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Theatre Arts Minor

Do you like to act, tell stories, and share culture with others? Do you want to participate in theatre productions while also pursuing a non-theatre major? Then consider minoring in theatre arts at Dordt. As a theatre arts minor, you’ll be able to satisfy your desire to stay engaged with the theatre and gain skills you can apply to whichever career path you choose.

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male and female student dressed in costumes act out a scene in a play

Program Overview

Dordt’s theatre arts program creates an environment in which students can explore and develop their artistic insights and gifts in the art of theatre. As a student, you’ll learn to interpret and evaluate the structure and history of theatre. You’ll analyze and critique theatre’s role in contemporary culture. And you’ll practice theatre with a depth of skill and breadth of insight.

Our theatre arts students often describe the theatre company as being “just like a family.” You’ll also benefit from smaller class sizes, meaning you aren’t a small fish in a big pond. Our professors will help you understand how to apply the lessons and skills of theatre to your major. Most important, we’ll help you understand how your Christian faith can be central to every aspect of your work as a theatre arts minor.

theatre arts professor and student act out a fighting scene

What You'll Learn

Over the course of your time as a theatre arts minor, you’ll learn how to combine your passion for theatre with your professional life. You’ll gain insight and experience through a mix of core theatre courses and electives such as Fundamentals of Acting, Directing, Scenic Design, Improvisation, and Theatre History.

Many of these electives will help you develop skills you can apply to your career. Teachers, businesspeople, and plenty of others can put theatre arts skills to good use throughout their professional lives.

What You Can Do With A Theatre Arts Minor

At Dordt, you will learn how to glorify God through a career in theatre, using the platform as an opportunity to show Christ in today’s culture. The types of careers you’ll be prepared for with a theatre arts minor include jobs in television, radio, and film, production companies, education, public relations, and more. In fact, you’ll develop skills that will make you a more well-rounded candidate for positions in all kinds of fields.

Musical Theatre Performer

A Musical Theatre Performer provides entertainment to audiences through narratives and performances.

Theatre Manager

A Theatre Manager oversees all aspects of a theatre and its productions.

Director

A Director is considered the lead of a production and is responsible for creating the overall vision of the production.

To earn a theatre arts minor, students will need to complete four credits of Theatre Practicum in addition to fourteen credits from any other theatre arts course options.

  • Theatre Practicum: Students apply for one to three hours of academic credit for work on a theatre production. Registration for credit is required in the semester in which the project is to be produced. In addition to rehearsal, performance, or technical work, regular meetings and some written work are required.
  • Making Theatre: Practice with fundamental concepts in interpreting and staging theatrical texts, with emphasis on the tools used by actors and directors to bring a play from the page to the stage.
  • Applied Crafts I: Stagecraft: An introduction to set construction, the materials used, and safe scene shop practices with hands-on application of learned techniques.
  • Scenography I: Fundamentals of Theatrical Design: An introduction to the elements of design and color theory in the realms of scenic, lighting, sound, props, and costume design.
  • Dance I: Fundamentals of Dance: An exploration of dance history, styles, and improvisation methods. A program focusing on the art and movement technique of various dance styles. The course is tailored to each student’s abilities while challenging their knowledge and understanding. Practice and repetition will be key elements in this class, and will progress from the basics, adding more detailed analysis of the exercises.
  • Scenography II: Advanced Theatrical Design: This advanced theatrical design course will take a more in depth look at scenic design, as well as other design areas connected to the departmental productions for the academic semester. It will explore the materials needed, principles used, and practices of these design areas. This course will enable students to feel comfortable with and be employable in an introductory position in scenic design and the other design areas covered.
  • The Actor’s Instrument: Voice and Movement: An integrated approach to developing vocal and physical agility in order to improve the expressive capability of performers and public speakers. This course includes performer well-being practices and foundational training in stage combat.
  • Improvisation: Generating for Performance: Improvisational thinking is a valuable skill for leaders, creatives, and anyone in collaborative and/or generative contexts. This course considers our human capacity for improvisation, its value in our lives, and its applications in any vocation. Students will expand their improvisational capacities in an active learning environment.
  • Dance II: Dance as Art: A deeper exploration of dance history, styles, and improvisation methods than 120. A program focusing on the art and movement technique of various dance styles, implementing information learned into beginning choreography. The course is tailored to each student’s abilities while challenging their knowledge and understanding. Practice and repetition will be key elements in this class, and will progress from the basics, adding more detailed analysis of the exercises.
  • Applied Crafts II: Introduction to Stage Management: A focused study of the skills and mechanics necessary to contribute well to the production process as a stage manager with an emphasis on organization, leadership, and communication.
  • Applied Crafts III: Lighting and Sound Technologies: A hands-on look at the programs and materials used to create successful lighting and sound designs for the stage.
  • Applied Crafts IV: Costume and Make-up Studio: This studio style course is an introduction to basic sewing and make-up application techniques, materials, and methods for theatrical use.
  • The Actor’s Process: Character Development: An exploration of approaches to developing a role for the stage or screen. Students will study and experience various methods in character development and practice the specific skills required to adapt to different genres, periods, and mediums, including dialects, imagination work, movement and mask work, and styles of acting.
  • Dance III: Dance Choreography and Performance: Apply foundational dance skills and improvisation to advance understanding of choreography techniques. Focus on creating dances of various styles for solos, small groups, and large groups, culminating in the choreography and performance in a live dance concert.
  • Special Topics: These courses are special-interest courses utilizing instructor strengths and student interests. Each topic will be concerned with material not usually treated to any great extent in regularly scheduled courses.
  • Theatre in Cultural Context: An overview of the global history of theatre including movements and representative plays and playwrights from Western and non-Western traditions. This course will focus on the ways in which social and political conversations are carried out on stage and how cultural climate has both influenced and been influenced by playwrights, performers, and theater makers. May not be taken on a pass/fail basis. Not recommended for freshmen students.
  • Theatre Today: Examines current trends, achievements and problems in contemporary western and non-westerns theatre and dramatic literature. Students will read dramatic theory, contemporary dramatic literature, and situate their developing understandings within a Reformed worldview. Not recommended for freshmen students.
  • Applied Theatre: Capstone Production Project: The course content (directing, design, acting, technical theatre, playwriting, producing, research/writing) will be designed for each individual in consultation with a departmental supervisor. Work on the project will be done in two or three semesters with enrollment in the final semester. May not be taken on a pass/fail basis. Open only to majors and minors with junior or senior standing.
  • Scene Study: Apply foundational acting skills and advanced methods to develop roles for stage and screen. Students will work collaboratively to rehearse and perform scenes and develop audition repertoire. Recommended for students who have already taken other performance courses or have experience acting in Dordt productions.
  • Writing for Performance: Students will engage in the exploration and practice of writing for performance, in any medium, but concentrating on theatre. The students will explore effective ways to translate ideas, insights, politics, and passions into words that will be performed, in the myriad rhythms of human dialogue and monologue, within an effective story structure.
  • Advanced Directing: Build on foundational skills to advance understanding of directing for the stage. Students will study concepts central to successful directing and apply them in and outside of class, culminating in the direction of a one-act play.
  • Majors Seminar: A course on the arts and vocation, specifically related to theatre. Students will investigate all aspects of their calling as theatre artists including: professional practices (such as goal setting, resume writing and auditioning), career wellness and sustainability, and the place of theatre arts in God’s kingdom.
  • Service-Learning
  • Individual Studies

See the course catalog for more information.

Ready to take the next step?

Theatre Arts Center

As a theatre arts minor, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt’s Theatre Arts Center. This location houses a theatre space, scene shop, make-up room, classroom, and the Fourth Avenue Theatre, a black box performance space which seats up to 140 audience members.

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six female dancers line up while dancing during performance

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