Students in the B.A. program in theater will choose a concentration in one of the following areas: design, directing, playwriting, theater and community, or theater and performance studies. Students in the bachelor of fine arts program will complete an emphasis in acting.
The aim of the department is to provide a comprehensive undergraduate education in theater based on core requirements, which include practical experience in the theater arts (acting, theater technology, and production) and coursework in dramatic theory and literature. An undergraduate major in theater may lead to specialized creative work in the profession, to graduate work in preparation for teaching and research, or to other careers within or beyond the arts and entertainment industry.
Bachelor of Fine Arts--Theater--Acting Emphasis (Requirements - PDF)
The acting emphasis is a highly selective three-year program which students enter at the beginning of their sophomore year. An audition is required either at the end of the freshman year or the beginning of the sophomore year for acceptance into the B.F.A. program. The program combines rigorous classical training with Individual expression and creativity and is geared toward preparation for entry into the professional theater industry and M.F.A./conservatory programs. A more comprehensive description of the philosophy and policies of the B.F.A. acting emphasis is available from the department. Continuation in the program is determined by the acting faculty, using such criteria as talent, commitment, sustained growth, and evaluation of professional potential. Transfer students are highly encouraged to audition for the B.F.A. program, and if accepted, will enter into the first year of the program, regardless of class standing with the university. All interested students may request information from the department office or website.
Bachelor of Arts--Theater (Requirements - PDF)
- Design Concentration-- The design concentration offers a specialization for students who want intensive and practical training in areas of design and production. Objectives include preparation of students as theater artists for work in professional theater or entry into an M.F.A. program. Students in this area will select courses in scenic, lighting, and costume design. Students will supplement these courses with related electives concentrating in technical areas of production and design, including drawing, graphics, rendering, stage crafts, construction, history, and stage management.
- Directing Concentration-- The directing concentration is a structured and specialized area of study within the B.A. program, and is intended to provide serious experience of the director’s function in today’s theater. It offers a sound preparation for an M.F.A. in directing, or for a professional career in the field, which may include directing on various educational levels, including secondary school and college, as well as community and regional theater.
- Playwriting Concentration-- The playwriting concentration is based on a series of courses that require students to practice playwriting, and includes public readings, visiting lecturers, and periodic departmental productions of original scripts. All courses require permission of the instructor, and further work in this area might include additional courses in dramatic literature, creative writing, theater arts, and perhaps an internship as dramaturge on a departmental production.
- Theater and Performance Studies Concentration--The theater and performance studies concentration will allow students to achieve broad education in theater as it has been practiced in different historical periods and in various parts of the globe. Students will have the opportunity to engage in the critical, historical, and theoretical aspects of theater. Their studies will culminate in an upper-division seminar, taken in their senior year.
- Theater and Community Concentration-- The concentration in Theater and Community will allow students to practice their performance skills in both the campus and the Santa Barbara communities. Students will visit schools and community organizations where they will both perform plays specially written for school audiences or work with school children to develop their own plays. Their performances will often address matters of burning interest to the community and the experience will lead them to understand and practice theatre as a means of uniting the community.
The curriculum for both degree tracks emphasizes performance and choreography. The B.F.A. is highly structured and specifically designed for those students who wish to pursue a professional career in dance or gain entrance into an M.F.A. or M.A. program. The B.A. option is a broadly based liberal arts degree that allows more time for students to take courses in areas other than dance, preparing them for further study in such dance career areas as therapy, administration, history, or education. Graduates from either of the degree programs can teach in a variety of situations.
Students who wish to major in dance must pass the department audition. As a dance major, a student must take a minimum of eight technique classes per week (modern and ballet) and fulfill the minimum proficiency requirement in technique for graduation. For seniors in the B.A. degree program, an option is available which allows a reduced course load in technique once the minimum proficiency is met. Students receive quarterly evaluation from dance faculty on their progress in the major. A select number of advanced students are chosen for the UCSB Dance Company. This student company performs both on and off campus in Santa Barbara, tours regionally, and has been invited to perform internationally. In addition, the company participates in the American College Dance Festival Association, traveling to other states throughout the U.S. to perform. The UCSB Dance Company participates in 20-25 performances each year, giving its members a chance to experience life on tour with a dance company, preparing them for the professional world.
Additional program and audition details may be obtained on the department website at www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu.
Bachelor of Fine Arts--Dance (Requirements - PDF)
Note: Entry into the B.F.A. program is by recommendation of dance faculty for currently enrolled students at the end of the sophomore year, and by special audition at the beginning of the junior year for transfer students. Completion of the program depends upon successful progress and recommendation of the dance faculty. Assessment of a B.F.A. student’s progress is made on a quarterly basis, and provision is made for students who appear unable to complete the B.F.A. program requirements to graduate with the less specialized B.A. degree providing they maintain the standards for that degree.
Bachelor of Arts--Dance (Requirements - PDF)
Note: Technical ability and theoretical knowledge must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the dance faculty before entrance to upper-division study. Students should contact the dance faculty for program planning advice, in order to insure the best possible sequence of study.