Theatre has the power to build bridges and open hearts.

Program Overview

With a major in Theatre from Dean College, you'll have the hands-on experience and educational foundation to make your mark on the theatre world. Dean College offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts and a minor in Theatre.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program offers degrees in the following areas:

In the Bachelor of Arts program, you can choose from the following concentrations:

Each program features our signature mix of intense coursework in theatre techniques and fundamentals with a broad foundation in essential subjects like English, history, art, music, math and science. You’ll study under our dedicated School of the Arts faculty and staff, who offer our students the knowledge and skills to thrive both in and out of the classroom. You’ll learn everything from the Stanislavsky acting method to dramatic literature and performance theory. You’ll also put theory into practice by gaining real-world experience in singing, acting, stage management, set design and so much more. And you’ll take part in main stage and student-directed productions as early as your first semester on campus, building the confidence and skills needed to become a well-rounded artist who understands the context of their art in the world. 

Learn more about Audition and Program Requirements

A theatre professor helping students during a theatre rehearsal.

School of the Arts Faculty

Our faculty are experts in their fields. In small classes, you’ll work closely with your professors and learn from their experience.

Beyond the Classroom

Dean College theatre students Whether you crave a role on the stage or behind the scenes, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to practice your art at Dean College.

On campus, we present several theatre productions each year—from classic plays and comedies to musicals and the avant-garde—so you can find your niche as an actor, singer, dancer, director, lighting/set/costume designer or stage manager. Off campus, you’ll explore the theatre world through internships, a senior showcase and workshops with professionals in New York City, Boston, Providence and other major theatre hubs.

Our graduates go on to graduate school and to successful careers in acting, singing, dancing, design/technical work, dramaturgy and teaching. You’ll find Bulldogs starring in roles at NBC Universal, Community Little Theatre, Walt Disney, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, Hanover Theater, Neighborhood Musical School, InMusic Brands, Canobie Lake Park, Universal Studios, College Light Opera Company and so much more. 

Uniquely Dean

Dean College theatre students Hone your craft through the unique programming and performance opportunities that the Dean College Theatre program has to offer.
  • Learn from award-winning practitioners and scholars of acting, set design and musical theatre through coursework, master classes and workshops.
  • Attend master classes taught by guest artists and industry professionals. Recent master class guests have included Gabrielle Hamilton, award-winning Broadway cast member of the reimagined musical Oklahoma! and its national touring company, and Chris Rice-Thomson, a member of the touring company of Hamilton.
  • Participate in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.
  • Get involved with summer stock companies throughout New England.
  • Receive highly specialized injury prevention and care services, provided by our full-time performing arts athletic trainer, Amanda Donahue. Learn more about how she works with Theatre and Dance students.
  • Meet industry professionals through our “Storytime” series via Zoom, a talk-show format featuring leaders in the arts and entertainment industry.
  •  Audition for industry representatives, casting directors and agents at industry showcases.
  • Study away through the Disney College Program, Washington Center or one of our many study abroad opportunities.
  • Dean was listed as one of the "Top 20 Musical Theatre Programs That Should Be On Your List" by The College Audition.

Space to Learn and Perform

As a Theatre major at Dean, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take the stage in our first-class performance and teaching venues, study on-stage and behind-the-scenes techniques and receive support from our talented faculty and staff. Explore the photo gallery below to see the spaces you’ll learn and perform in.

Program Requirements 

Prospective students applying to the Theatre program must complete both an audition or portfolio review and an application for admission. We offer in-person auditions, video auditions and off-campus audition opportunities. Learn more about the audition process, requirements and dates.

Dean College offers both BFA and BA degree programs in Theatre. For the BFA program, you may choose from a degrees in Acting or Musical Theatre. For the BA program, you may choose from three concentrations: Performance, Production & Design and Theatre Studies. See the course listings below to see a sample of classes offered in each concentration.

Acting BFA

The Acting BFA provides you with the skills and tools to become a lifelong artist that is ready for the stage, the screen and beyond. You'll receive conservatory-style training - including voice and movement work, text analysis studies and dance classes with the Palladino School of Dance - while learning how to apply these techniques to a variety of materials. You will also be involved in faculty- and student-produced performances starting in your first year.

Acting

Course Number Course Title Credits
THA 101 Introduction to Theatre l: The Curtain Rises 2
THA 102 Introduction to Theatre ll: Finding Your Light 2
THA 113 Basic Performance l 2
THA 114 Basic Performance ll 2
THA 131 Production and Design l: Stagecraft 2
THA 132 Production and Design ll: Lighting 2
THA 143 Voice and Movement for the Stage 1
THA 220 The Business of the Biz 1
THA 230 Script Production and Analysis 1
THA 231 OR THA 330 Stage Management or Theatre Pedagogy 3
THA 235 Acting l: The Fundamentals of Truth 2
THA 236 Acting ll: Scene Study 2
THA 240 Voice and Articulation 1
THA 245 Voice and Movement for the Stage II 1
THA 251 OR THA 243 Theatre History and Literature l: Aeschylus to Everyman or A History of Musical Theatre 3
THA 315 Acting Lab 1
THA 325 Audition Strategies 1
THA 333 Acting lll: Acting Shakespeare 2
THA 341 Theatre History and Literature ll: Shakespeare to lbsen 3
THA 342 Theatre History and Literature lll: Modern and Contemporary Drama 3
THA 343 Voice and Movement for the Stage III 1
THA 350 Stage Combat 1
THA 402 Senior Project 3
THA 426 Staging and Direction 3
THA 434 Acting IV: Acting for the Camera 2
THA 435 Acting V: Period Drama 2
THA 442 Creative Entrepreneurship 3
THA 445 Acting VI: Special Topics in Acting 2
THA 495 Senior Showcase 2
THA X23 Rehearsal and Performance 8
DAN XXX Dance Technique Courses (Pilates, Improvisation, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop or Modern Dance) 4
DCA 100 Campus Connections: Making the Transition 1
DCA 110 Career Connections: Developing Your Brand 1
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 3
DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career 3
Total Credits 77

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition l 3
ENG 112 Composition ll 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
LAB SCIENCE ELECTIVE Core Lab Science Elective 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
UDLA ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 40

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELE Electives 11
Total Credits 11

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Musical Theatre BFA

The rigorous Musical Theatre BFA program provides holistic training to help you grow as a performer. Your coursework will include private, individualized voice training, musical theatre courses and dance technique courses in the Palladino School of Dance. You'll also develop your acting skills and expressiveness in a range of material, from operetta to rock.

Musical Theatre

Course Number Course Title Credits
THA 101 Introduction to Theatre l: The Curtain Rises 2
THA 102 Introduction to Theatre ll: Finding Your Light 2
THA 113 Basic Performance l 2
THA 114 Basic Performance ll 2
THA 131 Production and Design l: Stagecraft 2
THA 132 Production and Design ll: Lighting 2
THA 143 Voice Articulation for the Stage 1
THA 220 The Business of the Biz 1
THA 230 Script Production and Analysis 1
THA 235 Acting I: The Fundamentals of Truth 2
THA 236 Acting II: Scene Study 2
THA 240 Voice and Articulation 1
THA 243 A History of Musical Theatre 1
THA 245 Voice and Movement for the Stage 1
THA 325 Audition Strategies 1
THA 341 or THA 342 Theatre History and Literature ll: Shakespeare to lbsen OR Theatre History and Literature lll: Modern and Contemporary Drama 3
THA 343 Voice and Movement for the Stage III 1
THA 361 Musical Theatre I: Fundamentals of Acting In Musical Theatre 2
THA 362 Musical Theatre II: Song as Text 2
THA 363 Musical Theatre III: Scene Study 2
THA 402 Senior Project 3
THA 442 Creative Entrepreneurship 3
THA 443 Musical Theatre IV: Special Topics 2
THA 495 Senior Showcase 2
THA x23 Rehearsal and Performance 8
DAN XXX Dance Technique Courses (Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop or Modern Dance) 8
DAN 369 Musical Theatre Dance Styles 1
MUS 124 Applied Voice 8
MUS 181 Fundamentals of Music 3
DCA 100 Campus Connections: Making the Transition 1
DCA 110 Career Connections: Developing Your Brand 1
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 3
DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career 3
Total Credits 80

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition l 3
ENG 112 Composition ll 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
LAB SCIENCE ELECTIVE Core Lab Science Elective 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
UDLA ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 40

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELE Electives 6
Total Credits 6

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Performance

Combining rigorous acting and performance training with the room to pursue courses and programs outside of the arts, the Performance BA track is ideal for those who want to do more than take center stage. You'll learn tools and techniques taught in acting, dance and musical theatre classes while also exploring your interests both off-stage and behind the scenes, including the liberal arts, sciences, business and beyond.

Performance

Course Number Course Title Credits
DAN 111 The Discipline of Dance 2
DAN 112 The Profession of Dance 2
DAN 182 Rhythmic Analysis 3
DAN 201 Dance History l 3
DAN 204 Dance Composition l 3
DAN 206 Dance Pedagogy l 3
DAN 220 The Business of the Biz 1
DAN 301 Dance History ll 3
DAN 402 Senior Project 3
DAN 131 Dance Improvisation l 1
DAN 231 Dance Improvisation ll 1
DAN X4X Tap 1
DAN X5X Ballet Technique 8
DAN X6X Jazz Technique 4
DAN X7X Modern Technique 8
DAN X24 Rehearsal and Performance 8
DCA 100 Campus Connections: Making the Transition 1
DCA 110 Career Connections: Developing Your Brand 1
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 3
DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career 3
THA 315 Acting Lab 1
ELE Performance Track Dance and Theatre Electives 9
Total Credits 73

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition l 3
ENG 112 Composition ll 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
BIO 175 Anatomy Essentials 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
UDLA ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 40

Course Number Course Title Credits
DAN TECHNIQUE ELE Dance Technique Courses (Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop) 15
Total Credits 15

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Production and Design

The Production and Design track provides real-world experience in technical theatre: design, lighting, sets, props, costuming and stage management. You will work behind the scenes to help make our stage productions a reality while gaining live theatre experience in various settings, including dance, musical theatre, cabaret, live music and stage plays.

Production and Design

Course Number Course Title Credits
THA 101 Introduction to Theatre l: The Curtain Rises 2
THA 102 Introduction to Theatre ll: Finding Your Light 2
THA 131 Production and Design l: Stagecraft 2
THA 220 The Business of the Biz 1
THA 230 Script Production and Analysis 1
THA 231 Stage Management 3
THA 402 Senior Project 3
DCA 100 Campus Connections: Making the Transition 1
DCA 110 Career Connections: Developing Your Brand 1
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 3
DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career 3
THA 132 Production and Design ll: Lighting 2
THA 243, THA 251, THA 341, THA 342 A History of Musical Theatre, Theatre History and Literature, Theatre History and Literature II, Theatre History and Literature III 6
THA 331 Production and Design lll: Costume and Make-up for the Stage 2
THA 370 Concepts of Theatre Design 3
THA 431 Production and Design IV: Sound and Digital Applications 2
THA 441 Production and Design V: Advanced Theatre Design 2
THA 475 Technical Portfolio Creation and Dramaturgy 3
THA x23 Rehearsal and Performance 8
AMGT 112 Theatre, Dance, and Performing Arts Management 3
AMGT 203 Venue and Facility Management 3
ART 102 Survey of Studio Art 3
ART 230 Basic Drawing 3
Total Credits 63

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition l 3
ENG 112 Composition ll 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
LAB SCIENCE ELECTIVE Core Lab Science Elective 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
UDLA ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 40

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELE Electives 18
Total Credits 18

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Theatre Studies

The Theatre Studies track emphasizes a rigorous exploration of theatre history, dramatic literature and performance theory. Your coursework includes theatre pedagogy, research methods, acting, script analysis, portfolio creation, dramaturgy and production and design. Blending theory and practice, this track will prepare you for teaching, criticism and writing, arts leadership, graduate studies or work as a dramaturg.

Theatre Studies

Course Number Course Title Credits
THA 101 Introduction to Theatre l: The Curtain Rises 2
THA 102 Introduction to Theatre ll: Finding Your Light 2
THA 220 The Business of the Biz 1
THA 230 Script Production and Analysis 1
THA 402 Senior Project 3
DCA 100 Campus Connections: Making the Transition 1
DCA 110 Career Connections: Developing Your Brand 1
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 3
DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career 3
THA 132 Production and Design ll: Lighting 2
THA 243 Theatre History and Literature l: Aeschylus to Everyman 3
THA 251 A History of Musical Theatre 3
THA 313 Performance Theory and Criticism 3
THA 341 Theatre History and Literature ll: Shakespeare to lbsen 3
THA 342 Theatre History and Literature lll: Modern and Contemporary Drama 3
THA 380 Research Methods in the Performing Arts 3
THA 475 Technical Portfolio Creation and Dramaturgy 3
AMGT 112 Theatre, Dance, and Performing Arts Management 3
ENG 220 Creative Writing: Non-Fiction 3
ENG 331 Writing for Arts and the Entertainment World 3
HIS 151 World History l, to 1500 3
HIS 152 World History ll, 1500 to Present 3
HIS 310 OR HIS 311 Harlem Renaissance or August Wilson and the African-American Experience 3
Total Credits 59

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition l 3
ENG 112 Composition ll 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
LAB SCIENCE ELECTIVE Core Lab Science Elective 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
UDLA ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 40

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELE Electives 20
Total Credits 20

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2023-2024

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