Theatre Arts

Rocky Mountain College's theatre arts program provides students with a liberal arts-based theatre education. It the goal of the program that students will develop a lifelong passion for this collaborative art form. The program encourages all students on campus to participate in theatre production. By its very nature, theatre is multi-disciplinary.

The theatre arts program provides both majors and non-majors with experience as performers, technicians, and designers. When building performance skills, students explore the creative process using their imagination, movement, and voice. According to their interests, students may also explore directing or stage management. Studies in technical design may include scenery, lighting, costumes, or sound. Upon graduation, students will have worked in all major genres and be prepared for a future in theatre.

Theatre arts offers two areas of concentration for the major (performance or technical) and a minor. Either concentration encompasses intensive professional training while preparing students for graduate school or employment in theatre.

Learning Outcomes

Performance
Students who graduate with a concentration in theatre arts – performance will:

  1. Build performance skills;
  2. Explore themselves and their production role through the creative process;
  3. Work comfortably within a variety of styles and periods;
  4. Use the senses, imagination, movement, emotion, concentration, and voice to build character (as either an actor or director);
  5. Learn the necessary skills for placement in graduate school or the job market.
Technical
Students who graduate with a concentration in theatre arts – technical will:

  1. Build performance skills;
  2. Explore themselves and their production role through the creative process;
  3. Work comfortably within a variety of styles and periods;
  4. Use stage management, lighting design, set design, makeup design, sound design, and/or costume design to help implement the concept for a play;
  5. Learn the necessary skills for placement in graduate school or the job market.

Performance Concentration

A minimum of 39 semester hours is required, including:
THR 132: Acting I: Beginning Acting
THR 232: Acting II: Characterization
THR 240: Voice and Diction
THR 335: Acting III: Shakespearean
THR 349: Directing I
THR 432: Audition Preparation
THR 433: Theatre History I: Beginnings through Neoclassicism
THR 434: Theatre History II: Neoclassicism to the Present
THR 435: Acting IV: Period Acting Styles
THR 483: Senior Project

Three semester hours required:
THR 291: Theatre Practicum
or
THR 391: Theatre Practicum

Choose two of the following:
THR 135: Stage Makeup
THR 230: Movement for Theatre
THR 247: Puppetry
THR 347: Musical Theatre
THR 180, 280, 380, 480: Special Topics
THR 440: Performance/Design

Technical Concentration

A minimum of 42 semester hours is required, including:
THR 131: Technical Production
THR 235: Drafting for the Stage
THR 336: Rendering for the Stage
THR 349: Directing I
THR 433: Theatre History I: Beginnings through Neoclassicism
THR 434: Theatre History II: Neoclassicism to the Present
THR 483: Senior Project

Four semesters of one of the following, with at least one semester of THR 391:
THR 291: Theatre Practicum
THR 391: Advanced Theatre Practicum

Choose two of the following:
THR 310: Lighting Design
THR 315: Scene Design
THR 320: Costuming for the Stage

Choose nine semester hours from the following:
THR 135: Stage Makeup
THR 245: Scene Painting
THR 391: Advanced Theatre Practicum
THR 180, 280, 380, 480: Special Topics
THR 440: Performance/Design

Minor in Theatre Arts

A minimum of 19 semester hours is required, including:
THR 101: Introduction to Theatre
THR 131: Technical Production
THR 132: Acting I: Beginning Acting
THR 135: Stage Makeup
THR 291: Theatre Practicum
THR 433: Theatre History I: Beginnings Through Neo-Classicism
THR 434: Theatre History II: Romanticism to the Present

THR 101 - Introduction to Theatre
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a survey of the unique world of live theatre. Students will examine theatre as an art, exploring its various components: the actor, the playwright, the designer, the director, the dramatic structure, and the history of theatre.
THR 131 - Technical Production
Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3
Students examine a practical approach to the fundamentals of technical theatre. The course includes becoming familiar with tools, equipment, and the technology used in stage construction. Construction projects are required.
THR 132 - Acting I: Beginning Acting
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 3
The student receives the fundamental skills and techniques for an in-depth exploration of the acting process. Through monologue and scene work, improvisations and exercises, students will learn to communicate effectively with others on- and off-stage. Areas of concentration include the development of self-awareness, vocal production, physical flexibility, and emotional exploration.
THR 135 - Stage Makeup
Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3
Students receive practical training in the design and application of theatrical makeup. Class projects will include standard, corrective, animal, fantasy, monster, and other makeups.
THR 203 - Creative Drama
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Creative drama is a student-centered, process-oriented form of drama in which the focus is on the personal development of the participant. Students do drama exercises, which help them to develop skills in building character, relating to a setting, improvisation, story dramatization, social drama, and applications of this process for more formal theatre work. Students create five scenes with fellow students, performing roles in those scenes before class peers. This course fulfills the core curriculum requirement for fine arts.
THR 230 - Movement for Theatre
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
In this course, the focus is on the principles, practices, and exercises in body technique and stage movement. The student learns concentration, centering, balance, agility, and movement skills through various techniques.
THR 232 - Acting II: Characterization
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course builds upon the principles developed in THR 132. It stretches the actor's range by exploring methods of creating a character. Scene analysis is examined to discover the essence of the character, clarifying motivation and intention. Selected scenes from realistic texts by Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg, and Shaw will be incorporated.
Prerequisite: THR 132
THR 235 - Drafting for the Stage
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course is a study of the drafting skills and techniques required for technicians and designers. Time will be spent in the study of hand-drafting as well as computer-aided drafting.
THR 240 - Voice and Diction
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Fundamental concepts of vocal production are examined in this course. Students take an in-depth look at the vocal mechanism and its importance to the live stage performance. The course prepares the student to effectively produce audible, intelligible speech. Each student will become proficient utilizing "standard stage" speech.
THR 242 - Modern Dramatic Literature
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Focusing on script analysis, students consider diverse trends in playwriting and theatrical performances over the past 100 years as viewed through the works of the major playwrights of Europe and the United States. Trends studied include realism, expressionism, surrealism, cubism, and absurdism. This course encourages cross-cultural understanding. This course is cross-listed with ENG 242.
THR 245 - Scene Painting
Semester: Spring; Alternate odd years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides an overview of various painting techniques used in a theatrical setting. These may include, but are not limited to, woodgraining, marble, brick, and stenciling. A fee for materials will be charged.
THR 247 - Puppetry
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
The course examines the use of puppets in educational, recreational, therapeutic, and religious settings. Design, construction, and manipulation of various kinds of puppets will be covered. Students will be given opportunities to develop performance skills through theatrical processes. While the course will focus on fundamentals, students will be encouraged to pursue their special puppetry interests and needs.
THR 253 - Classical Dramatic Literature
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Focusing on script analysis, this course provides a chronological study of the major theatrical periods of dramatic literature from the emergence of Greek tragedy in the 5th century BC to the development of European realism in the late 19th century. The course also encourages cross-cultural understanding. This course is cross-listed with ENG 253.
THR 291 - Theatre Practicum
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 1
Students participate in theatre productions under the supervision of the theatre faculty. Credit may be given for lighting, set construction, house management, costuming, publicity, and more. Grades are on a pass/no pass basis only.
THR 299 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
THR 310 - Lighting Design
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a study of the principles, technology, and aesthetics of designing stage lighting. Practical application is emphasized.
THR 315 - Scene Design
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course examines the principles and aesthetics of generating practical, working designs for the modern stage. Requirements include models and research presentations.
THR 320 - Costuming for The Stage
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course will investigate the role of costumes in theatrical production. Topics include costume history, color theory, and light/fabric relationships. Practical designs and construction projects will be completed.
THR 335 - Acting III: Shakespearean Techniques
Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Students will explore and apply the techniques necessary for the preparation and performance of Shakespeare. The focus of the work is on thorough script and verse analysis, interpretation, voice, and movement. Acting monologues and several scenes are required.
Prerequisite: THR 232
THR 336 - Rendering for The Stage
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
A study of the media and techniques used to present a theatrical design. Practical application in rendering scenic, lighting, and costume design.
THR 347 - Musical Theatre
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
This course provides an introduction to musical theatre. Study includes such topics as musical conventions, historical perspectives, actability of musical numbers, and staging of numbers. The course will culminate in an evening performance of prepared audition numbers.
THR 349 - Directing I
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course examines and develops the skills necessary in stage directing, from play selecting to the final performance. Students will analyze, develop, and direct a one-act play presented for the public. This performance must incorporate informed criticisms. The following is a list of suggested classes the student should take prior to enrolling in this class: THR 131, THR 132, THR 230, THR 232, THR 240, and THR 291.
THR 391 - Advanced Theatre Practicum
Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 2-3
Students participate in theatre productions under the supervision of the theatre faculty. Credit may be given for lighting, set construction, house management, costuming, and publicity. Each project will be given a letter grade.
Prerequisite: permission of professor
THR 432 - Audition Preparation
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
Cold readings, prepared auditions, and the interview will be scrutinized. Upon completion of this course, students will be equipped to present diversified auditions. Effective résumés and photographs will be examined.
Prerequisite: THR 132
THR 433 - Theatre History I: Beginnings to Neoclassicism
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a chronological study of the history of theatre from its origins to the 1850s. Critical theories, representative plays, and the physical conditions that contributed to the mainstream of theatrical history will be covered.
THR 434 - Theatre History II: Neoclassicism to The Present
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
This course provides a chronological study of the history of theatre from Darwinism through modern drama. Critical theories, representative plays, physical conditions, theatrical conventions, and cultural and social movements, which affect the mainstream of theatrical history, will be covered.
THR 435 - Acting IV: Period Acting Styles
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Students examine and perform fundamental styles of movement and expression dictated by specific historical periods.
Prerequisite: THR 335
THR 440 - Performance/Design
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
Performance concentration: Students prepare and perform a major role in a Rocky Mountain College production. Each role must be approved and supervised by faculty. A daily rehearsal and performance journal along with a major character analysis paper are required. The paper will address the role being undertaken and how it fits into the thematic structure of the piece, as well as how the actor applies the arc of the character in performance. Credit is dependent on role. This course is repeatable to a maximum of three credits.

Design concentration: Students will prepare a design for a major element in a Rocky Mountain College production. A daily journal during the building process and technical rehearsals is needed. A critical paper is required, addressing struggles and successes within the process. Credit is dependent on development and creation of the design.
THR 450 - Internship
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-12
This course is a guided work experience in an already established place of business. The student must arrange the internship in agreement with the instructor and the Office of Career Services. The internship should relate to the student's major or minor area of study. Contract is required.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing
THR 471 - Shakespeare
Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3
Students are provided with an advanced examination of representative Shakespearean plays. Emphasis is placed equally on script analysis and the acting process.
THR 483 - Senior Project
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 3
A course designed for the senior as a culmination of study in his/her area of concentration. Theatre faculty must approve the project by the end of the student’s junior year. Each project will be closely supervised by faculty. Requirements for this course can be met in one of four ways:
  • Acting: A student will act a major role in a full-length play. Journals and analysis are required;
  • Directing: A student will direct a full-length play during Rocky Mountain College's main season. Journals and analysis are required;
  • Play writing: A student will write a play and arrange for a public reading of that play. Journals and analysis are required;
  • Technical: A student must complete a design for lights, costumes, and/or sets for a Rocky Mountain College or Billings Studio Theatre production. A technical student may also stage manage a major production. Journals and analysis are required.
Students will meet individually on a regular basis with their faculty supervisor throughout the duration of the project. Performance students will be required to turn in character analysis, play analysis, and/or research paperwork. Technical students will be required to turn in all design (or management) paperwork. Deadlines for the appropriate paperwork will be determined at the beginning of the semester during which the senior project will be competed. Following completion of the senior project, students will meet with all theatre faculty to discuss the production, journal, analysis work, and upcoming goals.
Prerequisite: To be eligible for THR 438, a performance major must have auditioned for every RMC production during the semesters they were a declared major and on RMC's campus. A technical major must have participated in the build and run of every RMC production during the semesters they were a declared major and on RMC's campus.
THR 490 - Seminar
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
Selected topics in theatre are explored.
THR 499 - Independent Study
Semester: On Demand
Semester hours: 1-3
This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
Prerequisite: junior or senior standing