Theatre

On This Page

Program Overview

Fairfield University’s theatre program offers students a liberal arts education that strikes a unique balance between theory and practice. Students not only study theatre, they make theatre too.

Offered as both a major and minor, the program provides a comprehensive education in the art and craft of theatre. Students work with professionals trained in acting, dance, design, directing, playwriting, production, and entertainment technology, and study with professors specializing in history, literature, theory, and criticism of the stage.

In addition to developing excellent written, verbal, and artistic skills, students also 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. Upon graduating, students leave Fairfield with a solid foundation in theatre production skills, as well as a strong understanding of the cultural and intellectual contributions theatre continues to make in the world.

Spring 2020 Production of Titus Andronicus

Requirements & Curriculum

Required Courses

Introduction to Theatre
Acting I
Acting II
Theatre Management
World Theatre I
World Theatre II
Introduction to Entertainment Technology
Design I
American Drama
OR
Theatre in Production
Costume Design
OR
Stage Lighting
OR
Scene Design
Capstone: Theory of Production
Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum (Annual Theatre Fairfield Productions participation)
Introduction to Theatre
Acting I
World Theatre II
Introduction to Entertainment Technology
Design I
Capstone: Theory of Production
Theatre Fairfield Performance Practicum (Annual Theatre Fairfield Productions participation)

A detailed list of course requirements, offerings, and more can be viewed in the University’s course catalog.

Theatre Fairfield

Theatre Fairfield logo

Theatre Fairfield is Fairfield University’s resident production company, which is run by the College of Arts and Sciences’ theatre program. The company serves as a platform for community engagement and produces four annual productions that are typically staged in the Quick Center for the Arts’ Wein Experimental Theatre.

Participation in Theatre Fairfield productions is open to all University students, regardless of their major or minor. However, all theatre major and minor coursework is supplemented by required participation in Theatre Fairfield productions (for which students earn course credit). Grades in these classes are figured into the student’s GPA, but the class hours count over and above the 120 credit hours required for graduation.

We think of Theatre Fairfield as our practical laboratory, where students and faculty experiment and refine concepts they are learning in the classroom. The performance season includes professionally directed and designed productions, as well as pieces that feature student playwrighting, directing, design, and acting.  In any given four-year period, the company produces plays from many historical periods and styles, including musicals, comedies, dramas, contemporary works, and original plays. Every student has the opportunity to be a performer, writer, director, producer, designer, technician, dramaturg, and critic, and there are many opportunities for advanced work in all of these areas.

A group of four production interns, chosen by competitive scholarship, works closely with faculty and staff in administering Theatre Fairfield's season. Recent productions have included Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, Authenticity by John Morogiello, Fortinbras by Lee Blessing, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens, The Spitfire Grill by James Valcq and Fred Alley; Antigone by Sophokles, and Avenue Q, to name a few. For more information, visit Theatre Fairfield’s website.

Stag Spotlight

Victoria (Tori) Schuchmann headshot

Victoria (Tori) Schuchmann

Class of '16

Get to Know Tori

Name: Victoria (Tori) Schuchmann '16
Undergrad Degree: 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.

Katie Premus headshot

Katie Premus

Class of '15

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.

Logan Pratt headshot

Logan Pratt

Class of '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.

Maggie Greene headshot

Maggie Greene

Class of '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, Your Mom Does Improv (YMDI) 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.

More About Theatre

Life After Fairfield

Learn More

Life After Fairfield

Studying theatre prepares students for a wide variety of careers that require creativity, communication skills, and good business practice. Our graduates include managers, lawyers, and educators, as well as theatre professionals working in all aspects of the industry.

As a result of the program’s interdisciplinary nature, our graduates are well prepared to pursue careers in the following fields:

  • Advertising
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Public Service
  • Publishing
  • Writing
  • Theatre

Recent Theatre Fairfield alumni have gone on to work with companies such as:

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

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.

Learn how Fairfield's Career Services can support your post-graduate goals, and how our tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Internships & Study Abroad

Learn More

Internships & Study Abroad

Internships within Fairfield's theatre program are tailored to fit students' career goal, as well as program needs in the areas of scenic construction, graphic design, box office management, costume and wardrobe management, public relations and marketing, and teaching.

Theatre Fairfield Internships
Every year, theatre students have the opportunity to apply for four competitive scholarships to serve as production interns for Theatre Fairfield. Interns have the option to assist faculty and guest artistis in the areas of business, marketing, public relations, and technical theatre. Students gain invaluable professional experience in running a theatre operation, which serves them well when applying for outside internships and paying jobs in professional theatre. All students may apply for these scholarships once they are enrolled in the theatre program. Applications from incoming first-year students will not be accepted.

In addition to production internships, Theatre Fairfield also offers internships in all facets of theatre, from stage management and design to managing our costume shop. Students eligible for Federal Work-Study Grants frequently combine the internships with their workstudy positions. Our faculty is also happy to work with students to create new internship opportunities with Theatre Fairfield, and 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, PhD of the Psychology Department is pleased to offer 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 annual fellowship provides one student with $1,500 in living expenses to support a non-paying summer internship in any of the arts. The internship can be a part of an established program (e.g. summer stock or other theatres like Westport Country Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, etc.) or one of the student's 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 to $1,500 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, Fairfield students are able to develop internships positions 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

Fairfield's Theatre program also encourages study abroad opportunities and has had students in England, 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.

Performance Spaces

Learn More

Performance Spaces

Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Conveniently located on campus, the Quick Center for the Arts' Wien Experimental Theatre is home to Theatre Fairfield, the professional theatre production wing of Fairfield University's theatre program. The 40’ by 40’ black box theatre provides the flexibility needed to customize the space for a wide variety of theatrical performances. It also boasts a newly installed audio system, professional lighting, and projection capabilities.

Canisus Hall
Designed in collaboration with Fairfield University architect Curt Krushinsky, Canisus Hall, Room 15 has been converted into an adaptable, interactive performing arts laboratory that serves as both a classroom and rehersal studio for Theatre Fairfield. The spacious, one-level room has been outfitted with two video projectors and screens, a washable rubber floor that supports movement and dance, tables and chairs built on casters for easy mobility, and a utility sink for cleaning paint brushes, costumes, and other items used in design and tech classes.

Faculty

Learn More

Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff, industry professionals, and accomplished scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the members of our Theatre faculty.

Meet the Faculty

Search Results