215 Performing Arts Center (507.457.5230)
Theatre and Dance
Jim Williams (Chairperson)
Gretchen Cohenour (Dance Program Director)
Gretchen Cohenour, Professor; BA, Rockford College; MFA, University of Wisconsin-Madison; 1989 –
Vivian Fusillo, Professor; BA, Marymount College; MA, Stephen F. Austin State University; 1968 –
Peggy Sannerud, Associate Professor; BS, Northwestern University; MFA, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; 2003 –
Jim Williams, Assistant Professor; BA, New England College; MA, Emerson College; PhD, Bowling Green State University; 2008 -
The Department of Theatre and Dance (THAD) offers the BA major in theatre and minors in theatre and dance.
- The liberal arts theatre major offers cognitive, creative, and practical classes that integrate the study of theory and history into performance. The program develops kinesthetic, cognitive, and creative understanding as well as skills such as keen perception, imaginative problem-solving, concentration, and respect for craft, which are important to original work in all fields.
- The theatre minor trains students to produce and present material effectively through the medium of performance and production.
- The dance minor provides an opportunity for students in any discipline to use the dance experience to enhance body/mind integration and to gain access to creative potential through the art of movement.
Theatre majors take coursework in acting, directing, theatre history, design, and technical production, and then demonstrate their artistic ability by presenting Senior Capstone Production work as a performer, designer, or director. In addition, students may arrange to do independent study with a faculty member or gain hands-on experience in the professional world through an internship. Students who are interested in theatre and dance have ample opportunity to practice their craft under the guidance of experienced faculty. In a recent year, the department’s productions gave 200 students the opportunity to fill nearly 350 performance, design, and crew roles.
Department alumni have successfully built careers in fields ranging from professional theatre to high school and college teaching to marketing analysis, county court management, and small business ownership. In response to a recent survey, alumni report an average career satisfaction of 3.40 on a 4.00 scale.
Pass/No Credit (P/NC) Courses
Except for the THAD Showcase, internships, and practica, students must take all courses in their THAD major and minor on a grade-only basis. The P/NC option is available to non-majors unless otherwise noted. Courses offered on a pass/no credit-only or grade-only basis are so designated in the course descriptions.
THAD Showcase (THAD 090)
Theatre major students are normally required to enroll in THAD 090 - THAD Showcase every semester, and to graduate, they are required to earn a grade of “P” in the course six times during their academic career unless excused by the department chairperson. Dance and theatre minor students are normally required to earn a grade of “P” in the course four times unless excused by the department chairperson; one of the dance minor’s enrollments must be in the student’s final semester.
Lab/Production Crew Requirements: Theatre major and minor students enrolled in a course eligible for that major or minor are also required to complete a specified number of hours of work on a Main Season production crew during the semester. All students cast in a Main Season production have the same responsibility. Some THAD courses carry additional production responsibilities; see course descriptions for details.
THAD Majors and Minors
- Theatre majors may minor in dance, but they may not minor in theatre.
- New students who intend to major in theatre or minor in dance are strongly encouraged to consult with a THAD Department faculty member before registering for courses in their first semester. Failure to do so may delay graduation by a year. Continuing theatre majors are required to confer with their departmental advisor before registering for classes each semester.
- Students majoring in theatre are required to complete THAD 291 - Rehearsal and Performance six (6) times with a grade of “C” or better. Theatre minors are required to complete THAD 291 - Rehearsal and Performance twice with a grade of “C” or better. If students believe they should be excused from all or a portion of this requirement, they must petition the department faculty for an exemption. This petition must be filed in the semester during which the student first declares his/her major or minor.
- Students are strongly encouraged to take ENG 111 - College Reading and Writing and CMST 191 - Introduction to Public Speaking in the first year and are required to complete these courses with a grade of “C” or better before enrolling in Writing Intensive and Oral Intensive THAD courses.
- Satisfactory completion of all prerequisite courses is required before a student may enroll in subsequent courses in the theatre major. (“Satisfactory completion” is defined as “completion with a grade no lower than “P” or “C.”)
- The THAD web page contains the most recent curriculum updates; refer to the web page for revisions made since the printing of this catalog.
- Theatre majors and minors transferring to WSU with an Associate of Arts degree will be exempted from 50% of the THAD 090 - THAD Showcase and THAD 291 - Rehearsal and Performance requirements listed above.
- In order to graduate from WSU with a theatre major, a transfer student must complete at least 15 credits of WSU Theatre and Dance Department coursework numbered 300 or above.
Additional Graduation Requirements
For a checklist of the University’s graduation requirements, see the Academic Policies & University Requirements section of this catalog. Specific requirements for THAD majors are as follows:
- Earn a grade of “C” or better in each course taken for the theatre major.
- Earn a GPA of 2.5 or better in the theatre major.
General Education Program Intensive Requirements
Students may use intensive courses to satisfy both General Education Program and major requirements. Intensive courses will usually be in the student’s major or minor program. The Department of Theatre and Dance offers the following intensive courses in the General Education Program:
Math/Critical Analysis (◆)
Intensive courses that can be used to satisfy Theatre and Dance major/minor requirements are identified in the lists of required courses and electives in this section.