Department of Theatre

Degree Benefits

Your Program

Avila Theatre offers focused classroom instruction coupled with hands-on experience. The program is designed for undergraduates who want stage time or who want to develop a diverse portfolio. Casting and Design/Tech leadership positions are earned based on talent, not a student’s year in school.  Thus, the same production experience exists for freshmen as for seniors.  Performers don’t have to spend years waiting behind upperclassmen and Techies won’t simply serve as faculty assistants.

Avila Theatre serves its students by recognizing students must have opportunities to try, fail, and try again.                                   

Your Choice

Avila Theatre provides a pre-professional training program that allows choice. The BFA is for students wanting a specialized concentration in Acting, Musical Theatre, Directing/Producing, or Design, Technology & Management. The BA is for students wanting more broad-based training, who may anticipate teaching, or who may be considering a double major. These choices, combined with a caring faculty, give majors personalized attention and guidance to obtain degrees that best fit their needs.

Program Uniqueness

Avila is unique in that it offers specialized training in an extensive list of upper-division courses from which to choose, combined with a private liberal arts education. Small class sizes and personal attention are the standard at Avila. Specifically, Theatre is a program that provides a sense of community and purpose. Avila Theatre prides itself on promoting a nurturing, yet challenging working environment for every student. 

Often theatre students are labeled “actor” or “techie” and never have a chance to explore other areas. At Avila, students have the chance, if they wish, to work many jobs on both sides of the fence: acting and tech. With proper training, it is possible for a student to play the lead in one show and then design the set for the next. Theatre students often say that what they enjoy most about Avila is the opportunity to explore many aspects of theatre, allowing them to discover what hidden talents unfold.

Degree Programs

Acting Coursework

  • Acting I: Principles of Acting
  • Acting II: Principles of Scenework
  • Stage Management
  • Acting Styles
  • Shakespeare in Performance
  • ACTING III: Character Development
  • ACTING IV: Advanced Acting
  • Stage Combat
  • Stage Makeup
  • Principles of Directing
  • Business of Acting
  • Internship
  • Senior Project

Advisor: Matt Schwader Harbor
816.501.2405
Matt.Schwader@Avila.edu

Directing / Producing Coursework

  • Acting I: Principles of Acting
  • Acting II: Principles of Scenework
  • ACTING III: Character Development
  • Stage Lighting
  • Principles of Directing
  • Advanced Directing
  • Stage Management
  • Theatre Management
  • Stage Combat
  • Stage Makeup
  • Scene Design
  • Movement for the Stage
  • Directing Practicum
  • Internship
  • Senior Project

Advisor: Matt Schwader Harbor
816.501.2405
Matt.Schwader@Avila.edu

Musical Theatre Coursework

  • Applied Voice
  • Applied Piano
  • Music Theory I & II
  • Acting I: Principles of Acting
  • Acting II: Principles of Scenework
  • Business of Acting
  • Movement for the Stage
  • Diction & Dialects
  • Acting Styles
  • Stage Makeup
  • Internship
  • Senior Project

Advisor: Dr. Amity Bryson
816.501.3651
Amity.Bryson@Avila.edu

DTM Coursework

  • Stagecraft
  • Scenery and Prop Construction
  • Stage Lighting
  • Sound Engineering & Design
  • Advanced Lighting and Sound Design
  • Scene Design I & II
  • Stage Management
  • Costume Techniques & Design
  • History of Costume
  • Stage Makeup
  • Scenic Painting
  • Technical Practicum
  • Stage Management Practicum
  • Internship
  • Senior Project

Advisor: Dylan Bollinger
816.501.3733
Dylan.Bollinger@Avila.edu

Overview

The Avila Bachelor of Arts in Theatre is an ideal major for students who wish to experience a broad education in theatre arts. Rather than focusing on a specific tenet of theatre such as design or performance, the B.A. allows diversity and experience in the full spectrum of theatre.
Students who plan to become theatre teachers or who plan to double-major in another field are good candidates for this major.

B.A. Coursework

  • Acting I: Principles of Acting
  • Acting II: Principles of Scene Work
  • Stagecraft
  • Stage Lighting
  • Stage Combat
  • Diction & Dialects
  • Principles of Directing
  • Stage Management
  • Costume Techniques & Design
  • Theatre Management
  • Stage Makeup
  • Scenic Painting
  • Movement for the Stage
  • Advanced Directing
  • Internship
  • Senior Project

Theatre Education

Missouri Teacher Certification is available in Speech/Theatre Education for grades 9-12.  Students wishing to become certified to teach must choose a major field of study and concurrent enrollment in the Avila Secondary Education Minor. A middle school major with a concentration in drama is also available. Certification is available with either a B.A. or a B.F.A.

Kansas Teacher Certification may be achieved concurrently.


Advisor: Dylan Bollinger
816.501.3733
Dylan.Bollinger@Avila.edu


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Theatre Minor

The Theatre Minor is a program for students who wish to have a theatre experience without fully immersing in the breadth of the full curriculum.  Students take 18 credit hours from a variety of classes from across the wide spectrum of theatre.  As a result, students can have begin (or continue) a life-long love for performing arts from which they learn life-skills in communication, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, time-management, meeting deadlines, and hands-on skills.

Theatre Minor Coursework

  • Principles of Acting
  • Principles of Scene Work
  • Stagecraft
  • Stage Lighting
  • Auditioning
  • Playwright Seminar
  • History of Costume
  • History & Literature of Theatre
  • Scene Design
  • Dramatic Theory
  • Advanced Acting

Advisor: Matt Schwader Harbor
816.501.2405
Matt.Schwader@Avila.edu

Theatre Certificate

The Department of Theatre offers a certificate in Green Theatre Practices. The certificate requires 13-credit hours and all Avila students are eligible to earn the certificate.  Transfer credit is not allowed for those students pursuing the certificate.

Course Requirements

  • TR 229 – Scenic Art for the Stage (3)
  • TR 251 – Stagecraft (3)
  • TR 286 – Technical Theatre Practicum (1)
  • TR 453 – Adv. Scenery & Prop Construction (3)
  • BI 215 – Humans & the Environment (3)

Outcomes:

  1. Understand the environmental impact of choices made in mounting a production.
  2. Identify choices an individual can make to reduce one’s carbon footprint in theatre and in all aspects of life

Assessment:

Outcomes will be assessed through a combination of written essays, examinations, and skills-based assignments and practice.  These outcomes will be outlined in detail in individual course syllabi.


 

 

The Department of Theatre offers a certificate in Theatre for Young Audiences. The certificate requires 13-credit hours and all Avila students are eligible to earn the certificate. Transfer credit is not allowed for those students pursuing the certificate.
Young Audiences Course Requirements

ED 206 – Creative Activities & Physical Movement (3)

IS 328 – Creative Dramatics for Educating Children (3)

TR 286 – Technical Theatre Practicum (1-2)

TR 314 – Puppetry (3)

TR 315 – Children’s Theatre Production (3)

Outcomes

Outcome 1.
Identify and employ appropriate methodology and exercises to help children respond to dramatic literature, exercising critical and creative thinking.

Outcome 2.
Develop group process production skills such as division of labor, cooperative learning, and time management.

Outcome 3.
Demonstrate sensitivity to socio-cultural diversity when working with peers and children.

Assessment

As appropriate to each course, students will be assessed through writing, speaking, and demonstration of skills. These could take the form of examinations, improvisations, script and scene study and presentation, technical theatre projects such as makeup or puppet construction, essays, term papers, course-based discussion (in class or electronic), and oral presentations.

 

Goppert Performing Arts Center

Grand Lobby

An architectural rendering of the new Grand Lobby as seen from atop the grand staircase.

Goppert performing arts center lobby from the top floor

Goppert Performing Arts Center

An architectural rendering of the new “front door” to Avila’s campus.

exterior rendering of the goppert performing arts center

Choir Rehearsal Space

A fabulous new choir space with floor-to-ceiling north-facing windows.

rendering of the choir room in the goppert performing arts center

The Grand Lobby

Entering the Goppert Performing Arts Center for performances, visitors will be welcomed by an airy, two-story lobby and grand staircase.

rendering of the grand lobby of the goppert performing arts center

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