The Theatre Department at High Point University offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Arts degree, combining rigorous course work and practical production experiences to provide students with the basic theatre skills needed to prepare them for entry-level positions in the professional theatre; graduate study and specialized professional training; or related careers in which creativity, communication skills and collaborative abilities are essential. The HPU Department of Theatre received the “2011 NCTC College/ University Award,” which recognizes education excellence and is given to the top university theatre program in North Carolina by the North Carolina Theatre Conference.
A Focused Curriculum
A Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre at High Point University allows a student to enjoy a broad educational experience within the theatrical discipline. Each theatre major completes a challenging 24 credit hour “core” of challenging and exciting courses, providing them with a valuable foundation in all areas of the theatre arts. Each student then chooses a 12 credit hour “area of emphasis,” allowing them to explore in greater depth the area of theatre where their individual passions lie. Working closely with their faculty advisor, each theatre major at High Point University has a great amount of flexibility in “customizing” their program of study, breaking away from the “one size fits all” traditional curriculum model.
The “areas of emphasis” in the Bachelor of Arts degree at High Point University include:
Performance Emphasis —This option is designed for those students who are primarily interested in acting. During their academic career at High Point, students take a variety of performance classes aimed at providing them with the strong foundation in a practical performance skills necessary to either begin their career in theatre or pursue further graduate study.
Design/Technical Emphasis —This option is designed for students whose primary area of interest is in the design and technical aspects of theatre. Students receive basic and advanced coursework aimed at providing the skills necessary to succeed in the theatre.
Dramatic Writing Emphasis — For students who are interested in playwriting and screenwriting, this option is comprised of beginning and advanced playwriting coursework combined with co-curricular coursework in the School of Communication and the English department. Combined with these classes is an emphasis on the creation and production of original dramatic works.
Collaborative Theatre Emphasis — Combining coursework in playwriting, directing and arts administration, this option is designed for students who are interested in artistic direction, producing or management positions in theatre. This option is especially appealing to those students who wish to be involved in theatre at the community or regional/non-profit theatre areas.
Dance Emphasis —This option is designed for those students who are primarily interested in dance. Students take a variety of dance classes to provide them with a strong foundation in the dance performance skills necessary to either begin their career in musical theatre, dance or further graduate or professional study.
The department of theatre regularly hosts visiting professionals from the entertainment industry to teach workshops and to share their talents and experiences with our theatre students. During one academic year alone, the department of theatre hosted ten guest artists who conducted over 60 classes and workshops with our students including:
• John Cariani – Almost, Maine playwright and Tony Nominated Actor (Fiddler On The Roof).
• Michael Lilly – Award-winning Los Angeles director/producer.
• Bruce Graham – Award-winning playwright and screenwriter.
• Don Wildman – Host of History Channel’s Cities of The Underworld.
• Brad Battersby – Feature film director/writer.
• Pat Green –Three time Emmy Award-winning writer and producer.
• Brenda Lilly –TV producer/writer and creator of ABC Family Channel’s State of Grace.
Each year the department of theatre produces four “Mainstage” productions in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center’s Pauline Theatre and our “black box” theatre, The Empty Space. In addition, student directed one-act plays and original production projects regularly occur on campus.
Among our recent productions are Picnic, Kiss Me Kate, Les Liasons Dangereuses, True West, Love/Sick, All My Sons, Almost, Maine, Steel Magnolias, The Diviners, The Learned Ladies, Agnes of God, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar and Grille, Anna of the Tropics, The Water Engine, Bat Boy the Musical, The Robber Bridegroom, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Suessical the Musical and many more!
In order to complete the major in theatre, a student must complete the theatre core requirement, one of the three areas of emphasis, and the electives requirement.
Requirements for a BA in Theatre (Performance Theatre): (48 credits):
Students will be advised in electing additional courses that will complement their career goals.