The Theatre Concentration provides students with a comprehensive foundation in all aspects of the theatre, and then allows students to continue their training in acting, costume design, lighting design, scenic design or sound design.  Students participate in numerous departmental productions to gain practical experience, develop portfolios, and connect and apply ideas and theories from their coursework and life. The theatre division prides itself on educating its students to acquire the discipline, analytical skills, and aesthetic judgment necessary for collaboration with others as productive citizens and artists.

Points of Pride

  • Two new theatres in Purdue’s new Visual Performing Arts Building opened in 2005. The Nancy T. Hansen Theatre is a proscenium house seating 300 people, while the Gordon Mallett Studio Theatre features a flexible configuration and seats 105-155 people. These new theatres complement additional, larger campus venues.
  • The study of theatre should include both the classroom study and practical application of those studies. Therefore, students are encouraged and expected to be active members of our production community. In this laboratory setting, the student not only applies information and ideas learned in classes, but also learns the critical life lessons of responsibility, commitment, and cooperation, which are crucial skills needed for survival in the 21st century.


  • Sound designer
  • Light designer
  • Scenic designer
  • Costume designer
  • Theatre manager
  • Actors
  • Scenic Artists
  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Many other positions in business/management, not necessarily related to theatre arts but able to capitalize on students’ broad-based liberal arts skill set
  • Graduate school

Plan of Study

Pre-Major Requirement (3)

THTR 20100 Theatre Appreciation (Aesthetic Awareness)

A. Foundation Studies (24)

THTR 16000 Intro to Scenic Design/Technology
THTR 16100 Intro to Costume Design/Technology
THTR 16200 Intro to Lighting Design/Technology
THTR 16300 Intro to Sound Design/Technology
THTR 16400 Intro to Theatre Org. and Management
THTR 21300 Vocal Production I
THTR 23300 Acting I: Acting Technique
THTR 38000 History of Theatre I
THTR 38100 History of Theatre II 
THTR 44000 Directing: Page to Stage

B. Performance and Production (12)

1. Enroll in at least TWO practicum courses for a minimum of three credits:
(enrollment is by audition for 33600/53600 or interview for 36800; all courses may be repeated.)

THTR 33600 Rehearsal & Performance
THTR 53600 Advanced Problems in Acting
THTR 36800 Theatre Production

2. Select THREE courses of the following performance and design courses in THTR

THTR 15001 Introduction to Drafting for Theatre
THTR 15002 Intro to Scenery Construction Tools & Techniques
THTR 15002 Introduction to Rigging
THTR 27000 Theatrical Materials and Techniques
THTR 32300 Movement for the Actor
THTR 33300 Acting II: Scene Study
THTR 36000 Scenic Design I
THTR 36100 Costume Design I
THTR 36200 Lighting Design I
THTR 36300 Sound Design
THTR 43300 Acting IV: Acting Shakespeare

C. Electives in Theatre (9)

Select Nine Credits from other courses in THTR.
(NOTE: Unselected courses from area B2 may be substituted here.)

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

Print Plan of Study

Department of Theatre

Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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