Theater and Dance

Associate Professor Polin, Chair; Professor Dworin; Associate Professors Farlow, Karger, Power, and Preston; Visiting Assistant Professors Hendrick and Sage; Visiting Lecturers Agrawal, Borteck Gersten, Creary, and Matias; and Visiting Lecturer and Director of Trinity/La MaMa Urban Arts Semester in New York City Burke

The theater and dance curriculum focuses on the diverse modes of contemporary performance in order to examine the evolution of theater and dance, in practice and in theory, over time and across cultures. To this end, the major offers students the choice of one of four tracks in which to concentrate their studies as well as a small group of core courses to provide a common experience at the beginning and end of the student’s course of study in the major.

The 100-, 200-, and some 300-level courses in the department are designed for students with a general interest as well as for those students intending to become majors.

The theater and dance major—Students are required to complete 13 course credits for the major. Students who choose the two-credit thesis option will complete 14 course credits for the major.

Required core courses:

The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled either by the one-credit THDN 496-497. Senior Thesis, or by the two-credit THDN 498-499. Senior Thesis.

In addition to completing the three required core courses, students will choose one of three tracks listed as follows:

Performance track

In this track, students examine a wide array of approaches to performance techniques and disciplines that are fundamental to contemporary performance practice. Students in this track will be expected to author their own performance work as well as participate regularly in departmental productions.

Arts in the community track

In this track, students investigate the ways that theater, dance, and performance are integrated into the social and educational institutions in our culture. Students will look at how the arts impact community in terms of education, health, racial and gender equality, as well as other issues of social justice.

Writing, directing, and dramaturgy track

In this track, students will explore the historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions of theatrical practice. Students will have the opportunity to write and/or direct their own stage productions and to engage in an in-depth research project.

Students participating in departmental productions receive .25 credit per production for THDN 109. Performance and THDN 109. Production and .50 credit per production for THDN 309. Stage Production, and must obtain their adviser’s permission to count a production toward the major.

In addition, all majors are required to complete 90 hours of design/production work in the Department of Theater and Dance. Upon declaring the major, the student will develop a plan with the performing arts technical director. It is recommended that students complete their production hours in 30-hour segments over the course of three semesters.

A grade of C- or higher must be obtained in all courses for the major. The last term of the senior year must be in residence. No more than three full credits in techniques and applications of theater and dance courses (THDN 109, THDN 209, and THDN 309) may be counted toward fulfillment of the general credit requirement for the bachelor’s degree.

Honors—Typically, departmental honors are awarded to students who have at least an A- average in courses required for the major and earn at least an A- in a two-credit thesis. Students who complete an exceptional one-credit thesis and have an A- average in courses required for the major may also be considered for honors.

Trinity/La MaMa Performing Arts Program in New York City—Sponsored by the Department of Theater and Dance, this semester program utilizes the landscape and history of New York City as a catalyst for an intensive study in theater, dance, and performance. Based at the historic and critically acclaimed La MaMa Experimental Theater Club (E.T.C.), the program offers students an immersion experience in the unique and vibrant New York arts scene. Occurring in the fall semester, the program is designed for both major and non-major arts students. The program includes a comprehensive academic seminar, an internship at a nonprofit arts organization, performance practice classes, attendance at multiple performances each week, and multi-arts exploration of NYC as a field-study site. The program culminates with a performance presented both at Trinity and at La MaMa E.T.C. In order to foster dynamic academic and artistic growth, the interdisciplinary learning approach includes group and individualized study and research. In addition to students with a focus in theater, dance, and performance, the semester can accommodate those interested in other genres. Further information is available from Professor Michael Burke, program director, by telephone at (212) 598-3058 or by e-mail:; or from Professor Judy Dworin of the Department of Theater and Dance, at Students earn five course credits for the program, not more than three of which may be counted toward the major in the Department of Theater and Dance. See course descriptions for THDN 401. Performance Workshop, THDN 405. The Nonprofit Arts Organization, and THDN 411. Performance Analysis.

Fall Term

Spring Term