Acting & Directing Emphasis | Theatre Major | Concordia University Irvine

Theatre Major

Acting & Directing Emphasis

School of Arts and Sciences

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The acting and directing emphasis at Concordia University Irvine takes an advanced approach to acting using the Meisner technique and the comprehensive study of genres and styles in acting, speech, and movement for theatre, film, and television. Students will also learn how to direct a fully supported production.

The Theatre Department is a hands-on, in-depth program with faculty who are available and engaged in developing your skills, an active production season, focused workshops, and guest artists who work professionally in Los Angeles and neighboring cities.

With a degree in Theatre: Acting and Directing, you will be provided with the skills necessary to work in a variety of careers, such as:

  • Film & TV production
  • Musical Theatre
  • Cruise Entertainment
  • Theme Park Cast Member
  • Event Planning
  • Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Children’s Theatre

Curriculum

  • Theatre Core
  • 27 Units
  • THR 251: Introduction to Theatre
  • 3
This course will provide an overview of the various conventions, forms, styles, and genres of the theatre, including principles of play analysis and exploration of theatre criticism from dramaturgical, literary, and cultural perspectives through the thematic discussions of representative contemporary plays. Field trips required.
  • THR: 261 Acting 1
  • 3
As an introduction to basic acting techniques, students will examine ways to construct the interior, physical, and vocal life of a character, learn warm-up procedures, and staging principles, including experiences in scene analysis, performance of monologues, and improvisations. Field trips may be included. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 311: Introduction to Technical Production
  • 3
Through hands-on experiences, this course will introduce the practical application of theatrical design principles including techniques and practices of technical organization, set construction, lighting preparation, costume construction, makeup application, and sound preparation. Field trips and participation in on-campus production work required. A lab fee of $50 is required for this course. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 321: Introduction to Theatrical Design
  • 3
As an introduction to the theories and principles of theatrical design, this course will emphasize the holistic and scenographic approach, while exploring set, lighting, costume, makeup, and sound design with director/designer collaboration. Field trips and participation in on-campus production work required. A lab fee of $50 is required. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 351: Play Direction 1
  • 3
This course will introduce students to the following techniques: play selection and analysis, auditioning, scene design and staging, actor coaching, rehearsal strategies, and production management, including both the principles for proscenium and the open stage. Workshop scenes are presented and evaluated. Prerequisites: THR 251, 261 and 262, or consent of instructor.
  • THR 390: Practicum: Theatre
  • 2
A practical, hands-on learning experience where students will work on one or more theatre department productions. Earned in one-unit increments.
  • THR 489: Senior Capstone
  • 1
This course will explore the skills and materials needed for the professional theatre artist beyond graduation. Students will create a professional portfolio, résumé, and other necessary items to prepare for a career in the arts. Lab fee required.
  • Choose two of the following courses:
  • THR 441: Theatre and Culture 1
  • 3
Through the study of representative plays, this course will examine the various theatre cultures from the Classical period through the Renaissance, giving consideration to the theatrical conventions, visual art, music, and significant historical events of the periods. Field trips are required. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of the instructor.
  • THR 442: Theatre and Culture 2
  • 3
As a continuation of Theatre and Culture 1, this course will examine the theatre of various cultures from the Renaissance to the present day. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 443: Contemporary Theatre & Culture
  • 3
This course will examine various theatre cultures, concentrating on theatrical texts and performances written and produced within the past sixty years including contemporary trends and styles. Offered in alternate years.
  • Choose one of the following courses:
  • ENG 387: Modern and Contemporary Drama
  • 3
This course will read, critically analyze, discuss, and evaluate selected plays from 1890 through the 21st century, including such dramatists as Ibsen, O'Neill, Pirandello, Lorca, Miller, Williams, and Albee. Attending a performance may be required. Prerequisite: ENG 201, or CENG 201 or 202.
  • ENG 466: Shakespeare
  • 3
Critical reading and analysis of selected examples of Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and tragedies is the focus of this course. Prerequisite: ENG 201, or CENG 201 or 202, ENG 271.
  • Acting & Directing Emphasis
  • 23-24 Units
  • THR 241: Voice & Movement for the Actor
  • 3
This course will provide intensive training in the integral use of the voice and body for the actor through the development of tools for communicating character and subtext including vocal and physical relaxation, flexibility, and strength.
  • THR 262: Acting 2
  • 4
This course is an advanced approach to acting techniques used in contemporary realism material including an in-depth study of scene and character analysis; performance of monologues, improvisations, and scenes; exercises based on the Meisner technique and other acting approaches. Field trips may be included. Prerequisite: THR 261 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 371: Acting 3
  • 4
As an advanced study of theatrical performance techniques and through the use of in-class workshop experiences, this course will emphasize the acting of Shakespeare and other period styles and include exercises, analytical skills, rehearsal procedures, and methods of artistic criticism. Field trips are required. Prerequisite: THR 262 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 381: Acting in Musical Theatre
  • 3
Exploration of the voice, movement, and acting skills necessary to perform in modern musical plays will be examined in this course as students participate in workshops, exercises, warm-ups, rehearsal procedures, and in-class solo and group performances. Prerequisite: THR 261 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 451: Play Direction 2
  • 3
As a continuation of Play Direction 1, students will deepen their knowledge and skills in the theory and practice of stage directing including director/designer collaboration; analysis of period style and genre with application to directors' choices; analysis of modern and contemporary theories of the stage; artistic direction and dramaturgy in the contemporary theatre. Workshop scenes are presented and evaluated. Field trips are required. Prerequisite: THR 351 or consent of instructor.
  • Choose two-three (2-3) courses from the following not taken in the core.
  • THR 330: Performance Studies and Readers Theatre
  • 3
This course will provide an in-depth work in solo and group oral interpretation, including selection, adaptation, and presentation of readers theater programs for children and adults, including intercultural issues in performance, performing for religious audiences, and performance of non-fiction. Field trips are required.
  • THR 452: Advanced Script Analysis
  • 3
As an advanced study of selected plays from the standpoint of the theatre artist (actor, director, designer), students will look at the process of translating a dramatic text to theatrical production with an emphasis upon the techniques of perception, imagination, and integration used in developing a concept and determining specific performance and design choices with the practical application of analysis through projects and presentations.
  • THR 461: Creative Drama and Improvisation
  • 3
With an emphasis upon personal dramatic experience and drama as process instead of theatrical product, students will examine the principles and procedures for utilizing creative dramatics activities in a variety of settings, as expressed through individual and group movement, sound, and improvisation. Practicum lab hours required.
  • THR 471: Acting 4
  • 4
An advanced experiential course that will cover performance techniques and principles through in-class scene study of Greek tragedy and Comedy of Manners theatrical styles, including exercises, analytical skills, and rehearsal procedures. Field trips required. Prerequisites: THR 251 and 261 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 441: Theatre and Culture 1
  • 3
Through the study of representative plays, this course will examine the various theatre cultures from the Classical period through the Renaissance, giving consideration to the theatrical conventions, visual art, music, and significant historical events of the periods. Field trips are required. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of the instructor.
  • THR 442: Theatre and Culture 2
  • 3
As a continuation of Theatre and Culture 1, this course will examine the theatre of various cultures from the Renaissance to the present day. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 443: Contemporary Theatre & Culture
  • 3
This course will examine various theatre cultures, concentrating on theatrical texts and performances written and produced within the past sixty years including contemporary trends and styles. Offered in alternate years.
  • ENG 387: Modern and Contemporary Drama
  • 3
This course will read, critically analyze, discuss, and evaluate selected plays from 1890 through the 21st century, including such dramatists as Ibsen, O'Neill, Pirandello, Lorca, Miller, Williams, and Albee. Attending a performance may be required. Prerequisite: ENG 201, or CENG 201 or 202.
  • ENG 466: Shakespeare
  • 3
Critical reading and analysis of selected examples of Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and tragedies is the focus of this course. Prerequisite: ENG 201, or CENG 201 or 202, ENG 271.
  • THR 498: Theatre Showcase
  • 3
An advanced, thesis-style course that requires intensive, hands-on activity at an advanced level under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Theatre major, senior status, and application approval by the theatre faculty (also see Theatre Showcase Guidelines available in the Theatre Office).

 

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this major and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your major. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.

Where our Alumni are Working

Our Theatre graduates are working in the industry. Here are some additional highlights.

  • Disneyland
  • Universal Studios
  • Disney World
  • Utah Shakespeare Festival
  • Pfinix Creative Studios
  • GoButton Productions
  • Disney HD Channel
  • Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Ned Show
  • Theatricum Botanicum
  • Two Rivers Theatre
  • North Coast Repertory Theatre
  • New Village Arts
  • San Diego Fringe Festival
  • Hollywood Fringe Festival
  • Chance Theater
  • South Coast Repertory Theater
  • The Imagination Machine
  • Phoenix Theatre
  • Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts
  • Downey Civic Theatre
  • Netflix
  • CollegeHumor
  • Los Angeles Opera
  • Long Beach Opera
  • Opera Pacific
  • Culture Project (NY)
  • KCRA/KQCA TV
  • Briggs Opera House
  • Missoula Children’s Theatre
  • Theophany Films

Opportunities for Theatre Majors

The Theatre department wants to provide a myriad of opportunities for our students to gain experience in the performing arts. Our University, Theatre Department, and relationships within our surrounding community afford you the chance to practice the performing arts outside the classroom.

Academic Opportunities

As a Theatre major, you can combine your degree with a related minor, or double major. Expand your worldview by studying abroad, or transition to graduate school.

Graduate Schools Attended

  • NYU - Tisch School of the Arts
  • NYU - Steinhardt School for Education in the Arts
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Film Production)
  • Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University
  • Southern Utah University - Utah Shakespeare Festival
  • Northern Illinois University School of Theatre & Dance
  • Cal State San Bernardino
  • Cal State Fullerton - Department of Cinema & Television Arts
  • Sarah Lawrence College MFA Theatre Program

Extracurricular Activities

Theatre offers many opportunities for you to become involved with on-campus events, clubs, and organizations. Our students also regularly participate (and excel) in national competitions with performing arts students from other universities.

Internships

Theatre majors can apply to do a senior project. Concordia enjoys good working relationships with a large number of organizations in Southern California. Below are just a few examples of where our students have interned.

  • The Chance Theatre
  • Actors Theatre of Louisville
  • La Jolla Playhouse
  • Disney Corporation

Scholarships

Scholarships for majors AND non-majors participating in theatre range from $1000 up to half of the price of tuition.

Learn More

Past Productions

The Foolish Proposal actors preparing for a performance

The Foolish Proposal

Video

The Fantasticks opening scene of a sheet with silhouette shadows through a sheet

The Fantasticks

Video

Two actors performing a scene on stage

A Year with Frog and Toad

Video

2018-19 Productions

I and You

by Lauren Gunderson
directed by Jeremy Lewis

September 7, 8, 14, 15 at 7:30 pm
September 9 & 16 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students.
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff

Anthony arrives unexpectedly at classmate Caroline’s door with a copy of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and an urgent English assignment. Homebound due to illness, Caroline hasn’t been to school in months, but she is as quick and sardonic as Anthony is athletic, sensitive, and popular. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, this poetry project unlocks a deeper mystery that binds them together. I and You is an ode to youth, life, love, and the beauty of human connectedness.

Produced by arrangement with Playscripts International

Buy Tickets
 

She Stoops to Conquer

by Oliver Goldsmith
directed by Lori C. Siekmann

November 2, 3, 9, 10 at 7:30 pm
November 4 & 11 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff

Miss Hardcastle is intrigued by the young gentleman who has come to court her, but he’s terribly shy. He can hardly get a sentence out around her, yet he exudes confidence around her maid. So what if she poses as a servant to get to know him? Oliver Goldsmith’s timeless comedy has been entertaining audiences since 1773 and is still fresh and funny today. Mistaken identities, plot twists and turns, and a lot of heart make for a delightful romp that will keep you laughing through the chaos.

Buy Tickets

A Grand Night for Singing

Music by Richard Rogers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein
Musical Arrangements by Fred Wells
Conceived by Walter Bobbie
Directed by Lori C. Siekmann

January 18, 19, 26 at 7:30 pm
January 19, 20 & 27 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff

Rodgers and Hammerstein have penned some of the most famous shows in American musical theatre: Oklahoma! The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and the list goes on and on. Imagine getting to enjoy a whole evening of their iconic songs from a variety of their shows all in one musical! From Shall We Dance? to Some Enchanted Evening, this Tony® nominated musical revue celebrates their catalog of favorites in a fresh and fun way that will make you fall in love with them all over again.

Produced by special arrangement with the Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation

Buy Tickets

Antigone

By Sophocles
Translated by Don Taylor
Directed by Tony Vezner

March 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 pm
March 17, 24 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff

The third of Sophocles’ Theban tragedies asks: Do one’s own personal beliefs outweigh one’s obedience to the state? When newly-crowned King Creon declares that the body of the rebellious son of Oedipus must be left unburied after a battle, his sister Antigone decides to risk a prospective marriage and her life by burying him. One fateful choice after another leads to destruction in this updated version of the Greek classic.

Produced by special arrangement with Micheline Steinberg Associates

Buy Tickets

The Secret in the Wings

By Mary Zimmerman
Directed by Ciara Celine Elizondo ‘19

April 11, 12, 13 at 7:30 pm
April 14 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff

One night a child is left with a terrifying babysitter. As the babysitter reads the child fairy tales, the mysterious and magical characters of the book materialize on stage. A series of stories unfold - tales of kings and queens, families, and mystical beings. Journey through whimsical and captivating storytelling where the the line between dreams and nightmares becomes blurred.

Produced by special arrangement with Brett Adams, Ltd

Buy Tickets

Dance Concert

Concordia Dance Company

Vanessa Gumerman, Artistic Director

April 26 at 7:30 pm
April 27 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

The Dance Company's Annual Concert features pieces that the group has worked on over their Fall and Spring seasons, including many choreographed by its students. It will showcase a variety of dance styles ranging from musical theater to jazz and tap.

Meet your Professors

Professors in the Theatre Department are active participants in mentoring students and nurturing individual artistic growth. Our curriculum is developed and delivered by faculty who integrate classroom techniques with hands-on experience.

Lori Siekman

Lori Siekman

Theatre Chair

Professor Siekmann is the 2015 recipient of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival's Gold Medallion of Excellence - the highest award the Kennedy Center gives to educators. Three of her productions have been invited to appear at the regional festival of KC/ACTF.

Tony Vezner

Tony Vezner

Theatre Professor

A recipient of the KC/ACTF Award for Excellence in Education, Professor Vezner collaborated with Prof. Lee from English to lead the 2016 Around-the-World Semester® which took a team of students to 10 countries over 20 weeks - studying and serving in each country. His previous work includes 14 years as a professional stage director in Chicago.

Andrew Sierszyn

Andrew Sierszyn

Theatre Professor

Professor Sierszyn brings a wealth of experience and education to his work at Concordia. Andrew has served as a technical director for productions at Sunset Playhouse, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Illinois State University, as well as being a prolific designer for Wisconsin Lutheran College and Illinois State University. Additionally, his work as a scenic designer and charge artist includes professional summer stock at the Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, Massachusetts.

Get in Touch

For more information about the Theatre major at Concordia University Irvine, we invite you to contact us directly.

Professor Tony Vezner
Theatre Department
949) 214-3425
tony.vezner@cui.edu

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