Theatre mask

The B.A. in theatre offers concentrations in: performance, design/technical theatre, musical theatre and general theatre. To qualify for acceptance as a B.A. in theatre major, you must be admitted to Rhode Island College (follow the general admission procedure described on the Office of Admissions website) and successfully complete an audition. You DO NOT need to be admitted to audition, but we recommend that you have your admissions application at least completed by your audition date. Please check back soon for the audition schedule.

Performance and Musical Theatre Concentrations

If you seek the challenge and exhilaration of appearing on stage, then look into a performance or musical theatre concentration. The performance concentration will give you practice in a great variety of acting styles, ranging from Greek tragedy and Restoration comedy to melodrama and psychological realism.

Should you prefer Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter, you will be pleased to know that Rhode Island College offers the only program in musical theatre in Southeastern new England. The musical theatre concentration includes courses in music theory, singing and dance to provide training in all the skills you will need for success in this ever-popular field.

One way to sharpen your movement skills for acting is through the study of dance. Students in the performance areas should be aware that Rhode Island College offers a minor in dance and sponsors a highly respected dance company.

Design/Technical Concentration

The technical staff for theatrical productions may not appear on stage, but their presence is certainly evident. Without their expertise in the areas of lighting, costume, makeup and set design, the magic of theatre would disappear. If you are interested in making the magic happen from behind the scenes, you should consider a concentration in design/technical theatre.

Talent awards are available for those who possess special abilities, and the college offers need-based financial assistance. Employment opportunities are also available at the college for work backstage, in the costume shop or in the box office. 

Theatre Productions 

Rhode Island College stages four major productions annually, giving you an excellent chance to perform and work in the technical areas. For those who want more independent experience, there is The Growing Stage, a student-run theatre group. In addition, you will have special opportunities to participate in internship programs in professional theatres. Each year many students work alongside actors, directors, and managers of companies such as the Trinity Repertory Company and Looking Glass Theatre.  

Theatre Faculty 

At Rhode Island College you will study with faculty members whose strong dedication to teaching goes hand in hand with professional theatre activity. Our faculty members have worked with respected theatre companies such as Trinity Rep, Boston Opera Company and the Guthrie Theatre and have performed at international theatre festivals. The American College Theatre Festival, the New England Theatre Conference and other organizations are representative of their professional affiliations. 

Guest Performers 

To increase your exposure to excellence in theatre, prominent figures and ensembles are regularly brought to campus. Among them have been the Negro Ensemble Company, the National Theatre for the Deaf and Agnes de Mille, the original choreographer of “Oklahoma!” 

If you are looking for a challenging and supportive environment in which to develop your artistic talents, take a close look at Rhode Island College. Visit our campus and talk with an admissions officer or a member of the theatre faculty: Alan Pickart, apickart@ric.edu, 401-456-9616 or William Wilson, wwilson@ric.edu, 401-456-8814. 

Program Details

Course Information

Program Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will:

  1. An understanding of the role theatre plays in the community, the professional arena and for the individual.
  2. A fundamental understanding of collaborative issues as they relate to play production.
  3. Basic knowledge of the varied disciplines in the theatre and their inherent interconnectedness.
  4. The ability to effectively complete production-specific problem solving in varied disciplines.
  5. The skills needed for future academic and professional growth.​

Writing in the Discipline

1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/ profession?

Writing is important to all students intent on a career in theatre. Actors, singers, dancers, playwrights, directors and designers must use their skills to create cover letters, resumes, grant applications, websites and portfolios, to write press releases and to write scenes, songs and plays. Theatre dramaturgs and historians must be able to write program notes, magazine articles, scholarly articles and books. Development directors and theatre administrators must be able to write letters to patrons soliciting donations, to create websites and to generate promotional materials. Theatre critics must be able to author production reviews.

2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the (Writing in the Discipline) WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?

The theatre program has designated the following courses to be emblematic of Writing in the Discipline:

For the theatre design/tech, general and performance concentrations, the following courses will satisfy the WID requirement:

THTR 440: History of Theatre: Origins to 1800

THTR 441: History of Theatre: 1800 to Present

THTR 460: Senior Seminar

For the musical theatre concentration, the following course will satisfy the WID requirement:

THTR 460: Senior Seminar

These courses have been chosen as WID courses because they require and teach different types of writing essential to theatre majors.

3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?

A number of writing genres are introduced and developed in the music area WID courses.

Students in the theatre program will be introduced to and learn and practice numerous genres of writing in our WID courses. For example, in THTR 229: Playwriting, students will write numerous scene-types (e.g. action scenes, conflict scenes, event scenes, etc.). Students in theatre history courses will be asked to write detailed play analysis and play reviews along with oral presentations on the same topic. Finally, students taking THTR 460: Senior Seminar will create and perform a Senior Showcase in both Rhode Island and in New York City. This work will require them to write/create journals, a press release, a website, promotional materials and many other kinds of documents.

4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?

Students in the theatre program will encounter many different kinds of writing instruction. In THTR 229, for example, students will participate in one-on-one meetings with their instructor to discuss work-in-progress. In other courses they will be asked to submit drafts of papers to their instructor and classmates for feedback. Finally, students will produce and share various low-stakes assignments such as weekly journals and high stakes projects such as research reports.

5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?

Students who have completed the WID requirement should be able to do the following:

  • Market themselves to a prospective employer or funding source via a resume, portfolio, personal website and other promotional materials.
  • Market their production or their theatre to the public via press releases, websites and other promotional materials.
  • Generate their own work (e.g., monologues, scenes, 10-minute plays, full length plays).
  • Critically review productions.
  • Analyze plays.
  • Create effective oral presentations of monologues, scenes, plays, songs and design concepts​.

Minor in Theatre

Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities. Click below for information on the minor in theatre

Minor in Theatre