The Theater Arts Major 2012-13
The Theater Arts Department combines drama, dance, critical studies, and theater design/technology to offer students an intensive, unified undergraduate program. The lower-division curriculum requires a range of practical work in the various subdisciplines and a rigorous exposure to the history of drama, design, and dance. At the upper-division level, students are given the opportunity to focus on an area of interest within the discipline in limited-enrollment studios and through direct interaction with faculty.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A. with concentrations in dance, design and technology, and drama; undergraduate minor;
- M.A. program: See web page.
- UC Santa Cruz is home to the nationally acclaimed theater company Shakespeare Santa Cruz.
High School Preparation
High school students who plan to major in theater arts need no special preparation other than the courses required for UC admission.
During the first quarter on campus, transfer students who have not satisfied the prerequisites for the theater arts major may declare the major after completing a study plan during an advising session. Transfer students may petition to have equivalent courses taken at other schools count toward the major requirements.
Petition forms and information on courses and major requirements can be obtained at the department office, J106 Theater Arts Center. The following lower-division courses must be taken by all theater arts majors:
- Theater Arts 50, Fundamentals of Theater Production (two-credit course; must take a total of six credits)
- Theater Arts 61A, Ancient/Medieval Drama; Theater Arts 61B, Drama from the Renaissance to the Modern Age; Theater Arts 61C, Birth of the Modern
- Theater Arts 10, Introduction to Theater Design and Technology
- Theater Arts 20, Introductory Studies in Acting
- Theater Arts 30, Introduction to Modern Dance Theory and Technique
- One Theater Arts 5-unit elective
Theater arts majors must also take eight upper-division theater arts courses, which includes the senior seminar requirement (course 185, Senior Seminar).
Exceptions to the major requirements, through the UC Education Abroad Program or transfer credits, are considered on a case-by-case basis by the department chair.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
Two Theater Arts professors received the 2010 Bay Area Theater Critic’s Circle awards: David Cuthbert for Lighting in The Kite Runner at San Jose Repertory Company, and Danny Scheie for his lead role in You Nero at the Berkeley Repertory Company. Professor Mark Franko won the UC President’s Faculty Research Fellowship in the Humanities.
- Costume design
- Stage design
- Stage management
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Kevin Beggs (B.A., theater arts and politics, '89) is president of Lionsgate Television Group, with responsibility for development and production of all scripted and non-scripted programming for both domestic and international distribution.
Camryn Manheim (B.A., theater arts, ’84) is a writer and actor whose role in the television series The Practice earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe award.
Matt Ratto (B.A., theater arts, ’94; graduate certificate, theater arts, ’97) received his Ph.D. in communications from UC San Diego in 2003 and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. A former computer programmer, Ratto studies the social implications of digital technologies.
The Theater Arts Center contains a 500-seat thrust stage, a state-of-the-art experimental theater, and a 200-seat proscenium theater; acting, directing, and dance studios; costume, scene, and properties shops; a sound recording room; a computer lab; and a metal shop. Elsewhere on campus are additional dance studios, the open-air Quarry Theater seating 3,000, the Shakespeare Santa Cruz Festival Glen, and the
150-seat Barn Theater.
Petitioning for the Major
Prior to petitioning for the major, students must have successfully completed three Theater Arts courses: One course chosen from Theater Arts 61A, B, or C and two courses chosen from Theater Arts 10, Introduction to Theater Design and Technology, Theater Arts 20, Introductory Studies in Acting, or Theater Arts 30, Introduction to Modern Dance Theory and Technique. Students are encouraged to complete these courses as early in their studies as possible.
Theater Arts Minor
Students earn a minor in theater arts by completing eight courses (seven 5-credit courses and one 2-credit course) comprising a background in the theory and practice of the theater arts as well as a focus on either drama, theater design/technology, or dance. The course requirements are listed below. There is no comprehensive requirement for the minor.
- Theater Arts 61A, B. or C
- One quarter of the 2-credit course Theater Arts 50
- One course in the student’s area of focus chosen from: Theater Arts 10, 20, 30, or 40
- Three upper-division courses chosen from the following: Theater Arts 113, 116A, 161, 163, 164, or 165
- Two upper-division studio courses, one of which may be a faculty-directed production (Theater Arts 151)
Independent Studies (Theater Arts 199) and Field Studies (Theater Arts 198) will not satisfy minor requirements unless approved in advance by an adviser and the chairperson.
Transfer students are advised to check with the department office to determine which courses can be articulated from a community college.
The Dance Minor
Students earn a minor in dance by completing eight courses (three lower division, five upper division) comprising a background in the theory and practice of dance. The course requirements are listed below. There is no comprehensive requirement for the minor.
- Lower-division courses: one 5-credit course in dance foundations (Theater Arts 30 or 36); one course (varying units) in cultural forms (including, but not restricted to, Theater Arts 22, 37, or 80Z); one quarter of the 2-credit course Theater Arts 50
- Upper-division courses: one 5-credit course in dance foundations (Theater Arts 130); one course in critical studies (Theater Arts 164 or 165); three 5-credit elective courses planned in consultation with a faculty advisor, including, but not restricted to, Theater Arts 122, 128, 131, 135, 137, or 139
J106 Theater Arts Center
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064