Department of Theatre & Musical Theatre

Chair: Penelope A. Hasekoester     (936) 294-1330

Website: Department of Theatre & Musical Theatre

Theatre reflects the human condition in the study of a wide range of behavior, relationships, periods of history, social configurations, and aesthetic styles. Involvement in this collaborative art form finds students growing in theatre skills and techniques, better understanding themselves, solving problems, working within a group and meeting production deadlines.

Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs are available in theatre and musical theatre. The BFA in Theatre requires that the theatre major first studies each area of the theatre to gain substantial knowledge of acting, technical theatre, costuming, lighting and scenic design, stage makeup, history, criticism, and directing. From that background, the student may specialize in acting/directing, design/theatre technology, or teacher certification. The BFA in Musical Theatre degree provides a choice of three emphases: theatre, dance, and music.

Students have the opportunity to audition and possibly to be cast in shows every semester. As they develop expertise in areas of their primary interests, advanced students are chosen to stage manage; design lights, sets, costumes, sound, and makeup; and direct major productions. Productions are staged in either the large, 375-seat proscenium theatre or the 90-seat thrust theatre. The theatres themselves, as well as the scene and costume shops, are equipped with excellent technical equipment. Guest directors and professional workshops provide students additional contacts with other people in professional theatre. The proximity to Houston also allows students exposure to many venues of professional theatre, opera, dance, film and other forms of entertainment.

Academic Advisement

It is recommended that all theatre and musical theatre majors be advised by faculty in the department.

Highlights

The Theatre and Musical Theatre programs at Sam Houston State University

  • are active in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF);
  • have been invited to participate at the Regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival consistently since 2000;
  • were invited to perform The Laramie Project at the National KCACTF Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2003;
  • have an internship with the Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) in Houston;
  • have an internship program with STAGES Repertory Theatre in Houston;
  • have an internship program with Classical Theatre Company in Houston;
  • have private auditions on the Sam Houston State University campus for SHSU theatre and musical theatre students with Broadway Theatre Project, The Performing Arts Project and The Broadway Artists Intensive;
  • have guest artists in the areas of acting, directing, playwriting, stage management, and design. These have included Edward Albee, James Black, Andrew Campbell, Rod Caspers, Dave Clemmons, Kevin Cooney, Judy Dolan. Sofia Gomez, Greg Graham, Jean Guy LeCat, Luc LaFortune, Robert Marks, James McLure, Keith Pitts, Mark Ramont, Georgia Stitt, and Michael York; and
  • have a New York showcase for selected graduating senior musical majors.

The programs also hold memberships and participate in the

  • Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF),
  • Musical Theatre Educators Alliance (MTEA),
  • National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT),
  • Southwest Theatre Association (SWTA),
  • Texas Educational Theatre Association (TETA),
  • Texas Nonprofit Theatres (TNT), and the
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre are well prepared for rewarding careers in professional or educational theatre, or for graduate school.

Suggested Minors

There is no minor required for a BFA in Theatre or Musical Theatre.

Student Organizations

  • Alpha Psi Omega - honorary national drama fraternity
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology

Internships/Apprenticeships

The Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre has a professional internship program with Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), Houston. This internship allows Sam Houston State University students to work with the Humphrey’s School of Musical Theatre and to work with Theatre Under The Stars in a performance as well as an arts administration capacity. In addition, internship programs in acting and in some areas of technical theatre have been developed with STAGES Repertory Theatre, The Classical Theatre Company, Texas Repertory Theatre, and Main Street Theatre.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available through the theatre program for theatre and musical theatre majors. Performance auditions and Technical and Design auditions are held each spring for freshman and transfer students entering in the fall. Continuing scholarships are available for application toward the end of each semester. Contact the department or visit the website for further information.

Student Assistantships are available for advanced theatre students who work in scenery, properties, costuming, lighting, and management.

Musical Theatre and Voice

MTVO 1201. Musical Theatre Applied Voice. 2 Hours.

This course consists of private one-on-one study of vocal techniques that are appropriate to healthy vocal performance. Study focuses on performance of musical Theatre styles and repertoire.

MTVO 3100. Platform Performances. 1 Hour.

This course has a performance based focus for junior and senior musical theatre majors. Students create performances of scenes from the musical theatre canon. Credit 1Corequisite: MTVO 3201
Prerequisite: MTVO 1201 and junior or senior musical theatre major .

MTVO 3201. Musical Theatre Applied Voice. 2 Hours.

This course consists of private one-on-one study of vocal techniques that are appropriate to healthy vocal performance. Study focuses on performance of musical Theatre styles and repertoire.

Theatre

THEA 1100. Singing for Actors. 1 Hour.

This specialized voice class is designed to introduce singing technique in a group setting to Theatre majors with an acting/directing emphasis.

THEA 1115. Tech Build Crew. 1 Hour.

Tech Build Crew focuses on practical work that deals with construction aspects of theatrical productions. Those aspects include carpentry, theatrical rigging, lighting, sound, scenery, props, scenic painting, special effects, welding, the basics of running a show and general theater maintenance.

THEA 1116. Costume Crew. 1 Hour.

This course prepares students to work with costumes for a production, dress actors and help with hair and make-up during the run of the show. Additional duties include maintaining garments, stock and the costume and make-up areas throughout the run.

THEA 1117. Management Crew. 1 Hour.

This course introduces the student to the logistics of theatre management. Topics include box office training, patron service training, promotional designs, advertisement and public relations. This is a practical crew course consisting of actual work on Theatre Department productions.

THEA 1330. Intro to Scenic Technology. 3 Hours.

Introduction to theatrical production. An overview of the elements of production to include an introduction to the basic components of theatre technology, stage scenery, stage lighting, theatrical costuming, stage management, theatre management, and script analysis. This course is designed to introduce the student to all areas of theatrical production.

THEA 1331. Intro to Lighting Technology. 3 Hours.

Introduction to theatre technology. A focus on the techniques and methods in set construction, lighting and sound technology, property construction, and theatrical production techniques.

THEA 1332. Intro to Costume Technology. 3 Hours.

A study of the basic techniques of costuming, sewing, dyeing, and distressing fabrics.

THEA 1364. Beginning Acting. 3 Hours.

A study of basic techniques in body, voice, characterization, and play analysis as they are applied to the performance of stage tasks by the actor.

THEA 1366. Theatre Appreciation. 3 Hours.

An analysis of the theatrical experience for the audience. Examination of theatreis relation to the broad contemporary scene and its relation to past eras. Examination of the production elements necessary to provide the theatrical experience.

THEA 2330. Stage Make Up. 3 Hours.

A survey of the reasons for stage make-up and the types of make-up available. Principles of designing make-up for characters in a play. Intensive practical application.

THEA 2336. Voice I for the Actor. 3 Hours.

Beginning training in the release of the voice for effective communication. Work on breathing, projection, placement, articulation, resonance, and quality.

THEA 2337. Voice II for the Actor. 3 Hours.

Advanced training in application of appropriate vocal techniques to produce optimum control of quality, projection, and precision in diction. Ultimately the application is in fusing technique with the actoris interpretation of roles.
Prerequisite: THEA 2336, THEA 1364, or consent of the instructor.

THEA 2359. Hand Drafting in Theatre. 3 Hours.

This course is a study of hand drafting techniques for the design and construction of theatrical scenery. Students will learn how to utilize hand drafting tools and how to read and create design drafting packages for the theatre.

THEA 2360. Beginning Design. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the methods, concepts and materials of designing for theatre, including the basic element s of set design, properties design, lighting design, and sound design for the stage. Students will be introduced to the methods of developing a design from script analysis to presentation of the completed design.
Prerequisite: THEA 1331 or permission of instructor.

THEA 2361. Computer Drafting in Theatre. 3 Hours.

Introduction to computer aided drafting and design for theatrical applications. Practical approach to computer drafting of floor plans, elevations, sections, light plots, and organizational diagrams using popular CAD software developed specifically for theatrical applications as well as programs like AutoCAD and Project Manager.
Prerequisite: THEA 1331 or permission of instructor.

THEA 2367. Text Analysis for Theatre. 3 Hours.

This course examines the methodology for analyzing dramatic masterworks primarily as tools for the theatre craftsman and emphasizes the importance of this practical skill for actors, directors, designers and playwrights. While focusing on the dramatic structure of a script in various plays, this course will concurrently examine the playwright's social and cultural milieu.
Prerequisite: THEA 1364.

THEA 2368. Intermediate Acting. 3 Hours.

A concentration on the techniques of freeing the body, body language, and movement in the development of characterization and actor technique.
Prerequisite: THEA 1364 or consent of instructor.

THEA 3114. Theatre Workshop. 1 Hour.

One semester hour of credit may be received per semester for work done in this practical workshop consisting of actual work on productions. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Junior or higher standing or by audition.

THEA 3115. Advanced Tech Build Crew. 1 Hour.

This course focuses on practical work dealing with advanced construction skills of theatrical productions. Those skills include carpentry, theatrical rigging, lighting, sound, scenery, props, scenic painting, special effects, welding, the basics of running a show and general theater maintenance. Focus is placed on advanced logistics of being on a backstage crew to run theatrical productions.
Prerequisite: THEA 1115.

THEA 3116. Advanced Costume Crew. 1 Hour.

This course will teach advanced costume construction techniques. Students will prepare the costumes for a production. Students will learn to supervise a run crew during a show and help with hair and stage make-up. Additional duties include maintaining garments, stock and the costume and make-up areas throughout the run.
Prerequisite: THEA 1116.

THEA 3117. Musical Theatre Workshop. 1 Hour.

Junior and Senior levels to synthesize musical theatre majorsi work in music, theatre and dance. May be repeated for credit. Required of all Musical Theatre majors every semester.
Prerequisite: Musical Theatre Majors.

THEA 3127. Advanced Theatre Mgmt. Crew. 1 Hour.

This course introduces the student to advanced concepts and logistics of theatre management. Topics include advanced box office training, patron service training, ushering, learning new formats and software for poster and program designs, advertisement and public relations. Additionally, students in this course will mentor students who are participating in THEA 1117. This is a practical crew consisting of advanced work on Theatre Department productions.
Prerequisite: THEA 1117.

THEA 3331. Advanced Stage Make Up. 3 Hours.

Investigation of and experimentation with three-dimensional makeup constructions to provide drastic alteration of the actoris face for stage, film, and television.
Prerequisite: THEA 2330 or consent of the instructor.

THEA 3332. Computer Rendering for Theatre. 3 Hours.

This is a skills-based course that gives students experience in using the computer to create visual documentation in the design process. Subject areas include: set renderings; costume renderings; painters elevations; and scenic models.

THEA 3334. Stage Costume Design. 3 Hours.

A survey of historical costume; contrast of general clothing with stage costume; and consideration of all elements involved in designing costumes for an entire production.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

THEA 3335. Costume Construction. 3 Hours.

Pattern drafting and construction techniques for period costumes. Projects may include bodices, skirts, corsets, panniers, bustles, crinolines, and 18th and 19th century mens' coats.
Prerequisite: THEA 3334 or THEA 3337 or consent of the instructor.

THEA 3336. Scenic Design. 3 Hours.

This course prepares students how to both design and communicate a theatrical space. The process will be based on script analysis and research through model making, ground plans, and hand sketches.
Prerequisite: THEA 1330 or instructor approval.

THEA 3337. History Of Costume. 3 Hours.

A survey of historical costumes and accessories by periods from ancient Egypt to the present day; contrast of general clothin with stage costumes.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

THEA 3360. History Of The Theatre I. 3 Hours.

A survey of the origins of the theatre, with major concentration centered upon the development of the western theatre from the Greeks to the Neoclassic.
Prerequisite: ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.

THEA 3362. Lighting and Sound Design. 3 Hours.

Students will investigate the use of light and sound in a theatre space. They will design for the performer and the action of the play and develop lighting effects, sound effects, and special effects. Additionally, the student will begin to explore the use of microphone technology.
Prerequisite: THEA 2360 and THEA 2361.

THEA 3363. Property Design for Theatre. 3 Hours.

This course concentrates on the tools and techniques used by professional designers in the design and construction of properties for theatre. Topics covered are transforming found objects, period research, texturing, molding, casting, computer generated properties, and painting.

THEA 3364. Dramaturgy. 3 Hours.

This course is a study of production dramaturgy: an exploration and application of the processes, research, and resources used by academic and professional theatres, combining knowledge with creativity in order to make informed production choices. ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.

THEA 3365. Stage & Theatre Management. 3 Hours.

Advanced study of theatre management with an emphasis on the organizational, technical and management responsibilities of a stage manager as well as the public relations and marketing skills needed to run a house and box office. Included will be a focus on the establishment of a collaborative atmosphere within a production team or within a theatre company.

THEA 3369. Advanced Acting: Modern Thtre. 3 Hours.

Detailed study of action and characterization through scene study, research, and self-use, utilizing interior and exterior methods to develop a working method for each actor.
Prerequisite: THEA 1364, THEA 2368 or consent of instructor.

THEA 3370. Advanced Acting: Class. Thetre. 3 Hours.

Advanced scene study with concentration on textual analysis, structure, diction, and rhythm of the script.
Prerequisite: 9 hours of acting courses or consent of instructor.

THEA 3372. Improvisational Techniques. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to develop studentsi use of improvisations, games, and ritual to enhance creative thinking, problem solving skills, characterization, and trust within the rehearsal process.
Prerequisite: THEA 1364 or consent of instructor.

THEA 3373. Stage Movemnt I for the Actor. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to increase awareness and command of the body as an expressive instrument. Through specialized in-class exercises, actors will increase their dynamic stage presence; develop a supple, responsive physicality, and increase awareness of kinesthetic ensemble response.

THEA 3374. The Actor & Commedia dell'Arte. 3 Hours.

This course trains actors using stock characters of Commedia dell'Arte, an Italian theatrical form. Specialized in-class exercises, exploration of maskwork and clowning lead students to find an awareness of their own habits in characterizations. Students broaden their physical expressiveness leading to a heightened and vibrant stage presence.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

THEA 3395. Acting In Major Roles. 3 Hours.

This course allows credit for performing a major role in Theatre Program productions, involving research, rehearsal and performance during the nine-month academic year. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Junior or higher standing or by audition.

THEA 4092. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

THEA 4093. Theatre Internship. 3 Hours.

This course is a practical application of skills and knowledge learned in the classroom for students who have completed appropriate courses and achieved an acceptable GPA. Internships may be arranged with an approved theatre. Entrance into this course requires permission of the department chair. Variable Credit (1-3).
Prerequisite: Theatre or Musical Theatre majors only.

THEA 4094. Special Topics. 1-3 Hours.

THEA 4190. Senior Showcase. 1 Hour.

An extension of THEA 3117 Musical Theatre Workshop, the Senior Showcase is a research, collaboration and preparation class for those senior musical theatre majors chosen to participate.
Prerequisite: Departmental approval.

THEA 4325. Stage Movemnt II for the Actor. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to lead the student toward an advanced awareness of the body as an expressive instrument. Students employ advanced kinesthetic ensemble responses as they begin to foster original work, coalescing all facets of advanced theatre movement to form the beginning of new work.
Prerequisite: THEA 3373.

THEA 4326. Stage Combat. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on specific stage combat disciplines with compulsory techniques. Students learn hand-to-hand combat, rapier and dagger, and other forms of violance found on stage and film. Each stage combat technique is taught for safety, theatrical commitment and believability within a dramatic context.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission from the instructor.

THEA 4330. Advanced Scenic Design. 3 Hours.

Advanced design. Students will be involved in creating scenic, lighting, and sound design projects. The course will include extensive sketching, rendering, computer drafting, and model building.
Prerequisite: THEA 1330, junior standing or consent of the instructor.

THEA 4331. Acting For The Camera. 3 Hours.

An intensive and practical study of the special techniques of acting for film and television with the goal of work in those industries; extensive scene work in front of the camera. Must be a Theatre or Musical Theatre major.
Prerequisite: THEA 1364, THEA 2368, THEA 3369 and consent of the instructor.

THEA 4332. Auditioning For Comm Theatre. 3 Hours.

The preparation of audition materials which suit the variety of demands in the commercial world of theatre, musical theatre, cinema, and television.
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

THEA 4360. History Of The Theatre II. 3 Hours.

A survey of changing styles in theatre, from the Romantic revolution through the Realistic movement to the innovations of the twentieth century theatre.
Prerequisite: ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.

THEA 4361. Stage Lighting. 3 Hours.

The study of lighting design as an art; the history of stage lighting and a study of contemporary stage lighting techniques, practices, and equipment. Students will design lighting for a show of their own choosing.
Prerequisite: THEA 1331, THEA 3362 and basic computer literacy or consent of instructor.

THEA 4362. Playwriting. 3 Hours.

A study of the elements of playwriting through writing exercises designed to enhance the understanding of structure, style, character and dialogue.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.

THEA 4363. Dramatic Theory & Criticism. 3 Hours.

A study of the principles of various styles and periods of dramaturgy, involving a history of criticism from Aristotle to the present. Representative plays will be analyzed for theme, structure, characterization and dialogue with a view to their influences on contemporary theatre. Emphasis is placed on written student criticism and evaluation of plays.
Prerequisite: ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.

THEA 4365. Portfolio Development. 3 Hours.

Students will develop individualized projects in scenery, costume, lighting, sound, or technical production. Prerequisite two of the following design courses: THEA 3334, THEA 4330, OR THEA 4361; consent of instructor.

THEA 4366. Directing I. 3 Hours.

Prerequisites: THEA 1364, THEA 2368 and THEA 3369 and/ or consent of the instructor.

THEA 4367. Directing II. 3 Hours.

Basic director preparation in script analysis, communication skills, creating ground plans and scene study through a wide variety of theatrical styles and direction of scenes.
Prerequisite: Junior standing.

THEA 4368. Experimental Theatre Productio. 3 Hours.

Analysis of plays that depart from the realistic genre and examination of new production possibilities arising out of developments in theatre technology that will complement the experiments of the playwrights. Application of theory in laboratory productions.

THEA 4371. The American Musical Theatre. 3 Hours.

The history of the development of musical theatre (excluding opera) in America. Emphasis is placed on written student criticism and evaluation of musical theatre.

THEA 4376. Scene Painting. 3 Hours.

This course will focus on advanced theatre scenic painting techniques. Theatre scenery encompasses large-scale painting, faux finishes, drops, and textures. By using a variety of painting tools and materials, students will produce professional-quality projects that meet theatre industry standards.
Prerequisite: THEA 1330.

THEA 4387. Worksp Chldrns Creative Drama. 3 Hours.

Fundamental theories and elements of creative drama, with emphasis in developing and guiding creative drama activities such as storytelling, improvisation, rhythmic and interpretative movement, puppetry, theatre in education techniques and pantomime. The course is designed for prospective teachers grades K-12.

THEA 4389. Repertory Theatre. 3 Hours.

A unified approach to theatre, contrasted with the compartmentalized division of labor used more frequently, allowing the self-contained group to do all of the production work as well as the acting. May be repeated for credit. Offered in summer terms.

THEA 4392. Undergrad Seminar In Theatre. 3 Hours.

A course for the undergraduate student which will allow a student to pursue particular areas beyond the limits of current course offerings. The particular study, however, will be within the studentis areas of specialization. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Permission of the Program Coordinator.

Chair: Penelope A. Hasekoester

Laura Kay Avery, DMA, Associate Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, DMA, Univ of Houston-Main; MM, Univ of Houston-Main; BS, William Jewell College

Kevin Grant Crouch, MFA, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, New York University; BFA, Sam Houston State University

Nicholas Alexander Graves, MFA, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, Indiana University-Bloomington; BFA, Abilene Christian University

Kristina S. Hanssen, MFA, Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, Univ of Missouri-Kansas City; MA, Univ of Missouri-Kansas City; BFA, Stephens College

Penelope A. Hasekoester, MFA, Professor of Theatre and Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, Univ of Texas At Austin; MA, Western Kentucky University; AB, Eastern Kentucky University

Victoria Pettersen Lantz, PHD, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, PHD, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison; MA, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison; BA, Lewis Clark College

Eric L Marsh, MFA, Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, Western Illinois University; BA, California St Un-Chico

David Allan Mc Tier, PHD, Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, PHD, Univ of Texas At Austin; MA, Indiana University; AB, Univ of Georgia

Thomas C Prior, MFA, Professor of Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, Univ of Houston-Main; BFA, Carnegie-Mellon Univ

Interim Faculty

Kyle Ann Craig-Bogard, MFA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Theatre and Musical Theatre, Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre, MFA, Univ of Washington; BA, Baldwin-Wallace College