Department of Theatre Arts
The College of Arts and Humanities
J. Daniel Herring, Chair
Speech Arts Building, Room 33
Degrees and Programs Offered
BA in Theatre Arts - Acting Emphasis, B.A.
BA in Theatre Arts - Design/Technology Emphasis, B.A.
BA in Theatre Arts - General Emphasis, B.A.
BA in Dance, B.A.
MN in Theatre Arts - Drama Option, Minor
MN in Theatre Arts - Dance Option, Minor
The theatre arts major offers your the opportunity to develop your skills in acting, directing, dance performance, choreography, playwriting, children's theatre, technical production, scene design, costume design, lighting design, history, literature, and teaching. After completing our program, you will have the background that will enhance your ability to pursue either an advanced degree or a professional career.
Our professionally trained instructors will guide you through a program which is not only educational but fascinating. A major or minor in theatre or dance can be one of the more exciting times in your life because it will develop communication and performing skills that will aid you no matter what career you finally decide to pursue. If theatre is what you want, then the California State University, Fresno Theatre Arts Department is ready to serve you.
The Theatre Arts Department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and holds memberships with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the California Educational Theatre Association, the California Alliance for Arts Education, and the United States Institute of Theatre Technology. The department regularly participates in the American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) and the American College Dance Association (ACDA). Our students, faculty, and productions have been awarded many regional and national honors from both ACTF and ACDA.
Our national and international award-winning Theatre Arts Department offers you educational preparation in all aspects of theatre and dance. Beside having the opportunity of being guided by an extensive curriculum and production schedule of more than 10 plays and several dance concerts, you will have the opportunity to study with guest professionals who participate in our program on a regular basis.
At California State University, Fresno there are a variety of production organizations, each providing a different kind of experience. University Theatre produces six major productions a year, cast and crewed by students. The Experimental Theatre Company (ETC) and the University Dance Theatre (UDT) are student organizations that produce their own plays and dance concerts. The Black Theatre Contingent (BTC) focuses on drama of the African-American experience. Playwrights Theatre is dedicated to the exploration of original plays. Theatre for Young Audiences produces plays for young people and tours throughout the Valley. You also have the opportunity to work with our resident dance company, the Contemporary Dance Ensemble. As you can see, we offer a variety of opportunities for you to develop and practice your art.
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
The dance major involves students in creative inquiry, embodied, inventive collaboration, and skillful expression of ideas in order to prepare them for lives of leadership, service, and excellence in the arts, culture, and business of the future. Each student in the dance major explores performance, training, design, technology, and research in a multifaceted liberal arts context in order to develop individual identities as artists and the abilities to work collaboratively in a diverse workplace. The degree provides an excellent broad-based foundation for work in the arts or entertainment professions or for further training at graduate schools or conservatories. The program’s liberal arts emphasis prepares graduates for a variety of occupations in multiple performance fields, as well as non-performance fields.
1. Major requirements (54 units)
DRAMA 33, 34 (6 units)
DANCE 20, 70, 159, 160S, 164, 166, 170, 171, 175 (26 units)
Production: DANCE 115, 163 (8 units)
DANCE 117A, B, C, or D (7 units)
DANCE 158A, B, C, or D (7 units)
2. General Education requirements (49 units)*
3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)
4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)
(See Degree Requirements), may be used toward a double major or minor
5. Total units (120)**
*This total indicates that a maximum of one course (3 units) in General Education Breadth also may be applied to the dance option. This course is DANCE 70 in G.E. Breadth E1. Consult the department chair or faculty adviser for additional details.
- Special requirements: Students seeking the B.A. in Dance are required to have competency in either DANCE 117 (Modern) or DANCE 158 (Ballet) for graduation.
- A maximum of 14 units of dance technique courses (DANCE 117, 155, 158) may be credited toward the minimum B.A. graduation requirement of 120 units.
- CR/NC grading is not permitted in the dance major.
- The upper-division writing requirement can be met by taking the UDWE (upper-division writing exam) or taking a writing course.
For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.
For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.
B.A. in Dance
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The Theatre Arts faculty includes performers, designers, and directors with top academic credentials as well as professional experience. The department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Organizations such as the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival and the American College Dance Association have honored numerous Fresno State Students.Successful completion of the B.A. in Dance will allow the student to apply for positions in performing arts companies, colleges and professional schools as dancers, choreographers and dance technicians. It will provide a seamless transition to graduate programs in dance performance and education as well as K-12 credential programs. Other professional uses include being an independent artist in dance or related disciplines, producing dance events and promoting the performing arts or similar events. Moreover, graduates of this program will also be competitive in associated fields.
Examples of professions that dance majors undertake are listed below.
What You Can Do
- Professional Dancer
- Dance Teacher
- Community Dance Worker
- Dance Therapist
- Arts Management
- Dance Notator
- Graduate School Options