Theatre Majors & Minors

For a description of the courses, visit the Course Catalog.

The program of study in Theatre, whether our BFA in Acting or our BA degree, combines rigorous production work with four required courses in each major area of theatre: performance, design/tech, analysis/critical studies. This firm foundation provides the basis for students to choose their own path. With either of our degree options, they can excel in multiple areas within theatre and/or undertake an Emphasis Area in a particular area of theatre. Butler Theatre mainstage production work (TH 100, 101, 300, 301) provides students with a breadth of hands-on experiences in a wide variety of genres, venues, and approaches to theatre in production.

The program of study in Arts Administration – Theatre is designed to provide students with a cohesive preparation for professional work in the management of arts organizations, particularly in areas relating to the administration of theatre. Through balanced study in theatre, business (accounting, economics, marketing, etc.), and communications (public relations, advertising, information management, etc.), students gain a broad spectrum of skills in a collaborative environment. More information about the the BS in Arts Administration-Theatre degree can be found here.

All programs are structured to enable students to pursue a secondary major or minor of their choice.

The following areas of Emphasis (11–14 credits) are not stand-alone degrees. They are to be completed along with the existing BA in Theatre degree. Students may elect to complete one or more of these areas of Emphasis. Please note that Theatre Majors are not required to complete an Emphasis Area. At least 50 percent of the credits in any Emphasis must be unique to that program and may not overlap with another Emphasis, major, or minor (except as free electives). A grade of  C or higher is required for all Theatre courses. Completion of one or more of these will be shown on the student’s transcript upon graduating from Butler.

Emphasis in Acting

Required courses include:

  • TH 213–Acting 3 (3 credit hours)
  • TH 314–Acting 4 (3 credit hours)
  • TH221–Stage Movement 2 or TH 323–Stage Combat (3 credit hours)
  • TH 222–Voice for the Actor 2 (2 credit hours)
  • A choice of elective (3 credit hours)

Total credits: 14

Emphasis in Stage Management

Required courses include:

  • TH 240–Stage Management (2 credit hours)
  • TH213–Acting 3 or TH 323–Stage Combat or TH 443–Devised Theatre Studio Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • TH 400–Advanced Production Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • TH 497–Internship in Theatre (3 credit hours)

Total credits: 11

In addition, students in this Emphasis must demonstrate the ability to read music by passing the Music Theory Placement Examination administered by the School of Music. Failure to pass the exam requires the successful completion of one of the following: MT 99 (Music Fundamentals Intensive, 1 credit summer course), MT 100 (Elements of Music, 3 credit spring course), one semester of secondary voice or instrumental lessons (AM XXX for 1 credit), or one semester of a vocal or instrumental ensemble (ES XXX for 1 credit).

Emphasis in Directing

Required courses include:

  • TH 213–Acting 3 or TH 400–Advanced Production Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • TH 240–Stage Management (2 credit hours)
  • TH 442–Stage Directing 2 (3 credit hours)
  • TH443–Devised Theatre Studio Seminar (3 credit hours)

Total credits: 11

Emphasis in Set and Lighting Design/Technical Theatre

Required courses include:

  • TH 231–Stagecraft (3 credit hours)
  • TH 330–Theatre Graphics (2 credit hours)
  • TH 332-Stage Lighting 2 (3 credit hours)
  • TH 373–International Theatre Practices Seminar or TH 400–Advanced Production Practicum or TH 443–Devised Theatre Studio Seminar (3 credit hours)

Total credits: 11

Emphasis in Costume Design/Technical Theatre

Required courses include:

  • TH 136–Stage Makeup (3 credit hours)
  • TH 223–Costume Technology (3 credit hours)
  • TH 334–Survey of Hist. Costumes or PCA 252–Fashioning Identity (3 credit hours)
  • PCA 250–Masks or TH 400–Advanced Production Practicum or TH 443–Devised Theatre Studio Seminar (3 credit hours)

Total credits: 12

Emphasis in Music Theatre

Required courses include:

  • TH 213-Acting 3 (3 credit hours)
  • TH 324–Music Theatre Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • 3 credit hours in Dance and Movement
  • 3 credit hours in Voice

Total credits: 12

Another PWB class must be taken to satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement if taking Ballet, Jazz, or Ballroom Dance Sport as credit for the Music Theatre Emphasis.

Download the complete list of Emphases requirements here.

The Minor in Theatre requires one course in each primary area of theatre: performance, design/tech, analysis; and two semesters of Theatre production practicum, a one-credit hour course that provides students with a hands-on opportunity to work in the Butler Theatre costume, lighting, and scenic shops. In addition to these ten required hours, Theatre Minors may select from a wide variety of Theatre elective courses in the area(s) of their choosing. (See Theatre courses grouped by interest area and the full listing of options available.)

Theatre Program FAQs

A Theatre BA offers more flexibility of interest and allows students to pursue multidisciplinary theatre studies. A Theatre BFA is a more intensive program focusing more on specific aspects of theatre to enable students to master their craft completely. At Butler our students get the best of both!  All Butler Theatre students get a strong foundation in Theatre and then have the option to choose their own journey.

Butler University is a fully accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Butler Theatre students develop their own voices through rigorous study and collaborative practice. We prepare students to push the boundaries of theatre and integrate their theatre training into purposeful lives.

Arts Administration is a course of study that prepares undergraduate students for a future in managing not-for-profit arts and community organizations. The program provides a robust, multi-faceted approach that includes a strong undergraduate liberal arts education, a basic understanding of the business world, substantive arts administration-specific courses, and a comprehensive education in the disciplines of the arts.

The BFA in Acting is specifically intended for the serious undergraduate student who seeks deep actor training that is complemented and supported by production experiences in all aspects of theatre. It’s designed to prepare students for entry into professional acting work and for entry into graduate MFA Acting programs. Alternatively, the BA in Theatre allows students to explore the many avenue of theatre, including costume design, directing, music theatre, set and lighting design, or stage management.

Students who specifically want to focus on acting may decide between either the BFA in Acting or the BA in Theatre with an Acting emphasis. Unique to Butler Theatre is the ability for students to choose between either degree program. If they’re admitted to the Department of Theatre, they can make the decision as to which program they want to pursue—and can change their mind throughout their time at Butler.

We support and empower our students to develop their individual student voice and to choose their own path to success.