The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a well-rounded liberal arts approach in its curriculum. Theatre courses cover all the basic areas of theatrical endeavor, including acting, movement for the actor, directing, stagecraft, scene design, lighting, costuming, makeup, dramatic literature, theatre history, dramatic theory and criticism, and play writing. The Dance program offers courses in dance techniques, choreography, improvisation, dance history and dance research methods. Selected topics offered range from a diverse menu of performance and technical offerings such as: Alba Emoting, Acting Shakespeare, Scene Painting, Practical Applications in Theatrical Control Systems, Sound Engineering, and Prop Design and Construction. Dance offers Hip Hop, Salsa Immersion and Capoeira.
Theatre is the art of giving life in performance to dramatic literature. Production is at the very center of our award-winning Theatre and Dance program. Each season UAA Theatre and Dance produces four plays and two dance concerts on its "modified thrust" Mainstage, and in the Jerry Harper Studio Theatre, a fully-equipped, black-box space. Student-directed scenes, one-acts, and full-length plays are also presented yearly in the Harper. Department plays are cast at open auditions, and on average more than 100 majors, non-majors and members of the community are involved in our productions each year. All Theatre and Dance majors are required to participate in Mainstage productions and/or related departmental activities.
Dance as performance and as theoretical discourse from a multidisciplinary and multicultural perspective is primary in the Dance program. As in theatre, production is also at the heart of the program, with the UAA Dance Ensemble as the core performing group. Each year, we feature two dance productions either on Mainstage and/or at the Harper Theatre and guest artist residencies are a staple of the program. All Dance minors, or Theatre majors choosing the dance option, are required to participate in Dance Ensemble performances and/or related departmental activities.