BA in Theatre Arts

A Midsummer Night's Dream Production Photo
A Midsummer Night's Dream (2018)
Photo by Dan Norman

2022-2023 SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT

We are pleased to announce that the 2021-2022 BA Mainstage season will feature two contemporary plays relating resonant historical narratives. The season features period designs, imaginative stage and soundcraft, historiographic commentary, and performance opportunities that range from the poetic to darkly comedic. 

FALL: Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson Directed by Kym Longhi

Silent Sky tells the lesser-known story of Henrietta Leavitt, whose groundbreaking work on the stars opened astronomy to the possibilities of an expanding universe. The play moves in a fluidity of time and space - contrasting the intimate, familiar moments of a life with the vastness of the infinite sky.  Calculations of light and distance become musical notes, evoking a symphony of the stars. Silent Sky explores the tension between the bounded and the boundless. Leavitt challenged the bounds that society placed on her as a woman and the bounds that astronomers placed on the universe. Through Silent Sky’s poetic narrative we are also challenged to consider the bounds we place on our reality, on each other, and on ourselves - and to open ourselves to boundless possibilities that can only be measured in light.  

SPRING: The Amateurs by Jordan Harrison Directed by Luverne Seifert

Jordan Harrison originally wrote The Amateurs as a commentary on the AIDS crisis, but the play has once again found relevance in the time of COVID-19.  Charged with biting commentary on the acting profession, redemption, and human status, this play carries us through the bubonic plague in 14th century Italy through the travels and travails of a medieval theater troupe.  At once deeply moving and fiercely funny, this play will delight audiences and challenge students with its innovation and imagination.

About the BA Theatre Arts Program

Through programs in design/technology, performance, and history/literature, the BA in Theatre Arts explores the process of theatrical creation. Each program invites students to develop and articulate creative choices, and think critically about their consequences through a variety of techniques. These include close textual analysis, historical contextualization, physical approaches to performance, and collaborative creation. With its many ties to the performing arts community of the Twin Cities, the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance also offers the opportunity to couple classroom learning with practical experience.

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Tracks

Generalist

Explores theater as a space of historical and contemporary meaning-making. Students learn to think critically and creatively about theatrical representation through classes that include performance creation, design/technology, and history/literature. Techniques of theatrical encounter include textual analysis, historical inquiry, physical approaches to performance, and collaborative creation.

Performance Creation

The Performance Creation Program inside the BA in Theatre Arts is designed to stimulate the intellectual and creative ideas of students interested in using performance as a space in which to actively theorize with both mind and body. The program seeks to foster unique artistic visions, courageous risk-taking, a sense of communal responsibility, and a passion for theatre's past, present, and future. The program offers five curricular paths: acting, directing, music theatre, object theatre, and playwriting. Led by a faculty of working professional artists, the program is committed to giving students opportunities to learn through active practice and learning by doing.

Design & Technology

We provide a basic understanding of all design areas and their integration, individually and collectively, into the collaborative process. Design areas include scenery and properties, costumes, lighting, and audio & media. In addition, we offer training in a variety of stage technologies.

History/Dramaturgy

Focus in theater history and literature invites students to ethically engage in questions on what is passed down to us, how theatrical stories get told, and what it means for bodies to move through public spaces. Courses include theater history, dramatic literature, text and performance, Blacks in American theater, and topics courses.

Social Justice/Applied Drama

Students take courses within and outside of Theatre Arts & Dance that focus on the intersection of social justice and performance. Courses include performance and social change, dance and citizenship, a semester-long internship through HECUA's Art for Social Change program, and theatre activities in education.