Theater and Dance Department


The Department of Theater and Dance offers students a multidisciplinary approach to understanding performance; emphasizes social responsibility; focuses on performance praxis as inquiry; and highlights the development of original work. Under its umbrella, the disciplines of theater, dance, design, media and performance, and performance studies offer multiple, collaborative perspectives on performance-making and study. The program of study emphasizes hybridity both among these disciplines and beyond them guided by four core values: collaboration, leadership, community reciprocity, and justice. 

In the spirit of the liberal arts, our multidisciplinary approach invites students to integrate disciplinary knowledge from varied fields into performance work and to understand complex discourses on performativity from multiple disciplinary lenses. The department views performance practice and study as paths to engaged citizenship. As they move through the major, students articulate their individual relationship to the department’s core values, demonstrating increased skill in self-reflection, multicultural sensitivity, and the comparison of social values and ethical systems and deepening their understanding of themselves as scholar-artists 

Our annual production season features work by visiting artists as well as students, faculty, and staff. All departmental courses and production experiences are open to non-majors. All public performances are free and open to the community.

Faculty

Chair, Associate Professor Annie Kloppenberg

Associate Chair, Marjorie Gallant

AB Brown (Assistant Professor); Lynda Chilton (Academic Administrative Assistant); Matthew Cumbie (Visiting Assistant Professor); John Ervin (Technical Director); Kimberly Fletcher-Stibal (Visiting Instructor); Marjorie Gallant (Production Manager); Alexandra James (Visiting Instructor); Annie Kloppenberg (Associate Professor); Jessie Laurita-Spanglet (Lecturer); Gwyneth Shanks (Assistant Professor); Nell Shipman (Visiting Instructor); Jim Thurston (Associate Professor); Bess Welden (Lecturer)


Requirements +

Requirements for the Major in Theater and Dance

A nine-course* (36-credit) major with the addition of three faculty-led production experiences, one each in the areas of performance and stage management, and an additional experience determined in consultation with the major advisor.

*All courses below are four credits unless otherwise noted.

**Fulfills core or focus curriculum but not both.

Core Curriculum (20 credits, with four credits in each of the following five areas):

  • Dancing or Acting: 115, 116, 117, 118 (all two credits); or 171**
  • Design or Stagecraft: 135, 139
  • Directing or Choreography: 258**, 281**, 285**
  • Performance, Politics, and Practice: 124
  • Contemporary Art and Performance: 226

Focus Curriculum (eight credits in one of the following areas):

  •     Acting/Directing: 171**, 261, 271, 281**, 361
  •     Dancing/Choreography: 258**, 262, 285**, 355, 361
  •     Design/Stagecraft: 235, 239, 265, 339, 365
  •     Scripting: 141, 241
  •     History/Literature/Theory: 261, 361, English 271

Self-designed (must be chosen in consultation with the student’s theater and dance advisor)

Elective (four credits)

  •    Must be chosen in consultation with the major’s theater and dance advisor
  •    Preferably at the 200 or 300 level
  •    Can be taken in another department with prior approval

Senior Capstone (four credits)
Theater and Dance 493, must be taken in the spring semester of the senior year

Requirements for the Major in Theater and Dance–Interdisciplinary Computation

The theater and dance-interdisciplinary computation major focuses on the growing relationship between computation and performance scenography and the multiple applications of software technologies to stage design. It offers a sequenced, stage design-based curriculum while also providing students with exposure to the theory and practice of dance, acting, choreography, and directing. Students should begin by taking Theater and Dance 113 or 114, and Computer Science 151 in their first year, then Theater and Dance 135 and Computer Science 231 (fall) and 251 or 252 (spring) in their second year. The remaining requirements may be taken in any other semester in consultation with the major advisors in theater and dance and computer science.

Required Courses in Theater and Dance

Theater and Dance 113 or 114; 135; 171 or two courses chosen from 115, 116, and 117; 281 or 285; 235 or 365

Required Courses in Computer Science

Computer Science 151, 231, 251 or 252, 351, and 369 or 451

Senior Capstone (four credits)
Designed in consultation with major advisors in both departments

Requirements for the Minor in Theater and Dance

A six-course* (24-credit) minor with the addition of two faculty-led production experiences in the areas of performance, stage management, or design/technical production.

*All courses below are four credits unless otherwise noted.

**Fulfills core or focus curriculum but not both.

Core Curriculum (16 credits, with four credits in each of the following four areas):

  •   Dancing or Acting: 115, 116, 117, 118 (all two credits); or 171**
  •   Design or Stagecraft: 135, 139
  •   Directing or Choreography: 258**, 281**, 285**
  •   Performance History: 224, 226

Focus Curriculum (four credits):

  •   Acting/Directing: 171**, 261, 271, 281, 361
  •   Dancing/Choreography: 258**, 262, 285**, 355, 361
  •   Design/Stagecraft: 235, 239, 265, 339, 365
  •   Scripting: 141, 241
  •   History/Literature/Theory: 261, 361, English 271

Elective (four credits):

  •   Must be chosen in consultation with the minor advisor
  •   Preferably at the 200 or 300 level
  •   Can be taken in another department with prior approval

Honors in Theater and Dance

Theater and dance majors with a minimum cumulative grade point average in the major of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.25 at the end of the January term of the junior year and with unanimous approval of the department faculty are eligible to apply for the honors thesis. Honors projects signify a serious engagement with independent research, and interested students should plan to devote a large segment of their academic time to the project during their senior year. Interested students should contact a faculty sponsor during the spring semester of the junior year to discuss a project and secure that faculty member’s sponsorship. Students must then petition the department for permission to undertake honors work by March 1. With unanimous approval from the department, students can register for Theater and Dance 483. Students wishing to change their honors project must petition the department for approval. Honors research projects will be a total of six to eight credits and will be conducted during the student’s last two semesters (one of which may be Jan Plan). Successful completion of the honors thesis will include an approved thesis and an oral presentation at the Colby Liberal Arts Symposium as well as the completion of the required course work for the major. The students fulfilling these requirements and receiving at least an A- for the honors thesis will graduate with “Honors in Theater and Dance.” In cases where requirements have not been fulfilled at the end of either semester, Theater and Dance 483 and 484 (Honors Thesis) will revert to graded Theater and Dance 491 and 492 (Independent Study). For specifics on the procedures and expectations for Honors in Theater and Dance (depending on the proposed area of study, e.g. dramatic literature, acting, dance, design, history, technical direction, or sound), please consult faculty in the Department of Theater and Dance.

The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses offered toward the major. No requirement for the major or minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.