Theatre Arts Department (THA)
College of Liberal Studies
School of Arts and Communication
Department Chair: Joseph Anderson
158 Center for the Arts; 608.785.6707
Department ADA: Krista Shulka
154 Center for the Arts; 608.785.6701
Theatre arts at UW-La Crosse offers an invigorating and fresh approach to undergraduate theatrical training. Our degree programs allow a wide range of opportunity while creating a focused and individual area of study for each student. We strive to balance vigorous classroom learning with practical production experience allowing for a well-rounded college experience with an emphasis on the collaborative and creative process. The theatre arts curriculum allows concentrations in six distinct areas of study: general theatre studies, design/ technical, performance, music theatre, stage management and arts administration. Students at UW-La Crosse can choose to major in one theatre emphasis area while minoring in another thus enhancing their educational opportunities and professional marketability.
One-on-one contact with our teaching faculty is emphasized and students are guaranteed a degree of personal attention rarely available in programs that accept higher numbers of students. In addition to its full-time faculty, the department frequently brings guest artists to campus from professional and educational theatre. The atmosphere within the Department of Theatre Arts is supportive, positive, collaborative and artistically stimulating. Students are involved in theatre productions each year as backstage crew, technicians, designers, stage managers, performers, and front of house staff. Participation in theatre productions is open to all UW-La Crosse students regardless of their major.
The performance stage is the natural extension of the classroom experience. Students receive a tremendous amount of hands-on experience through classroom projects and realized productions. The UW-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts produces six performances each academic year allowing students to demonstrate, refine and expand the skills they’ve learned in the classroom. Additional production work is available through classroom projects, senior recitals and designs, undergraduate research grant-funded productions, and other student laboratory productions
Students enrolling in a theatre major must complete the theatre arts major core requirements and one area of emphasis.
Students enrolling in the theatre arts minor must select an area of emphasis.
General education writing emphasis
This department incorporates a significant amount of writing through the required courses instead of identifying particular courses as writing emphasis courses. Students who complete a major in this department will fulfill the general education writing emphasis requirement.
The following is the department's faculty and staff as of the publication date of this catalog. This list will not be updated again until the next catalog is published in June.
M. Beth Cherne
- Theatre arts major: arts administration emphasis - BA
- Theatre arts major: arts administration emphasis - BS
- Theatre arts major: design/technical emphasis - BA
- Theatre arts major: design/technical emphasis - BS
- Theatre arts major: general emphasis - BA
- Theatre arts major: general emphasis - BS
- Theatre arts major: music theatre emphasis - BA
- Theatre arts major: music theatre emphasis - BS
- Theatre arts major: performance emphasis - BA
- Theatre arts major: performance emphasis - BS
- Theatre arts major: stage management emphasis - BA
- Theatre arts major: stage management emphasis - BS
+ next to a course number indicates a general education course
+THA 110 Cr.2
A study of theatre as an art form. Emphasis on the role of the audience as collaborators in the performance and their understanding and appreciation of the elements of a theatrical production. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
+THA 120 Cr.3
Acting for Non-Majors
This course emphasizes the development of the actor's instrument by introducing the student to the basic imaginative, physical, and vocal skills necessary for acting. It also enhances the student's understanding of the cooperative nature of acting. It prepares them to create, discuss, rehearse, and perform. The student will apply these techniques in an interactive studio setting. Offered Fall, Spring.
+THA 130 Cr.3
Multicultural U.S. Plays: Acting the Text
In this performance-based course students will study and perform dramatic literature from multiple cultures within the U.S. society. Plays will be selected from African-American, Asian-American, Native American, Hispanic-American, Lesbian/Gay/Transgendered/Bisexual and other cultures for study. Students will research cultural context, analyze the plays, develop basic skills in performance, and prepare and perform scenes from the plays under study, in order to enhance student awareness and exchange ideas about the multicultural nature of the U.S. No acting experience required. Offered Spring.
+THA 201 Cr.3
Dramatic Literature and Theatre Arts
From text to theatre, how does dramatic literature translate into live performance? To read plays is but one aspect of the art of drama. To create a theatrical performance from a playscript is to appreciate the full artistic potential of dramatic literature. International and multicultural theatre ranging from the classical to the contemporary will be the basis for explorations into the significance and beauty of the dramatic arts. An interdisciplinary approach in both content and method will be used as the dramatic literature is considered in the context of history and culture, literature and art. Offered Fall.
THA 210 Cr.3
Foundations of Theatrical Production
This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of theatre by exploring the theories and practices of production elements, script analysis and the specific goals, procedures and policies of the theatre arts department. Offered Fall.
THA 220 Cr.3
Acting I: Fundamentals
Theory and practice of the fundamentals of stage acting, including improvisational techniques, audition techniques, acting terminology and development of dramatic action. Offered Spring.
THA 221 Cr.3
Movement for the Stage
Theory and practice in training the actor's body to serve as a skillful and expressive means of communication. Emphasis on the student's awareness of movement as a foundation for character development. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 222 Cr.3
Voice and Diction for the Stage
Theory and practice of the fundamentals of vocal production: breathing control, articulation, projection, quality, and expressiveness for the actor. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 231 Cr.3
Theory and practice of scenic construction. A study of the stage and its equipment; the planning, building and painting of scenery and the practical aspects of stage lighting. Prerequisite: THA 210. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 232 Cr.3
Theory and practice of basic costume construction. Emphasis on the construction of stage costumes and accessories, including, but not limited to, basic pattern adaptation, millinery techniques, costume jewelry techniques and mask construction. Prerequisite: THA 210 for theatre majors and minors. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.
THA 240 Cr.3
Rendering for Theatre
This course will focus on the study of the elements and principles of rendering and their application to theatrical design. Students will focus on application of various rendering techniques used by scenic, costume, lighting and makeup designers in the creative process of interpreting a play script and translating it into visual form. Prerequisite: THA 210. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 241 Cr.3
The theory and practice of the fundamentals of painted theatrical makeup, including various theatrical makeup materials and their applications. The course will rely heavily on the imagination and creative skills of the student and will include research in physical analysis, character analysis, and color theory. Each student will serve as the makeup designer for all projects in this course. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 250 Cr.3
Theatre Studies I: Origins to the Middle Ages
Survey of Western theatre history, dramatic literature and theory in cultural context from origins through the middle ages. Particular attention is paid to the relationship of theatre to religion and to ancient theatre as the foundation for later Western theatre. Recommended to be taken before THA 251, THA 350, and THA 351. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 251 Cr.3
Theatre Studies II: Renaissance Thru Mid 19th Century
Survey of Western theatre history, dramatic literature and theory in cultural context from the Renaissance through late 19th century. Attention is focused on the relationship of theatre to the emergence of the early modern period, the rise of nationalism, the Enlightenment, and the growing middle class. Recommended to be taken after THA 250, and before THA 350 and THA 351. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.
THA 260 Cr.1
Participation in Theatre Arts Activities
A course for any university student who wishes to gain academic credit for participation in theatre arts. Students receive individual counsel, criticism and evaluation. Repeatable for credit - no maximum. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
THA 270 Cr.1-2
Music Theatre Vocal Study
Intensive study of the artistry of singing solo vocal musical theatre repertoire. Study will promote growth in and understanding of: musical theatre vocal technique, breath, body alignment, healthful use of the speaking voice, projection, diction and elocution for the stage. Technical work will be applied through study and performance of musical theatre repertoire. Attendance at a weekly studio class and final performance required. This course is intended for theatre majors pursuing an emphasis in music theatre, after completion of their applied voice requirement in their music minor. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: completion of applied voice requirement in music minor; theatre arts major-music theatre emphasis. Offered Fall, Spring.
THA 271 Cr.1-2
Singing for the Stage
Intensive study of the artistry of singing solo vocal musical theatre repertoire. Study will promote growth in and understanding of: musical theatre vocal technique, breath, body alignment, healthful use of the speaking voice, projection, diction and elocution for the stage. Technical work will be applied through study and performance of musical theatre repertoire. Attendance at a weekly studio class and final performance required. This course is available to theatre performance majors NOT pursuing an emphasis in music theatre. Repeatable for credit. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring.
THA 290 Cr.3
Stage Management for the Arts
This course will provide an introduction to Stage Management for the arts as well as a working understanding of the job of a stage manager. Emphasis on practical theory as well as the history of stage management will be combined with critical theories of running a production. The course will culminate in preparing students to stage-manage for a realized production. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
MUS/THA 304 Cr.3
History of Music Theatre
A survey of music theatre history and literature from origins to the present and its effect on popular culture, this course provides an understanding of the development of music theatre into the present day. Particular attention is given to the writers and composers who greatly influenced and/or continue to influence the development of this art form. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112. (Cross-listed with MUS/THA; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
MUS/THA 310 Cr.3
This course examines the process of acting through song and verse. Its purpose is to explore a variety of theoretical and practical approaches integrating acting, vocal and stylistic techniques which support and strengthen each other. Prerequisite: THA 220 or THA 222; MUS 235, MUS 236, MUS 237, MUS 238. (Cross-listed with MUS/THA; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 320 Cr.3
Acting II: Characterization
Theory and practice of realistic acting techniques and textual analysis in the development of characterization. Monologues and scenes from realistic drama to be performed. Prerequisite: THA 220. Offered Fall.
THA 321 Cr.3
Acting III: Styles
Theory and practice of advanced techniques of acting with emphasis on styles of acting from Greek to the present. Monologues and scenes from various theatrical periods to be performed. Prerequisite: THA 220, THA 320. Offered Spring.
MUS/THA 324 Cr.3
Cabaret Performance Workshop
Students work together in a workshop format to rehearse and eventually perform a cabaret set consisting of ensemble numbers, duets and solos on a common theme. Each number will be carefully rehearsed and staged. This is a studio course requiring active and regular participation. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: admission to the music theatre emphasis. (Cross-listed with MUS/THA; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 330 Cr.3
Theory and practice of scene painting techniques for the theatre. By studying theories utilized by professional scenic artists, students will learn to interpret a designer's rendering or scaled elevation. Practical exercises will introduce students to the techniques necessary to reproduce the aesthetics of designer's renderings or scaled elevations as actual scenic pieces. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 331 Cr.3
The research and application of current technology in the theatre, including the exploration of new materials and construction techniques. The course will include an introduction to computer-Assisted drafting and design, the operation and maintenance of new technologies in the theatre facility, and the examination of health, safety, and liability issues. Prerequisite: THA 210, THA 231. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 340 Cr.3
A course in the principles and practices of designing stage scenery. Emphasis is on developing the creative abilities of the designer. Prerequisite: THA 210, THA 231, THA 240. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.
THA 341 Cr.3
An introductory course in the principles and practices of designing and executing stage lighting. Emphasis is on developing the creative abilities of the designer. Prerequisite: THA 210, THA 231, THA 240. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 342 Cr.3
Sound Design and Engineering
The course provides the student with a working knowledge of sound design and engineering. It emphasizes the creation of sound for theatre, the theory and technique of sound design and the set up and maintenance of sound reinforcement and sound reproduction equipment. Prerequisite: THA 210. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 350 Cr.3
Theatre Studies III: Realism to the Present
Survey of Western theatre history, dramatic literature and theory in cultural context from the rise of realism in the late 19th century to the present day. Particular attention is paid to realism and the explosion of styles in reaction to it, along with the study of political, environmental, feminist, multicultural, and postmodern theatre and performance art. Recommended to be taken after THA 250, THA 251, and before THA 351. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
+THA 351 Cr.3
Survey of historical and contemporary theatre in cultural context from various cultures/geographic regions around the world. These areas include India and the near east, China, Japan, and the far east, Africa, Latin America, and the middle east. Particular attention is paid to local custom, religious practice and theatrical practice. Prerequisite: THA 110. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 360 Cr.1-3
Theatre Arts Practicum
Specialized, intensive study and participation in theatre. Projects are designed in consultation with a faculty adviser in the department. Repeatable for credit - no maximum. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
+ECO/THA 376 Cr.3
Economics of Art and Entertainment
The overall goal of this course is to enable participants to make or evaluate selected decisions and policy issues pertaining to the arts and to better understand the unique status the arts hold in the American economy. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. (Cross-listed with ECO/THA; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 390 Cr.2
Advanced Stage Management
This course will provide advanced study of the specific skills required of a stage manager on a theatrical production through discussion and hands-on projects designed to improve the student's understanding and execution of leadership, organizational and creative components of stage management. Repeatable for credit - maximum four. Prerequisite: THA 290. Offered Fall.
THA 420 Cr.3
Theory and practice of directing for the stage. Emphasis on analysis, preparation and presentation of dramatic scenes. Prerequisite: THA 210, THA 220; six credits from THA 250, THA 251, THA 350, THA 351. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.
THA 421 Cr.3
This is an advanced performance studio that provides an opportunity for students to research, explore, and create performance within a specific style or genre. The course will provide directing and/or acting students with both theoretical and practical experiences in the art of theatre performance and will occasionally feature a guest artist. Examples of offerings include: improvisation, traditional (comedy of manners, commedia dell'arte) and non-traditional styles (absurdism, post-modernism, expressionism), auditioning and others. Repeatable for credit - no maximum. Prerequisite: THA 321 and/or THA 420. Offered Occasionally.
THA 422 Cr.3
Acting IV: Audition Techniques
This upper level acting course works specifically on the art and technique of auditioning. It will further develop and expand the range and skills of the performance student by exploring the audition process. Students will learn basic stage and camera audition techniques, develop an extensive repertoire of audition monologues and research career opportunities. It prepares the students for a variety of audition styles and situations. Prerequisite: THA 220, THA 320, THA 321. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 440 Cr.3
A course in the principles and practices of designing stage costumes. Emphasis on the creative capabilities of the designer with a working knowledge of historical periods used in stage costuming. Prerequisite: THA 210. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 450 Cr.3-15
Internship in Theatre Arts
An academically relevant work experience focusing on career development through professional contexts. Students pursue practical applications of course work in community or professional theatre or related areas. A written project relating the internship experience to the academic preparation will be required. Credit depends on the demands and complexity and the duration of the work the student performs. Evaluation is a joint effort of the cooperating firm or group, the department supervisor, and the Cooperative Education Internship liaison. Note: three to six credit hours may count toward a theatre arts major in the College of Liberal Studies. Prerequisite: 15 credits in THA; junior standing. Consent of department. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
THA 470 Cr.1-3
Symposium in Theatre Arts
Study in a selected area of theatre arts. Varying topics will be offered at intervals, with a specific title assigned to each. For current content and credit assignment, consult the instructor or department chair. Repeatable for credit - no maximum. Offered Occasionally.
THA 471 Cr.3
A study of the fundamentals of playwriting, with emphasis on creating stageworthy plots, characters, dialogue and spectacle, and finding venues for having plays produced. Course will culminate in the writing of a one-act or full-length play. Offered Occasionally.
THA 472/572 Cr.3
The principles and methods involved in the operation of the non-commercial theatre: organization, play selection, building an audience, publicity, advertising, graphic reproduction, ticket sales, box office routines, house management, touring, and business records. Prerequisite: THA 110, with the exception of theatre arts majors and minors; junior standing. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.
THA 474 Cr.3
Advanced Studies in Arts Administration
This course will provide advanced study in specific competencies required of an arts administrator including legal issues, arts policy, and audience development through discussion and hands-on projects. Prerequisite: THA 376 or THA 472. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
THA 481 Cr.1-3
Directed individual study under an assigned faculty member. Student is responsible for submitting study proposal for approval before registration. Repeatable for credit - no maximum. Prerequisite: junior standing. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
THA 482 Cr.1-3
Special Topics Theatre Arts
Workshops, directed individual readings, or projects involving significant content and/or activities not available through regular offerings within the Department of Theatre Arts. Repeatable for credit - no maximum. Consent of instructor. Offered Occasionally.
THA 490 Cr.3
Capstone Project in Theatre Arts
The Capstone project is an independent project that reflects the student's knowledge and abilities in theatre arts. It should integrate knowledge from coursework with practical experience in theatre production, and may focus on research, design, technical theatre, performance, directing, management or other area within theatre arts. The project should involve significant research, preparation, and presentation. The project may involve work in production, or in more traditional research. The student is responsible for developing and submitting a proposal for approval one semester in advance, under advisement of a faculty member in theatre arts. Prerequisite: senior standing. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.