theoretical experience and are required to assist on theatre productions.

    Participation in Stage II, the student run theatre club, is strongly encouraged.

Theatre Course Sequences

    • All ESU students are required to take a total of 30 upper division semester credits (300 level or above). The number of upper level credits covered by the B.A. theatre varies by track. Additional upper division courses will be required outside the track requirements and/or outside the major.
    • Upper division courses generally require one or more prerequisites and are offered less frequently, so students will need to plan for them.
    • Fitness electives particularly recommended for actors include yoga, any dance style, gymnastics, martial arts, or fencing. However, any kind of regular fitness class or program will be helpful.
    • Technical theatre courses and children's theatre have a lab component involving work on theatre productions for students to gain practical as well as theoretical experience.
    • Participation in Stage II, the student run theatre club, is strongly encouraged.
    • Students may have to vary their course sequence to accommodate courses, which are offered less frequently.

    Anticipated Schedules (Subject to change by the university without notice)

    Offered every Fall and Spring semester:
    THTR 100 GE: Introduction to Theatre (multiple sections);

    THTR 101 GE: Play Production (1 section)

    THTR 102 GE: Acting (multiple sections);
    THTR 103 Theatre Practicum (1 credit course, 1 section).

    Offered once a year:

    Fall only:

    THTR 220 GE: Children's Theatre

    Either Fall or Spring:

    THTR 240 GE: Stage Make-up

    THTR 204 GE: Musical Theatre

    Offered every other year:

    THTR 118 GE: Stage and Comic Technique

    THTR 127 GE: (THTR 127 Movement for the Actor (3), http://www.) Movement for the Actor

    THTR 210 GE: Design for Performing Arts

    THTR 211 GE: Voice for Performance

    THTR 301 GE: Costume Design

    THTR 302 GE: History I

    THTR 304 GE: History II

    THTR 310 GE: Advanced Acting (by audition)

    THTR 331 GE: Theatrical Lighting

    THTR 332 GE: Scene Painting

    THTR 341 GE: Stage Management

    THTR 343 GE: Directing

    THTR 350 GE: Acting for Musical Theatre

    THTR 360: Acting for the Camera

    THTR 420 GE: Myth and Ritual (alternately offered on tour in Oxford, England)

    THTR 430 GE: Scene Design

    Offered In Rotation Over a Four-Year Period:

    (Dependent on specialties of available faculty)

    THTR 320 GE: Women in Theatre, THTR 325 GE: Asian Theatre (also offered periodically on tour in China), THTR 330 GE: African Theatre, THTR 335 GE: Latino Theatre, THTR 440: Collaborative Theatre Workshop

    Offered by Special Arrangement:

    THTR 235 Drafting for the Performing Arts

    THTR 230 GE: Stagecraft

    THTR 486 Field Experience and Internship

    THTR 490 Senior Seminar

    Offered Currently through Communication Studies:

    Introduction to Film Studies

    Art and History of Film

    Film Genre

    For more information, contact the department by calling 570-422-3694 or e-mail department secretary Pamela Gallina at For information on specific tracks, contact the track adviser. To become a major, contact the theatre chair. For information on the minor, contact any theatre faculty.

    Department of Theatre 570-422-3759

    For ticket information call 570-422-3483 x4.


Course Descriptions

  • Courses marked with * fulfill the requirements for Fine Arts.

    Courses marked with ** fulfill the requirements for Performing Arts.

  • THTR 100 GE: Introduction to Theatre (3)*

    • This course is an introduction to the basic elements of theatre including the arts of acting, directing, playwriting and scenic design. The course will examine major trends in theatre history and will focus on several plays in their historical context in order to better understand the origins and development of theatre as an art form. From this historical and analytical approach, the student will come to appreciate the theatre as a distinctive expression of human experience.

  • THTR 101 GE: Play Production (3)**

    • This course in the art and technique of play production is designed to enhance the student's understanding of the theatrical production process and to aid the prospective producer of school and amateur theatricals. The class covers theatrical organization, theatre facilities, types of staging, and a survey of the many technical elements involved in the production of plays and musicals. Participation in production is required.

  • THTR 102 GE: Acting (3)**

    • This course aims at the development of basic acting techniques. Emphasis is placed on developing greater confidence before an audience and increasing one's power of imagination, observation, and concentration. Beginning techniques of character development will be explored. Preparation of specific acting assignments is required.

  • THTR 103 GE: Theatre Practicum (1)**

    • This course is designed to allow students academic credit for participation in the theatre production program of the Theatre Department. Work in the technical and performance areas is included. Participation in production is required. (May be repeated for credit. Students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of participation.)

  • THTR 118 GE: Stage and Comic Technique (3)**

    • This course explores comedy and comic techniques from the broadest, most physical form of farce to the intellectual wit of comedy of manners. It stresses the fundamental conventions and techniques found in the performance of comedy. The course also reinforces the basic techniques of performance, including relaxation observation, and concentration. Preparation of specific performance assignments is required. Offered in alternate years.

  • THTR 127 Movement for the Actor (3)

    • This course offers practical experience in the organic functioning and development of the actor's body in awareness for movement. The student will learn to move with ease and grace and keep the body well-tuned as well as understand how the body, as a non-verbal communicator, reveals a character's emotions. Various exercises will be prepared for onstage presentation in order to teach the student control and freedom in front of an audience.

  • THTR 163 GE: Introduction to Film Study (3)*

    • This course is designed to provide the students with an understanding of the elements necessary for film analysis toward a development of an appreciation for film as art. Representative films are screened in order to study the impact of the art form on modern society and on the individual.

  • THTR 200 GE: Summer Theatre Workshop (Semester hours arranged)**

    • The Workshop is open to high school and college students, teachers, and to anyone interested in theatre production. Students who enroll in this intensive Theatre Workshop will participate in all phases of Summer Theatre productions. Workshop students will participate in weekly critique sessions. Both self and group evaluative techniques will be utilized. Guest critics will be invited as participants in the critique sessions. The individual student's participation in the Workshop will be tailored to needs and abilities.

  • THTR 202 GE: Acting II (3)**

    • This course will cover more challenging topics in understanding and application of acting technique by expanding the students' dramatic range. Early to mid-20th century American plays, foreign language plays in translation, and other plays outside the students' familiar culture, will be the source materials for scenes and monologues to be analyzed, researched and performed. This course may be repeated for credit with a different instructor. Prerequisite: THTR 102

  • THTR 204 GE: Musical Theatre (3)**

    • This course is a broad study of the various elements and repertoire that constitute musical theatre. This study will examine the music, characters, and plots of specific works relating them to the music, and artistic achievement, characters, historical significance, social relevance, and performance practices. Material will cover various aspects of musical comedy, operetta, cabaret, and opera. This is a general course for all students interested in broadening their awareness of the form.

  • THTR 210 GE: Design for the Performing Arts (3)

    • This course is an introductory study focusing on fundamental principles and practices of visual and aural design for the performing arts. Analytical topics of study include history of design for the performing arts, script analysis, director and designer communication, and the integration of design elements into a unified production. Various design media will be introduced and be explored to effectively present concepts and designs.

  • THTR 211 GE: Voice for Performance (3)**

    • This course will focus on the development of physical awareness of the vocal process through exercises in relaxation, body alignment and support of tone. Further development of actor's voice in range, power, flexibility and articulation will also be explored. Preparation of readings in prose, poetry and dramatic monologue will be included.

  • THTR 220 GE: Children's Theatre (3)**

    • This course consists of selection, adaptation, and presentation by adults of plays for young audiences; it includes a study of plays with suitable moral and social values.

  • THTR 228 GE: Theatre Tour of the Performing Arts (3)*

    • This course is designed to enhance a student's understanding and appreciation of our theatre heritage by experiencing the theatre, arts and culture of a particular country and culture. The student will attend theatre productions, participate in discussions with leading professionals, tour facilities, and visit theatre exhibitions. Travel fees additional.

  • THTR 230 GE: Stagecraft (3)*

    • This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of contemporary set construction properties, stage engineering, lighting and sound. Students will be introduced to the tools and specialized equipment of both the scene and light shops. Participation in production is required.

  • THTR 240 GE: Stage Make-Up (3)*

    • This course is centered around the theory and practice of theatrical make-up techniques. The course allows students the opportunity to design and create performance make-up. Prerequisite: THTR 100 or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.

  • THTR 267 GE: Art and History of the Film (3)*

    • This course studies the historical and aesthetic developments of the cinema, emphasizing the aesthetic aspects of film in an attempt to develop critical standards through surveying the methods and problems of film. Narrative, non-narrative, fictional, and documentary films are screened and discussed. Prerequisite: CMST 163.

  • THTR 290 Special Topics (Semester hours arranged)

    • These courses are designed to meet specific needs of groups of students or are offered on a trial basis in order to determine the demand for and value of introducing them as a part of the university curriculum.

  • THTR 301 GE: Costume Design (3)*

    • This course emphasizes the design, history, and construction of costumes for theatre, television, and film. The emphasis will be on script analysis, research, and design concepts. Design construction projects allow the student to gain a greater understanding of the role of a costume designer in the theatrical process. Prerequisite: THTR 100 or 101

  • THTR 302 GE: History of Theatre I (3)*

    • This course will provide an understanding of the history and literature of theatre from the ancient times through the 18th Century. Emphasis is placed on how the theatre has reflected the political, social, economic, and cultural trends in each era. Plays from the various periods are read and analyzed. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite THTR 100

  • THTR 304 GE: History of Theatre II (3)*

    • This course will provide an understanding of the history and literature from the 19th Century to the present. Emphasis is placed on how the theatre has reflected the political, social, economic, and cultural trends in each era. With an emphasis on Western theatre, plays from the various periods are read and analyzed. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: THTR 100.

  • THTR 310 GE: Advanced Acting: Styles (3)**

    • This course provides further study of character development that includes contemporary scene study with additional focus on improvisation, concentration, observation and voice and movement techniques. These techniques are applied in the preparation and presentation of scenes and monologues. The course will also introduce approaches to the unique demands of professional presentation and acting for auditions. Entrance to this course will be by audition in the semester prior but some slots may still be available the semester of the course for new transfer students. Prerequisite: THTR 102, THTR 211 and permission of instructor.

  • THTR 320 GE: WS: Women in Theatre (3)

    • This course will cover the development of a female dramatic tradition. Research will be conducted on the positions that came to be filled by women in the course of theatre history: playwright, director, producer, actress, teacher, designer, dramaturge, and critic. Studies will be made of plays that feature strong female roles. The texts will range from Greek classics to contemporary works.

      Prerequisite(s): THTR 100 or ENGL 103 or WMST 150

  • THTR 325 GE: Asian Theatre (3)*

    • This course will provide an overview of Asian theatre with emphasis on its texts, theatrical aesthetics, and conventions of production. Cultural and historical contexts of diverse Asian theatrical styles and their influences in world theatre will be examined. Equivalent courses will be considered as prerequisites.

      Prerequisite(s): THTR 100 or ENGL 103 or SOC 102 or IIS 100

  • THTR 330 GE: African Theatre (3)*

    • This course presents a wide range of the drama and theatre of Africa and the African Diaspora. It examines the themes, functions, conventions, creative techniques, and styles deriving from the specific historical and geographical settings in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Britain. Prerequisites: THTR 100 or ENGL 103 or SOC 102 or IIS 100

  • THTR 331 GE: Theatrical Lighting (3)*

    • This course is concerned with the theory and practice of designing lighting for the performing arts. Students will be introduced to script analysis and conceptualization of plays, musicals, and dance and will learn to develop light plots in an experimental theatre setting. Students will provide their own drafting equipment. Prerequisite: THTR 230.

  • THTR 332 GE: Scene Painting (3)*

    • This course is concerned with the theory and practice of scene painting. Students will explore a variety of scene painting techniques and how they can artistically be translated to the stage. Prerequisite: THTR 230.

  • THTR 335 GE: Latino Theatre (3)*

    • This course investigates a diverse range of the theatre of Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean, as well as Latino/Latina cultures in the United States. Through an investigation of the work of prominent Latina/Latino theatre artists, this course delves into the themes, conventions, and aesthetics influencing theatre in these cultures, and influencing culture from these artists. Equivalent prerequisites will be considered. Prerequisites: THTR 100 or ENGL 103 or SOC 102 or IIS 100

  • THTR 341 Stage Management (3)**

    • This course is offered for students interested in production management areas. A study of audition, rehearsal and production management techniques will be made. Emphasis will be on planning and organizational skills for stage management. Prerequisite: THTR 100 or 101.

  • THTR 343 GE: Directing (3)**

    • Basic principles and techniques of stage direction will be explored. This course will provide the director, actor or designer with the necessary methods and tools to analyze and synthesize the elements necessary to bringing a production to life before an audience. Topics include: play analysis, creating the ensemble, conceptual unity, metaphor and organizational responsibilities of the director. Presentation of scenes will be required. Prerequisites: THTR 100, 102

  • THTR 350 GE: Acting for Musical Theatre (3)

    • This course introduces techniques on integrating acting with both voice and movement into a Musical Theatre performance. Further development of basic acting will be emphasized using the "given circumstances," discovering objectives, obstacles, tactics, relationships, and beats. Scene and song assignments will be made from the classical canon of American Musical Theatre. Prerequisite: THTR 102

  • THTR 360 Acting for the Camera (3)

    • This course will focus on adapting and applying acting technique to the unique demands of an on-camera TV studio or film set environment. Acting concepts and film/TV terminology and procedures, as well as expected preparation for and conduct on a set will be covered. Prerequisite: THTR 102

  • THTR 370 GE: Film Genre (3)*

    • This course will analyze significant films of either one or two genres in an attempt to define the characteristics of each genre and understand their cultural meanings. Readings will focus on the genres' historical development with emphasis on their relation to the social currents of the times. Representative films will be screened. Selected genres will vary with each offering of the course. Genres studied will include: the comedy film, the science fiction film, the musical film, the documentary film, the film noir, and the horror film. Prerequisite: CMST 163.

  • THTR 420 Myth and Ritual in Theatre (3)

    • This course explores myth and ritual as they relate to theatre, both in their primitive foundations and in their modern applications. The use of masks and various primary aspects of theatre and acting will be examined, culminating in an informal performance reflecting elemental acting skills, as they relate to mythical and ritualistic foundations of theatre. Available for graduate credit. Prerequisites: THTR 100, 102.

  • THTR 430 GE: Scenic Design (3)*

    • This course is concerned with the theory and practice of designing scenery for the performing arts. Students will be introduced to script analysis and conceptualization of plays and musicals and will learn to develop floor plans, models, construction elevations, and finished color renderings of their design projects. Students will provide their own drafting equipment. Prerequisite: THTR 230 and 235

  • THTR 440 Collaborative Theatre Workshop (3)

    • This advanced course will focus on critical analysis and application of collaborative theatre techniques focused around a specific playwright, or theatrical style, or collaborative technique which will vary each time the course is taught. Admission to the course will be by audition for actors and by interview for all other positions. Audition/interviews will take place one semester prior but some openings may still be available for new transfer students. Students may take this course for credit more than once. Prerequisite(s): THTR 100, THTR 102 and one of THTR 202, THTR 210 or THTR 310

  • THTR 485 Independent Study (Semester hours arranged)

    • This course consists of directed research and study on an individual basis. It is open to a limited number of students who are juniors and seniors or who have completed 12 credit hours in Theatre Arts and who received departmental approval. A student engaging in Independent Study will complete a minimum of five (5) hours per credit of exclusive conference time with the faculty member in charge of the Independent Study relative to the design, consultation, and evaluation of the study. The student must demonstrate competencies appropriate to the level of the course. The standards shall include performance in the subject, explication of that work by written or oral reports, and evidence of a willingness to meet the commitments of the discipline.

  • THTR 486 Field Experience and Internship (Semester hours arranged)

    • This course provides field experience gained through placement in a practical on-the-job situation under professional supervision.

  • THTR 490 Senior Seminar (3)

    • This is a culminating seminar designed to prepare students for entry into the theatre profession or graduate programs. Students will review theory and practice, as well as professional presentation expectations relevant to their theatre tracks and create individual career plans. Students will develop a portfolio of exemplary materials both newly created and selected from their best undergraduate work for presentation to potential employers and graduate schools. Prerequisite: 85 credits or permission of instructor

  • THTR 496 Fine Arts Seminar (3)

    • A team-taught interdisciplinary capstone experience for senior Fine Arts majors. In conjunction with this seminar the student and faculty explore selected topics in the fine arts relative to the preparation of a thesis project in Art, Music, or Theatre through which the student will demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance and/or research skills. Prerequisites: Advanced standing of 90 credits, permission of instructor. Also offered as ART 496 and MUS 496.