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Drama

School Overview

101 Hutchinson

The art of theatre is a deep and far-reaching discipline that provides a humanistic approach to the world and its many cultures. Theatre wrestles, displays, and engages with the most compelling and complex issues of our time to invite new understanding, emotional enrichment, and promotion of the unique social experience of shared live performance. For the artists, it demands curiosity, invention, the courage to take artistic risks, a supportive community in which to grow, as well as practical innovation and the discipline required to succeed in any craft.

Through mastering skills and techniques, and acquaintance with performance traditions and theories, artists and students of the theatre seek inspiration from the vast canon of global performance to develop their own authentic original voices and visions that reflect the complexities, urgencies, gravity, and joy of our world, and that make them more engaged global citizens.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
129 Hutchinson Hall, Box 353950
(206) 543-4204
uwdrama@uw.edu

The School of Drama offers the following program of study:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in drama

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: See department admission requirements below.

Department Admission Requirements

DRAMA 201 and DRAMA 251; one of the following: DRAMA 210, DRAMA 211, DRAMA 212, DRAMA 213; one of the following: DRAMA 290, DRAMA 291, DRAMA 292; and a minimum GPA of 2.50 for the four courses.

No audition is required to enter the program.

Major Requirements

65-70 credits as follows:

  1. DRAMA 201, DRAMA 251, DRAMA 252, DRAMA 302, DRAMA 371, DRAMA 372, DRAMA 373, DRAMA 401 (36 credits)
  2. Three courses from DRAMA 210, DRAMA 211, DRAMA 212, DRAMA 213 (12 credits)
  3. Two courses from DRAMA 290, DRAMA 291, DRAMA 292 (2 credits)
  4. One choice/special studies course from DRAMA 365, DRAMA 416, DRAMA 494, or other adviser approved course (5 credits)
  5. One of the options shown below (10-15 credits)
    1. General Drama: 10 credits of approved 300- or 400-level DRAMA electives
    2. History, Theory, and Criticism Option (23 credits): No longer accepting students - pending elimination
    3. Performance Option (15 credits)
      1. DRAMA 466 (2 credits)
      2. One course from DRAMA 351, DRAMA 352, DRAMA 352 (4 credits)
      3. One course from DRAMA 451, DRAMA 452, DRAMA 453, DRAMA 454, DRAMA 455, DRAMA 456, DRAMA 457 (3-4 credits)
      4. 300- or 400-level DRAMA electives (to reach 15 credits)
    4. Design Option (15 credits)
      1. One additional course from DRAMA 210, DRAMA 211, DRAMA 212, DRAMA 213 (4 credits)
      2. DRAMA 466 (2 credits)
      3. One additional course from DRAMA 290, DRAMA 291, DRAMA 292 (1 credit)
      4. Advanced design: DRAMA 314, DRAMA 316, DRAMA 414, DRAMA 415, DRAMA 417, DRAMA 418, DRAMA 419, DRAMA 420, DRAMA 421 (3-4 credits)
      5. 300- 400-level approved electives (to reach 15 credits)

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The faculty of the School of Drama considers the optimum preparation for the theatre artist to be comprised of a liberal arts undergraduate major in drama and a graduate conservatory education.

    Learning objectives include enriched artistic expression, a foundation for further study, and cultivation of essential life skills: teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and imagination.

    Students earning the Bachelor of Arts in drama are prepared to seek employment in the theatre industry, apply for advanced degrees in a specific area of theatre (e.g., MFA in acting or design), or transfer the skills gained through the program to broader career opportunities. Recent graduates have pursued careers in acting, design, directing, technical direction, stage management, dramaturgy, playwriting, literary management, teaching, and in such non-theatre occupations as real estate agent, fund-raiser, public relations staff, politician, librarian, academic counselor, lawyer, nurse, translator of foreign films, admissions counselor, trade show/convention production assistant, talent agent, casting director, music promoter, special events coordinator, tour guide, human resources coordinator, wedding coordinator, aerobics instructor, music promoter.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Rehearsal and performance spaces include the Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre (the first theatre-in-the-round built in the United States), the thrust-stage Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, the end-stage Meany Studio Theatre, and the proscenium in Meany Hall. Other spaces include the Cabaret, Studio 201, and Hutchinson 218. School of Drama facilities include a design studio, costume shop, scene shop, and computer labs.

    The Drama Library houses reserve books, plays, sound effects, dialect tapes, local audition and job notices, and a special collection of acting editions. Also available are specialized indexes and theatre databases. The librarian assists in the use of reference materials and indexes, bibliographic searches of on-line databases, and offers reference service and bibliographic instruction sessions for groups and individuals.

  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requierments in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Student participation in all aspects of dramatic art is provided through student productions, and faculty- and student-directed plays drawn from the full range of world dramatic literature and produced throughout the year. The School also produces operas in association with the School of Music

    To enhance employability and gain hands-on experience, students are encouraged to participate in internships with regional theatres, and related organizations or businesses. Academic credit may be earned for internships under the course number DRAMA 493. Internship credits count toward drama elective credits to graduate. A resource guide to drama-related internships is available at the drama undergraduate advising website.

    Drama students are also encouraged to apply for undergraduate research, leadership, and/or fellowship grants available through the Mary Gates Endowment.

  • Department Scholarships: School of Drama scholarships are awarded annually every spring for the following academic year to students who have demonstrated academic merit and contributed significantly to the School of Drama. Applications are distributed from the advising office.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: The Undergraduate Theatre Society (UTS) is a student organization that produces undergraduate theatre works in the Cabaret black-box performance space in Hutchinson Hall. Any UW student may audition for UTS productions. UTS members also participate in annual New Student Orientation and other school events on a volunteer basis.

    A volunteer elected group of drama students, the BA Council, meets regularly with the School of Drama Executive Director and head of the Bachelor of Arts program to discuss issues relative to the undergraduate program.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
101 Hutchinson, Box 353950
(206) 543-5140
uwdrama@uw.edu

The School of Drama offers professional training and scholarly programs leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Areas of study for the MFA degree are acting, stage direction, scene design, lighting design, and costume design. Most students should expect to spend three intensive years completing the requirements for the MFA degree.

The PhD program provides students with training for scholarly research in theatre history, dramatic literature, theory, and criticism. It also hosts the UW's Center for Performance Studies and connects students with related classes on campus.

Master of Fine Arts -- Acting

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a private fifteen minute audition and interview with the head of the Professional Actor Training Program (PATP).

Applicants should prepare the following:

  1. A two-minute monologue from a modern prose play
  2. A two-minute Shakespearean verse monologue
  3. Approximately 16 bars of a song, a cappella or with auditioner-provided accompaniment
  4. Auditioners should also be ready to detail their previous training.

Students who hold (or will hold by the time they enroll) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution may apply. Most applicants have undergraduate degrees in theatre, but it is not essential. All applicants must demonstrate outstanding talent to be admitted. The GRE is not required. International applicants must meet the minimum TOEFL and TSE scores and other requirements listed on the Graduate School's website (www.grad.washington.edu/admissions/index.shtml)

Applicants must submit the following to Graduate Programs, School of Drama, University of Washington, Box 353950, Seattle, WA 98195-3950:

  1. The School of Drama PATP application form (available for download from the School's website) with the preferred audition date indicated
  2. A non-refundable audition fee, payable by check or money order to the School of Drama. Applications postmarked after the deadline must include a late application fee of $10.00. This is a separate fee from the one due to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  3. A headshot
  4. A current résumé of training and experience in the applicant's field
  5. One set of unofficial transcripts
  6. A statement of purpose including educational and professional goals
  7. Two letters of recommendation
  8. A copy of the Application for Admission to the Graduate School

Degree Requirements

The primary focus of PATP training is to provide actors with the practical tools and sensibilities to become outstanding theatre actors comfortable and effective in all media. During the three-year course of study, every student appears in at least seven productions, two self-written solo shows, an in-depth dialect project, and extensive scene and technique classes.

The program is structured to immerse students in the traditional vocabulary and practices set down by Konstantin Stanislavski and informed by the individual professional experiences of the faculty. The program is also designed to increase the actors' expressiveness through "instrument classes" in voice, speech, dialects, coordination (Alexander Technique), Viewpoints, and Suzuki-based movement. During the three years of study, students become well versed in the established canon of western dramatic literature.

Throughout the year PATP students have opportunities to audition for summer theatre festivals from around the region and country. The program also maintains productive relationships with professional theatres in Seattle and the region such as the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman, Empty Space, ACT, Seattle Children's Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

During the third year, classes and projects focus on career and business. At the end of the third year, students prepare a professional showcase for Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York, and each actor in the program leaves with a professional quality audition reel. All PATP students are evaluated by the acting faculty at the end of each quarter. Students are admitted with the expectation that all will graduate, although dismissal is possible given two unsatisfactory critiques.

Required coursework is 90 credits, to include:

  1. 36 credits of DRAMA 557 (12, max. 36)
  2. 36 credits of DRAMA 558 (12, max. 36)
  3. DRAMA 551 (1-3, max. 3)
  4. DRAMA 552 (1-3, max. 3)
  5. DRAMA 553 (1-3, max. 3)
  6. 6 credits of DRAMA 559 (6, max. 18)
  7. 9 credits of DRAMA 700 (1, max. 9)

Master of Fine Arts -- Directing

Admission Requirements

The program tends to choose candidates who show evidence of enterprising energy and accomplishment “out in the world,” who may have successfully assisted seasoned directors, and who have at least the beginning of a professional and artistic record. While there is always room for the exceptional applicant, it is extremely difficult to gain admission directly out of a BA program with no other credentials. This program accepts only two MFA candidates.

  1. All Applicants
    1. Applicants submit the following to Graduate Programs, School of Drama, Box 353950, Seattle WA 98195-3950:
      1. The separate directing application form (available for download from the School's website) and fee, made payable to the School of Drama. This fee is separate from that due to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
      2. A current résumé of training and experience in the field
      3. A statement of purpose including educational and professional goals
      4. Three letters of recommendation
      5. One set of unofficial transcripts
      6. A directorial analysis of a play or opera chosen from a preselected list
    2. All applicants for graduate study at the UW must also apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The GRE is not required for any applicant to this program. International applicants must meet minimum TOEFL and TSE scores and other requirements as listed on the Graduate School's website (www.grad.washington.edu/admissions/index.shtml) and should apply by November 1.
  2. Second step for selected applicants
    A short list of candidates (12-16) is invited to continue the application process and interview, either in person or via video conferencing.
    1. Candidates interview for 30 minutes with the head of the program
    2. Candidates present a two-minute monologue as a way of revealing, not acting talent but the candidate's knowledge of what it is to speak dialogue, transmit thoughts, and physically relate to space.
    3. Candidates are asked to respond to a two-page questionnaire provided by the School of Drama.
  3. Third step for final short listed applicants
    A small group of four to eight candidates is invited to Seattle to be interviewed in person by a group of faculty. As part of this interview each candidate conducts a rehearsal of one of three pre-selected scenes with actors provided by the School of Drama. These actors are familiar with the material and are ready to be on their feet. Candidates receive the scene options and any additional information when notified of their selection to this short list.

Degree Requirements

The directing program at the UW School of Drama is a three-year intensive, conservatory program designed to prepare students for successful entry into the professional theatre. Classes and training include work in a range of types and styles of dramatic work, including realistic, nonrealistic, classical, and contemporary plays. Directing lab, seminar, Suzuki, and Viewpoints are taken every quarter. Acting process work includes Stanislavski, action theory, Shakespeare, Chekhov, and contemporary realism.

Every quarter each student directs in the classroom, studio, or both. Plays are selected in conjunction with the faculty and the length and nature of the project is determined by each student's pedagogical needs at the time. On occasion directing students serve as assistant directors to members of the faculty and/or visiting artists during their time at the School of Drama.

In the second year, each student directs a workshop production of a full-length play in the School's subscription season. In both the first and second year, each director may also direct in the annual short play festival. In the third year, each student directs a fully produced, full-length play as a thesis in either the winter or spring quarter.

90 credits, to include the following:

  1. 14 credits of DRAMA 563 (2, max. 18)
  2. 12 credits of DRAMA 567 (1-3, max. 12)
  3. Electives chosen from DRAMA 419 (3, max. 9), DRAMA 510 (3, max. 18), DRAMA 560 (2), DRAMA 561 (2-3, max. 12), DRAMA 562 (1-3, max. 12), and DRAMA 569 (3)
  4. 9 credits of DRAMA 700

Additional Coursework: After discussions with each student the faculty may advise additional coursework in such areas as Alexander technique, dialects, lighting design, combat, literature, or history of styles and costume.

All students are evaluated by all contact faculty each quarter.

Internships: One quarter of the program is devoted to a professional internship experience. MFA directors may intern either locally, nationally, or internationally during winter or spring quarter of the third year.

Master of Fine Arts -- Design

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the design program must submit a portfolio representative of their work and interview with design faculty. They may mail the portfolio to the School of Drama and interview with a faculty member on the phone or via video conferencing. It is always preferable for applicants to bring the portfolio with them and visit Seattle to interview with design faculty and sit in on graduate design classes. Other required application materials and fees are detailed below.

The program generally accepts two students in each area. While there is always room for the exceptional applicant, it is extremely difficult to gain admission directly out of a BA/BFA program with no other credentials.

Interviews: A personal interview is highly recommended, preferably in Seattle. Interviews are held in Seattle from mid-January to the beginning of March, with a limited number scheduled each week. Interviews are held when possible on Thursday afternoons and applicants are invited to visit classes Thursday morning. Applicants fill out the MFA design application form completely and indicate how and when they plan both to submit their portfolio and to interview with faculty. Applications must be received by the school before an interview is scheduled.

Portfolios: Portfolio materials need not be matted nor in a presentation case. The portfolio may include hand drafting, renderings, photographs of realized work or of models, costume sketches, and other graphic work or high-quality photocopies of same, blue lines and/or duplicate slides. Work should be presented in chronological order and should demonstrate strong graphic skills (including accurate rendering of the human figure) and the ability to devise effective design solutions to the problems posed by a script. It is particularly desirable for the portfolio to include examples of drawing or painting not intended as theatre design projects: figure drawing, landscape, architectural sketching or lighting, lighting installations, etc. Again, high quality photocopies are acceptable.

For lighting design applicants, the portfolio should include examples of hand or computer drafting, two or more complete projects including a one-page statement of conceptual approach, hook-up, plot, and cue ideas. It should also include samples of set sketches and life drawing.

Application Procedures: For questions about the application procedure, contact the School of Drama's graduate program assistant at (206)543-0714 or email uwdrama@uw.edu.

The GRE is not required for any applicant. International applicants must meet minimum TOEFL and TSE scores and other requirements as listed on the Graduate School's website (www.grad.washington.edu/admissions/index.shtml)

  1. Submit the following to Graduate Programs, School of Drama, Box 353950, Seattle WA 98195-3950:
    1. Portfolio (or bring to the interview in Seattle)
    2. The separate design application form (available for download from the School's website) and fee. This fee is separate from the one due to the Office of Graduate Admissions (B below).
    3. A current résumé of training and experience in the field
    4. Three letters of recommendation
    5. A statement of purpose including educational and professional goals
    6. One set of unofficial transcripts
  2. All applicants for graduate study at the UW must also apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, to include:

The MFA program is three years in length. The first year is devoted primarily to studio course and skill building, while realized production designs become a focus of the second and third years. In the third year, students complete a ten-week professional internship before returning to the School of Drama for two quarters with a final thesis project occurring in either of those quarters. The program of study is intended to give the student the skills needed to work productively in his or her area of interest and to help the student develop his or her own individual artistic vision. The design studio is a core class taken each quarter by directors and design students in all disciplines where students are asked to create designs for works for the stage. Other studio and skills courses develop proficiency. Each course of study also requires students to work in the other design disciplines. In addition, professional designers and/or directors working in Seattle are often invited to attend classes and offer critiques or discuss their work, and students regularly assist faculty on outside projects. The costume shop, scene shop, electrics shop, design studio, and light lab are well equipped and staffed by full-time professional production staff.

Scenic Design: Through a rigorous succession of studio assignments and realized production work, students in scenic design are expected to develop proficiency of expression via drawing and painting, drafting, model building, scene painting, and a working knowledge of scenic and property construction. Production work is emphasized in the second and third years of residency.

Costume Design: Emphasizes the aesthetic as well as intellectual analysis of theatrical or operatic texts and how one turns these impulses into three-dimensional, unified designs. Students have intensive exposure to this process as they are mentored through the production of their designs as well as through classes, which encompass design, construction, graphic skills, and history. Production work in costume design is emphasized in the second and third year of residency.

Lighting Design: The lighting design program focuses on dramaturgical understanding, communication with collaborators, and a rigorous understanding of a lighting design process. The lighting curriculum emphasizes the development of both theoretical/thinking and practical/compositional skills. Production work in lighting may occur in the first year, but is emphasized in the second and third years,, and often includes dance.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Preference is given to applicants with MA/MFA degrees and theatre experience but those who hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university are eligible to apply.

  1. An essay or thesis chapter representative of the applicant's best scholarly work
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores
  3. A current résumé of training and experience in the field
  4. A statement of purpose including educational and professional goals
  5. Three letters of recommendation. Each recommendation must state whether the letter is or is not available for review by the applicant. Forms for this purpose are available for download from the school's website, (depts.washington.edu/uwdrama/). Letters of recommendation should evaluate the applicant's skills and accomplishments as a theatre artist and his or her potential for graduate study in theatre history, dramatic theory, and criticism.
  6. One set of unofficial transcripts
  7. All applicants for graduate study at the UW must also apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

International applications must meet minimum TOEFL and TSE scores and other requirements as listed on the Graduate School's website, (www.grad.washington.edu/admissions/index.shtml)

Degree Requirements

Minimum 110 credits, to include:

Three years of coursework, including a sequence of 16 seminars (eight in history and eight in theory) and annual examinations. These linked courses provide complete preparation in the major issues of historical study and contemporary critical practice. Students also enroll in a minimum of three courses outside the School of Drama and must complete an upper-level reading course in a foreign language. Specific coursework includes DRAMA 571, DRAMA 572, DRAMA 573, DRAMA 575, DRAMA 576, DRAMA 577, DRAMA 581, DRAMA 582, DRAMA 583, DRAMA 585, DRAMA 586, and DRAMA 587, as well as 30 credits of DRAMA 800.

The PhD program hosts the UW's Center for Performance Studies and connects doctoral students with related classes on campus. The sequence of drama seminars reflects the changing needs of students, the developing research of the faculty, and the conditions of contemporary scholarship. Special topics in the history sequence have included Restoration theatre, drama in the Industrial Age, communism and capitalism, and ancient theatre history. Seminars in criticism have included reading, interpretation and performance; mimesis and theatrical representation; the semiotics of theatre; and drama and Marxist theatre theory. Students are encouraged to develop original research in these seminars and to present their work at professional meetings or publish it in academic journals.

The fourth year of the program is devoted to writing a dissertation under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Recent doctoral dissertations have explored semiotics, feminism, American theatre history, contemporary English and German drama, ethnicity, and performance theory.