The Theatre Studies major is both an academic field of study and a practical application of that study.

The purpose of the major is to provide students with a theoretical knowledge and appreciation of the history and literature of the theatre. In addition, students are instructed and given hands-on experience in production and promotion of theatrical events. The theatre is one of the oldest art forms in existence, and students learn valuable information about the way various disparate societies have evolved throughout the ages.

Students are expected to work on productions as performers and technicians. The theatre department actively tries to cultivate well-rounded theatre students who are knowledgeable in all areas of theatre.

Goals for the Major

  • An understanding of the development of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the present. 
  • Problem solving independently and within an ensemble
  • Developing the humanist/artist and theatre practitioner for the next generation 
  • Providing a framework for artistic collaboration
  • Inspiring critical thinking and artistic rigor
  • Developing comprehensive knowledge of the elements of design and stagecraft
  • Competence to compete with conservatory-trained graduates for graduate school or casting/hiring opportunities within the industry 

Major Requirements

Students entering in 2016 who plan to major in Theatre Studies must take a minimum of 10 units. Two of the ten units must be at the 300 level. At least eight of the ten units must come from within the theatre studies department. Each student must take a course in acting, directing, playwriting, and design. Theatre Studies 203 and either 104 or 215 are also required. 

Students entering prior to 2016 who plan to major in theatre studies should consult a faculty advisor to determine the former guidelines that pertain to them. These students must take a minimum of nine units. Of these units, majors must include THST 203, and one of the following: 104, 212 or 215, and two classes at the 300 level. At least five of the nine courses must be taken within the theatre studies department. The remaining four may be drawn from any related department. 

Developments in the theatre arts are a result of stage experiments. The theatre performance is an expression of theatre scholarhip, it is expected that students planning a major in theatre will elect to complement formal study of theatre with practical experience in the extracurricular production program of the College Theatre and related on-campus producing organizations. Students may also remain on campus over the summer of Wintersession (depending on housing availability) to gain experience with the Wellesley Repertory Theatre (the professional wing of the academic department). All students are encouraged to participate in THST 250 and THST 350 individual study offerings in order to pursue their particular area of theatrical interest. 

 Exchange and International Study in Theatre Studies

Students majoring in theatre studies may elect to take at least one resident semester of concentrated work in a discipline to suuplement and enrich their work at Wellesley. They may attend the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, another institution in the Twelve College Exchange Program, one of the many London programs offering intensive study in their discipline, or other programs approved by the department. On occasion, a student may elect to take a relevant course in the programs at Babson, Olin, or MIT. 

Honors in Theatre Studies

The theatre program offers a variety of opportunities for honors. After consultation with the director, the candidate will devise a proposal that incorporates both the academic and the practical aspects for the thesis. Normally, the candidate completes the research and writing segment of the thesis in the first semester. In the second semester, the candidate produces the practical/theatrical component for public performance. Applicants for honors should have a minimum 3.5 GPA in all work in the major field above the 100 level; the department may petition on their behalf if their GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5.