Theater, Film, and Media Studies
The field of theater, film, and media combines studies in history, theory, and critical analysis with practical experiences in production techniques and creativity. Its scope includes diverse representations in dynamic time and space, whether on stage or screen. Among its shared subjects are visual culture, performance studies, and techniques for directing, designing, writing, and performing for stage and screen media. Because visual culture plays an ever-increasing role in the production, distribution, and reception of knowledge, studies in theater, film, and media are integral to an undergraduate curriculum in the liberal arts.
Students may focus their studies in theater or in film and media. Both focuses are fundamentally collaborative and multidisciplinary; they thrive in a liberal arts context that promotes breadth and integration of learning. Majors will complete a core of regularly offered courses that exemplifies the diversity of subjects and cultures entailed in this field. The two focuses, theater studies and film and media studies, share some courses that are fundamental to both curricula, but each focus includes opportunities for advanced work in specialized areas of scholarship and artistry. Above all, majors will benefit from an array of course work that emphasizes the reciprocal enrichments of combining scholarship and creative activity. Visiting guests and special topics or experimental courses supplement the regular curriculum.
The curriculum in theater, film, and media studies encourages students to interrogate representations on stage and screen toward an understanding of their historical, cultural, and artistic significance. Additionally, we provide opportunities for students to produce their own works and to collaborate on projects with faculty members and other students. Majors will be prepared to undertake graduate work in related disciplines or careers in related professions.
The department offers minors in theater studies, film and media studies, and dance/movement. Students interested in fulfilling a minor in any of these areas should consult with a faculty member in TFMS. Students may combine a major in either TFMS focus area with a minor in any other TFMS minor area.
The Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies supplies the resources for a diverse range of production work on stage and screen. Live performance opportunities include stage productions and dance concerts directed by faculty members, guest artists, and students, performed in a variety of spaces, including the Bruce Davis Theater (main stage), the dance studio, and the White Room. Performance roles, design, and technical positions are open to all students, regardless of their majors. Theater production seasons are formulated to maximize opportunities for working on or attending productions that represent the diversity of theatrical activities across cultures and history.
TFMS resources in media production provide students with access to a variety of video production and post-production technology. Production classes and St. Mary’s Projects have access to Canon GL-2 Mini-DV cameras, Smith-Victor lighting kits, and Audio-Technica microphones, along with supporting production equipment. Post-production equipment in the Montgomery Hall Pro-lab includes 10 22” Intel iMacs w/Mac OS 10.5, Adobe CS3 Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks), Maya 2008 Complete, Quicktime Pro, and Final Cut Studio (Final Cut, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, Compressor) with dedicated JVC SR-DVM600 3-in-1 MiniDV, 40GB hard disk drive, and DVD player/recorder combo decks. The adjacent Montgomery Hall Learning Lab is equipped with 20 17” Intel iMacs w/Mac OS 10.5, Adobe CS3 Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks), ProTools LE, and several flatbed scanners. Students also have access to a smaller, two-station TFMS editing room that includes two G-5 editing stations w/Mac OS 10.5 and Final Cut Studio (Final Cut, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, Compressor). TFMS editing lab work stations also include dedicated Mini-DV decks and NTSC output monitors. Additional training and production opportunities are also available at Media Services on the third floor of the College library.
Detailed, regularly updated information about our theater and arts seasons and about production opportunities is available on the department website.
- Generate innovative works of theater and performance
- Develop well-supported interpretations of theater and performance from various historical periods
- Implement at least one of the practical or scholarly skills of theater and performance to communicate with audiences
- Design projects that clarify how theater and performance can engage with the vital concerns of communities
- Clarify the significance of modes of theater and performance from a wide range of local and global cultures
- Construct clear, specific and complex written arguments about theater and performance
- Demonstrate oral presentations that are clear, organized, appropriate and engaging for a chosen audience
Degree Requirements for the Minor in Theater Studies
Students choosing to minor in theater studies are responsible for designing a cohesive area of study in consultation with a member of the department faculty. The minor in theater studies is 20 credit hours. Each course is four credit hours, unless otherwise indicated.
- TFMS 130: Idea into Performance
- TFMS 200: Theater in History or TFMS 300: Modern Theater
Additional 12 Credit Hours
An additional 12 credit hours chosen from the following course offerings in the theater studies focus area. Four credit hours must be at the 300- or 400-level. Students may include a maximum of four credit hours of TFMS 290/490: Practicum.
- TFMS 170: Stagecraft
- TFMS 171: Elements of Design
- TFMS 200: Theater in History
- TFMS 230: Acting I
- TFMS 250: Movement I
- TFMS 290: Practicum (1-2 credit hours)
- TFMS 300: Modern Theater
- TFMS 340: Directing for the Stage
- TFMS 350: Movement II
- TFMS 374: Lighting Design
- TFMS 375: Costume Design for Stage and Screen
- TFMS 376: Scenic Design for Stage and Screen
- TFMS 490: Practicum (1-2 credit hours)
- TFMS 493/494: St. Mary’s Project (a theater studies- or production-related project)
David Ellsworth (department chair), Leah Mazur, Mark A. Rhoda, David M. Smith, Amy Steiger; Sherry Ocker