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The Department of Theatre at Ohio State is committed to a liberal arts approach to theatre education. The Bachelor of Arts degree prepares students to become self-reliant theatre makers with a rich understanding of the role of performance in public culture.
There are four core aims in the undergraduate program:
Fundamentally, the Department of Theatre believes that nurturing creativity while also fostering critical inquiry is essential to the creation of innovative live performance.
Ohio State's location in central Ohio and its relationship to the Wexner Center for the Arts and to key area theatres places it in the midst of a dynamic theatre scene. Between the networks of professionals from the region and those who visit the Wexner Center, you will meet engaging, significant guest artists in many workshops and residencies. Recent residencies have featured figures like Marcel Marceau, Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Kathleen Turner, Petr Metasek, Elevator Repair Service, Julie Taymor, Caridad Svich, C. Denby Swanson and Jon Stewart.
With a Theatre BA, you can individualize your program, deciding when to take required courses to best suit your particular interests. And, you can customize your program of study to zero in on acting, new works development, design or technical theatre based on the ways you select from the rich array of electives. Because the program is flexible, students are able to take advantage of the breadth of courses available across Ohio State’s campus and regularly undertake minors, second majors, study abroad experiences, internships and senior honors or distinction projects.
The InterACT Theatre Project for Social Change is a collaborative project co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre and University Center for the Advancement of Teaching. Developed by Robin Post, InterACT uses the techniques of theatre to help university community members talk about difficult and complex issues in a safe and controlled environment. In InterACT, student actors collaborate to research a particular campus issue and craft a performance about it by enacting scenarios likely to occur on campus and in classrooms. Student actors then facilitate a conversation with the audience to expand dialogue surrounding the issue.
Use of improvisational acting techniques to develop the performance of an outreach touring theatre production.
A practicum class focusing on the specific challenges of acting for the camera. In a studio setting and with a focus on the camera’s intimacy, we will use contemporary scenes to explore the particular technical and artistic demands of film, television and video acting. We will also investigate the possibilities of employing specific movement techniques to solve on-camera acting challenges. In addition, we will discuss the realities of working as a professional actor in film and television and video.
Many people assume that the theatre profession is limited to acting on stage or screen, but there are far more things that students with degrees in theatre learn how to do. Students have gone on to direct, design, and write for the theatre. They are also stage managers, theatre technicians, dramaturgs, box office managers, teaching artists, marketing managers, fundraisers and arts administrators. Some of them develop and tour their own work. They work in New York, in LA, and in regional theatres across the nation. But they also work in other fields where people with expertise in theatre are sought: theme parks, museums, digital media companies and educational institutions.
Your assigned arts and sciences advisor, Ryan Heitkamp, is here to help you select courses, identify special academic and career opportunities, meet graduation requirements, understand university policies and procedures and access campus support services. Visit him in 100 Denny Hall for an appointment. He also holds drop-in hours in Drake Union in the River Den Lounge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to an academic advisor, each undergraduate theatre major is assigned a faculty advisor. You are invited to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss big-picture questions about career planning, seeking internships, and connecting to theatre in the Columbus community. Each semester, the Department of Theatre hosts an Undergraduate Advising Day and Course Fair where students can learn about upcoming course and production opportunities, as well as have a dedicated day in which they can meet with their faculty advisor.
Honors advisors provide advice on your university Honors Contract. Honors Office counselors can assist you with procedural matters, information about degree requirements, an Honors Thesis and other special honors opportunities.