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Undergraduate Technical

BA in Theatre Arts - Option in Technical Theatre

Overview

The Bachelor of Arts Option in Technical Theatre is designed to offer the technical theatre and design student a broad curricular exposure in critical studies, and practical opportunities creating art for the theatre. Through this balanced combination of theory and practical experience, our undergraduate students have the opportunities to express what they feel about their world, and how to communicate it through their art.

Through the understanding and exploration of current cultural and artistic movements, and created with colleagues from a highly diverse student body, the BA student will have opportunities to design through the weekly Theatre Threshold productions. More advanced students will have opportunities to design main stage productions.

We have three theatres for the students to create their art. Along with fully staffed shops and state of the art automated lighting, video, and sound equipment, our technical students have access to the tools that are currently being used in the profession. In addition, our collaboration with other schools in the College of the Arts offer students training in CAD, 3D Printing, Architectural Lighting, Film and Electronic Arts, and Fine Art.

The measure of success in the program is the number of graduates who have gained entrance into prestigious graduate programs. They include NYU, Cal Arts, UCLA, etc.

Production Opportunities

Our general students get the opportunity to work with a diverse group of talented professionals in all areas of theatre who work nationally and internationally. We have worked hard to cultivate specialists in Acting, Design, Movement, Directing, Voice, Theatre History, Stage Management, and Theatre Management.

No more than eight units of Theatre Arts activity (cast and/or crew) will apply toward degree requirements. Crew requirements for all majors: One major running crew assignment in residence for each of the areas of costume, stagecraft and lighting to be satisfactorily completed. Students with transfer credit in those related courses must fulfill the same running crew requirements within the first three semesters of matriculation into the University.

At the start of a student’s first semester as a Theatre Arts Major, all incoming students, including transfer students (and those who have been inactive for a year in our department), are required to audition or interview. Auditions and interviews are conducted by appropriate faculty/student groups. These auditions are required for admittance to certain upper division classes and are therefore used for appropriate placement of students at their level of competency as determined by the faculty.

Our department offers many opportunities for designers and technicians. Information to learn more about who to ask regarding mainstage opportunities is available.

Our student-produced theatre company, Theatre Threshold, produces 28 shows a year and is always looking for designers and technicians. Our Theatre Threshold page can help you learn more and guide you on how to get involved.

Artists in Black

Artists in Black is our student association for technical majors and any other student interested in design, tech, and stage management. It was founded in 2012 to:

  • Assist incoming and transfer designers, technicians, and stage managers with acclimating to the department
  • Mentor designers, technicians and stage managers who are working on Theatre Threshold shows
  • Provide a forum for technical students to discuss curriculum concerns
  • Create a more connected community among the technicians, designers, and stage managers
  • Provide a job posting forum for technical theatre related internships and career opportunities
  • Coordinate technical theatre related workshops and events

Please feel free to reach out to us at any time. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas that may benefit technical theatre students, please email Artists in Black. You can also join us on our Artists in Black Facebook page.

* Artists in Black is a subcommittee of the Student Association of Theatre Arts (SATA)

Internships & Professional Development Opportunities

Theatre Arts faculty and staff are highly successful in placing our students in discipline specific professional internships in the LA area, nationally and internationally. Due to our location we are in the hub of the Southern California entertainment business.

Local internships have taken place at institutions including Disney, LA Opera, South Coast Repertory, International City Theatre, Long Beach Playhouse, The Chance Theatre, LA Fringe Festival, The Elephant Theatre, The Antaeus Theatre Company, Four Clowns, The Garage Theatre, LA’s Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, Casting Companies, Artist Agencies and many more.

Our students have worked nationally and internationally with our faculty members in locations including NYC, Colorado, Utah, St. Petersburg Russia, Tokyo, Tanzania, Costa Rica and Norway. 

Curriculum: Option in Technical Theatre: Scenery/Costume/Lighting Design (120 units)

Lower Division Core

Take all of the following courses: 

  • THEA 101 Fundamentals of (3) Prerequisites: None
  • THEA 111 Theatre Arts Showcase (1) Prerequisites: None 
  • THEA 114A Fundamentals of Acting (3) Prerequisites: None *"C" or better required.
  • THEA 116 Fundamentals of Collaboration (3) Prerequisites: 3 units of Theatre Arts or consent of instructor
  • THEA 141A Orientation to Production Crafts (3) Corequisites: THEA 140 or THEA 340.
  • THEA 141B Orientation to Production Crafts (3) Corequisites: THEA 140 or THEA 340.
  • THEA 221 History of Theatre and Drama to 1660 (3) Prerequisite: THEA 101 or concurrent enrollment or consent of instructor
  • THEA 222 History of Theatre and Drama Since 1660 (3) Prerequisite: THEA 221 or consent of instructor​

Upper Division Core

Take all of the following courses:

  • THEA 324 Theatre Today (3) Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirements, one or more Explorations courses, and upper-division standing
  • THEA 327 Theatre, Protest and Social Change (3)  
    Prerequisite: G.E. foundation and upper-division status. Students must have scored an 11 or higher on the GWAR Placement Examination  
    or completed the necessary portfolio course that is a prerequisite for a GWAR Writing Intensive Capstone
  • THEA 374 Fundamentals of Directing (3) Prerequisites: THEA 101 and 114A or consent of instructor
  • THEA 418 Theatre of Community Engagement (3) Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor
  • THEA 426 Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3) Prerequisites: None

Take all of the following courses:

  • THEA 352 Foundations of Visual Expression (3) Prerequisites: None
  • THEA 433 Design for Theatre (3) Prerequisites: THEA 142, 146, 148 or consent of instructor.

Take four units from the following courses:

  • THEA 140, THEA 240, THEA 340, THEA 440

Take 12 units from the following courses:

  • THA 323, THEA 341, THEA 342, THEA 441, THEA 442, THEA 444, THEA 446, THEA 447, THEA 448, THEA 449, THEA 476, THEA 498.

No more than eight units of Theatre Arts activity (cast and/or crew) will apply toward degree requirements. Crew requirements for all majors: One major running crew assignment in residence for each of the areas of costume, stagecraft and lighting to be satisfactorily completed. Students with transfer credit in those related courses must fulfill the same running crew requirements within the first three semesters of matriculation into the University.

At the beginning of the semester, all incoming students, including transfer students (including those who have been inactive for a year in our department), are required to audition or interview. Auditions and interviews are conducted by appropriate faculty/student groups. These auditions are required for admittance to certain upper division classes and are therefore used for appropriate placement of students at their level of competency as determined by the faculty.

All technical theatre majors will also fulfill four production requirements in order to graduate. This requirement is met through scene, lighting, sound, costume, or makeup design or assistant design; technical direction or assistant; prop master; master painter; stage management or assistant; cutter or stitcher; or by special assignments as approved by the faculty in the appropriate area.

Information on applying is available.