Theatre Major

Program Director: Maura Keefe, Ph.D. 

Small classes, diversity, and a close-knit environment promote a strong sense of community within the Theatre major. An extensive production schedule offers students a myriad of opportunities to practice their craft. 

A supportive and stimulating environment fosters creative development and spurs achievement. Our comprehensive curriculum embraces the liberal arts approach to theatre study and cultivates skills - discipline, creativity, self-confidence, and critical thinking - that are valuable in all career fields. Students gain a strong foundation in theatre arts and have the opportunity to tailor the degree to their strengths and interests. 

Our performance and design/production faculty members are active in their fields (members of Actors Equity and United Scenic Artists), providing students a vital link to the world of professional theatre. Our history/theory faculty members regularly publish and participate at national and international conferences. Situated in close proximity to the vibrant Washington/Baltimore theatre communities, students have ready access to the best of contemporary and classical productions at more than 80 professional theatres. Through professional affiliations with many of these theatre companies, students enjoy unique opportunities such as internships, workshops, partnership projects, and blended productions. 

An audition, portfolio, or interview is not required for admission to the program. Courses offered by this Department may be found under the following acronym(s): THET, TDPS, DANC, AASP, HONR, JAPN, JWST, WMST, ANTH. 

Admission to the Major

An audition/portfolio is not required to become a Theatre major. For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Coordinator of Student Services Susan Miller at

Placement in Courses

Many theatre performance and production courses above the sophomore level require an audition, interview, and/or permission of the department.

Program Objectives

Our Mission

The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies advances and transforms the research and practice of theatre, dance, and performance studies through its commitment to excellence and innovative education in the performing arts.

Our Vision

We envision a school that serves as a national model for collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship in the performing arts. The theatre program offers a balanced liberal arts education that integrates production, design, and scholarship. The B.A. in Theatre seeks to introduce students to the history, theory, and literature of theatre; to offer them insights into the cultural diversity that has shaped the creation of theatrical forms around the world; to allow them to develop their own aesthetic sensibilities and perspectives as an artist and audience member; and to offer them practical training in the areas of theatre craft, which ranges from design, to directing, and to performance.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate fundamental knowledge of theatre performance, design, history, craft and literature analysis.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills and the ability to communicate with both written and spoken word and artistic vision.
  3. Students will develop the ability to interpret and analyze dramatic texts with critical understanding of content and methodology.
  4. Students will expand their awareness of the basic methods and principles for creating a dialogue between theory and practice.
  5. Students will develop the ability to work effectively within a collaborative environment.

Requirements for the College of Arts and Humanities include a minimum of 3xx or 4xx level credits and the Global Engagement Requirement.  Students in the Theatre major prior to the Fall 2009 semester should consult the unit for prior curriculum requirements.

Course Title Credits
College Requirements
Foundation Series (16 credits): 1
TDPS201Introduction to Technical Production 23
THET116Fundamentals of Theatrical Design 23
THET222Foundations of Acting and Performance 23
THET223Text and Context in Western Theatre 23
TDPS479Production Practicum (4-1 credit courses) 2,34
Area Menu
Students must take courses from each Area as delineated below. Students may enter the Area Menu after completing appropriate prerequisites:
Performance Area:3
Select three credits
Design Area:6
Select 6 credits; 3 at the 3xx or 4xx level
History of Theatre I
Theatre History II
Select 3 credits at 4xx level3
Supporting Courses
Select 15 credits of Supporting Courses 415
Total Credits49

Foundation Series courses may be taken in any sequence.


THET222, THET223, one credit of TDPS479, and either THET116 or TDPS201 must be completed by the end of the second semester or 30 credits.


TDPS479 (4 - 1 credit courses for a total of 4 credit hours) cannot be taken until TDPS201 is completed. TDPS479 must be completed in 3 different areas - costume, scenic, lighting and sound. Students are expected to complete one TDPS479 course by the end of the 2nd semester or 30 credits, and all 4 courses by the end of the 6th semester or 90 credits.


 12 credits of THET/TDPS Courses. 12 credits must be 3xx or 4xx level coursework. Supporting course credits may come from the Performance, Design/Production, or History/Theory Area menus OR any combination of the four menus. Students may also petition to their advisor for other suitable courses to be accepted, conditional on course work relating to their area of focus. For course prerequisites contact the Department that is offering the course or check Testudo online ( For a complete listing of Supporting Courses check the Undergraduate page of the Theatre website at

Students must take courses from each Area as delineated below. Students may enter the Area Menu after completing appropriate prerequisites. 

Area Menu

Performance Area

Prerequisite: 3 credits required 

Students may only audition twice for each course requiring an audition for enrollment.

Course Title Credits
THET285The Art of Communication and Presentation3
THET310Voice for the Actor I 13
THET324Character Development 13
THET325Actor's Process I 13
THET330Play Directing I3
THET360Voice Archetypes3
THET411Voice for the Actor II 13
THET420Language and the Actor 13
THET424Movement II: Advanced Studies in Movement and Mask Theatre 13
THET425Actor's Process II 13
THET451Musical Theatre Workshop I 13
THET452Musical Theatre Workshop II 13

Requires an audition

Design/Production Area

Prerequisites: 6 credits required; three at the 3xx or 4xx level 

Some courses require departmental or instructor approval

Course Title Credits
THET274Introduction to Stage Management3
THET282Stage Makeup3
THET284Stage Costume Construction I3
THET371Scenic Design I3
THET372Stage Property Design3
THET377Lighting Design for Performance3
THET380Sound Design3
THET383Costume Design I3
THET384Stage Costume Construction II3
THET465History of Fashion for the Theatre3
THET471Design Studio in Scenery3
THET472Scene Painting3
THET473Rendering for the Theatre II3
THET474Advanced Stage Management3
THET475History of Art, Architecture, and Decor for the Theatre3
THET477Design Studio in Lighting3
THET481Theatre Graphics II: Computer Assisted Design3
THET482Scene Painting II3

History/Theory Area

Prerequisites: 9 credits required; THET390, THET391, one additional course at 4xx level 

Course Title Credits
THET390History of Theatre I3
THET391Theatre History II3
THET408Seminar: Theory and Performance Studies3
THET488Special Topics in Theatre History Before 18003
THET489Special Topics in Theatre History from 1800 to Present3

All seminars offered at the 4xx/6xx level require undergraduate students to obtain permission from the instructor and to have completed either THET488 or THET489. This includes: THET408/THET608, THET486/THET686, THET498/THET698.

Major requirements include 49 credits of course work in Theatre. Of the 49 credits, at least 28 credit hours must be 3xx or 4xx level. No course with a grade less than "C-" may be used to satisfy major or supporting area requirements. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation. No course for the major may be taken Pass/Fail or Audit.

Other Requirements for the Major

As the Area and Supporting Course Menus do not require specific course choices, students may select courses according to their interests and abilities.  In consultation with their advisor, students may choose to tailor their degree and create a focus in a specific area of interest to prepare them for the profession or entrance to graduate school.

Click here for roadmaps for graduation plans in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Additional information on developing a graduation plan can be found on the following pages: