Department Chair

  • Denise Massman, MFA
    Associate Professor of Creative Arts
    Foy Hall 305
    (518) 786-5054

Theater Certificate


The Theater Certificate Program in the Department of Creative Arts, offers students the opportunity to pursue a formal non-major curriculum in theater studies. This program aims to familiarize students with the theory, history and aesthetics of the theatrical event; strives to develop an appreciation of theater as a complex artistic expression of humanity's struggle to understand itself; and works to develop first-hand experience with those essential skills necessary to create theater: acting, directing, design and technology.

The program encourages each student to exercise aesthetic judgment; think critically; work collaboratively; synthesize and apply principles in the process of theatrical production; engage in creative expression; develop personal discipline and constructive work habits; and foster respect for one's self, colleagues, audience and community. The Theater Program is committed to mounting productions that focus on issues of cultural diversity and the responsibility of individuals to cooperate in the creation of a just and peaceful society. Students earning a certificate in the Theater Program may choose to pursue careers as drama directors and educators in the secondary school understanding and appreciation of the art form through graduate study. Knowledge and skills gained through the program are applicable to a variety of careers outside theater.

Students interested in the certificate program must meet with the department chair as early in their course of studies as possible.

Academic Standards: The study of theater, by its very nature, demands the student's commitment of time and energy for laboratory courses and production preparation. Consequently, admittance to and continuation in the program will be subject to minimum academic standards. In order to be enrolled as a candidate for the certificate, a student must have no less than 2.0 cumulative index and have earned at least a C- grade in every
major field concentration course used to satisfy the major field requirement. Once enrolled, the student must maintain this academic standing and earn at least a C- grade in every course required for the Theater Program Certificate. Students interested in completing an internship (CREA 480) must have earned at least a B grade in all courses required for the certificate and maintained all other academic standards.

Refer to creative arts department listings for course descriptions.

All three of the following foundation courses (9 credits):
CREA 104: Introduction to Theater
CREA 219: Acting I
CREA 349: Directing

One survey of dramatic literature course approved by the department chair (3 credits)

One course in theater history from among (3 credits):
CREA 251: World Theater History
CREA 258: Diversity in American Theater

One course in theater design/technology from among (3 credits):
CREA 145: Introduction to Theater Technology
CREA 345: Scenery Design
CREA 347: Lighting and Sound Design
CREA 348: Costume and Makeup Design

Any theater course not applied to theater history or design/technology credit requirements OR one of the following (3 credits):
CREA 213: Basics of Singing
CREA 254: Opera I
CREA 297: Special Topics in Creative Arts (select topics)
CREA 330: Acting II
CREA 480: Internship in Creative Arts
ENGL 240: Shakespeare
ENGL 285: Topics in English (on dramatist or dramatic movement)
ENGL 090 English Honors (on dramatist or dramatic movement)

A combination of a minimum of two practicum courses from among (for a total of 3 credits--these courses can be taken for 1-3 credits):
CREA 450: Acting Practicum
CREA 451: Directing Practicum
CREA 452: Design Practicum
CREA 453: Technology Practicum
CREA 454: Stage Management Practicum

-Total of 24 credits

Students enrolled in the Theater Certificate Program have the option of choosing an internship with a professional theater organization (CREA 480 Internship in Creative Arts) provided advance approval from the major advisor and the department chair is received. To be considered for an internship, the student must satisfy the academic standards for the certificate program and must have achieved at least a B grade in all courses required for the Theater Program certificate. All theater internships must be in one of the following areas: acting, directing, scenery, costume, lighting, sound or stage management. Sales or box office positions would not qualify. Internship participation would occur during the student's senior year and would be administered by the
department chair.