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 who plan to major in Theatre Studies must take a minimum of 10 units.

These 10 units must be comprised of:

1 course in Acting (ex. 204, 214, 305, 315, 345)

1 course in Directing (ex. 206, 306)

1 course in Playwrighting (ex. 200, 221, 321)

1 course in Design/Technical Craft (ex. 207, 208, 209, 222, 300, 345)

1 course in Critical Analysis (104, 212, 215, 245)

2 courses at the 300 level.

At least eight of these ten units must come from within the Wellesley theatre studies program, unless a semester-long study abroad conservatory intensive for four credits max is approved by the program director. The major requires a minimum of two 300-level courses to be completed within the Wellesley program. 

Developments in the theatre arts are a result of stage experiments. The theatre performance is an expression of theatre scholarship. It is expected that students planning a major in theatre will elect to complement formal study of theatre with practical experience in the production program of the College Theatre and related on-campus producing organizations, and - if offered the oppotunity - through paid internships for the professional Wellesley Repertory Theatre company. All majors have the option to propose participation in THST 250 and THST 350 individual study offerings in order to pursue more deeply 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 supplement 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 exchange programs at Babson, Olin, or MIT. 

Honors in Theatre Studies

The theatre program offers a variety of opportunities for honors. After consultation with the program director, the candidate will devise a proposal that incorporates both the academic and the practical aspects for the thesis. Generally, 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. 

No Minor Offered in Theatre Studies

However! Participation in all department activities and productions is open to all. Come play with us - the process is its own reward!