Theatre

Program Overview

The theatre program at Fairfield offers students a liberal arts education infused with the theoretical and everyday aspects of the theatre profession. The major offers a comprehensive education in the art and craft of theatre, and exposed students to its history, literature, theory, and criticism, while providing instruction in acting, directing, design, and technical theatre.

Through this program, you have the benefit of being instructed by an energetic faculty and theatre professionals in acting, dance, design, directing, playwriting, production, and stagecraft.

Offered as either a major or a minor in the theatre program, you learn the details necessary to produce a full production, alongside developing excellent written, verbal and artistic skills. Classroom theories are applied at Theatre Fairfield. Here, you participate in on-campus productions, and are given the opportunity to direct, design, write, and act in various styles of theatre including musicals, comedies, dramas, period and contemporary plays, and original works.

A Theatre major prepares you for a multitude of careers. Our graduates have gone on to become industry experts as well as managers, lawyers, and educators.

Every other year, alumni from Theatre Fairfield, the University's resident theatre company, return to campus to share their insights on life after Fairfield. View the latest session from January 2015:

Part I

Part II

 

Requirements

Theatre Major (33 Credits)

  • TA 11: Introduction to Theatre
  • TA 30: Acting I
  • TA 106: Theatre Management
  • TA 110: World Theatre I, Beginnings to 1800
  • TA 111: World Theatre II, 1800 to Tomorrow     
  • TA 150: Stagecraft
  • TA 155: Design for the Theatre
  • TA 230: Acting II
  • TA 310: Capstone: Theory of Production

One of the following:

  • TA 120: American Drama
  • TA 210: Theatre in Production

One of the following:

  • TA 253: Costume Design
  • TA 256: Stage Lighting
  • TA 288: Scene Design

Plus participation in the majority of the annual Theatre Fairfield Productions, through TA 94 and TA 95.

 

Theatre Minor (18 credits)

  • TA 11: Introduction to Theatre
  • TA 30: Acting I
  • TA 111: World Theatre II, 1800 to Tomorrow    
  • TA 150: Stagecraft
  • TA 155: Design for the Theatre
  • TA 310: Capstone: Theory of Production

 

Plus participation in at least half of the annual Theatre Fairfield Productions, through TA 94 and TA 95.

 

Credit for Theatre Fairfield Productions

It is impossible to understand the nature of theatre without engaging in the process of making theatre. Therefore, major and minor coursework is supplemented by required participation in Theatre Fairfield productions.

Students earn course credit for such participation. This acknowledges and embraces the educational nature of production work.

  1. TA 94: Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum is a 1 credit course that enrolls all students who perform in Theatre Fairfield shows. Credit in these classes is figured in the student GPA, but the class hours count over and above the 120 hours required for graduation.
  2. TA 95: Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum is a 1 credit course that enrolls all students who are on crews for Theatre Fairfield shows. Credit in these classes is figured in the student GPA, but the class hours count over and above the 120 hours required for graduation.

 

Tech Points

Tech point requirements will be reasonably adjusted, as necessary, for semesters when students are studying abroad.

Production positions earn the following number of points:

  • 10 Designer
  • 10 Director, Festival/Independent Project
  • 10 Technical Director
  • 10 Stage Manager, full-length piece
  • 6 Assistant Stage Manager, full-length piece
  • 6 Stage Manager, one-act piece
  • 6 Master Carpenter
  • 6 Props Manager
  • 6 Costume Manager
  • 5 Props Crew
  • 5 Costume Crew
  • 5 Paint Charge
  • 4 Assistant Stage Manager, one-act piece
  • 4 Master Electrician
  • 4 Paint Crew
  • 3 Light Board Operator
  • 3 Sound Board Operator
  • 3 Running Crew
  • 2 House Manager
  • 2 Electrician
  • 2 Carpenter
  • 1 Assistant Box Office Manager
  • All tech points are awarded to students through TA 95, Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum.
  • Students do not earn tech points for directing in Director's Cut, which is a course requirement for TA 240, Technique and Art in Design.
  • If a student performs a production position not on this list, faculty will assign a tech point value.
  • Continual faculty oversight will ensure that students will gain experience in a variety of production positions.

 

Curriculum categories for Visual and Performing Arts - Theatre

Theory

  • TA 11: Introduction to Theatre
  • TA 310: Capstone: Theory of Production

Performance

  • TA 30: Acting I
  • TA 94: Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum
  • TA 94C: Performance Workshop
  • TA 135: Modern and Contemporary Dance
  • TA 138: Folk and Social Dance
  • TA 210: Theatre in Production
  • TA 230: Acting II
  • TA 231/FM 133: Acting for the Camera
  • TA 240: Directing
  • TA 300: Special Topics: Advanced Acting; Scene Study; Characterization Direction

Dramatic Literature and History

  • TA 110: World Theatre I, Beginnings to 1800
  • TA 111: World Theatre II, 1800 to Tomorrow
  • TA 120/EN 125: American Drama
  • TA 122: Asian Theatre
  • TA 123/EN 120: American Women Playwrights
  • TA 210: Theatre in Production
  • TA 215: American Musical Theatre
  • EN/W 204: Playwrighting
  • TA 300: Special Topics Seminar

Technology

  • TA 95: Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum
  • TA 150: Stagecraft
  • TA 153: Stage Makeup and Costume Construction
  • TA 158: Scene Painting

Design

  • TA 155: Design for the Theatre
  • TA 253: Costume Design
  • TA 256: Stage Lighting
  • TA 288: Scene Design
  • TA 300: Special Topics in Design

Arts Administration

  • TA 106: Theatre Management
  • TA 306: Arts Administration Principles and Practices

Internships and Independent Studies

  • TA 395: Theatre Internship
  • TA 399: Independent Study

Course Offerings

See Theatre course descriptions from our catalog for more information

A = Applied Theatre
H = Theatre History

  • TA 11: Introduction to Theatre (H)
  • TA 30: Acting I (A)
  • TA 94: Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum (A)
  • TA 95: Theatre Fairfield Production Practicum (A)
  • TA 106: Theatre Management (A)
  • TA 110: World Theatre I, Beginnings to 1800 (H)
  • TA 111: World Theatre II, 1800 to Tomorrow (H)
  • TA 120/EN 125: American Drama (H)
  • TA 122: Asian Theatre (H)
  • TA 123/EN 120: American Women Playwrights (H)
  • TA 135: Modern and Contemporary Dance (A)
  • TA 138: Folk and Social Dance (A)
  • TA 150: Stagecraft (A)
  • TA 153: Stage Makeup and Costume Construction (A)
  • TA 155: Design for the Theatre (A)
  • TA 158: Scene Painting (A)
  • TA 210: Theatre in Production (A or H depending on semester offered)
  • TA 215: American Musical Theatre (H)
  • TA 230: Acting II (A)
  • TA 231/FM 133: Acting for the Camera (A)
  • TA 240: Directing (A)
  • TA 253: Costume Design (A)
  • TA 256: Stage Lighting (A)
  • TA 288: Scene Design (A)
  • TA 300: Special Topics (H)(A)
  • TA 306: Arts Administration Principles and Practices
  • TA 310: Technique and Theory of Production (H)
  • TA 395: Theatre Internship (A)
  • TA 399: Independent Study (H)(A)

Faculty

Director

Faculty

Teaching Staff

Jeremy Jenkins
M.F.A., Purdue University

Julie Leavitt-Learson
M.F.A., Northwestern University

 

Lecturers

Jan Mason
M.F.A., University of Virginia

Brad Roth
M.A., Wesleyan University

Tom Schwans
M.F.A., Brown University

 

VPA Coordinator

Melissa Roberto
CNS 3
Ext. 2459

 

Internships

For more information about Theatre Fairfield please visit our website

Internships within the Theatre program at Fairfield are tailored to fit student desires and program needs in such areas as scenic construction, graphic design, box office, costume and wardrobe management, and teaching.

Theatre Fairfield Internships

Every year, theatre students apply for 4 competitive scholarships to serve as Production Interns for Theatre Fairfield. Internships are given in Business, Marketing, Public Relations, and Technical Theatre to assist the various faculty and guest artists in those areas. If you serve as a Production Intern, you'll gain invaluable professional experience in running a theatre operation and this will serve you well when applying for outside internships and paying jobs (with health benefits) in the professional theatre. All students may apply for these scholarships once they are enrolled in the Theatre Program; we don't accept applications from incoming freshmen.

In addition to the Production Interns listed above, we offer Internships in all facets of creating theatre, from Stage Management to Design to Managing our Costume Shop. Students eligible for Federal Work-Study Grants frequently combine the internships with their workstudy positions. The faculty will be happy to work you to create a new internship with Theatre Fairfield. We also strongly support students applying for internships at producing theatres throughout the U.S. and the world.

 

Jamie A. Hulley Summer Internship Fellowship

Professor Judy Primavera of the Psychology Department is pleased to announce a fellowship instituted in 2005 in memory of her daughter, Jamie Alaine Hulley, who was a talented artist in the visual arts, dance, theatre, and writing. This fellowship will provide one student with $1,500.00 in living expenses to support a non-paying summer internship in any of the arts. This could be an internship as part of an established program - for example, in summer stock or other theatres (Westport Country Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club/NYC, etc.) or one of your own devising.

 

Mary Louise Larrabee Prizes

Each year, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts awards Mary Louise Larrabee Prizes to a select group of students majoring or minoring in the arts at Fairfield. The awards range in value from $500.00 to $1,500.00 and were established in 1994 through the generosity of Mrs. Mary Louise Larrabee. Prizes can contribute to the expenses of any of the following:

  • Tuition
  • Travel
  • Accommodations
  • Living expenses
  • Special courses
  • Special artistic projects

 

Outside Internships

Under faculty guidance and departmental sponsorship, students are able to develop internships as assistants to professional theatre designers and managers or with professional theatres, studios, and production companies in the regional/metropolitan area.

Internships at professional theatres have included:

  • Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City
  • Roundabout Theatre, New York City
  • Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Honolulu, HI
  • Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT
  • The O'Neill Theatre Center, New London, CT
  • Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT
  • Stamford Theatre Works, Stamford, CT
  • The Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge, MA
  • Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit, ME

The Theatre Program encourages Study Abroad - as of 11-01-2016 and each year has had students in England as well as Germany, France, and Scotland. We also help place students in summer internships for actors, designers, and technicians both in the U.S. and in Europe.

Resources

The PepsiCo Theatre‌The PepsiCo Theatre on Fairfield University’s campus is home to Theatre Fairfield, the professional theatre production wing of Fairfield University's Theatre Program. Fairfield University’s PepsiCo Theatre, built in 1922 as the garage on the Lashar estate, served as the campus Playhouse until 1990. It was renovated and renamed in 1994 in recognition of the PepsiCo Foundation’s support of the University and now contains a black box theatre/rehearsal area, and classrooms for drama, dance and set and costume design as well as a coffeehouse. 

Theatre Fairfield is the production company of the Theatre Program. Any students on campus can be involved in both onstage and offstage capacities. We do productions every semester. Students should contact, Professor Lynne Porter (lporter@fairfield.edu) or Dr. Marti LoMonaco (mlomonaco@fairfield.edu).

 

Alumni Profiles

Katie Premus

 

Get to Know Katie →

Name: Katie Premus
Undergrad Degree: Theatre and English Literature
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Extracurricular Activities: Theatre Fairfield Production Intern, YMDI Improv Director

 

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

An enormous part of why I chose to attend Fairfield University was that it is a Jesuit university with a strong focus on the liberal arts education and an honors program that values interdisciplinary studies. In high school I had been interested in many subjects and I had hoped to explore all of these interests in college. I came into school with a declared English major, but I knew that I would still have the opportunity to continue to learn about my other passions. This educational freedom led me to eventually declare a second major. I loved that Fairfield would give me the opportunity to learn more about any subject I was interested in, and that the University would make me a well-rounded student. 


Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of.

Every year, Theatre Fairfield, with the help of the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, offers an opportunity for theatre students to work on an Independent Project. This means that students return to campus a few days after the New Year and spend their time designing, directing, and acting in an entirely student-organized production. In the winter of 2013, I took part in this project as an actor in Paula Vogel’s play, How I Learned to Drive. This production was a challenge for us, but we were able to collaborate as a group and mount a production that we were enormously proud of in only three weeks. This Independent Project is always a wonderful chance for us to put to use the skills we have been gaining all semester and hone our own artistic visions and ideas. This project is also one that allows us to continue to grow from year to year. Now that I am a senior, I will be given the chance to strengthen my artistic skills as a student and theatre artist as I direct this year’s Independent Project.


Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth.

One of my favorite courses that I have taken was an independent study in stage management, which I took in the theatre department with Professor Lynne Porter. During this course, I learned about the field of stage management through first hand experience. I stage managed Theatre Fairfield’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People – working with the director and cast, facilitating communication between the designers, technical director, and the director, and eventually running the show during its performances. This course tested my theatrical knowledge, strengthened my leadership skills, and taught me the importance of collaboration and organization within the theatre.  

close

Logan Pratt

'15

Get to Know Logan

Name: Logan Pratt '15
Undergrad Degree: Theatre and Communication
Hometown: Cohasset, MA
Extracurricular Activities: Theatre Fairfield Production Intern, Band 

 

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of 

I was able to have an internship with Theatre Fairfield in which I Stage Managed a show called Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco.  The show was the first main-stage show that I Stage Managed with Fairfield University, and it was a very rewarding experience.  The show presented itself with many challenges, such as organizing everyone’s schedules and times to be at the theatre and rehearsals, as well as balancing late night rehearsals with my other academic classes, another major on top of that, and going to classes everyday.  However, learning how busy it keeps me and how much I love the job has allowed me to take the skills I have learned while stage managing and apply them to my own real life experiences.  I have become much more organized and approachable in my everyday life.  These skills have allowed me to get other jobs outside of the theatre department, such as working at a theatre in Connecticut as an Assistant Stage Manager this past summer.  The experience I had while doing the show at Fairfield has stuck with me so much because of the people I worked with and the experience I had, and has made me excited to talk about my future in Stage Management, looking back fondly on this adventure. 


Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth

The Theatre Department offers a course every fall semester called Stagecraft, which teaches you the backstage fundamentals of theatre.  We learned how to use power tools, build a set, different types of wood, tie knots, and all the other areas of theatre that are considered to be behind the scenes and may help you while working on a show.  Taking this class is one of the main reasons why I declared my theatre major.  Although it required a lot of hours working in the scene shop and working on the shows, it provided me with that hands-on work that allowed me to appreciate many more areas of the theatre besides just acting on the stage.  It also allowed me to choose a career path for after graduation, which is Stage Management.  The class prepared me for future classes in the theatre department such as Design, in which we did a set, lighting and costume design, as well as an internship I had in Stage Management where I had hands on experience in Stage Managing a show for Theatre Fairfield.  This basis of knowledge that I had from that Stagecraft class allowed these specific areas of my academic career as a Theatre Major that much more enjoyable, knowing that I had the experience and understanding of different skills that I needed to fulfill these classes and internships.

close

Victoria (Tori) Schuchmann

'16

Get to Know Tori →

Name:  Victoria (Tori) Schuchmann '16
Undergrad Degree in: Theatre & English (concentration in Teacher Education); minor in educational studies
Hometown: Oxford, CT
Extracurricular Activities: Theatre Fairfield Production Intern, Your Mom Does Improv (YMDI)

 

Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of.

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” During the Christmas break of 2014, I had the honor and privilege of producing Theatre Fairfield’s independent project, Gruesome Playground Injuries. This entirely student-run undertaking allows young, inspired artists to implement the lessons they have learned in the classroom, as well as build upon the priceless production experience they have gained throughout their time here at Fairfield. I have no hesitations or reservations in saying in that being a part of Gruesome Playground Injuries has been one of the proudest experiences of my life, thus far. I wholeheartedly believe that theatre teaches lessons far beyond the reaches of a stage. Patience, perseverance, dedication, teamwork, and insurmountable amounts of love are just a few of the priceless virtues theatre instills in all those who partake in it. 

 

Describe the ways that the university’s Jesuit mission and identity had a positive influence in your academic and personal experience while at Fairfield.

Fairfield University as a Jesuit institution greatly affects my daily life as a student here. I feel privileged to be able to attend mass, on campus, every Sunday; to be able to share my beliefs with those around me; to partake in service and humanitarian efforts organized by campus ministry. During my freshman year, I participated in an alternative spring break trip to Spotsylvania, Virginia in which I, along with ten other Fairfield personnel, helped rebuild Lake Anna State Park. These seven days of intense mental and physical exhaustion were some of the most fruitful of my time at Fairfield. Fairfield creates a sense of community that is incomparable to other campuses in this country. The people here are different. The atmosphere here is different. The experience here, I believe, is different. The constant presence of Jesuits in residential halls, the classrooms, and in the chapel are constant, heartwarming, reminders that students can carry a little piece of home with them wherever they go.  

close

Maggie Greene

'15

Get to Know Maggie →

Name: Maggie Greene '15
Undergrad Degree: Double Major in Theatre and Theatre Administration & Management
Hometown: Portland, OR
Extracurricular Activities: Theatre Fairfield Production Intern, YMDI Improv Director

 

Why did you choose to attend Fairfield University?

I chose to attend Fairfield University for various reasons, but one of the school’s most important qualities that informed my decision was the fact that it is a Jesuit school. I attended Jesuit High School in Portland, OR. and knew that I would want to continue to grow with the Jesuit mentality through a liberal arts university. I also knew that I wanted to move to the east coast because I wanted to be a theatre artist, and with such easy access to NYC, Fairfield seemed irresistible.  Once I learned about the theatre department and how it focuses on holistically educating aspiring theatre artists, I made my choice. 


Describe a project done through the program that you are particularly proud of

During my sophomore year Dr. Martha LoMonaco and I worked together to create an independent major in Theatre Management & Administration.  Partnering with Dr. Carl Scheraga and the business school, we set out to find way to fulfill my aspiration to explore the world of theatre management.  We spent many months creating an independent major that would teach me about marketing, management, ethics, writing, and more. Another very important piece of my education has been the internships I have had.  During both the summer of 2013 and 2014 I interned at Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT and had internships in Marketing and Education, and Casting and Development.  Also, during my sophomore year and my senior year, I have had production internships in Audience Relations and Public Relations with Theatre Fairfield on campus. These internships, in conjunction with my major in theatre management, proved to be extremely valuable to my growth as a theatre artist.  


Describe a favorite course and how it helped your academic growth

"Design" with Professor Lynne Porter was by far my favorite course that I have taken at Fairfield so far.  Because designing for theatre requires commitment to the creative process, this course really encourages students to take time to make mistakes and think outside the box. Every day I felt challenged and inspired as I was taught to understand plays as a designer, while I learned the basics of how to make concepts and themes come to life in a visual way. This class taught me not to settle, to strive for excellence, and to be open to new ideas—even at the last minute.  

close

Life After Fairfield

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this program, undergraduate education in theatre is excellent preparation for a career in:

  • Public Relations
  • Communications
  • Advertising
  • Writing
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Public service
  • Law
  • Theatre industry

Theatre Fairfield Alumni have gone on to work with companies such as

  • Riverdance on Broadway
  • Harold Prince Productions
  • Denver Theatre Center
  • Utah Shakespeare Festival
  • Manhattan Theatre Club
  • Long Wharf Theatre
  • Actors Equity Association
  • Westport Country Playhouse
  • Fox Television

Learn more about how the University's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

School of Communication, Arts, and Media Alumni Panel

Once a year, the College of Arts and Sciences’ invites alumni from each of the School of Communication, Arts, and Media’s four departments (Communication, Visual and Performing Arts, English, and Modern Languages and Literatures) to participate in an interactive panel discussion. From public relations professionals to digital managing editors, the panelists represent a wide breadth of careers and share their professional advice and personal journeys with current students.

Search Results


Close