Theatre


Whether you aspire to be a lead on Broadway, direct musicals in community theatre, or create time and place using your unique talent for scenic design, St. Ambrose has a vibrant and active theatre program that can help you achieve your goals.

Our graduates work on Broadway, in LA and Chicago as actors, teachers, and costume designers; for Augustana College, Junior Theatre, and St. Croix Festival Theatre.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Experiential Learning
  • Stand In the Spotlight
  • Customize Your Degree

Students and Dan Rairdin-Hale in acting class

students and professor looking at designs in costume class

Dan Rairdin-Hale instructing two students

You get more than an education at St. Ambrose: you get real theatre experience. Learn from award-winning faculty and peers on the stage and behind the scenes, and embrace opportunities you won’t get at larger universities.

Check out our Theatre Fact Sheet (pdf)


2016-17 Productions

Comedy, Drama, Musicals, Classics

Discover Theatre at SAU


More Information on Our Theatre Program

What Will I learn?

You will grow in your acting skills and self-confidence, learn to develop characters, the art of stagecraft, and directing techniques. Courses include script analysis, costume design, stage lighting, scenic design, music theatre, and theatre history.

As a SAU Theatre major you will read an impressive variety of plays as part of your coursework. Take a look at the suggested reading list (pdf). 

You also have the opportunity to study abroad with our "Theatre in London" course. It culminates in a two-week trip to London where students see up to 14 plays, visit Shakespeare's hometown, and study with British theatre professionals. Other locations include Greece and Ireland, but the world really is your oyster! St. Ambrose has robust Study Abroad opportunities.

What makes the SAU Theatre major unique?

We have an award-winning program, and a long list of awards to prove it. Every year our students and faculty attend workshops and perform at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and each year seems to be better than the last! Last year, our students and faculty were recognized with eight awards, and professor Corinne Johnson was recognized with the highest honor it bestows--The Golden Medallion.

At SAU, you can get involved from the get-go, and we highly encourage first-year students to do so. Our theatre season typically consists of four main-stage productions (two shows, a musical, and a children's show) and up to six student-directed plays.

Other performance opportunities include coffeehouse-style productions and acting showcases. We even give first-year students their own showcase, The Fresh Face Revue.See for yourself the many opportunities we offer our students. Click here to see photos of our productions.

Our Facilities

The Theatre Department is in Galvin Fine Arts Center with a modern, 600-seat proscenium stage that can expand to seat up to 1,200. The stage also hosts the annual Performing Arts Series, which allows you to attend professional touring shows right here on campus (and students get in free!).

We also have the Studio Theatre, a black box theatre which hosts most of our student-directed plays. This intimate theatre is loved by our students because the space is flexible, giving you a variety of directing, acting, and design opportunities.We have great connections, and encourage all students to complete an internship in whatever area of theatre they wish to focus. Our theatre majors have learned from professionals and peers on-site at The Goodman, The Guthrie, Festival Theatre, Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, QC Workshop, Davenport Junior Theatre, Children's Theatre Company, and The Curtainbox Theatre. The SAU Career Center will help you find the internship right for you.To make your education even more affordable, our Theatre Department offers numerous scholarships for current, transfer, and first-year students. Find out more by clicking here.

What are some potential career outcomes?

Theatre majors can established careers as directors, costume designers, technical directors, tour managers, lighting designers, actors, drama teachers (college, community, and high school), musical directors, artistic directors, and stage managers.

You could also work in fashion design, event coordinating, arts administration, civic leadership, graphic design, or managerial positions.Our program also prepares you to enter graduate programs.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Daniel Sheridan '05 is the Performing Arts Supervisor for Davenport Parks and Recreation and the Artistic Director of Davenport Junior Theatre. He was a founding member of the QC Theatre Workshop.
  • Aaron Randolph III '02, '10 is a strong presence in the Quad Cities theatre scene. He is founder of the Quad City Theatre Workshop and was the 2016 recipient of the Quad City Arts Lloyd Schoeneman Community Impact Award for Outstanding Artist in performing arts.
  • Eric Behnke '04 tours the country as an Automation Carpenter for the North American tour of "Dreamgirls."

Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Theater (44 credits)

Required:
+THTR 105 Beginning Acting: Voice and Body, 3 credits
+THTR 202 Survey of Theatre, 3 credits
+THTR 209 Stagecraft, 3 credits
THTR 215 Introduction to Design for the Theatre, 3 credits
+WI-THTR 218 Introduction to Script Analysis, 3 credits
+THTR 304 Theatre History I: to 1642 3 credits
+THTR 305 Theatre History II: 1642 to Present 3 credits
THRE 312 Directing, 3 credits
+WI-THTR 315 Survey of Classic Dramatic Lit OR +WI-THTR 316 Survey of Current Dramatic Lit, both 3 credits
THTR 380 Junior Seminar, 1 credit
THTR 480 Senior Seminar, 1 credit

Choose:
15 semester credits of theatre electives.

Requirements for a Minor in Theatre (17 credits)

Required:
+THTR 105 Beginning Acting: Voice and Body, 3 credits
+THTR 202 Survey of Theatre, 3 credits
+THTR 209 Stagecraft, 3 credits
+WI-THTR 218 Introduction to Script Analysis, 3 credits
+THTR 304 Theatre History I: to 1642, 3 credits
THTR 380 Junior Seminar, 1 credit
THTR 480 Senior Seminar, 1 creditChoose:
3 semester credits of theatre electives.

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. This plan assumes the student has not taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year 1 - Fall

CreditsCourseOffered
3 +THTR 215A Intro to Design in the Theatre F
3 +THTR 105 Beginning Acting: Voice and Body F, S
3 Quantitative Reasoning (CSCI 140, 281, MATH 131 or higher, STAT 213, STBE 137)              F, S
3 ENGL 101 English Composition
Prerequisite: Writing placement
F, S
3 PHIL 100-200 level F, S
1 NSS 101 New Student Seminar F
16 Total Credits             

Year 1 - Spring

CreditsCourseOffered
3 +THTR 218 Intro to Script Analysis S
3 +THTR 202 Survey of Theatre F, S
3 Oral Communication (COMM 129, 132, 203, 228 or 329) F, S
3 +THTR 209 Stagecraft F, S
1 IL 101 Information Literacy F, S
1 +KIN 149 Wellness Concepts F, S
1-2 KIN fitness F, S
15-16 Total Credits

Year 2 - Fall

CreditsCoursesOffered
3 +THTR 304 Theatre History I OR +THTR History II F (alternating)
3 THEO 100-200 level F,S
3 PHIL/THEO F, S
3 Social science F, S
3 Foreign language 101 F, S
1 THTR 390 Theatre Practicum* F, S
16 Total Credits

Year 2 - Spring

CreditsCoursesOffered
6 THTR Electives S
3 Foreign language 102 Prerequisite: Foreign Language 101 F, S
3 Natural Science F, S
3 300-level Elective F, S
1 THTR 390 Theatre Practicum* F, S
16 Total Credits

Year 3 - Fall

CreditsCoursesOffered
3 +THTR 304 Theatre History I OR +THTR History II F (alternating)
3 THTR 312 Directing
Prerequisite: THTR 105
F
3 Humanities (other than THTR) F, S
3 300-level Elective F, S
3 Elective F, S
1 THTR 390 Theatre Practicum*
16 Total Credits

Year 3 - Spring

CreditsCoursesOffered
1 THTR 380: Junior Seminar S
3 THTR Elective 300-level F, S
3 300-level Philosophy/Theology F, S
9 Electives F, S
16 Total Credits

Year 4 - Fall

CreditsCoursesOffered
1 THTR 480 Senior Seminar F
3 THTR 315 OR THTR 316 Survey of Classic (or Current) Dramatic Literature F
3 300-level Elective F, S
9 Electives F, S
16 Total Credits

Year 4 - Spring

CreditsCoursesOffered
3 THTR Elective 300-level S
3 THTR Elective S
9 Electives F, S
15 Total Credits

*Theatre Practicum may be taken for 0-1 credit. Majors must take theatre practicum at least 3 times to graduate. No more than 3 credits of Theatre Practicum can be applied to the 120 credits required for graduation.

Secondary Speech and Theatre Teaching Major [7-12] (38 credits)


Required:
+COMM 203 Interpersonal Communication, 3 credits
+COMM 228 Argumentation and Advocacy
+COMM 232 Media and Society
COMM 325 Introduction to Speech Pathology
+COMM 329 Business and Professional Speaking
EDUC 345 Teaching Speech and Theater in the Secondary School, 1 credit
+THTR 105 Beginning Acting: Voice and Body, 3 credits
+THTR 202 Survey of Theatre, 3 credits
THTR 209 Stagecraft
THTR 215 Introduction to Design for the Theatre, 3 credits
+WI-THTR 218 Introduction to Script Analysis, 3 credits
THTR 304 Theatre History I: to 1642, 3 credits
THTR 305 Theatre History II: 1642 to Present, 3 credits
THTR 312 Directing, 3 credits
THTR 380 Junior Seminar, 1 credit
THTR 480 Senior Seminar, 1 credit

For education courses required for a teaching major see Education Department section.+ = Applicable toward general education degree requirements
WI = Writing intensive course

Click here to read Theatre course descriptions in the online course catalog


Apply Visit Info

Contact


Daniel Rairdin-Hale, Associate Professor and Chair

Theatre
GFA43
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6390
HaleDanielK@sau.edu

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