Undergraduate Drama Courses

The Study of Drama

Big Love BackstageA person committed to the study of theater within the framework of a liberal education must be prepared to work toward two goals: first, a thorough competence in the basic skill of dramatic expression and interpretation; and concurrently, a view that comprehends dramatic art as it relates to, expresses, and extends the surrounding culture.

The development of this twofold capability is the aim governing the structure of the Drama Department's major program: the student's balance of course work and continuing practical development in University Theater productions is closely coordinated with his overall experience of the University and the demands of the core curriculum.

The undergraduate major in drama serves as a foundation for graduate study of the subject, professional work in theater and mass media, a teaching career in either elementary or secondary education, or, by proper choice of electives, graduate work in foreign language, English literature, dramatic literature, journalism, communication, or comparative literature.

All courses are taught in the classroom.

Course Number Course Name Credits Offered
DRA 1101

Theater Arts Workshop

A course specially designed for students seeking credit for participating in University Theater productions. Graded Pass/No Pass basis. May be repeated. 

1 Fall & Spring
DRA 3301


An intensive exploration of the imaginative conditioning, sensory awareness, and craft disciplines which provide the basis of acting technique.
3 Fall
DRA 3304

Modern Drama

Readings in the modern European and American repertoire.

3 Fall & Spring
DRA 3305


The organization of narrative line, character, and dialogue in an original dramatic text. Credit is given only to those who complete satisfactory manuscripts within the time limits of the course. 

3 As Needed
DRA 3310

Theater Arts

The development of the theater form in a survey of the arts of the performer, playwright, designer, and critic, from Ancient Greece through 18th century Europe.

3 As Needed
DRA 3312

Stage Craft

A study of the fundamentals of scenery construction, costuming, and stage lighting. Supervised laboratory hours of practical production work on University Theater productions are required.

3 As Needed
DRA 3313

Stage Design

Introduction to scenic, costume, and lighting design.

3 As Needed
DRA 3330

Experimental Theater

Practical application of accumulated classroom skills in independent research or creative project. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

3 As Needed
DRA 3331

Advanced Acting

Work on the advanced student's particular problems in controlled use of voice and body, effective text study, rehearsal technique, and the external realization of his roles. Prerequisites: Drama 3301, extensive University Theater experience, permission of instructor.

3 As Needed
DRA 3332

Basic Staging

Techniques of realizing the dramatic action of a script through analysis of the play, development of floor plan, blocking, phrasing of activity and work with actors.

3 Spring
DRA 3335

Theater Literature I

A study of major works of dramatic literature from Aeschylus to Congreve.

3 Fall
DRA 3336

Theater Literature II

Continuation of Drama 3335. Plays considered range from 19th through mid20th century.

3 Spring
DRA 3V57

Special Topic

Course not listed but offered as a regular course according to student interest and faculty availability.

3 As Needed
DRA 4141

Directing Lab

Scene study with particular focus upon staging solutions for director and actor. Graded Pass/No Pass. May be repeated.

1 Fall
DRA 4142

Studio Rehearsal/Production

Supervised rehearsals, design and production meetings for studio productions scheduled in conjunction with 4342. Enrollment limited to student managers, production coordinators, and cast members in studio productions. May be repeated. Graded Pass/No Pass.

3 Fall & Spring
DRA 4312

Advanced Stage Craft

Advanced studies in costuming, scenery construction, and/or stage lighting. Prerequisites: Drama 3313 and permission of instructor.

3 As Needed
DRA 4313

Advanced Stage Design

Scenic, costume, and/ or lighting design problems and techniques, tailored to the advanced student. Prerequisites: Drama 3313 and permission of instructor.

3 As Needed
DRA 4332

Educational Theater

A course in the special problems of the teacher or director of dramatics in an educational situation.

3 Fall & Spring
DRA 4336

Theater of an Era

The significant drama and worldwide theatrical practice during a particular historical period, e.g. Ancient Theater, Renaissance Theater, 18th Century Theater, Victorian Theater, Early 20th Century Theater, Avant Garde Theater, Contemporary Theater.

3 As Needed
DRA 4337

National Theater

The development of dramatic literature and theatrical practice in one nation throughout its history e.g., American Theater, British Theater, French Theater, German Theater, Greek Theater, Irish Theater, Italian Theater, Russian, Theater, Scandinavian Theater.

3 As Needed
DRA 4341


Analysis and application of the theories and methods of the play directions. Prerequisites: Drama 3301, 3332, 3335, 3336, and extensive experience in University Theater rehearsal and performance.

3 Fall
DRA 4342


Creative culmination of the drama major's course of study in the directing and studio production of a play. Prerequisites: Drama 3301, 3332, 3335, 3336, senior standing, extensive experience in University Theater, especially in stage management, and faculty approval.

3 Fall & Spring
DRA 4343

Advanced Production

Directed individual and advanced projects in acting, design, or production management. Prerequisite: Senior standing and faculty approval.

3 As Needed
DRA 4345

Departmental Seminar Contemporary Theater

Readings and seminar discussions in contemporary theater geared toward the special needs of senior drama majors serving as final preparation for the comprehensive examination.

3 Fall
DRA 4V61

Independent Research

An opportunity to conduct a special program of inquiry under the guidance of a faculty member. Approval by the department chairman required.

3 As Needed
DRA 5332

Improvisation for Teachers

Development of the imaginative techniques of creative dramatics, theater games, creative experience for groups, and improvisational learning.

3 As Needed