Academics

Current Productions

Heartbreak House

 

Heartbreak House
By George Bernard Shaw

April 18-19, 24-26 at 8:00 p.m.
Sternberger Auditorium

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On the eve of World War I, a diverse group of the privileged and powerful assembles for a weekend at a country estate, unaware that the world as they know it is about to end. This comedy from George Bernard Shaw–his own favorite of his plays–wittily chronicles the last days of the British ruling class.

Opportunities

Auditions

Auditions for our productions are open to all students regardless of major or year in school. Generally, auditions are held within the first two weeks of each semester, but additional auditions are sometimes held at other times.

Backstage

 

Any student can be involved in our productions. You can be a part of the production team through our practicum program, through THEA 111 (Backstage Production, 4 credits ), or THEA 195 (Mainstage Tech, 1-4 credits ). Practicum students work alongside faculty, guest artists and other students in a collaborative process that culminates in a fully-realized theatre production.

Guest Artists

 

The department brings practicing theatre artists of high caliber to the campus to work with students. Distinguished guests have included Edward Albee, Simon Bent, Burke Brown, Tandy Cronyn, Tony Kushner, Maria Irene Fornes, Robbie MacLean, Sidney Poitier, Mark Rucker, Larry Singer and Anna Deavere Smith.

Internships

 

We encourage students to expand their skills through internships with professional theatre companies and other arts organizations. Internships can be completed during the fall or winter terms, summer or during January term.

Alumni Achievement

'90s alumni

Chris Reid ’91 is a professional Equity actor based in Denver, Colorado. He has played everything from Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to the Dad on the new PBS show, “Big Green Rabbit.”

Drew Altizer ’92 runs Drew Altizer Photography, a full-service agency covering charity, public relations and private events. His client list includes San Francisco’s most recognizable and influential organizations and individuals.

Brad Aldous ’93 went to Ringling Bros. Clown College shortly after graduation. He has appeared numerous times on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. He is currently touring with Brittany Spear’s new show, “Circus.” He will be the announcer for the new Newlywed Game and is awaiting the greenlight on pilot he co-wrote for Morgan Spurlock.

Cathy Butler ’93 has a private Feldenkrais practice and offers workshops in VA.

Eron Block ’94 has been working with San Carlos Children’s Theater since 2000 and is now the Artistic Director, and primary drama instructor.

Robert Davis ’95 is in his 5th year of a theatre PhD program at the City University of NY. His research areas are ancient performance (in which he has already received an MA) and US 19th century theatre.

Michael Hamilton ’95 makes short films, having written and produced five so far.

Mollie Howey ’99 works as a scene painter on the cable series, “Army Wives.”

Hans Meyer ’99 is the founder and Artistic Director of the immediate theatre project in Asheville, NC. After earning his Theatre Studies degree from Guilford College, he spent time in his hometown of Atlanta, taking on the roles of Hamlet and Romeo and directing The Merchant of Venice with Theatre Noble. Hans has worked with New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, New York’s Metropolitan Youth Theatre, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago at Prop Theatre. He is currently developing Common People, a new rock musical based on Britpop band Pulp’s landmark, Mercury Award-winning album Different Class.

'00s alumni

Burke Brown ’00 is a professional lighting designer. After graduating from Guilford College he received an MFA in design from the Yale School of Drama. His recent designs include: The Brothers Size (NYSF-Public Theater, NYC; The Studio Theatre, DC; The Abbey Theater, Dublin); Going Down Swingin’ (NY Musical Theater Festival), The Marriage of Fiagro (University of Maine), The Song for New York: What Women Do While Men Sit Knitting (Mabou Mines, Associate Designer); Lulu (Yale Rep); The Flight of Icarus (Soho Think Tank); Richard III, In the Red & Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Layla & Majnun, The Real Thing, MSN Dream (Yale School of Drama).

Lauren Fortuna ’00 is currently the Managing Director for the Immediate Theatre Project in Asheville, NC, for which she also acts in productions.

Amy Gorelow ’00 is an actress based in Chicago. Her most recent work was with the Piccolo Theatre.

Willie Repoley ’00 is the Producing Director of the immediate theatre project in Asheville, NC. He has acted on six local stages and two local street corners, not to mention moving trains, moving pictures, and numerous school gymnasiums and cafeterias. In 2004 he co-founded not only immediate theatre project, but also The Redundant Theatre Company Theatre, and could not be happier.

Annie Bosworth Foley ’01 recently received an MFA in Stage Management from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. In the past year she has stage managed three shows at Rutgers, worked as a substitute Stage Manager at STREB: Laboratory for Action Mechanics in Brooklyn NY, and worked on the Stage Management team at Shakespeare Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, CA.

David Thomas ’01 is a professional sound designer who recently received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama. Recent New York design credits include The Blue Bird and The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion (Urban Stages); Half of Plenty (Summer Play Festival); Three on a Couch (co-designed with Arielle Edwards; Redshift Productions); The Lacy Project (Ohio Ice Factory Festival); Cyclone (Studio Dante); UnCensored 2008 (MCC’s Youth Company); and workshops of David Adjmi’s Caligula (SoHo Rep) as well as Katharsis Theatre Co.’s current project, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. Thomas has served as the assistant sound designer on Lincoln Center’s production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Broadway) and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Chriustmas (1st National Tour), as well as productions for Manhattan Theatre Club, Yale Repertory Theatre (including the world premiere of August Wilson’s Radio Golf), The New Group, Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, The Women’s Project, and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Bradley George ’02 works at WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama where he works as local host of All Things Considered and producer of Tapestry, an arts and culture program.

Jonathan Jacobs ’02 has been acting steadily with the 2nd Story Theatre in RI. He also works as a Senior Employment and Training Interviewer with the State of RI Department of Labor and Training.

Kate McNeely ’02 has worked full-time as a dresser at the Alliance Theatre and the Georgia Shakespeare in Atlanta. She is currently Program Sales Associate for Young Audiences at the Woodruff Arts Center.

Jack Hilley ’03 recently received an MFA in Technical Production from the Yale School of Drama. He lives in NYC, but freelances across the country.

Jeremy Eaton ’04 is an actor, a teacher, and Program Associate with Double Edge Theatre. She manages the company’s student programming and leads training for the theatre’s student and university training programs, including the company’s 2007 performance residency at Brandeis University.

Erin Greenway ’04 has been lucky enough to continue working with companies doing 3-4 shows a year, everything from Shakespeare to the most obscure experimental theatre. For her day job, she works at Savannah College of Art and Design as a recruiter hoping to help other artists to fulfill their dreams of becoming future artists.

Eric Schultz ’04 works at a Community Health Care Center in Northern Arizona that offers affordable health care to uninsured and under insured patients. He also acts with the Theatrikos Theatre Company.

Alena Fast ’05 is in her second season in the stage management department at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Since graduating, she has also worked at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Syracuse Stage.

Paul Masters ’05 (Theatre), ’08 (English) earned his M.A. in Drama from Tufts University in 2010 with a thesis entitled, “The Early Modern Machine: Post-Humanism and Contemporary Performance Practice.” He is now pursuing the Ph.D. in dramaturgy at the same university.

Susan Rahmsdorff ’05 is working on a doctorate in Vocal performance, after completing her masters at University of Kentucky in 2008.

Drew Dupont ’06 has been touring with Touring Theater of NC, performing in “Let Your Children Tell” and “Letters From Leokadia” (opened with a premier at Triad Stage’s Cabaret Theater this year).

Vita Generalova ’06 works for The New York City Shakespeare Festival.

Steffen Schollaert ’06 has been working steadily in the modeling industry with other work in commercials (KFC) and TV (“One Tree Hill”).

Tim Scales ’07 graduated directly into an internship with the Berkshire Theatre Festival, which became a full-time position after one summer. He now works in marketing for NYC’s Roundabout Theatre.

Noah Forman ’07 is currently a writer and executive producer for The Chris Gethard Show.

Hannah Jeffrey ’08 Lives in Sacramento, CA working as an Assistant Director for Grassroots Campaigns, Inc.–a progressive political campaigning organization that canvasses for organizations like the DNC, Equality California, Save the Children, Planned Parenthood, Oxfam, and currently in Sacramento, Amnesty International USA.

Derek Loehr ’08 is working as both a technician and an actor with Studio 6, the sixth official company of the Moscow Art Theatre School. Most recently, he performed in Montreal and Moscow. While in Russia, he appeared the Chekov International Theatre Festival.

Scott Lyman ’08 recently received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting at Harvard’s Advanced Institute for Theatre Training. He currently lives in NYC.

Jacob Martin ’08 recently received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting at Harvard’s Advanced Institute for Theatre Training. He currently lives in Los Angeles, and can be seen performing his own music in local cabarets.

Jordan Spoon ’08 is is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Clare Davis ’08 is pursuing an MA from the King’s College English Department in Shakespeare studies, focusing on theatrical output in London between 1590-1640. One of her classes is at the Globe where she looks at theatrical practices of the time: props, audience interactions, and costuming.

Sean Finan ’08 is currently enrolled in NYU’s Masters in Theatre Education program. He also directs production with an all-youth (ages 14-25) community theatre in Washington, D.C. He received a Masters in Theatre Education from NYU (2010) and has taught acting with a summer camp, served as the director of an after school arts program at a school in a Russian neighborhood in Brooklyn, and currently teaches at Annunciation Catholic School.

Derek Loer '08 studied at the HB Studio in New York and is a working actor. He has performed at the Wildside Theatre Festival in Montroel and at the Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Moscow.

Scott Lyman '08 is pursuing a second graduate degree in multimedia performance art at the Central Saint Martin's College of Arts and Design in London, combining his two Guilford majors in Theatre Studies and Art.

Jacob Martin '08 is teaching and studying in the San Francisco area while pursuing acting work in local theatres.

Jordan Spoon '08 completed the M.F.A. acting program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Mary Beth Howington ’09 is working as a stage technician for Norwegian Cruise Lines.

'10s alumni

Colin Cranford '10 works as a freelance lighting technician at theatres in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas.

Gail Kelly '10 is entering her second year in the Masters in Theatre Education program at Emerson College.

Ben Storey '10 has been studying at a studio in Philadelphia and has been acting in local productions there.

Gail Kelly ’10 is currently living in Wilmington, NC working as Assistant Director at The Performance Club Studio Theater where she teaches and directs children ages 4- teen in all aspects of theater.

Laura Pates '11 is in her final year in the M.F.A. program in Technical Theatre at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Justin Poe '11 has a solo exhibit of his art work at the Center for Visual Arts in Greensboro.

Alina Saez '11 continues to appear in commercials and local film projects in the Boston area.

Hannah Richards '11 is a writer and director with the Colorado ACTS in Denver.

Jacob Kresloff '12 has worked as a dramaturg for several small theatres in Washington.

Jonathan Shine '12 is entering the graduate program in voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

Ivey Long '13 has an internship with the distinguished experimental troupe Bread and Puppet Theater.

Olivia Shure '13 is attending the graduate acting program at the Gaiety Theatre School in Dublin, Ireland.

Renee Spence '13 is attending the graduate program in Japanese at the University of Honolulu.

Puja Tolton '13 has been hired as a leading actor at the Snow Camp Summer Theatre and has applied for fall internships with several theatres.

Megan Webb '13 has a paid position as a stage manager on the production of The Tall Boy and was hired as a stage manager on the staff of the Greensboro Community Theater. She also stage managed for Greensboro Light Opera and Song at UNCG.

Elizabeth Wray '13 has an internship with Bread and Puppet Theater.

Department History

To view photos from productions earlier than 2010, please click here.

Earliest available records suggest production of theatre on campus started in 1916, long before the existence of formal classroom study. Initially, theatre was an extracurricular student activity sponsored variously by the Literary Club, the Y.W.C.A., the Dramatics Council and Revelers.

After long focusing on dramatic literature, the Department of English added the first academic course focused on theatrical productions in 1929. Offerings began to expand in 1956 when Donald Deagon joined the faculty. He and wife Ann established the Department of Classics and Drama in 1967-68, splitting them into two programs in 1971, giving birth to the Department of Drama and Speech. In 1990, the department revised and deepened its curriculum, began creating its own productions with support through the academic budget and the current Department of Theatre Studies was born.

Theatre Studies

Guilford’s Department of Theatre Studies is unique in providing rigorous professionally oriented undergraduate theatre training within the context of a well-rounded liberal arts education that can prepare students for a broad range of future careers. An interested undergraduate can pursue theatre training in classes as challenging as those offered in any conservatory in the nation, while simultaneously obtaining a solid undergraduate education that keeps other options open as the developing student explores the work of a professional artist. The department seeks to produce creative individuals with intellectual acuity and the analytical and problem-solving skills of the theatre worker. Many alumni have gone on to prestigious graduate theatre programs, professional internships, and employment in theatre, film, and television, while others have pursued graduate work and careers in fields as diverse as law, medicine, psychology, education and social work. Guilford believes that theatre training develops skills and thought-processes applicable to problem-solving in all areas of life.

The program offers both majors and non-majors the chance to experience the collaborative process by which actors, designers, directors, scholars and technicians interpret a playscript and translate a shared vision of its meaning into the medium of theatrical production. Classes develop the skills essential to that process: critical thinking, research methods, intuitive reasoning, communication, project planning and time management, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership.

The integration of theory and practice is fundamental to the program, as it is to successful theatre, and the conceptual learning of formal course work is therefore augmented by laboratory work in the form of theatrical productions. Productions are chosen with attention to the developmental needs of the current student population. In a four-year period, students will experience a broad range of styles and periods of dramatic literature in performance.

Faculty members and staff have worked as practicing theatre artists in the professional theatre as actors, directors, designers or technicians. Recognizing that guest artists are essential to the vitality of any theatre program, the department also brings practicing theatre artists of high caliber to the campus to work with students. Distinguished guests have included playwrights Edward Albee, Simon Bent, Maria Irene Fornes, and Tony Kushner; actors Tandy Cronyn, Sidney Poitier, Anna Deavere Smith, Mickey Solis and Jack Wetherall; designers Jesse Belsky, Burke Brown, Roslyn Fulton-Dahlie, Elisheba Ittoop, Badger Koon, Robbie MacLean and John Wolf; directors Mark Rucker and Danny Scheie; and master teacher Larry Singer. 

DEGREE OFFERED

The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in theatre studies.

Theatre Studies Major

Major

Every student majoring in Theatre Studies will fulfill the core requirements and one of the four possible tracks. The major requires a minimum of 48 credit hours (13 courses).

Procedure for Entering the Design/Tech, History/Literature or Performance Tracks:

Students must have completed no less than 4 credits at the 200-level in their desired area before they can qualify for entry into any track other than the generalist. Once qualified, the student must petition the department chair for acceptance into the track. Following a consultation with department faculty, the department chair notifies the student of acceptance. In order to persist in the track, students are required to demonstrate ongoing engagement in their track with no more than one semester off, allowed only for study abroad. Thus, actors must audition for all productions and act in one production every four semesters. Design/tech students must work behind the scenes in some capacity every semester during which they are on campus. Finally, history/literature students must be consistently enrolled in courses that require the formal study of dramatic literature. Anyone in these tracks who fails to meet the above criteria after entering the track, will return to the theatre generalist track.

structure & CORE REQUIREMENTS OF ALL THEATRE STUDIES MAJORS
THEA 111 Backstage Production - 4 credits
THEA 125 Acting I: Basic Tools - 4 credits
THEA 130 Theatre and Culture I - 4 credits
THEA 131 Theatre and Culture II - 4 credits
THEA 171 Introduction to Theatrical Design
THEA/ENGL 215 Play Analysis or THEA 273 Lighting Design - 4 credits
THEA 295 Practicums: (options include Stage Management, Assistant Stage Management, Scenic Art, Properties, Costuming, Lighting, Makeup, Sound, Publicity, Box Office andHouse Management).  - 4 credits
THEA 470 Senior Thesis - 4 credits
Total credits required for Structure and Core requirements – 36 credits

Generalist Track

Additional courses required for students selecting a generalist track:

Two additional intermediate (200-level) theatre courses or the equivalent credits - 8 credits
One additional advanced (300-level) theatre course or the equivalent credits - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in theatre studies: generalist track – 48 credits

Design/Tech Track

Additional courses required for students selecting a design/tech track:

Two additional (200-level) design courses (7-8 Credits)
THEA 271  Set Design - 4 credits
THEA 272  Digital Sound Design - 4 credits 
THEA 273  Lighting Design - 4 credits 
THEA 274/CTIS 274 Digital Graphic Design - 4 credits
THEA 275  Costume Design - 4 credits 

Any other design/tech course approved by department chair

One additional advanced (300-level) design or design-relatec  course or 4 additional practicum credits in a specialized area chosen in consultation with the major advisor from: (4 credits)
THEA 360 Independent Study: Design Studio - 4 credits
THEA 381  Play Direction - 4 credits

Any other design/tech course approved by department chair

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in theatre studies: design/tech track – 47-48 credits

History/Literature Track

 Additional courses required for students selecting a history/literature track:

Two additional intermediate (200-level) courses in literary analysis, play analysis, playwriting or dramatic literature (8 credits)
ENGL 200       Introduction to Literary Studies - 4 credits 
ENGL 223 Shakespeare or ENGL 288 Shakespeare and Contemporary Film - 4 credits
THEA 244 Playwrighting Workshop - 4 credits

One course from the following advanced options (4 credits)
THEA 320  Acting 3: Shakespeare -  4 credits 
THEA 360 Independent Study as a playwright or genre - 4 credits
THEA 381 Play Direction - 4 credits
THEA 460 Independent Study as a dramaturg on a production - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in theatre studies: history/literature track – 48 credits

Performance Track

Additional courses required for students selecting a performance track

two additional intermediate (200-level) acting courses (8 credits)
THEA 227 Acting II: Playing the Action - 4 credits
THEA 228 Acting II: Creating the World - 4 credits
THEA 229 Acting II: Voice and Diction - 4 credits
one additional advanced (300-level) acting or performance course (4 credits)
THEA 320 Acting III: Shakespeare - 4 credits
THEA 325 Acting III: Modern Realism - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in theatre studies: performance - 48 credits

Theatre Studies Minor

Minor

The Department of Theatre Studies offers three different minor tracks: the theatre arts track, the musical theatre track, and the film and video track.

The theatre arts track provides students with the opportunity to study an intensely collaborative art form from three perspectives: design or technical production; dramatic literature or theatre history; and performance. It explores the unique responsibilities carried by different members of the creative staff as they conceive and execute a theatrical production.

The theatre arts track is not available to theatre studies majors.

The musical theatre track provides an opportunity to develop performance skills and knowledge of a significant American theatrical tradition and its literature. Coursework includes: acting, singing, dance, and work on production.

The musical theatre track is not available to theatre studies majors, who may take any and all of the courses as part of the major field of study in theatre. 

The film and video track serves students of any major who seek a serious exploration of film as an artistic medium. The track examines filmmaking as an important component of modern culture in the following aspects: a reflection of society, an artistic medium of the auteur and a medium of influence and social change.

The film and video track is available to theatre studies majors.

One course from each of the three perspective areas listed below - 12 credits
One other four-credit course with a THEA prefix (or the equivalent in two-credit offerrings). Ideally, this course should enhance the minor's understanding of a specific perspective area - 4 credits
One practicum assignment (THEA 295, one to four credits) to be determined in a meeting with a theatre studies advisor. Options include stage management, properties management, costuming, lighting, publicity, sound, box office, house management, makeup and scenic art - 4 credits

Theatre Arts Track

CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
THEA 111 Backstage Production - 4 credits
THEA 171 Introduction to Theatrical Design or THEA 273 Lighting Design - 4 credits
CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
IDS 408 East Asian Theatre - 4 credits
THEA 130 Theatre and Culture I - 4 credits
THEA 131 Theatre and Culture II - 4 credits
THEA 151 HP: Birth of the Avant-Garde - 4 credits
THEA ENGL 215 Acting I: Basic Tools - 4 credits

Any Theatre course at any level - 4 credits
THEA 295 Practicum Course I - 4 credits
THEA 125 Acting I: Basic Tools - 4 credits
Total credit hours required for theatre arts track minor – 17-21 credits

Musical Theatre Track

A minimum of 17 credit hours (six courses):

Acting

THEA 126 Acting I: Acting in Song - 4 credits
CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
THEA 125 Acting I: Basic Tools  - 4 credits
THEA 227 Acting II: Playing the Action - 4 credits
THEA 228 Acting II: Creating the World - 4 credits

Dance

THEA 103 Beginning Ballet - 4 credits
THEA 104 Jazz Dance - 4 credits
Or any appropriate 4 credit substitution by departmental approval

History

CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
THEA 131 Theatre and Culture II
THEA 152 HP: America and Its Musicals

Backstage Work

THEA 295 Practicum

Total credit hours required for musical theatre track minor – 17-18 credits

Film and Video Track

A minimum of 17 credit hours (five courses):

THEA 161 Masterpieces of Cinema - 4 credits
THEA 265 Artistry in Film - 4 credits
THEA 365 Documentary Filmmaking - 4 credits
CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
ENGL 272 World Cinema - 4 credits
ENGL 286 Classic American Cinema - 4 credits
ENGL 287 Cult Movies - 4 credits
ENGL 288 Shakespeare and Film - 4 credits
FREN 315 French & Francophone Cinema - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

THEA 295 Practicum: Film Festival or THEA 366 Filmmaking Capstone - 1 credit

Total credit hours required for film and video track minor – 17 credits

Students will process the coherence of their minor experience in a formal “post-mortem” critique with the minor coordinator following the film festival.

For questions, please contact department chair David Hammond.

Theatre Studies Faculty