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Visual & Performing Arts

Theatre Arts Major

As a theatre arts major, you’ll study performance, directing, playwriting and technical production.

By combining creative expression and collaboration with a core liberal arts coursework, you’ll be poised for a range of artistic roles. Bonus? Show your chops on stage or take in a show at the Rogers Center for the Arts, Merrimack’s own modern theater that brings some of the country’s best productions, musicians and films to campus.

Meet Your Major

In the theatre arts program, you will:

  • Explore many aspects of theatre studies, including history, literature, performance, directing, design, management and technical production.
  • Gain a greater awareness of and appreciation for the role, function and value of theatre in society,
  • Learn how to analyze plays perceptively and evaluate scripts and theatre productions critically.
  • Enhance your ability to think critically, speak eloquently, write effectively and work collaboratively.
  • Apply your experience, research and skills to conceive and/or execute a final project in acting, directing, criticism, playwriting or design.

Hands-On Learning

Stage time, either in the front or back of the house, is a must. Chances are, you’ll find yourself participating in departmental productions as well as those put on by the student-run OnStagers Dramatic Society.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the theatre arts program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue a career in the theatre, arts, film and television industries.

Positions may include:

  • Actor
  • Designer
  • Director
  • Drama teacher
  • Production manager
  • Technician
  • Theatre arts director 

What You’ll Take

All theatre arts majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 42-credit and minimum-of-11 course requirement. In addition, students are required to participate in productions presented by the visual and performing arts department, as needed, and serve on the Merrimack College theatre program’s board of directors for a minimum of two semesters (five maximum).

Required Courses

All theatre arts majors must take the following courses: 

FAA 1510 Acting I
FAA 1515 Theatre Practicum: Rehearsal and Performance
FAA 2520 Theatre History I
FAA 2530  Theatre History II
FAA 2550W American Musical Theatre
FAA 2565 Politics of Performance: Theatre, Government and Social Change
FAA 2570 Technical Production for the Theatre
FAA 2580 Script Analysis
FAA 4550 Senior Capstone Seminar

Elective Courses

Select two electives from the following list:

FAA 1520 Voice for the Stage
FAA 2500 Women in Theatre
FAA 2510 Acting II
FAA 2540 Introduction to Playwriting
FAA 2560 The London Theatre: A Study/Travel Experience
FAA 2585 Improvisation
FAA 2590 Arts Management
FAA 3510 Directing I
FAA 3520 Acting III: Special Topics in Acting

You may select one of the following courses in the English department to fulfill one of the two elective requirements:

ENG 3220 Renaissance Drama
ENG 3250 Shakespearean Drama
ENG 3680 World Drama
ENG 3820 Twentieth Century Drama and Performance by Women

More Info

MaryJane Wheeler
Administrative Assistant,
Visual and Performing Arts
Volpe 174

Kathleen Sills

Visual and Performing Arts 
Associate Professor, Theater