2019-2020 University Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Professor A. Giurgea
Associate Professor DuComb, Sweeney (Chair)
Assistant Professors 
Bass, Swanson
Visiting Assistant Professor Latta, Ryer
Senior Lecturer S. Giurgea
Technical Director Labykina

Theater predates recorded history and remains a vital mode of artistic expression in the modern world. The Department of Theater educates students in the interdisciplinary practice of theater through required courses in acting, directing, stagecraft, and stage design, as well as elective courses in playwriting, screenwriting, and dance. Students also study theater as a social and cultural institution through courses in theater history and dramatic literature. Each semester, the department mounts a major production in the University Theater, directed either by a member of the theater faculty or a distinguished guest artist. Theater courses and University Theater productions are open not only to theater majors and minors but to all students on campus.

Theater students at Colgate learn by doing in the intellectually and physically rigorous environment of studio courses, rehearsals, and public performances. The curriculum transcends the artificial split of mind and body, encouraging students to develop skills in both logic and intuition that apply to any field of endeavor. A major or minor in theater fosters students’ ability to read closely, think critically, and communicate clearly – not only through speech and writing, but also through embodied presence. Students of theater are trained to integrate analytical, physical, emotional, and interpersonal intelligence in a way that few other courses of study demand.

By making and studying theater, Colgate students act out a variety of perspectives on the world, learning to problem solve and self-start through immersion in the challenges of the creative process. Students have opportunities both to lead and to collaborate. Graduates regularly pursue successful careers not only in theater but also in communications, media, business, law, and technology. Students interested in majoring or minoring in theater should discuss their plans with an adviser, and consider courses in music, art and art history, film and media studies, English, foreign languages and cultures to complement their theater education.


The Howard W. and Anne T. Pike Memorial Prize —awarded annually to a graduating senior for outstanding achievement and contribution to the University Theater program.

Advanced Placement

The department does not award Advanced Placement credit.

Transfer Credit

Because transferred courses must conform in content and rigor to Colgate’s curriculum, students intending to take a course in theater at another institution must meet with the department chair before enrolling in a course at another institution. Transfer credit for a theater course taken at another college or university will be granted only by the approval of the department. The department chair grants preliminary approval for appropriate courses, which generally must resemble 300- or 400-level courses at Colgate. Upon return to campus, the student brings the course syllabus, all papers written for the course, and a transcript registering its completion to the transfer-credit adviser to receive final approval. No more than two courses (in the case of a minor, one course) may be transferred for major credit. Students may not use a transferred course to fulfill the 400-level seminar requirement of the major.

Honors and High Honors

Seniors with an average GPA of 3.5 or above in courses counted toward the Theater major may apply to pursue an honors project. The application process for honors will be discussed in THEA 495 - Senior Seminar in Theater . Proposals for honors projects should build on the student’s previous work in the Theater major. Proposals are normally due in October and must be approved by the Theater faculty.

Students pursuing an honors project are enrolled in THEA 496 - Special Studies for Honors Candidates in Theater , during the spring term of their senior year. This course will ordinarily take the form of an independent study with the supervisor of the student’s honors project. THEA 496  must be taken in addition to THEA 495  and to the minimum number of courses required for the Theater major. Students must complete their honors projects by a date specified by the Department of Theater. If the Theater faculty approves a completed project for honors, the student receives a grade in THEA 496 . If a student withdraws from the program, or if the final project is not approved for honors, THEA 496  is converted to THEA 491 - Independent Study , and a grade is assigned by the student’s faculty supervisor. Students are awarded high honors on the basis of the quality of their chosen artistic project, thesis, and the oral presentation.

Students with further questions should contact the chair of the Department of Theater.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Students interested in graduate study should consult with their advisers and the department chair early in their programs to be advised about preparation for advanced work. The department also designates special advisers to meet with students interested in graduate work, and informational meetings are held to help juniors and seniors plan their applications for fellowships and graduate admission.


Majors and Minors