Scott Edmiston, MFA
Professor of the Practice and Chair

180 Ryder Hall
Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, Associate Professor and Major Mentor,
Jonathan Carr, Assistant Teaching Professor and Minor Mentor,
Darren Evans, Theatre Operations Specialist,

The Northeastern Department of Theatre is a community dedicated to creativity, collaboration, and excellence in the pursuit of innovative ways to see, to investigate, and to make theatre for a new generation. We offer students a transformative education by aligning performance and production with academic inquiry and professional experiential learning. Our curriculum embraces diverse techniques, philosophies, and measures of success.

Our multidimensional students develop a unique understanding of creative entrepreneurship. They are actors, directors, designers, technicians, playwrights, stage managers, producers, and administrators. With generosity, integrity, respect, and rigor, we explore theatre as a living art that engages with our global society and the moment in which we live.

Connecting classroom experiences to the stage, we produce a diverse season of plays and musicals, ranging from classical theatre to world premieres. Nearly 50 performances take place annually in the Studio Theatre and Ryder Theatre Lab, where students collaborate with faculty and professional guest artists to achieve the highest standard of professionalism. With more than 40 co-op partners around the globe, students can unite the career elements of a conservatory program with the comprehensive education of a liberal arts degree.

Academic Progression Standards

Students must receive a minimum grade of 2.000 in major courses. The following courses are recommended to be taken by the end of the fourth semester (third semester for transfer students):

THTR 1100Production Experience 11
THTR 1101Introduction to Theatre4
THTR 1120Acting 14
THTR 1131Technical Theatre 14
THTR 1270Introduction to Theatrical Design4
THTR 2325From Script to Stage4

Theatre Courses

THTR 1000. Theatre at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Introduces new students to the communities and procedures of Northeastern University; the College of Arts, Media and Design; and the Department of Theatre. Offers insights into the study of the liberal arts in general and the creative facets of theatre study, including the rehearsal and production process. Emphasizes the departmental values of generosity, respect, and rigor and seeks to familiarize students with the arts and culture of Greater Boston.

THTR 1100. Production Experience 1. 1 Hour.

Offers lab practice in technical production. May be repeated once.

THTR 1101. Introduction to Theatre. 4 Hours.

Reveals the dynamic world of theatre by exploring the artistry, ideas, and techniques of actors, designers, directors, and playwrights. Goes behind the scenes in the study of theory and literature with both in-depth discussions and in-class performances. Includes a survey of significant movements in theatre history and analysis of diverse plays from contemporary drama. No theatre experience required.

THTR 1120. Acting 1. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the development of fundamental performance techniques and various significant acting methodologies needed by an actor to develop stage presence, strengthen the imagination, and increase freedom of expression. Studies, analyzes, and interprets contemporary texts through the performance of monologues and scenes.

THTR 1125. Improvisation. 4 Hours.

Introduces theatre improvisation principles through games, exercises, and readings. Offers a playful and rigorous environment for students to respond to unexpected situations with confidence and agility. In this experiential studio course, students participate in group and individual exercises that explore and practice creative impulses, adaptability, risk taking, intuition, and teamwork. Culminates in a self-reflection paper.

THTR 1130. Introduction to Acting. 4 Hours.

Introduces techniques that awaken the creative mind, body, and spirit of the actor. Through theatre games and voice/movement exercises, offers students an opportunity to explore and develop skills used by actors in preparation for a role. Students rehearse and perform scenes from contemporary plays. Designed for nontheatre majors; previous stage experience welcome but not required.

THTR 1131. Technical Theatre 1. 4 Hours.

Surveys the technical and stagecraft skills that are essential knowledge for all theatre professionals. Offers students an opportunity to develop a hands-on understanding of the areas of scenery and costume construction, production management, stage management, sound engineering, and lighting. Covers the practical skills needed to participate in the creation, evaluation ,and revision of a theatrical production in this laboratory-based course through participation in crew work for department productions. No previous theatre experience is required.

THTR 1150. Dance Performance and History: Modern to Hip Hop. 4 Hours.

Explores dance as both performance and history, practice, and theory. Examines the ways in which diverse dance genres—such as modern, jazz, American ballet, African-American, and hip-hop—embody ideas about culture, politics, race, and gender. Offers students an opportunity to rehearse and perform dance techniques of various styles and by significant choreographers. Includes research and writing assignments.

THTR 1160. The Professional Voice. 4 Hours.

Offers students across disciplines an opportunity to obtain techniques to enhance the quality of the spoken voice and improve clarity of expression in both professional and interpersonal interactions. Offers methods to release tensions that inhibit the clear communication of thoughts and ideas. Focuses on physical and vocal exercises drawn from acting technique and the direct application of these skills to various texts. Includes regular vocal exercises outside of class, readings, and self-reflection in writing. Requires proficiency in spoken English.

THTR 1170. The Eloquent Presenter. 1 Hour.

Designed to help students to enhance the effectiveness with which they present themselves in front of an audience. Uses the application of theatre training exercises and practical tools to offer students an opportunity to improve the quality of their spoken voice, the clarity with which they articulate their ideas, and their ability to command the attention of audiences in diverse interpersonal and professional interactions.

THTR 1215. Activism and Performance. 4 Hours.

Explores the intersection of theatre, politics, and social transformation by studying and experiencing the work of activist theatre artists in both traditional and nontraditional forms, such as docudrama, ritual, dance, street theatre, and community-generated performance. Examines the texts, theories, and practices of international theatre artists committed to ethical reasoning, social change, peace building, human rights, and community empowerment. Culminates in the creation of an original activist performance.

THTR 1220. Race, Power, and Performance. 4 Hours.

Examines race, power, and privilege in global and national contexts by analyzing plays and theatrical performances as spaces of cultural representation. Analyzes performance as a communicative process for understanding and constituting identity. Students explore how they perform their own lives and racial identities and apply those theories to contemporary drama and performance texts that are read, watched, and created.

THTR 1230. The Evolution of Fashion and Costume. 4 Hours.

Traces the evolution of fashion and costume from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century. Illustrated lectures focus on the history and meaning of clothing design and the development of style. Clothing has been used for centuries to protect, attract, and define one’s identity. Examines the shifting trends of fashion for men and women within its historical, cultural, and economic contexts.

THTR 1233. 19th- and 20th-Century Fashion in Europe. 4 Hours.

Traces the evolution of fashion and costume in Europe from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. Illustrated lectures focus on the history and meaning of clothing design and the development of style. Examines trends in fashion for men and women within its historical, cultural, political, and economic contexts. By studying fashion history in cities such as London and Paris, students have access to primary sources of fashion history, including paintings, sculpture, and textiles and garments from the periods being studied. Emphasizes current trends in fashion, with in-depth studies of the work of designers such as Dior, Chanel, McQueen, Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, McCartney, and more. Taught abroad. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 1235. Fashion and Costume Design in Film and Television. 4 Hours.

Examines the role of costume and fashion design in media, from the movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood to the latest high-tech motion pictures to the most recent cable miniseries. Studies the history and social contexts of clothing in media, as well as the critical role of fashion in relation to the narrative, i.e., how it enhances the mood and propels the dramatic action of the production. Uses illustrated lectures, critical thinking and writing, and a major experiential component to focus on how/why clothing is worn, how fashion design and costume design intersect, and how we can understand the economic and cultural realities of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through the shifting trends of fashion.

THTR 1236. Introduction to Global Fashion Studies: History, Theory, and Contemporary Practice. 4 Hours.

Offers students an overview of the most significant and relevant theories on fashion, focusing on the cultural significance of clothing and style. Examines the intersection of fashion and other areas of study including the arts, history, economics, business, sociology, and anthropology. Explores global issues of gender, race, class, identity, image, style, material culture, and sustainability. Examines how populations from several postindustrial nations think about fashion, how globalization impacts their cultures and identities, and how designers and trendsetters are emerging from the new capitals of fashion.

THTR 1237. Introduction to Global Fashion Studies Abroad: History, Theory, and Contemporary Practice. 4 Hours.

Covers the most significant and relevant theories on fashion and focuses on the cultural significance of clothing and style. Examines the intersection of fashion and other areas of study including the arts, history, economics, business, sociology, and anthropology. Explores global issues of gender, race, class, identity, image, style, material culture, and sustainability. Examines how populations from several postindustrial nations think about fashion, how globalization impacts their cultures and identities, and how designers and trendsetters are emerging from the new capitals of fashion. Taught abroad.

THTR 1240. Fashion Industry and Trend Forecasting in Europe. 4 Hours.

Examines the world of global fashion forecasting with industry professionals in European cities such as London and Paris. Studies how and why global fashion trends are designed, developed, and produced and how economic and cultural realities are revealed through the shifting trends of fashion. Recent developments in business, politics, economics, and culture all have a tremendous impact on trends in fashion. Examines the fashion industry in terms of the five basic pillars of the complex fashion system: cultures of design, production, representation, consumption, and disposal. The course includes illustrated lectures, site visits to couture fashion houses/studios, an experiential component (the global fashion trend presentation), and the development of a class blog dedicated to trends seen by the students on the streets of Europe. Taught abroad. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 1260. Movement for the Actor. 4 Hours.

Explores movement techniques that enhance the actor’s expressiveness, performance energy, and body awareness. Offers students an opportunity to experience diverse movement training theories such as Suzuki, Alexander, and Laban and synthesize them in the creation of an original ensemble-based performance. Focuses on physical exercises and processes that strengthen the body; enliven the imagination; enhance concentration; and improve flexibility, balance, relaxation, and posture. Seeks to empower actors to externalize the emotional and imaginative inner experience and maximize stage presence and power. No previous movement or acting experience required.

THTR 1270. Introduction to Theatrical Design. 4 Hours.

Introduces the principles of contemporary theatrical design and how to apply the creative process to scenery, costumes, and lighting. Offers students an opportunity to discover how design concepts are developed and relate to each other through research, script analysis, color theory, and visual composition. Seeks to develop the student’s capacity for collaboration and techniques for conceptualizing a play into a multidisciplinary work of art. No theatre experience required.

THTR 1500. Musical Theatre Performance 1. 4 Hours.

Explores “acting the song” through singing techniques for musical theatre in a group class setting. Drawing from Broadway classics and contemporary musicals, offers students an opportunity to develop foundational vocal performance skills through work on solos and group songs that are based in dramatic storytelling, characterization, and emotional truth. Culminates in an original musical theatre cabaret/concert presented to the public.

THTR 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 2000. Production Experience 2. 1 Hour.

Offers lab practice in rehearsal and performance for production. May be repeated once.

THTR 2242. Fashion Retailing. 4 Hours.

Introduces fashion retailing. Analyzes the different types and sizes of fashion retail operations; physical site location, including omnichannel; store layout and design; advertising and display; relation of the store to its intended target market; and store organization.

THTR 2300. Classics of Global Theatre. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to discover the rich history of the theatre from Greek tragedies to Shakespeare’s celebrated masterpieces, from Japanese Noh theatre to the witty Restoration comedies of the 1800s. Explores notable plays from Medieval and Elizabethan England, the golden age of Spain, 17th-century France, and the Italian Renaissance. Includes contextual study of the evolution of theatre and the artistic contributions to Western civilization by writers such as Sophocles, Marlowe, Calderón, and Molière.

THTR 2310. History of Musical Theatre. 4 Hours.

Traces the creative evolution of the stage musical from its 19th-century origins to current Broadway hits; from popular entertainment to an important theatrical art. Offers students an opportunity to examine this unique and original art form from multiple perspectives—historical, cultural, political, and aesthetic—and to develop insights into the concepts and methods of such pioneering composers, lyricists, and theatre artists as Gilbert and Sullivan, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.

THTR 2315. Rebels of Modern Drama. 4 Hours.

Investigates groundbreaking classics by modern European playwrights (1890s–1950s) such as Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, August Strindberg, George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett. Reveals how these social and literary rebels broke with tradition and created new forms of theatre. Examines their significant works as literature, history, and performance, as well as their relevance today. Includes written and oral analyses of plays as performances and the creation of an original play or work of visual art.

THTR 2320. Classics of 20th-Century American Drama. 4 Hours.

Examines classic works by significant American playwrights of the 20th century, such as Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Lillian Hellman, Lorraine Hansberry, Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, and August Wilson. Explores topics such as family relationships, race, gender, economics, religion, assimilation, and identity—both personal and national. Focuses on the artistic, literary, and cultural contributions and innovations made by modern American dramatists and their relevance today.

THTR 2325. From Script to Stage. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to develop the skills and techniques used by professional theatre artists to analyze a script and awaken the essence and meaning of a play in preparation for production. Examines structure and form, characters and action, symbols and metaphors, and the historical and social context in case studies of classic and contemporary plays.

THTR 2330. Playwriting. 4 Hours.

Offers a collaborative workshop environment for developing dialogue, scenes, and one-act plays. Analyzes the dramatic techniques of modern masters as well as acclaimed contemporary playwrights. Culminates in the development of original one-act plays and a presentation of workshop scripts by professional actors.

THTR 2335. Boston Theatre Experience. 4 Hours.

Offers a comprehensive experiential survey of professional theatre today. Students attend Boston-area productions that reflect a diverse range of styles and aesthetics, with special emphasis on the creation of new plays. Through preparatory readings and lectures, combined with postplay critical assessments (oral and in writing) and interactions with theatre artists (playwrights, actors, directors), offers students an opportunity to examine and discover how to interpret the art of contemporary theatre in the United States, from fringe companies to Broadway, as audience members and aspiring artists. Requires attendance at plays outside of class time.

THTR 2340. Theatre and Society. 4 Hours.

Covers several great practitioners of theatre. Focuses on how social behavior influenced the thought and craft of playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and theorists as well as how society was influenced by drama and theatre. Emphasizes how the play’s ideas are translated into performance. Uses video, discussion, and live performance, when possible, as integral elements to the course.

THTR 2342. Acting 2. 4 Hours.

Continues THTR 1120. Focuses on developing the actor’s sense of truth and emotional freedom. Emphasizes creating, developing, and sustaining character and developing ensemble. Includes monologues and scenes performed for classroom analysis.

THTR 2345. Acting for the Camera. 4 Hours.

Explores the craft and methods used by actors while working in front of the camera through monologues, scenes, and group projects. Provides students with techniques to identify and free their performance energy with a foundation on relaxation and authenticity. Includes the study and analysis of acting styles in diverse genres of film and television from situation comedies to dramas. Offers students an opportunity to explore a range of on-camera skills and acting techniques and apply them in filmed final projects. Previous acting experience suggested but not required.

THTR 2346. Viewpoints. 4 Hours.

Engages actors with an innovative technique that draws upon rigorous physical training exercises and practice in the nine areas of actors’ concentration known as Viewpoints. Creative improvisational sessions provide an intuitive and dynamic approach to acting. Culminates in the application of Viewpoints to new scripted works.

THTR 2360. Stage Makeup. 4 Hours.

Studies the transformational principles and practical techniques used in makeup application for theatre, television, and film. Features methods to create character and fashion makeups, including techniques for aging, fantasy creatures, and special effects. Additionally, this studio course offers an overview of makeup design used for stage and screen. Requires lab fee for supplies.

THTR 2370. Lighting Design. 4 Hours.

Examines basic principles and practices of stage lighting, including the qualities and functions of light, lighting instruments and controls, use of color and directionality, and script analysis for lighting design elements. Offers students an opportunity to develop foundational skills and practice systematic reasoning in the programming and operation of lighting computer equipment. Through group projects and individual lab work, students create and execute lighting designs. Includes work on electrics crews for university productions.

THTR 2380. Costume Design. 4 Hours.

Introduces the fundamentals of costume design and the artistic roles and responsibilities of a costume designer. Working on classical and contemporary texts, students examine the creative steps of the design process, including script analysis, character development, research, and collaboration. Through lectures, discussions, and projects, students create a design concept and communicate it through language and images. Includes experience with drawing and other costume rendering techniques such as painting, collage, and Photoshop. Does not require prior art or design experience.

THTR 2385. Fashion Construction and Pattern Making. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to develop the skills and techniques necessary for creating and using basic master patterns and dress forms to create skirts, dresses, trousers, and tops. Covers basic fashion construction, flat patterning, draping, and finishing techniques.

THTR 2400. Scenic Design. 4 Hours.

Introduces the theory and practice of theatrical design and the role of the designer in the production process. Through project work, examines the use of graphics tools—line, form, balance, color, rhythm, and so on—in the development of the design idea. Emphasizes understanding and utilizing spatial relationships; visually expressing conceptual themes; and understanding the various uses, problems, and practical considerations of proscenium, thrust, and arena staging.

THTR 2500. Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Women in Theatre. 4 Hours.

Surveys a wide range of dramatic forms, gender theories, and distinct theatrical techniques used by women artists to reveal larger social issues and encourage activism. Examines how the plays’ sociocultural contexts represent female playwrights’ diverse views of identity as well as their cultural, ethnic, racial, and geographical experiences. Identifies how women as artistic leaders are perceived and received by society and the industry. Analyzes why the issue of gender equity in theatre remains unresolved. THTR 2500 and WMNS 2501 are cross-listed.

THTR 2600. Voice and Speech for the Actor. 4 Hours.

Seeks to enhance the quality and power of the actor’s voice with a focus on the clarity, vitality, and eloquence with which they communicate themselves on stage. Following the pedagogy known as Freeing the Natural Voice, developed by Kristin Linklater, sessions provide a progression of physical and vocal exercises that free the habitual tensions and inefficiencies that block the clear communication of emotional and creative impulses. Offers students an opportunity to apply voice and speech training to diverse texts comprised of drama, poetry, and original writing. The goal is a free, healthy, confident voice that fully expresses the actor’s individuality and commands the attention of an audience.

THTR 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 2991. Research in Theatre. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct introductory-level research or creative endeavors under faculty supervision.

THTR 3100. Creative Storytelling for Social Engagement. 4 Hours.

Explores the immersive learning process of creating a contemporary living newspaper play by critically examining important social issues or questions; identifying, synthesizing, applying, and revising ideas; and engaging in team-building performative activities. Explores innovative ways to address civic engagement through a culminating workshop production of a treatment for the play.

THTR 3200. Queer Theatre and Performance. 4 Hours.

Explores significant dramatic texts that have shaped and expressed the changing nature of LGBTQ identity. Readings, viewings, lectures, and discussion focus on noteworthy queer plays as literature, history, cultural documents, and performance as seen through the lens of contemporary queer theories and knowledge. Analyzing these texts for their relevance to society and our lives, students evaluate and explore a range of topics including sexual identity, gender identity, religious and political views on queerness, the evolution of LGBTQ culture and communities, drag performance, homophobia, assimilation, appropriation, and coming out. Students who do not meet course restrictions may seek permission of instructor. THTR 3200 and WMNS 3200 are cross-listed.

THTR 3300. Devised Theatre Project: Collaborative Performance. 4 Hours.

Investigates innovative and experimental methods of making an original theatre performance in which the actors are also the creators. Functioning as a collaborative ensemble training, rehearsing, and performing together, students explore performance theories and rehearsal techniques using language, movement, music, images, and autobiography to create their own performative event inspired by a central theme drawn from literature, art, politics, or history. Culminates in a world-premiere public performance.

THTR 3350. Fashion Marketing and Merchandising in Europe. 4 Hours.

Examines the fundamentals of fashion marketing and merchandising in the established fashion capital of the world, Paris. Explores how basic marketing principles govern the fashion industry. Analyzes and evaluates the role and function of day-to-day industry professionals working and succeeding in Paris through site visits; lectures with industry professionals; and visits to fashion shows, collections, and museums. Taught abroad.

THTR 3400. Designing Combat for the Stage. 4 Hours.

Develops techniques of unarmed and armed combat and employs those techniques to design and choreograph exciting fight sequences that are safe for actor combatants to perform. Offers students an opportunity to learn strategies to control time and space in a way that maximizes the power of storytelling on stage. The course culminates in students designing, developing, notating, and filming their own fight scenes and presenting and performing their violence designs to an audience. Recommended for students who have completed THTR 1260. Students who do not meet course restrictions may seek permission of instructor.

THTR 3450. Acting 3—Playing Shakespeare. 4 Hours.

Explores ways to bring the texts of Shakespeare alive onstage. Using the First Folio, the course studies structure of the verse, rhetorical devices, figures of speech, in a variety of Shakespeare’s texts, including sonnets, scenes, and soliloquies. Sound and movement sequences revitalize the eloquent speaking of heightened texts and the personal connection to the characters.

THTR 3550. Directing for the Stage. 4 Hours.

Focuses on purposes and techniques of theatrical direction related to script analysis, production style, pictorial composition, rhythmic evolution, and empathic responses.

THTR 3570. Musical Theatre Performance. 4 Hours.

Applies acting technique to the performance of songs and scenes from the musical theatre canon. Offers students an opportunity to integrate acting, singing, and dancing through character development. Analyzes and interprets Broadway musical classics and contemporary musical theatre forms by artists such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, Jeanine Tesori, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Culminates in a student showcase of solo, small ensemble, and large ensemble excerpts from musicals.

THTR 3700. Rehearsal and Production: The Art of Collaboration. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to experience the process of making imaginative, innovative theatre by collaborating on a theatre department production. Based on auditions, experience, skills, and interest, students rehearse and perform an acting role or collaborate in areas of design, stage management, dramaturgy, or production under the direction of faculty, staff, and guest artists. Students chronicle the process in a stage journal and in a final paper, identifying creative discoveries, accomplishments, and experiences. Fulfills the experiential education requirement for theatre majors. May be repeated up to three times.

THTR 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 4100. Senior Career Seminar. 1 Hour.

Seeks to prepare theatre majors to define their personal career goals and creative ambitions and to help students devise individualized strategies to achieve them. Offers students an opportunity to survey potential career paths in areas such as acting, design, stage management, tech/production, marketing, fundraising, literary management, and education/community outreach. Examines diverse employment and organizational structures of nonprofit theatres from fringe to Broadway. Includes seminars, discussions, and conversations with faculty and theatre professionals on a range of topics such as casting/auditions, design portfolios, and professional networking. Requires senior standing; juniors admitted by special permission.

THTR 4702. Capstone Rehearsal and Performance. 4 Hours.

Requires students to research, prepare, and perform either a substantial acting role, a design assistantship, a dramaturgy, a stage-management position, or other position of responsibility for a departmental production. Also requires an intensive-writing component enabling the synthesis of the theoretical, analytical, and artistic aspects of theatre production.

THTR 4880. Special Topics: Theatre History. 1-4 Hours.

Offers opportunity for in-depth examination of a subject of particular significance to the field. May be repeated up to four times.

THTR 4970. Junior/Senior Honors Project 1. 4 Hours.

Focuses on in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. Combined with Junior/Senior Project 2 or college-defined equivalent for 8-credit honors project. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 4993. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

THTR 4994. Internship. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity for internship work. May be repeated without limit.