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Theatre, B.A.

The theatre program within the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Saint Louis University creates an educational experience based on the combination of theoretical classroom explorations and the practical production of plays.

The program specializes in all aspects of production, from set design and lighting to costume design and acting. The theatre program produces plays that challenge students to consider diverse values, viewpoints and expressions of the creative imagination. The collaborative atmosphere among students and faculty members on the theoretical challenges of classroom projects and the practical realization of public performances prepare students to present their imaginative ideas to others.

Through mentoring and advising from faculty, students work together, pushing each other to new levels of learning. They learn to clearly and appropriately present their imaginative ideas to others and explore their creativity. Most importantly, students develop a collective responsibility and commitment to their work.

The collaborative efforts don’t end in the classroom. Through faculty connections, many students find auditions among the 30 professional theatres around St. Louis, including the Fabulous Fox Theatre, located in the Grand Arts Center one block from campus; the newly renovated Peabody Opera House; and the Muny, America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater. By branching into these communities, students enhance their education by encountering new perspectives and new roles.

Each semester the theatre program produces a season of plays, challenging students to consider diverse values, viewpoints and expressions of the creative imagination.

Curriculum Overview

The program and core curriculum provide students with the educational foundation for success in careers inside and outside of theatre.

In keeping with the liberal arts focus of Saint Louis University and a long tradition of undergraduate theatre education, company members are expected to develop a basic level of proficiency and practical knowledge in all aspects of theatre while also completing the required core curriculum within the College of Arts and Sciences. The formation of a company highlights the collaborative nature of theatre and the importance of shared commitment and responsibility in pursuit of a goal.

The theatre major requires 36 credits of specialized classes that explore the theoretical, technical and performance aspects of the discipline. Students take three classes in theatre fundamentals, six classes in practical theatre skills and an additional three classes in advanced and applied skills. The applied skills courses can include classes in music performance and dance.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

The University Theatre stages four full-length plays on the 400-seat proscenium main stage and a variety of plays in the 70-seat studio theatre. Every theatre major is involved in some way with each production. Theatre majors and minors form a company of actors, designers and technicians that is responsible, with the mentorship and participation of faculty and staff, for all aspects of each work.

Benefits of this program also include several internship and career opportunities. Students participate in the Midwest Theatre Auditions and other local auditions for summer theatre jobs and internships with organizations across the country. Students pursue local employment and internship opportunities with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the St. Louis Black Repertory Company, Opera Theatre St. Louis, the Muny Theatre and other professional organizations.

Careers

Graduates from SLU's theatre program have worked in 30 professional theatres in and around St. Louis, including the Fabulous Fox Theatre, located in the Grand Center Arts district one block from campus; the newly renovated Peabody Opera House; and the Muny, America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater.

Alumni from the theatre program work in professional theatre, feature films, television productions, commercials and other venues where actors, playwrights, directors, designers and theatrical craftspeople are needed. Graduates are also able to use their skills in non-theatrical fields such as law, training, sales, marketing and other careers where presentation skills are key.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to characterize the social and artistic movements that have transformed theatre.
  2. Graduates will be able to analyze and interpret texts and performances through written and oral analysis or commentary.
  3. Graduates will be able to distinguish prominent developments, conventions, and genres of theatre history and dramatic literature in a social and historical context.
  4. Graduates will be able to practice collaborative skills in various theatrical roles and assignments.
  5. Graduates will be able to  create a personal definition of theatre and statement of intent.
  6. Graduates will be able to formulate and apply process skills in rehearsal, production, and classroom settings.
  7. Graduates will be able to demonstrate proficiency in one or more area-specific skills: acting, directing, design, technical theatre, management, playwriting, or dramaturgy.
  8. Graduates will be able to  experience the impact of design and production on the theatrical experience.
  9. Graduates will be able to identify theatre career opportunities.

Theatre majors must complete a minimum of 36 credits for the major.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Theatre Core
THR 1500Introduction to Theatre3
THR 2200Survey of Theatre Design3
THR 2510Acting I: Fundamentals3
THR 2520Stagecraft3
THR 3500Playscript Analysis3
THR 3550Theatre Practicum 10
THR 3600Professional Theatre: Career Preparation3
THR 3700Directing I: Theories & Method3
THR 4515History of Theatre and Dance Advanced Studies3
Theatre Elective Courses
Select four of the following:12
THR 2500
Costume Construction
THR 2530
Acting II: Rehearsal & Performance
THR 2540
Voice & Diction
THR 2560
Movement for the Theatre
THR 2580
Make-Up for the Stage
THR 2700
Exploring U.S. Diversity in Theatre
THR 3510
Musical Theatre Performance
THR 3520
Advanced Acting: Auditioning
THR 3610
Theatre Management Advanced Studies
THR 3620
Stage Management
THR 4570
Advanced Acting: Scene Study
THR 4590
Advanced Acting: Period Styles
THR 4620
Advanced Acting for the Camera
THR 4700
Directing II
General Electives18-27
Total Credits120
1

Majors must complete and pass 6 semesters

For students who intend to major in theatre:

  • A total of 18 credits of theatre coursework may be accepted toward the major requirements.
  • An audition or portfolio review/interview with a full-time theatre faculty member is required prior to final articulation of credits toward the major.
  • Theatre credits may be accepted that do not articulate as fulfilling a major requirement. These credits may be applied as related credits or as elective credit toward graduation.
  • A minimum of three semesters of THR 3550 Theatre Practicum (0 cr) is required to be successfully completed. The transfer student will be required to complete one less semester of THR 3550 Theatre Practicum (0 cr) than the expected semesters required to complete graduation requirements. For example, if a student’s program of study requires four semesters at SLU prior to graduation, three semesters of THR 3550 Theatre Practicum (0 cr) must be successfully completed. This requirement will be articulated at the time of matriculation into the program.

In general, practicum or internship theatre credits may not be used to fulfill the Fine Arts Core Requirement within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Continuation Standards

All theatre major/minor courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher in order to count for theatre major/minor requirements and to continue in the major/minor.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
THR 1500 Introduction to Theatre 3
THR 2510 Acting I: Fundamentals 3
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
CAS Core 9
 Credits15
Spring
THR 2520 Stagecraft 3
THR 3500 Playscript Analysis 3
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
CAS Core 6
Electives 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
THR 2200 Survey of Theatre Design 3
THR 4515 History of Theatre and Dance Advanced Studies 3
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
CAS Core 6
Electives 3
 Credits15
Spring
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
THR Elective 1 6
CAS Core 6
Electives 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
THR Elective 1 6
CAS Core 6
Electives 3
 Credits15
Spring
Recommended Study Aboard (CAS Core) 15
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
THR 3700 Directing I: Theories & Method 3
THR Elective 1 3
Electives 6
Fine Arts elective (non-theatre) 3
 Credits15
Spring
THR 3550 Theatre Practicum 0
THR 3600 Professional Theatre: Career Preparation 3
THR Elective 1 3
Electives 12
 Credits18
 Total Credits123

Program Notes

1Elective courses – Students must take 12 hours (4 courses) from the following:

THR 2500Costume Construction3
THR 2530Acting II: Rehearsal & Performance3
THR 2540Voice & Diction3
THR 2560Movement for the Theatre3
THR 2580Make-Up for the Stage3
THR 2700Exploring U.S. Diversity in Theatre3
THR 3510Musical Theatre Performance3
THR 3520Advanced Acting: Auditioning3
THR 3610Theatre Management Advanced Studies3
THR 3620Stage Management3
THR 4505Costume and Scene Design3
THR 4545Lighting and Sound Design3
THR 4570Advanced Acting: Scene Study3
THR 4590Advanced Acting: Period Styles3
THR 4620Advanced Acting for the Camera3
THR 4700Directing II3

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.