Concentrations are not required, although students in the program ultimately need to be able to produce a thesis in a particular area at the end of their course of study, and a concentration is often a helpful means to that end. Besides the concentrations listed below, other areas of study, such as choreography, playwriting, and stage management, can potentially be developed as concentrations, depending on student interest and faculty support. Prospective applicants should be aware that the Theatre Department is not equipped to support graduate-level concentrations in filmmaking/cinema or musical theatre.
Graduate students have the opportunity to pursue a directing concentration through rigorous course work and independent study projects. Typically a graduate student will be able to pursue a directing concentration by going through three different levels of production. These levels are: In-the-Works, Studio Showcase, and Thesis. In-the Works (ITW) are low-budget exercises by first-time (to Binghamton University) student directors. Studio Showcases are mounted by proven ITW directors on a larger scale. Thesis productions are directed by undergraduate or graduate students who have successfully completed a Studio Showcase. Design assistance is afforded Studio Showcase and Thesis productions when available. Other studio offerings may include directing-class one-act play festivals, class-related original plays, performance art pieces, and student-choreographed dance works.
An internationally recognized faculty leads the instruction of the historical, literary and theoretical aspects of theater. Its regular course offerings include Theories of Acting and Directing, Seminar in Dramatic Theory and Structure, Seminar in Theatre History, and a variety of independent-study opportunities to provide the theatre student with a solid foundation in the study of theater and drama.
Graduate students interested in a performance concentration can focus in either acting or dance. Auditions for all Mainstage productions and most studio productions are held during the first week of classes in each semester for events occurring that term. Exceptions exist for some class projects with late starting dates, studio shows which bridge holiday periods, etc. Typically, auditions consist of presenting a two-minute monologue, fully memorized and well-rehearsed; an audition for a musical includes singing 16 bars of a song of one's choice.
The Mainstage Season typically features four productions, including one musical. Faculty members direct these. Casts and crews are composed of either undergraduate or graduate students. In addition to students, guest artists occasionally augment the casts and crews. In addition to the Mainstage Season, the department sponsors a flexible and diverse studio season which can include faculty, undergraduate- and/or graduate student-directed productions.
The department offers a specialization in design and technical theater that includes scene, lighting, costume, and sound design, technical direction, and relevant support areas. Interested students have the flexibility to tailor this program to their particular interests whether those interests are in general technical theater or an intense focus on particular design concentrations.
First-year students with moderate technical experience would be qualified to work in any of the department's scenic or costume shops and could have the opportunity to work as an assistant designer on one of the many department productions. Second-year students will be able to work hand-in-hand with professors as teaching assistants or (depending on experience) design a department production.
Last Updated: 4/30/14