Dec 07, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Theatre Department


Raimondo Genna, Chairperson
Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts, Room 184D
(605) 658-3486
Department Secretary, Room 184A
(605) 658-3485

theatre@usd.edu
www.usd.edu/theatre

FACULTY

Professor:

Patricia Downey, Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia. Specialization: Dance, Choreography, Musical Theatre
Scott Mollman, M.F.A., University of Pittsburgh. Specialization: Technical Direction, Scenic Construction and Rigging

Associate Professors:

Raimondo Genna, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego. Specialization: Performance and Theatre Studies, Theatre History, Dramatic Literature,Text Analysis, Film Studies
Chaya Gordon-Bland, M.F.A., University of Pittsburgh. Specialization: Movement, Acting, Directing, Shakespeare
Matt Nesmith, M.F.A. and M.M., University of South Dakota. Specialization: Musical Theatre Vocal Performance, Directing
Alexander Pikiben, M.F.A., University of South Dakota.  Specialization: Lighting and Sound Design/Technology
Anna Pikiben, M.F.A., University of South Dakota. Specialization: Costume Design/Technology
Victor Shonk, M.F.A., Ohio State University. Specialization: Scene Design, Scene Painting

Assistant Professors:

Michael Matthys, M.F.A, University of Minnesota. Specialization: Acting and Voice Dynamics 
Joseph Stollenwerk, Ph.D., Indiana University. Specialization: Directing, Acting, Playwriting, Theatre History, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Script Analysis

Costume Studio Manager:

Sabrina Egeland

Instructor:

Christopher Larson

MAJOR:

Theatre, B.F.A.

SPECIALIZATIONS:

Acting
Design/Technology
Musical Theatre
Theatre Studies

MINOR:

Dance
Film Studies
Theatre

Whether you want to act in Shakespeare festivals, musical theatre or television/film; design scenery, costumes, lighting, or sound for the stage or screen; manage teams of artists as a director, stage manager or production manager; or serve your community and profession as an educator/artist, the Department of Theatre helps you to focus your energy, develop your talent and realize your dream. Working closely with faculty mentors, you will realize your creative potential within a supportive and collaborative setting while also building excellent communication, creative problem-solving, and group interpersonal skills that will profit you in any career you might choose.

As its mission the Department of Theatre prepares the student for a career in the theatre and encourages personal and creative growth. It does this by providing a comprehensive liberal arts education, supplemented by intensive craft-training in which classroom study and practical experience are of equal and complementary value. The Department promotes excellence in education, research, and service; promotes student engagement and leadership; develops creative and pragmatic problem-solving skills; explores new questions, techniques, and practices in theatre; and inspires students to become life-long learners who contribute to their respective discipline and profession while enhancing the cultural lives of the University and their community.  

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Entrance into the Acting, Design/Technology, or Musical Theatre specialization is by permission of the Theatre faculty upon completion of an interview and an audition for Acting or Musical Theatre or an interview and portfolio presentation for the Design/Technology specialization; auditions and interviews are typically held in December, February and April of each academic year. Incoming freshman can submit audition materials through Acceptd, our digital partner, located at https://app.getacceptd.com/usd. On campus auditions and interviews are arranged by appointment.

SCHOLARSHIPS

The Theatre Department provides significant funding for Coyote Commitment Scholarships and several Student Talent Scholarships that are available to incoming students who declare a Theatre major. An interview and audition or art/technical portfolio is required. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA, register for 2 theatre courses (6 credit hours), and participate in one University Theatre production (on stage or back stage) each semester of this first-year student scholarship. In addition, several endowed scholarships are available to select sophomores through seniors who maintain a 3.0 GPA in the major and who are actively involved in the University Theatre season.

Please contact the department for additional information about available scholarships and awards. Also see College of Fine Arts  for school level scholarships.

  • College of Fine Arts STARS  - Theatre
  • Douglas & Susan Tuve Scholarship Theatre
  • First Nighters Scholarship
  • Gladswood Scholarship
  • Jason J. Truhe Memorial Scholarship
  • Nelville A. Seeley Theatre Scholarship
  • Robert C. & Karen R. Twitchell Scholarship
  • Robert F. & Dorothy Cooper Foote Fine Arts Scholarship
  • Roger Miller Memorial Scholarship
  • Strollers Memorial Scholarship
  • Take Your Seat Scholarship
  • University Theatre Scholarship
  • Warren M. Lee University Theatre Memorial Scholarship
  • William A. “Bill” Phelps Theatre Scholarship

Student Learning Outcomes for Theatre: Acting Specialization (B.F.A.)

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to release tension, facilitate concentration, and create a believable character onstage. 
  2. Students will demonstrate proficiency in the role and text analysis used in performance. 
  3. Demonstrate a knowledge of effective audition technique and the actors’ workfinding process. 
  4. Demonstrate articulate and expressive speech and effective use of the body as a communicative tool. 
  5. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. 
  6. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  7. Students will engage in purposeful, ongoing learning activities that improve their knowledge, skills and competence in their personal and professional lives. 
  8. Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. 
  9. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.

Student Learning Outcomes for Theatre: Design Theatre/Technology Specialization (B.F.A.)

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to manipulate the principles of design and demonstrate current practices in technology to create a theatrical object or effect. 
  2. Students will demonstrate ability to create graphics to communicate theatrical concepts at a professional entry level. 
  3. Students will demonstrate proficiency in text analysis as it relates to design/text projects. 
  4. Students will work successfully in a production environment with due dates, budgets, and other resources. 
  5. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. 
  6. Students will engage in purposeful, ongoing learning activities that improve their knowledge, skills and competence in their personal and professional lives. 
  7. Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. 
  8. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  9. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.

Student Learning Outcomes for Theatre: Musical Theatre Specialization (B.F.A.)

  1. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. 
  2. Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. 
  3. Students will engage in purposeful, ongoing learning activities that improve their knowledge, skills and competence in their personal and professional lives. 
  4. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  5. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. 
  6. Demonstrate effective, healthy techniques of vocalization for the singing and speaking voice. 
  7. Students will demonstrate the ability to release tension, facilitate concentration, and create a believable character, and utilize text analysis in the creation of a believable character. 
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of effective audition technique and the musical theatre performer’s workfinding process. 
  9. Demonstrate effective and healthy techniques of movement and dance styles used in musical theatre performance. 
  10. Demonstrate the ability to integrate the disciplines of singing, acting, and dancing into the creation of a role.

Student Learning Outcomes for Theatre: Theatre Studies Specialization (B.F.A.)

  1. Students will demonstrate a broad knowledge and general skill in theatrical production techniques, including:
    1. Acting
    2. Scenic Construction
    3. Costume Construction
    4. Makeup design and application
    5. Playscript analysis
    6. Direction
    7. Design
  2. Students will demonstrate a broad knowledge of western theatre history and literature, including:
    1. Major period and styles
    2. Significant individuals and representative plays
  3. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. 
  4. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  5. Students will engage in purposeful, ongoing learning activities that improve their knowledge, skills and competence in their personal and professional lives. 
  6. Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. 
  7. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.

Programs