In theatre as with every major within the Fine Arts Department, the primary mode of study is the practice of Art, involving theoretical, historical, aesthetic and technical elements.
Here are some titles of courses you'll take for the major:
- Life in the Theatre
- Costume Crafts
- Production Practicum: Stage Management
- Western Theatre History from Aeschylus to Zannis
- Moliere to Modern Drama
- Modern and Contemporary Theatre
- Directing I and Senior Seminar in Theatre
You'll also take Introduction to Acting or Acting Techniques and choose among lab courses for backstage specialties – scenery, lighting, costumes, run crew.
The St. Mike's theatre program makes its home in the McCarthy Arts Center, which houses a theatre, a recital hall, an art gallery, rehearsal spaces, classrooms, and faculty offices. The theatre, an intimate but broad house which seats 360, boasts a proscenium stage complete with hydraulic lift, trap room, substantial wing and fly space, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment. Costume and scenery studios are located in the building and storage facilities are convenient to the theatre.
The department sponsors two faculty-directed Mainstage productions, a second stage series, and an ongoing improvisation group, Rough Edges, in addition to mentoring student projects through classes and independent studies. All students are given an opportunity to direct, design, perform in, manage, research and respond to theatre in production and performance.
Activities, courses and productions are often initiated from student interest and ability. Students have written, directed and designed for the Mainstage production season. Our Drama Club actively funds workshops with professional artists, sponsors trips to New York to see professional theatre, and produces plays and musical theatre concerts over the course of a year.
Students have the opportunity to take responsibility for construction and creation of all aspects of departmental shows from building sets and costumes to stage management, design and direction.
In addition to the many performance opportunities here, students create costumes, scenery, props, lighting, sound and paint for Mainstage productions in credit-bearing classes. Majors are required to experience stage management at some level within the department - Mainstage productions, Senior projects and Drama Club shows.
We also have a strong connection to the college's education department and Saint Michael's offers state certified programs in elementary and secondary education and demonstrates their commitment and understanding of theatre arts through their graduate program, Arts in Education. Burlington offers wonderful student teaching opportunities in the Integrated Arts Academy and strong local high school Theatre programs. In addition, the theatre faculty offers academic credit to students who serve as teaching assistants in theatre courses. We do not charge admission for any of our productions. The range of plays that we produce is determined by educational challenges and student interest rather than box office.
You'll develop close working relationships with our gifted, connected and approachable faculty mentors beginning with your first entrance into the theatre program and lasting well beyond graduation.
History, Literature, Criticism: Students will demonstrate general knowledge of dramatic literature, history, and theory.
Performance: Students will identify dramatic action in plays and determine ways to physicalize it on stage.
Design and Technology: Students will demonstrate the skills necessary to conceptualize, create and/or organize elements of a production.
We offer a Cultural Pass
This is a unique opportunity for students to see dozens of professional national touring companies in Theatre, Dance and Music locally for one flat fee of $30 per year at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts.
Some of the touring productions at the Flynn Center include Spring Awakening, Spamalot, Mummenschanz and Radio MacBeth. Learn more at Cultural Pass.
We're actively involved in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
We have a 30-year history of involvement with KCACTF. Our Drama Club sponsors a week-long trip to the regional festival each year where students can see productions, participate in workshops, interview for jobs, compete for scholarship awards, and earn an invitation to show their work at the national festival in Washington, D.C. Two faculty members in the Saint Michael’s theatre program are presently on the regional executive board of KCACTF.
Scholarship opportunities are available to incoming and returning students through the Fairbanks-Paulin and McCarthy Scholarship programs.
Although no degree is offered in the area of dance, the Department of Fine Arts offers a broad array of courses and performance opportunities in this area.
Recent graduates from Saint Michael's College with a degree in theatre have had success finding jobs in companies such as:
- Vermont Stage Company
- Northern Stage
- the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
- Missoula Children's Theatre
- Trinity Repertory Theatre
- American Repertory Theatre
- The National Theatre for Arts and Education
- The Los Angeles Music Center
Other students have pursued careers in education, arts administration, the film and television industry, advertising, marketing, and fields related to business and law.
We also have affiliations with professional theatre unions and students have been hired by the Stagehands Union calls locally. Undergraduates can also earn points toward their Actor's Equity Association card at Saint Michael’s Playhouse in the summer.