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Theater Arts B.A.

Information and Policies

Academic Advising for the Program

General information about theater arts and dance degrees is available on the Theater Arts Department website. Students are also strongly encouraged to consult early with the Theater Arts Department adviser to create an academic plan for the major or a minor far in advance of declaration, as early as the summer before beginning at the university. Please use Slug Success to make an appointment. You may also contact the department adviser by emailing theater@ucsc.edu or calling (831) 459-2974. 

Transfer students—please also see the How to Declare a Major and the Transfer Information and Policy sections below. 

 

Program Learning Outcomes

Our program stresses dance, design, and drama as essential disciplines in the successful practice of theater arts in the contemporary world.

Graduates from the Theater Arts B.A. program should demonstrate the following:

  1. Foundations of Performance. Students should be able to identify and apply basic theatrical techniques in dance, design, and drama.
  2. Theatrical histories and theories. Students should be able to recognize and analyze performance works within the general culture and historical period that produced them.
  3. Performance experience. Students should be able to translate theater arts concepts into performance, participating in any theatrical endeavor with the rigor, discipline, and imagination necessary to make a meaningful contribution.
  4. Research proficiency. Students should be able to formulate personal research questions that expand their knowledge of theater arts, conducting independent research into the history and theory of at least one area of interest.
  5. Creative practice. Students should be able to use theatrical practices and performance experiences to conceive, design, realize, and reflect on new performance projects.
  6. Appreciation of diversity. Students should be able to recognize and appreciate a wide variety of approaches, cultures, and styles in both past and contemporary performance practice.
  7. Communication and critical thinking. Students should be able to use critical vocabularies to communicate clearly about theater arts in written and oral forms.
  8. Collaborative skills. Students should be able to work confidently and effectively in groups on a common project.

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

Transfer students—please see the How to Declare a Major and the Transfer Information and Policy sections below. 

To declare the major no later than the major declaration deadline in their sixth term, as required by the university, students who start UC Santa Cruz as frosh must have successfully completed three lower-division courses:

One course from:
THEA 61AAncient and Medieval Drama

5

THEA 61BDrama from the Renaissance to the Modern Age

5

THEA 61CThe Birth of the Modern: Drama and Performance After the Renaissance

5

Plus two courses chosen from:
THEA 10Introduction to Theater Design and Technology

5

THEA 30Introduction to Dance Theory and Technique

5

Either this course

THEA 20Introductory Studies in Acting

5

or this course

THEA 21Acting Studio I: Psychological Realism

5

Either THEA 20 or THEA 21 may be used as one of the three courses taken for declaration eligibility (not both). THEA 20 is a non-audition course designed for students with little or no experience in acting. THEA 21 is geared toward students with some acting experience and is admission-by-audition (auditions are held on the first day of class). Please speak with the department adviser for more information.

Students who start UCSC as frosh are encouraged to complete the three qualification courses as early in their studies as possible so that they may declare the major no later than the end of sophomore year, as required by the university.

Appeal Process

Students who are informed that they are not eligible to declare the major may appeal this decision by submitting a letter to the department chair within 15 days from the date the notification was mailed. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student and college of the decision. Students should submit their appeal via email to theater@ucsc.edu

How to Declare a Major

To declare the theater arts major, minor or dance minor all students meet with the academic adviser to begin the declaration process either by making an appointment (via Slug Success). Students may also drop in for an unscheduled appointment, as available, during regular office open hours: Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m. in the department office, Theater Arts Center, room J106. Students are also required to meet with a faculty adviser (assigned by the academic adviser) as part of the declaration process.

Transfer students are encouraged to declare the major as soon as possible and may declare as soon as their first quarter on campus after meeting with the Theater Arts academic adviser. Transfer students may declare the theater arts major even if they have not completed any theater arts courses and must declare a major by the end of their second quarter, as required by the university. Transfer students should also read the notes in the Transfer Information and Policy section.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

Students planning to pursue the theater arts major are not required to audition, submit a portfolio, or complete specific major preparation courses for consideration of admission to UC Santa Cruz.

While not required for admission, transfer students are recommended to complete general education requirements before coming to UCSC. Students may also complete courses that are articulated to UCSC lower-division Theater Arts courses before coming to UCSC. Please consult with the department adviser for more information.

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer students are strongly advised to consult with the Theater Arts academic adviser prior to enrolling in classes their first quarter. 

Transfer students may petition to have equivalent lower-division courses taken at other schools count toward lower-division major or minor requirements and should consult with the Theater Arts academic adviser as early as possible regarding this option.

As stated in the How to Declare a Major section, transfer students can declare the major at any time after coming to UCSC and are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, even if they have not completed any theater arts courses. Transfer students entering as juniors must declare a major by the deadline in their second quarter, as required by the university.

Letter Grade Policy

This program does not have a letter grade policy outside the university's Pass/No Pass limit and minimum grade requirement.

Study Abroad

Students should consult with their department and college advisers before planning studies outside of UCSC. Some required courses are only offered in certain quarters, for example, therefore careful planning with campus advisers is essential. 

Credits earned via a study abroad program, such as the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), or off-campus programs are considered on a case-by-case basis by the department chair. Please consult with the department adviser about this process.

Requirements and Planners

Course Requirements

The theater arts major requires seven lower-division courses, six credits of course THEA 50, and eight upper-division courses (inclusive of a senior seminar course, THEA 185). Majors may organize their studies around an area of interest in accordance with the requirements outlined below. The following six lower-division courses must be taken by all majors:

Credits earned via a study abroad program, such as the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), or other off-campus programs are considered on a case-by-case basis by the department chair. Students should consult with their department and college advisers before planning studies outside of UCSC.

Lower-Division Courses

One of the following courses:
THEA 20Introductory Studies in Acting

5

THEA 21Acting Studio I: Psychological Realism

5

Plus all of the following courses:
THEA 10Introduction to Theater Design and Technology

5

THEA 30Introduction to Dance Theory and Technique

5

THEA 61AAncient and Medieval Drama

5

THEA 61BDrama from the Renaissance to the Modern Age

5

THEA 61CThe Birth of the Modern: Drama and Performance After the Renaissance

5

Plus the following course (three times):
THEA 50Fundamentals of Theater Production

2

NOTE: this two-credit course must be taken three times for a total of six credits. Students are highly encouraged to contact the department adviser early to learn about the unique enrollment process for THEA 50, as well as to complete all six units before their last quarter on campus.

Plus one course

One lower-division 5-credit elective course.

Upper-Division Courses

The following eight upper-division courses must be taken to complete the major:

The following course:
THEA 160Dramatic Theories

5

Plus two studio courses chosen from:
THEA 103
/ART 143T
Design Concept Development

5

THEA 106
/ART 146T
Digital Illustration

5

THEA 114Sound Design and Engineering for the Theater

5

THEA 115ADesign Studio: Scenic Design

5

THEA 115BDesign Studio: Scenic Design B

5

THEA 117
/ART 147T
Design Studio: Costume

5

THEA 117AAdvanced Costume Construction

5

THEA 118Design Studio: Scene Painting

5

THEA 119Design Studio: Lighting Studio B

5

THEA 120Voice and Movement for Performers

5

THEA 121Acting Studio II: Shakespeare

5

THEA 123Acting and Shakespeare

5

THEA 124Movement for Performers

5

THEA 126Acting Studio III

5

THEA 126MThe Meisner Technique: A Practical Exploration

5

THEA 131ADance Studio II: Asian or Asian Diasporic Practice

5

THEA 131CDance Studio II: Advanced Contemporary Forms and Practices

5

THEA 135Choreography I

5

THEA 136Choreography II

5

THEA 141Play Direction Studio I

5

THEA 142Play Direction Studio II

5

THEA 152Advanced Stagecraft

5

THEA 155Shakespeare to Go

5

THEA 157Playwriting

5

THEA 159Advanced Playwriting

5

One of the upper division studio courses may be replaced by a faculty-directed production course listed in the separate section below.

Plus two history/theory/critical studies courses, chosen from:
THEA 100AAsian Theater/Dance and Global Impacts

5

THEA 100BBlack Theater USA

5

THEA 100CCourts, Courtesans, Shamans, and Clowns: Asian Drama

5

THEA 100WBlack/African Diasporic World Theater

5

THEA 104Multimedia Authoring

5

THEA 108Theater and Interaction Design

5

THEA 113The History of Design for Theater

5

THEA 116AHistory of Clothing and Costume

5

THEA 122Indian Performance: Rama, Siva, Krishna

5

THEA 161CTheater and Drama of the Renaissance

5

THEA 161DAsian Theater: An Anthropological Approach

5

THEA 161HShakespeare In Asia

5

THEA 161MSexuality, Gender, Drama, and Performance

5

THEA 161P
/LALS 161P
Theater in the Chicano Power Movement

5

THEA 161QQueer Theatricks: Representations and Sensibilities

5

THEA 161RTheater of American Cultures

5

THEA 161SAmerican Drama: Politics and Theater

5

THEA 161TWomen in Theater

5

THEA 161UPerformance of Story in Theater and Film

5

THEA 161Y
/COWL 161Y
Modern Ancient Drama

5

THEA 163AShakespeare

5

THEA 163EChekhov and His Impact

5

THEA 163GSpecial Studies in Playwrights: Artaud

5

THEA 163HHenrik Ibsen and His Impact: Ghosts of the Future

5

THEA 163KSpecial Studies in Playwrights: Euripides

5

THEA 164Issues in Dance History and Theory

5

THEA 165Dance Modernism

5

THEA 166Ballet: A History

5

THEA 167Africanist Aesthetics: Live Dialogues in the Americas and Africa

5

Plus one upper-division elective:

This may be any course listed in the upper-division studio section or the history/theory/critical studies sections above that is not being used to fulfill another requirement.

Plus one faculty-directed theater arts production course:
THEA 137Studies in Performance (Dance)

5

THEA 137AStudies in Performance (Dance): Asian

5

THEA 151Studies in Performance (Drama)

5

THEA 151AStudies in Performance: African American Theater Arts Troupe

5

THEA 151IStudies in Performance: Indonesian Dance and Drama

5

THEA 155Shakespeare to Go

5

Plus this comprehensive requirement course:
THEA 185Senior Seminar

5

The following courses do NOT satisfy theater arts major requirements:
THEA 55AWorkshop in Performance: Barnstorm

5

THEA 55BWorkshop in Performance: Barnstorm Lab

2

THEA 139Random: With a Purpose

5

THEA 158Chautauqua Workshop

5

THEA 190Group Projects

5

THEA 198Independent Field Study

5

THEA 199Tutorial

5

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. The DC Requirement in Theater Arts is met by completion of the required courses:

THEA 160Dramatic Theories

5

THEA 185Senior Seminar

5

Comprehensive Requirement

THEA 185Senior Seminar

5

Planners

Below are planners for frosh and junior transfer students. Please note that LD = lower division (courses numbered 1–99), and UD = upper division (courses numbered 100–199). Current course offerings can be found on the department website.


4-Year Frosh Planner

  Fall Winter Spring
Year 1 (Frosh) THEA 20 or THEA 21 THEA 61B
(offered winter qtr only)
THEA 61C 
(offered spring qtr only)
      THEA 10
       
Year 2 (Soph) THEA 61A
(offered fall qtr only)
THEA LD Elective THEA UD Studio
  THEA 30 [Start trying for the required faculty-directed production now or earlier]  
  THEA 50 (2-credit) THEA 50 (2-credit) THEA 50 (2-credit)
Year 3 (Jr) THEA UD Studio THEA UD History/Theory/Crit Studies THEA 160 (offered spring qtr only; PREREQ FOR 185)
  THEA UD History/Theory/Crit Studies THEA UD Elective  
       
Year 4 (Sr) THEA 185 (offered fall qtr only; PREREQ IS 160)    
       
       

The specific courses shown in this four-year planner satisfy the TA and IM general education (GE) requirements. Students must satisfy all other GE requirements. Students should consult their college advising office with any questions about GEs.


2-Year Transfer Planner

  Fall Winter Spring
Year 1 (Jr) THEA 61A
(offered fall qtr only)
THEA 61B
(offered winter qtr only)
THEA 61C 
(offered spring qtr only)
  THEA 20 or THEA 21 THEA 30 THEA 160 (offered spring qtr only; prereq for 185)
  THEA 10 [Start trying for the required faculty-directed production] THEA lower-division elective
    THEA 50 (2-credit) THEA 50 (2-credit)
Year 2 (Sr) THEA 185 (offered fall qtr only; prereq is 160) THEA upper-division History/Theory/Crit Studies THEA upper-division History/Theory/Crit Studies
  THEA upper-division studio THEA upper-division studio THEA upper-division elective
  THEA 50 (2-credit)    

In addition to the specific courses shown in this transfer planner, students must complete (or must have completed at another institution) courses satisfying all general education (GE) requirements. Students should consult their college advising office with any questions about GEs.