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About Theatre

A major in Theatre will provide students with a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of contemporary Western theatre. Students will take courses in developing performance skills, theoretical and historical study, the art and craft of design and technical theatre, and the conceptual and organizational skills involved in directing for the theatre. 

Students are encouraged to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom through hands-on opportunities in the preparation and presentation of performances produced in the department. Students graduate with knowledge of how to look for work, with the desire and ability to do the work, and with an understanding of the need to grow as an artist beyond graduation.

Within the Theatre department, students can major in Acting, Comedy Writing & Performance, Musical Theatre, Playwriting, Technical Theatre, Theatre Design, Theatre Directing (Admitted BFA only,) or Theatre General.

For Orientation

On Campus: Transfer Students

Be sure to request an official copy of your previous College transcripts be sent to Columbia for review. The Office of Transcript Evaluation will send what class/credits have transferred and which courses will be applied towards the Liberal Arts and Sciences requirements. You will receive a separate notice via email from the Theatre Department regarding which transfer credits will be applied towards requirements in the major. You can also meet with the Theatre Academic Coordinator at the Transfer Suite on your Orientation day.

First Semester Classes

We recommend all Theatre students register for the following during the first semester:

  • • 31-1251 Theatre Foundation I: Making Theatre*

*If you are unable to register for Theatre Foundation I: Making Theatre in your first semester, you will take it during your second semester. Other first semester suggested courses, for Elective credit, include:

  • • 31-1310 Feldenkrais: Awareness through Movement
  • • 31-1350 Speaking Out–also fulfills LAS Oral Communication Credit
  • • 31-1500 Prod Tech: Crew
  • • 31-1510 Drafting for Theatre
  • • 31-1605 Makeup for the Performer
  • • 31-1655 Beginning Puppetry
  • • 31-1680 Foundations of Makeup
  • • 31-1690 Introduction to Auditioning
  • • 31-2800 Playwriting I
  • • 31-2970 Introduction to Theatre in Chicago

Freshmen are also required to register for Writing & Rhetoric I (52-1151) and a First-Semester Experience course (48-1101 through 48-1115).

View the Full Course Catalog

Transfer Students
Any students attempting to transfer Theatre courses from another college and/or university should contact Jeannine Kusta at as soon as possible.