Chair, Professor DAVID EPPEL

Professors: BUCKY*, EPPEL. Assistant Professors: BEAN, S. HAMILTON. Lecturers: BROTHERS, CATALANO. Visiting Lecturer: T. SHEPARD

As a reflection of the theatre's historical relationship to literature and the arts, stage production is studied in the context of the literary and artistic movements which have informed theatrical endeavor. The major in Theatre emphasizes the collaborative nature of the discipline by drawing upon courses offered by faculty of the Language, Literature, Music, and Art Departments. Although students will be equipped to proceed to graduate and professional schools in theatre, the major is primarily directed toward those interested in studying the theatre as an artistic phenomenon and as an interpretive tool. Because a deep understanding of theatre requires training and experience with the synthesis on stage, the major includes curricular study of production and performance, as well as continued participation in departmental stage production.

Williamstheatre, the production arm of the Department of Theatre, operates under the supervision of the departmental faculty. Major departmental productions as well as laboratory and experimental productions of all kinds are mounted on both the MainStage of the Adams Memorial Theatre, and the DownStage Theatre. Participation in acting or technical work is open to all members of the Williams College community. Students majoring in Theatre will be asked to consult regularly with departmental advisors in devising the sequence of courses and production participation that will constitute their major.


The Theatre Department course requirements are Theatre 101, Theatre 301, Theatre 401(F)(S), and one course from Studies in Dramatic Literature (Theatre 311-321) or Theatre 210, 211, 213T, 215, 322T, 328. In addition students are then asked to choose five courses from the Theatre Department offerings, paying special attention to the prerequisites. Please note that there are several routes to the major. Students are encouraged to speak with the Chair of the Department in the spring of their sophomore year at the very latest.

  1. Theatre 101 Introduction to Theatre
  2. Theatre 301 Junior Seminar: Theories of Theatre
  3. Theatre 401 Advanced Projects in Theatre
  4. and
  5. One course from Theatre 311-321 Studies in Dramatic Literature or Theatre 210, 211, 215 or 328
  6. and
  7. Five courses from below, paying careful attention to the prerequisites:
  8. Theatre 102 Introduction to Technical Theatre
  9. Theatre 201 The Design Response
  10. Theatre 203 Interpretation and Performance I
  11. Theatre 204 Interpretation and Performance II
  12. Theatre 210 Multicultural Performance
  13. Theatre 211 Topics in African-American Performance: Theatre, Film, and Dance of the Harlem Renaissance
  14. Theatre 216 Writing for the Theatre
  15. Theatre 302 Scenic Design
  16. Theatre 303 Stage Lighting
  17. Theatre 305 Costume Design
  18. Theatre 306 Advanced Acting
  19. Theatre 307 Stage Direction
  20. Theatre 308 Directing Workshop
  21. Theatre 322T Performance Criticism
  22. Theatre 323 Theatre of Images
  23. Theatre 324 Theatre for the Ear: Telling Stories Through Sound
  24. Theatre 397, 398 Independent Study

The department strongly recommends that students elect additional collateral courses in dramatic literature taught by the English and modern language departments, and courses in opera taught by the Music Department. Students with an interest in theatre design should particularly elect Art Studio courses in drawing.

Production requirement for the major: All majors in Theatre are required to participate in a minimum of eight productions in addition to the laboratory requirement for Theatre 102. Participation in at least three of the eight must be in technical production, and one must be in stage management. Assignment to productions is normally made in consultation with the department and chair.

Theatre majors are strongly urged to include dance and fencing in fulfilling their Physical Education requirements.


Candidates for Honors will apply for admission through the submission of a portfolio to the Department Chair by February of their junior year, as well as a description of their proposed project. The portfolio will be comprised of four parts:

1. The first part will include a list of the courses students have taken relevant to their work towards the major, This list will include courses offered by the Theatre Department, but may also include classes taken other Departments. Students should also list and describe relevant independent studies and production credits.

2. The second part of the portfolio will include a selection of materials developed for these courses and productions listed in Part 1. The selection should include at least three papers or samples of other written work, and might also include design projects, directors notebooks, studio art projects, actor's journals or other forms of documentation of the candidate's work. For students who have taken a semester away, it is particularly important that they provide the Department with a detailed picture of their activities while studying off-campus. Course descriptions and syllabi should be submitted in addition to a list of courses taken and activities performed.

3. The third part of the portfolio is a annotated bibliography of dramatic texts which the student has read, drawn from a list supplied by the Department. Annotations should reflect a particular angle of engagement with the text, that reflects the area or areas that the student has chosen to emphasize in their theatrical training. For instance, one might choose to write from the point of view of an actor, a designer, a director, a playwright, or a dramaturg.

4. The portfolio should conclude with a retrospective essay that reflects on the materials that are being submitted. Students should look for connections between the various aspects of their work, state any theoretical positions that they have come to embrace, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and discuss their educational goals for their work with the Department during their Senior year.

The portfolio will be examined alongside the student's record and their project description; a determination will then be made as to their admission into the Honors program. Students intending to apply for Honors, should meet with the Department Chair by the end of the fall semester of their junior year.

Of interest to advanced students:


The Department of Theatre is affiliated with the National Theatre Institute, which offers additional theatre study through its resident semester program. The Institute is fully accredited by Connecticut College and is a member of the Twelve-College Exchange. Limited numbers of Williams students can therefore be selected to take a full semester of intensive theatre study at the NTI, located at the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theatre Centre in Waterford, Connecticut. During the semester, students from participating colleges live and work as members of a theatre company gaining experience with professional theatre artists in a workshop environment. Early application is essential.