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Department of Theatre

Our graduates have mastered fundamental vocabulary and skills from all of the crafts of theatre, and thoroughly understand how these aspects work together to create rich, complex and unified works of art.

The cross-training provided by our Theatre Program fosters understanding of and respect for all of the artists involved in creating a live stage performance. We feel that our approach produces well-rounded theatre practitioners who will be effective at any level of production, from high school to Broadway and beyond. Our blend of classroom and experiential learning provides an ideal foundation for continued study in the discipline and arms our graduates with the confidence and experience to pursue a wide range of careers and academic pathways.

We value collaboration and high academic goals in the learning and teaching of theatre, while preparing students for the realities of a competitive profession.

Our students gain authentic practice in many aspects of theatre, including: acting, directing, dramaturgy and text analysis, stage management; scenic, costume, make-up, sound and lighting design; construction and fabrication of sets, props & costumes, wigs, make-up & prosthetics; wardrobe and running crew experience; as well as independent study, teaching assistantships, and internship opportunities with professional theatres and arts organizations.

What Can A Student Do With This Degree?

Our graduates frequently pursue professional careers in theater, television, film, regional and corporate theater, arts advocacy, and education. Many of our students pursue graduate degrees at top institutions, while others join professional unions and associations in the field (Actors’ Equity, United Scenic Artists, IATSE, Screen Actors’ Guild, etc.) Our students gain valuable insight into the functions and requirements of unions in the field of performing arts, the realities of employment in the theatre professions, and the preparations required for continuing on into graduate programs of study. They leave our program informed about the challenges and opportunities intrinsic to careers in theatre.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of internships and alumni/faculty contacts to bridge the transition from college to professional careers, and faculty continue to mentor graduates in those crucial years after graduation.

Where is the Theatre Department located?

The faculty offices, classrooms, and performance spaces are located in the Elfenbein Fine Arts Center. The main offices and the department secretary are housed in Fine Arts 106.

The Theatre Department was established as an independent academic department in the Fall of 2006, having previously been housed in the Communication Arts Department. The faculty offices, classrooms, and performance spaces are located in the Elfenbein Fine Arts Center. The main offices and the department secretary are housed in Fine Arts 106. While theatre is a well established major at Oneonta, the increased visibility and flexibility of the newly formed Theatre Department is producing changes in the academic and production activities of our faculty.

What degrees are offered through the department?

B.A. in Theatre - for students interested in studying theatre as part of a general liberal arts education.
B.S. in Theatre - for students wishing to specialize in a concentrated program of theatre study.

We offer minor programs in Theater and Dance (in cooperation with the Physical Education Department), so that students wishing to complete other academic majors at the college can still concentrate in theatre and receive recognition for their studies.

Do majors need to audition to get into the program?

No. Any student accepted into the college or currently enrolled may choose to declare as a theatre major, or pursue a minor in theatre or dance.

Can non-majors audition for shows in the department?

Yes. Theatre productions are open to students enrolled in any program of study. While faculty try to ensure that declared majors receive consistent opportunities for performance and involvement in productions, any student may audition and participate. Theatre department productions typically include a cross-section of students pursuing a variety of majors.

Who are the Theatre Faculty?

The Theatre Department consists of four full-time teaching faculty, two full-time non-teaching staff, and a small group of adjunct faculty. All of the full-time teaching faculty have earned the highest possible degrees in their teaching specialties. Most of the faculty also maintain professional theatre affiliations and credentials, continuing to work as designers, production staff, actors, directors, voice coaches and consultants in academic and professional theatre organizations. Our faculty prides itself on quality teaching and values collaboration with our students and among ourselves. We strive to make our courses responsive to the post-graduate world our students will enter. Please follow this link for a more detailed description of our faculty.

What are the Theatre Facilities?

We have two beautiful theaters for use by our department—The Goodrich Theatre, a large proscenium house which seats 487, received recent renovations in 1999 and 2005. Our flexible “black box," The Hamblin Theatre, seats 200 and completed a total renovation in 2001. It is slated for additional improvements during 2007. We also have fully equipped scene and costume shops, teaching and studio spaces and dedicated dressing room, box office, and storage areas in the theatre complex. All these facilities and the offices of theatre faculty are located in the Fine Arts Building on the Oneonta campus.

Are there Student Organizations associated with Theatre at Oneonta?

Mask & Hammer, the Theater Club, works closely with the Theater faculty to support and promote theatre productions and events. The club is an active and dynamic campus organization, promoting opportunities for students of all majors to become involved in theater activities and sponsoring a variety of social and artistic events throughout the academic year. Follow this link to visit the Mask and Hammer website.

Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ) is the American National Theater Honors Fraternity. Membership is open to those who are active in the college theatre. Students must participate in a certain number of shows and receive points to be considered for membership.

Does the Department help with Internships?

Students are encouraged to pursue internship opportunities and can receive academic credit and/or valuable experience in the professional theatre. Theatre faculty provide assistance and support for students wishing to arrange and apply for internship opportunities. Internships with professional theatre and production companies can provide a preview of experiences that lie beyond graduation or a beginning foothold for graduates beginning careers in the field.

How do Teaching Assistantships work?

Students can work closely with a faculty member in the teaching and management of a faculty member’s course. If a student has successfully completed the course and fits the college criteria to serve as a teaching assistant, he or she can receive one to three credits of Theater credit and gain valuable teaching experience.

Department of Theatre | 106 Fine Arts Center | Tel: 607.436.3456 | Fax: 607.436.3466