College of Liberal Arts
Theatre, Speech, & Dance


 Undergraduate Index

Jim O'Connor, Chair/Artistic Director

Susan E. Anderson, M.F.A., University of California, 1973
Elbin Cleveland, M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1972
Jim O’Connor, M.F.A., Pennsylvania State University, 1969
Associate Professors
Sarah Barker, M.F.A., Southern Methodist University, 1974
David Berube, Ph.D., New York University, 1990
H. Thorne Compton, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1974
Ann Dreher, M.A., Northwestern University, 1968
Richard Jennings, M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts, 1979
Lisa B. Martin-Stuart, M.F.A., University of Texas, Austin, 1984
Charles Wilbanks, Ph.D., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1982
David Wiles, M.F.A., Yale University, 1993
Assistant Professors
James Hunter, M.F.A., University of Virginia, 1991
Kevin Sargent, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1996
Terry Donovan Smith, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1996
Erica Tobolski, M.F.A., Purdue University, 1989
Andrew J. Mills, M.F.A., University of South Carolina, 1996
Walter O’Rourke, M.A., University of South Carolina, 1975
Adjunct Professor
John MacNicholas, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 1973
Alfred Nordmann, Ph.D., Universität Hamburg, 1986
Distinguished Professors Emeriti
Russell E. Green, M.F.A., Yale University, 1956
James A. Patterson, M.A., University of Michigan, 1959
Professor Emeritus
Jayne F. Mulvaney, M.A., University of Michigan, 1970


The Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance offers a B.A. degree. The B.A. degree allows a student to emphasize either theatre or speech and is especially suitable for persons wishing a strong liberal arts education and/or preparation for careers in theatre, the entertainment industry, communication, education, law, medicine, the ministry, etc.

Degree Requirements

(120 hours)

Bachelor of Arts (With an Emphasis in Speech)

1. General Education Requirements (53-62 hours)

For a general outline, see "College of Liberal Arts."

2. Major Requirements (30 hours*)

Twelve hours from the following: THSP 222, 230, 240, 260, 290
Nine hours from the following: THSP 340, 541, 545, 546
Nine hours from the following: THSP 399, 547, 548, 549
*THSP 140 is a prerequisite for majors.

3. Cognates, see "College of Liberal Arts" (12 hours)

4. Electives, see "College of Liberal Arts"

Bachelor of Arts (With an Emphasis in Theatre)

1. General Education Requirements (53-62 hours)

For a general outline, see "College of Liberal Arts."

2. Major Requirements (30 hours)

Prerequisite: THSP 201 Introduction to Theatre Studies
Required courses: THSP 170, THSP 280, THSP 561, THSP 562, THSP 578
Three hours from the following: THSP 219 (prerequisite for THSP 220 and 221), THSP 220, THSP 221
Majors are required to enroll in a theatre laboratory (THSP 219, 220, or 221) course every semester, but only three hours count toward the major. Sudents must complete two different production areas.
Six hours from the following: THSP 240, THSP 252, THSP 253, THSP 288, THSP 289, THSP 359, THSP 370, THSP 372
Six hours from THSP 400 or above
Special requirement in dramatic literature: students must take six hours of dramatic literature (ENGL 300 or above). May count toward cognate.

3. Cognates, see "College of Liberal Arts" (12 hours)

The cognate will be satisfied by 12 hours of non-production/performance courses related to the major and must include at least six hours of dramatic literature.

4. Electives, see "College of Liberal Arts" (22-31 hours)

Course Descriptions (THSP)

  • 101--Dance Appreciation. (3) An eclectic survey of various dance forms including primitive, historic, ballet, modern, and Broadway musical.
  • 140--Public Communication. (3) Public speaking and the principles and criticism of oral public communication, to include performance by students.
  • 150--Speaking Anxiety Reduction Laboratory. (1) (Coreq: THSP 140 or THSP 230) Exercises, techniques, and demonstrations aimed toward reducing public speaking anxiety. Not for major credit.
  • 170--Fundamentals of Acting. (3) The techniques of body and voice control; improvisations; interpretation of characters: characterization applied in scenes.
  • 172--Basic Stage Makeup. (1) The study and application of the principles of the art of makeup for the theatre.
  • 200--Understanding and Appreciation of Theatre. (3) An introduction to the understanding and appreciation of theatrical experience. Attendance at theatrical performances required.
  • 201--Introduction to Theatre Studies. (3) (Prereq: Theatre major or consent of instructor) Introduction to the skills necessary to be a theatre major. Designed to prepare the student to competently complete academic, artistic, and technical assignments.
  • 219--Introduction to Theatre Laboratory. (1) Study of health, safety, and other laboratory procedures in preparation for participation in scenic, lighting, costume, promotions, and performance labs. May not be repeated for credit.
  • 220--Theatre Laboratory. (1) (Prereq: THSP 219) Supervised participation in theatre production. No formal class meetings. May be repeated for credit, but no more than four credits may be applied toward the departmental major.
  • 221--Stage Management Laboratory. (2) (Prereq: THSP 219) Supervised participation in theatre stage management. May be repeated once for credit.
  • 222--Debating Laboratory. (1-3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Application of the principles and techniques of debate through supervised participation in intercollegiate competition. No more than three credits may be applied to the departmental major.
  • 230--Business and Professional Speaking. (3) Fundamentals of oral communication within business and professional settings. Includes performance.
  • 240--Voice and Diction. (3) The analysis, evaluation, and improvement of speech through a study of the anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism, voice production, and articulation.
  • 241--Voice Laboratory. (1) (Prereq: THSP 240) Training in vocal skills needed by actors such as dialect and verse speech. May be repeated for a total of seven hours.
  • 242--Parliamentary Procedure. (1) Application, principles, and history of parliamentary rules of order.
  • 252--Stage Costume Construction. (3) An introductory course in the principles and practice of costume construction.
  • 253--Scenic Technology. (3) A beginning course in the principles and practice of scenic technology.
  • 260--Argumentation and Debate. (3) Preparing and delivering the debate. Academic debate serves as a model.
  • 274--Beginning Modern Dance. {=PEDU 162} (1) Fundamental skills and terminology.
  • 280--Introductory Theatre Design. (3) Basic principles of design in scenery, costumes, and lighting. Related topics include play analysis, creative and visual thinking, and graphic representation.
  • 288--Introduction to Stage Lighting. (3) Principles and practices of theatrical lighting design. Course not available for major credit.
  • 289--Introduction to Costume Design. (3) Introduction to the basic principles and elements of design as they apply to the costume designer. Script and character analysis, costume rendering, and production unity.
  • 340--Oral Interpretation of Literature. (3) A course designed to give an understanding of the principles involved in extracting meaning from the printed page and the oral presentation of that meaning in a lucid and stimulating manner.
  • 359--Theatrical Imagery. (3) The theory and application of visual imagery in theatrical design; identification and selection of historical motifs.
  • 369--Japanese Culture and Society through Theatre. {=JAPA 351} (3) Introduction to Japanese traditional theatre and its influences on Japanese culture and society. Taught in English.
  • 370--Intermediate Acting. (3) (Prereq: THSP 170) A continuation of THSP 170.
  • 371--Introduction to Choreography. (3) Principles of dance composition through analysis of special patterns, classical ensemble, and modern forms. One choreographic composition required.
  • 372--Movement for the Actor. (3) An introduction to theoretical principles and kinesthetic practices involved in the development of characterization through the body.
  • 373--Movement Laboratory. (1) Training in specific physical skills for actors: stage combat, mime, folk dance, tap dance, etc. May be repeated for credit.
  • 374--Intermediate Modern Dance. {=PEDU 163} (1) Continuation of PEDU 162 and THSP 274; increased dance skills through creative movement, patterns, improvisations, and compositional problems.
  • 375--Beginning Ballet. {=PEDU 164} (1) Fundamental history and techniques of classical ballet.
  • 376--Intermediate Ballet. {=PEDU 165} (1) (Prereq: PEDU 164 or THSP 375 or consent of instructor) The development of precision, flexibility, and proficiency as a dancer.
  • 377--Historic Dance. (3) A course open to all students interested in gaining knowledge of early dances from the 15th Basse, Pavanne and Gaillarde of the Renaissance era to the Baroque dances from the court of Louis XIV.
  • 378--Beginning Jazz Dance. (1) Performance of jazz dance from its early black origins to its use on the contemporary stage.
  • 379--Intermediate Jazz Dance. (1) (Prereq: THSP 378) Development of jazz movement and styles. Control, rhythm, and continuity are emphasized. Dance performance required.
  • 380--Movement and Dance for Musical Theatre. (3) Styles of movement and dance in musical theatre from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s to modern contemporary musical theatre. Choreographing for musicals, cultural forms of dance, staging for vocal pieces.
  • 389--Small Group Communication. (3) The development of the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of methods of effective participation in discussion in conferences, committees, and other small groups.
  • 390--Dance Studio Operation. (3) Advanced training methods and techniques in all forms of dance. Emphasis on recent research in dance curriculum and operational technique. For experienced dance teachers.
  • 399--Independent Study and Research. (3-6) Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.
  • 474--Advanced Ballet. (1) (Prereq: THSP 376, PEDU 165, or consent of instructor) Precision, flexibility, and proficiency as a dancer; emphasis on performance skills.
  • 480--History of Cinema I. {=ENGL 474 and ARTH 365} (3) Survey of the international cinema from its inception until 1945.
  • 481--History of Cinema II. {=ENGL 475 and ARTH 366} (3) Survey of the international cinema from 1945 to the present.
  • 500--Selected Topics in Theatre Production. (1) A series of courses, each lasting one third of a semester. Topics and prerequisites are announced in the class schedule for each semester.
  • 510--Rendering Techniques for the Theatre. (3) Rendering techniques for the communication of concepts and mood in the design process.
  • 511--Arguments in Cultural Studies. (3) The study of arguments from popular culture.
  • 512--Arguments in Science and Technology. (3) The study of arguments drawn from science and technology emphasizing how scientific methodologies are modified and corrupted to make persuasive appeals.
  • 520--Playwright’s Workshop. (3) Principles and practice of playwriting. Writing, adapting, and revising plays. May be repeated with consent of department chair.
  • 522--Creative Drama. (3) Methods and techniques in developing and leading informal dramatic activity with children.
  • 526--Children’s Theatre. (3) (Prereq: THSP 170 and 253, or consent of instructor) Special problems in producing plays for child audiences.
  • 529--Theatre Management. (3) Problems involved in organizing, administering, and promoting the non-professional theatre.
  • 531--Theatre Graphics. (3) Specialized graphic techniques used in the preparation of a theatrical production. Practice in the execution and interpretation of working drawings, perspective sketches, color renderings, scale models, etc.
  • 541--Speech Criticism. (3) Detailed analysis and evaluation of the research models utilized in the criticism of public address. Application of one or more critical methods will be required.
  • 543--Legal Communication. (3) Communication questions and skills employed by lawyers, judges, litigants, and jurors in criminal and civil judicial processes; special emphasis on interviewing, negotiation, and litigation.
  • 544--18th and 19th Century American Public Address. (3) The discourse of selected American speakers whose speeches played a significant role in shaping and reflecting the nation’s development in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • 545--20th and 21st Century American Public Address. (3) Examines discourse of selected American speakers whose speeches have played a significant role in shaping and reflecting the nation’s development in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • 546--Alternative Voices. (3) The oral discourse of selected American speakers drawn from groups such as women, African Americans, and other populations traditionally underrepresented in the canons of public address.
  • 547--Persuasive Communication. (3) Analysis of the process and functions of persuasive communication (analysis of public speaking).
  • 548--Contemporary Campaign Rhetoric. (3) Analysis and evaluation of the suasory speechmaking of political figures seeking state or national offices. Offered only in fall semesters in which national elections are held.
  • 549--Rhetoric of Performance Texts. (3) Analysis, evaluation, and application of selected rhetorical theories. Course will focus on performance texts.
  • 550--History of Costume. (3) A survey of clothing through the ages with emphasis on the dress of the actor in significant periods of theatrical activity. From ancient times to present day.
  • 552--Stage Costume Pattern Drafting and Drawing. (3) The principles of pattern making for costume construction using flat-pattern and draping techniques.
  • 553--Advanced Stagecraft. (3) (Prereq: THSP 253 or equivalent) Advanced principles and practices of stagecraft.
  • 554--Performing Arts Safety. (3) Study of health and safety hazards for actors, technicians, and audience members.
  • 555--Scene Painting for the Stage. (3) Techniques of scene painting. Application of principles of painting to the stage.
  • 556--Stage Design. (3) Survey of the history and principles of scene design. Assignments will involve drawings, watercolor sketches, and scale models.
  • 557--Advanced Scenic Design. (3) (Prereq: THSP 556 or consent of instructor) Advanced procedures and techniques of scenic design.
  • 560--Advanced Argumentation and Debate. (3) (Prereq: THSP 260 or consent of instructor) Theories and principles of debating across many settings.
  • 561--History of the Theatre I. (3) A survey of plays, playwrights, actors, production, and the physical development of theatres from the time of the Greeks to 1660; reading of representative plays required.
  • 562--History of the Theatre II. (3) A survey of plays, playwrights, actors, production, and the physical development of theatres from 1660 to the present; reading of representative plays required.
  • 563--Great Debates. (3) A study of debates at the Constitutional Convention, Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858), vice presidential and presidential debates, and other national debates.
  • 564--Speechwriting. (3) An exploration of the process of advanced policy advocacy emphasizing speechwriting strategies, issues management, and systematic advocacy campaigns.
  • 567--Dramatic Theory I. (3) A survey of the major works of dramatic theory and criticism, with emphasis on theories of theatrical performance. from Aristotle through 18th-century neo-classicism.
  • 568--Dramatic Theory II. (3) A survey of the major works of dramatic theory and criticism, with emphasis on theories of theatrical performance from the 18th century to the present.
  • 570--Advanced Acting I. (3) (Prereq: THSP 240 or THSP 372, and THSP 370 with a grade of B or above) Theory and practice in the development of a role and an understanding of the psychology of the audience-actor relationship.
  • 571--Advanced Acting II. (3) (Prereq: THSP 240 or THSP 372 and a grade of B or higher in THSP 370) Technique of performing play scripts with heightened language and styles other than naturalism/realism. Some examples of genres that may be taught are Classical Greek, Elizabethan, absurdist.
  • 572--Advanced Makeup. (2) (Prereq: THSP 172 or consent of instructor) Specific character types, prosthetics, wig making, and corrective makeup. Special attention to the development of files of character illustrations and the designing of specific makeups.
  • 573--Dancer’s Workshop. (1) (Prereq: graduate standing or three credits in dance) Individual advanced training in movement, improvisation, flexibility, and precision in dance styles including modern and ballet.
  • 575--Rehearsal and Performance. (3) An intensive laboratory course in repertory theatre.
  • 576--Rehearsal and Performance. (3) An intensive laboratory course in repertory theatre.
  • 577--Dance Performance. {=PEDU 577} (3) Rehearsal, choreographic analysis, and dance performance. All components of dance production--including music, costume, lighting, and scenery--will be considered.
  • 578--Play Direction I. (3) (Prereq: THSP 170, 370, and 556 or 588) A study of the principles, procedures and practice of stage direction, with the selection, analysis, casting, and rehearsal of a one-act play to be presented in the laboratory theatre.
  • 579--Play Direction II. (3) (Prereq: THSP 578) A continuation of THSP 578.
  • 581--Film as Performance. (3) Study and analysis of film production, performance, and aesthetics.
  • 582--Costume Design. (3) Theory and practice in the design of theatre costumes.
  • 585--Design for Communications Media Production. (3) (Prereq: THSP 253, THSP 351) The study and application of techniques in theatrical stagecraft, design, lighting, costuming, and make up applicable to specialized fields of communication media.
  • 586--The Articulate Body. (3) Theoretical and experimental exploration of the major body systems and developmental movements to bring more articulation to the body and more awareness and physical ease in performance.
  • 587--Film and Television Acting. (3) (Prereq: THSP 170) Theory and practice of film and television acting.
  • 588--Stage Light Design I. (3) The interrelationship of stage lighting and other production elements. Design techniques, equipment, and script analysis. Laboratory work on department productions. Restricted to theatre majors or those having special permission of instructor.
  • 589--Advanced Stage Lighting Design II. (3) Stage lighting equipment and design techniques. Laboratory work on departmental productions.
  • 599--Special Topics in Theatre and Speech. (3) Reading and research on selected topics. Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by suffix and title. May be repeated once as topics vary.

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