UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Theater and Dance

(formerly Dramatic Art and Dance)
Department of Theater and Dance
Division of Humanities and Fine Arts
Theater and Dance-West, Building 223
Telephone: (805) 893-3241
E-mail: theaterdance-ugradadv@theaterdance.ucsb.edu
Website: www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu
Department Chair: Irwin Appel
Vice Chair and Director of Dance: Christina McCarthy


The Department of Theater and Dance provides a dynamic environment for the study of theater and dance. The mission of the department is to develop and nurture students' capacity for self-expression and critical thinking; to train actors, dancers, designers, directors, and playwrights for professional work; to provide students with a general education through the media of dance, performance, and theater; and to train graduate students as scholars and teachers.

The department curriculum and production season provide ample opportunities for participation in theater and dance productions and workshop activities in four performance venues. Each season, the department presents 5 main stage plays ranging from the classics to a LAUNCH PAD preview production of a new play, 3 main stage dance concerts including our professional company in residence Santa Barbara Dance Theater, and dozens of second stage productions both in theater and dance. In addition to working with the faculty, the department is a magnet for professional guest artists and scholars who interact with students throughout the year.

The department offers four undergraduate degrees:

  1. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theater
  2. Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Theater, Acting emphasis
  3. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Dance
  4. Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Dance

The B.F.A. degrees in theater and dance are designed to prepare students for a professional career. The B.A. degrees are more broadly based, with a liberal arts orientation, which allows students wider curricular choices. All degrees provide a strong background in dance or theater studies. The B. A. in Theater offers concentrations in design, directing, playwriting, theater and performance studies and theater and community.

And two graduate degrees:

  1. Master of Arts (MA) in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies
  2. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

The M.A. program is designed to afford a strong foundation for work in educational or professional theater or for further graduate study. The Ph.D. is an intensive program concentrating in literary, critical, and historical research, designed to prepare students for careers in university teaching.

Senior Honors Program

Students who maintain a 3.5 grade point average both in the major and overall are invited by the Chair to submit Senior Honors Project proposals for an undergraduate thesis project to be completed during the senior year, supervised by a member of the faculty. The thesis must represent a significant advanced undertaking in an area of either academic research or creative endeavor. If selected, the student will receive 4 to 8 units of academic credit in the Theater or Dance 193H/HA-HB-HC series. The projects are evaluated by the faculty advisor and additional members of the faculty. Successful completion of the thesis is recognized by the award of Distinction in the Major at graduation.