Theatre Arts (Including Theatre Education)

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Art provides for concentration in acting or directing, plus a unique opportunity to pursue accreditation in Theatre Education. 

Theatre Arts Stage & Screen Program

Creative. Collaborative. Wild. 

As the only small theatre program in WV with a tandem discipline focused on theatre and film alongside theatre education, D&E’s Stage & Screen Program is dedicated to creating creative, collaborative, and empowered professionals working in the performing arts. You choose your own path within theatre, film, education, or a combination of all three; all while receiving a robust liberal arts education on a vibrant campus. 

Experience hands-on learning in courses and productions. Theatre and Theatre Education majors at D&E can deep-dive into theatrical and filmmaking storytelling alongside their peers. We also create robust opportunities for minors, student athletes, and students from other disciplines to participate in mainstage and film productions. All this right from your first year. 

Students receive one-on-one mentorship with faculty who are industry professionals in Theatre and Film with experience in major and regional markets. With small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 4 to 1, we’re committed to nurture, challenge, and empower you for creative risk-taking in your chosen career or graduate study.  You’ll find direct experiences tailored to your specific needs and career goals within a tightly knit learning community.

We offer a B.A. in Theatre Arts or a B.A. in Theatre Education with optional Concentrations in Stage and Screen Performance, Technical Theatre, or Musical Theatre. Our program is Nationally Accredited with NAST.

Program at a Glance

Degrees: B.A. in Theatre Arts; B.A. in Theatre Education; Minor in Theatre Arts
Optional Concentrations: Stage & Screen Performance; Technical Theatre; Musical Theatre 
Nationally Accredited with the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
Job Preparation: Theatre Arts students complete a senior capstone: direct, design, or act for a mainstage show or showcase. The Theatre Education Student directs and designs an approved one-act play.  Students are also encouraged to attend SETC and are supported in applying for summer internship and other job opportunities.
List of Courses (below)

Theatre Arts Majors Can Get Training in…

  • the business of theatre and film
  • voice and movement 
  • Shakespeare for the stage
  • Stanislavski, Uta Hagen & Meisner Approaches
  • theatre history and analysis
  • technical skills and equipment for theatre & film
  • filmmaking production phases
  • history of cinema
  • playwriting and screenwriting
  • stage combat 
  • stage intimacy
  • musical theatre
  • physical comedy, improv, & comedy web series 
  • professionalism best practices
  • audition technique
  • educational theatre
  • safety standards

Theatre Education Majors Get

All of the above options and…

  • A Minor in Education through our Accredited Teaching Program for Teaching Licensure
  • Hands-on teaching experiences 
  • Inclusion in all aspects of the Stage & Screen Program
  • Equal opportunities both on and behind stage side-by-side with Theatre Arts Majors
  • To direct, cast and design your own production in your Senior year

Training Outside the Classroom:

  • opportunities to create your own work for film and on stage
  • production roles right from your first year
  • mentorship geared toward professional goals
  • collaboration between Theatre Arts and Theatre Education Majors, Minors, and Participants
  • leadership experiences directing, stage managing, designing and acting
  • participation in regional conferences such as SETC, WVTA, KCACTF
  • affiliation with the National Honorary Theatre Fraternity (Alpha Psi Omega)
  • a flexible production schedule allows for cross-curricular involvement
Productions

Production at D&E is always an adventure  You may find yourself on a large 60 foot stage or performing in a banquet hall. You might be running a state of the art lightboard, or tweaking lights on location in a lush forest. The variety of stage and film work you’ll encounter at D&E will always keep you on your toes.

Annually, we produce a mix of 2-3 mainstage productions, one of which is often a longform film produced Hollywood independent style.

In addition to our newly renovated 350-1,000 seat performance space, the Harper McNeeley Auditorium, we perform live theatre “guerilla style” in “found” spaces both on and off campus. We look for ways to train you for any venue: from our on-campus mansions, outdoor pavilion and amphitheatre, and chapel to spaces in the community, we challenge you to be prepared for the demands of making theatre when you leave your undergraduate surroundings.   

Through a mix of classical and contemporary work, students get a well-rounded exposure to a multitude of playwrights, acting styles, and production experiences. You’ll not only get to work with award winning faculty, but a variety of guest artists and directors.

Additionally, there are student driven filmmaking projects through coursework and clubwork which culminate in our annual filmmaking showcase in May. 

Again, because of our small size and family atmosphere, these opportunities for students to direct, design, stage manage, and star in shows and films are available from the moment they step on D&E campus as a student in their first year.

 

How to Apply

Step 1

Apply to Davis & Elkins College.

Step 2

Schedule a visit.

Step 3

Set up a Stage & Screen Scholarship Audition by emailing esterhuizenb@dewv.edu. We accept video auditions.

*The Stage & Screen Scholarship ($500-$3,000) is open to all majors, minors, and non-majors.

Course Offerings

Stage and Screen Program ​Courses:
*Required for Theatre Core
+Required for Theatre Education (in addition to taking a Minor in Education)

105A | Beginning Improv+

111A | Voice and Diction*+

112A | Movement Fundamentals*+

116A | Beginning Acting Studio*+

150A | Stage & Screen Crafts 1*+

160A | Filmmaking

206A | Physical Comedy Studio

207A | Comedy Web Series

208A | Script Analysis*+

211A | History of Theatre I*+

212A | History of Theatre II*+

213A | History of Cinema

216A | Stage & Screen Acting Studio+

218A | Collaboration Lab

234A | Stage Management

250A | Stage & Screen Crafts 2+

251A | Stage & Screen Crafts 3+

260A | Film Production

261A | Film Post-Production

280A | Directing for Stage and Screen I+

312A | Advanced Stagecraft

313A | Advanced Design for Stage and Screen

316A | Shakespeare Studio*+

317A | Advanced​ Scene Study

318A | Musical Theatre Studio+

319A | Theatre Education Methods+

320A | Playwriting​/Screenwriting

380A | Directing for Stage and Screen II

394A | Practicum

398A | Business & Marketing for Theatre & Film Artists*

399A | Independent Study

496A | Senior Acting/Directing/Design Thesis*+

Facilities

Boiler House Theatre
Constructed in 1924, the Boiler House functioned, as its name suggests, to provide steam heat to the original buildings of the College. In 1975, it was renovated into a flexible stage theater, capable of housing theatrical productions in a wide variety of configurations.

Gradual renovation over the next twenty years moved the Studio Theatre into the Boiler House.

In 1997 an extensive remodeling project was completed. This work included the construction of a new lobby area with box office, concession space and new patron restrooms. The other major component of remodeling was the addition of production spaces. These include a well-equipped scene shop and backstage space for the Studio Theatre.

Today, the Boiler House stands as one of the most interesting and usable theater spaces in the region.

Equipped with a state-of-the-art computer lighting system and a large inventory of conventional lighting instruments, the BHT can handle almost any lighting need and configuration of theatrical staging.

The 1997 renovation also moved the Light Control Booth inside the historical smoke stack, giving the light board operator a clear view of the entire Boiler House stage. It is truly one of the most unique booth configurations you may ever see.

The studio theatre is home to everything from acting and directing classes to student productions and projects.

Equipped with its own lighting and sound systems, the studio theatre provides an independent space for exploration and growth during a student’s tenure at D&E. This space is also home to the local chapter of Alpha Psi Omega (National Honorary Theatre Fraternity).

Built in 1997, the scene shop is equipped to work with everything from foam to steel. Stocked with a wide array of tools and equipment, it provides the opportunity to work with the tools and materials used by professional scene shops. Just as the studio theatre is where actors and directors learn their craft, this is where the real learning takes place for theatre designers and technicians. Being able to apply the knowledge acquired in class to the practical world of theatre gives the student a more well-rounded college theatre experience.

Acting
Play
Theater

Clubs

lpha Psi Omega – National Dramatic Fraternity
Alpha Psi Omega is a National College Dramatic Fraternity. Davis & Elkins College has had a chapter since 1975. Students earn membership by participating in theatre productions in a variety of experiences including acting, design, and a variety of technical theatre endeavors.

Southeastern Theatre Conference
SETC is the largest clearinghouse for summer theatre work in the United States. Actors can audition for roles at summerstock companies throughout the nation. Technicians can interview for hundreds of available positions at some of the best theatre companies in the nation. D&E has a strong presence at SETC every year and an outstanding track record of placing students in meaningful jobs and internships. Visit SECT’s Web site for more information at www.setc.org.

West Virginia Theatre Conference
WVTC is your ticket to SETC. Each state represented within SETC has state-level auditions in the fall. Actors who receive a number at the state audition earn the opportunity to audition at SETC.

United States Institute for Theatre Technology
USITT is the national organization for theatre designers and technicians. It is the recognized authority in setting standards for theatre work. The national conference is a great opportunity to learn about the trade and meet new people. For more information visit their website at www.usitt.org.

Department Directory

Eric Armstrong

Technical Director, Division of Creative Arts; Adjunct Professor in Theatre Arts
Donna Baroudi Huffman

Donna Baroudi Huffman

Music Program Coordinator; Instructor of Music
Michael Doig

Michael Doig

Chair, Division of Creative Arts; Associate Professor of Art
Bridget Esterhuizen

Bridget Esterhuizen

Assistant Professor of Theatre

Tessa Garver-Daniels

Adjunct Faculty, Creative Arts
Laurie Goux

Laurie Goux

Adjunct Professor in Dance
Macy Jackson

Macy Jackson

Instructor of Digital Media
Elizabeth Marshall-MacVean

Elizabeth Marshall-MacVean

Director, Oratorio Society & Concert Choir
Lonnie Martin

Lonnie Martin

Instructor of Theatre and Film

Seth Maynard

Adjunct Faculty, Music

Desire Watson

Adjunct Faculty, Creative Arts
Kevin Woodcock

Kevin Woodcock

Assistant Professor of Art

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