Skip to main content
Moonlight on the Miskatonic performance in Theatre 14

Theatre

Smith offers theatre students extraordinary opportunities both on and off the stage. The theatre department features some 35 courses in acting, directing, design, playwriting, literature and history. Students learn both in the classroom and through their work on a diverse and adventurous mix of plays from a variety of cultures, periods and genres on two stages. Smith students participate as actors, designers, directors and more. The department also sponsors guest workshops, lectures and presentations by top professional performers, playwrights, technicians and designers.

Department Update

Fall 2024 Courses

Are you looking for a Theatre course to add in the fall? Check the course search for Theatre which contains classes, instructors, times and locations for the courses we offer in the fall semester. 

Theatre at Smith

The theatre department offers a broad range of courses, productions, workshops, readings, and more–giving students opportunities to learn and grow as theatre artists and scholars. The department season consists of three major productions, directed and designed by faculty, guest artists, and students; students also direct, design, and act in one act studio productions, and participate in writing, acting and directing for the New Play Reading Series. Majors and non-majors are welcome to audition for and work on productions.

Students learn from visiting artists who work with them on productions, teach workshops and more. Students frequently participate in workshops in acting, design, directing and writing for the theatre by world-renowned artists in these fields. 

Theatre faculty members have a variety of interests including new play development, Latine drama, Shakespeare, Asian American drama, verbatim and documentary theatre, theatre translation, Chinese theatre, performance art, improvisation and collaborative creation. Courses include Theatre History and Culture, Acting, Directing, Writing for the Theatre, Set Design, Costume Design, and Lighting Design, and a rich array of courses in world drama, including Asian American theatre, Latine theatre, verbatim and documentary theatre, modern American, Canadian theatre, as well as premodern and modern European theatre.

The department has specialists in costume design, computer-aided scenic and lighting design, voice, stage management, technical theatre, and theatre publicity and promotion. Smith maintains an extensive historical costume collection of women's clothing from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Requirements & Courses

Goals for Majors in Theatre

  • Collaboration: producing work—creating meaning—together, that we could not produce alone.
  • Competence in one or more areas:
    • Dramaturgy (history, literature, criticism)
    • Design and tech
    • Performance (acting, directing)
    • Playwriting
  • Describe, analyze, interpret and evaluate performative, visual and written texts.
  • Contextualize and interpret diverse theatrical works, practices and traditions.
  • Creative investigation: Engage intuitively, creatively and imaginatively in investigations and research across disciplines.
  • Develop, articulate and defend informed choices and judgments. Write and speak clearly and conceptually about theatre.
  • Apply discipline and process to enhance and increase students’ capacities.

Theatre Major 

Requirements

Eleven semester courses

  1. Two courses in history and culture: THE 198 and THE 199
  2. Two courses from history, literature or criticism: THE 213, THE 217, THE 218, THE 220, THE 236THE 312ldTHE 312vdTHE 312ya, THE 313ts or THE 316
  3. One acting course: THE 141
  4. One design course: THE 100, THE 252, THE 253 or THE 254 
  5. One course in writing or directing: THE 261 or THE 344
  6. Four credits of THE 200 (to count as a single semester course) 
  7. Three THE electives: At least 8 credits must be beyond introductory level in performance (acting or directing), playwriting or design. 
Additional Guidelines
  • Consult with your adviser regarding which study away credits, if any, can be applied to the major requirements. No more than 16 credits from study away can ever be applied to the major requirements. 
  • Separate from study away, no more than eight credits from outside the department (whether at another Smith department or at another of the Five Colleges) can be applied to the major requirements. 
  • All majors are encouraged to include courses in art and music in their programs as well as dramatic literature in any of the language departments. 

Honors 

Please consult the director of honors or the departmental website for specific requirements and application procedures. 

Theatre Minor 

Requirements

Six semester courses

  1. Theatre history and culture: THE 198 and THE 199
  2. Three courses, with one course approved by the minor adviser in each of the following divisions:
    1. History, literature and criticism: THE 213THE 217THE 218, THE 220, THE 236THE 312ldTHE 312vdTHE 312yaTHE 313ts or THE 316 
    2.  Acting, directing or playwriting: THE 141, THE 142THE 261 or THE 344 
    3. Design: THE 100, THE 252, THE 253 or THE 254
  3. One four-credit elective or four credits of THE 200

Courses

THE 100 The Art of Theatre Design (4 Credits)

The course is designed to explore the nature of design in theatre and the visual arts. Students study the elements of set, costume, lighting and sound design while looking at the work of some of the most influential designers, past and present. Especially designed for those with a limited background in theatre, it involves discussions about assigned plays and projects, as appropriate to the topic. It is open to all students but particularly recommended for first-year students and sophomores. Enrollment limited to 16. {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

THE 141 Acting I: Fundamentals of Acting (4 Credits)

Introduction to physical, vocal and interpretative aspects of performance, with emphasis on creativity, concentration and depth of expression. Enrollment limited to 14. {A}

Fall, Spring

THE 142 Voice for Actors (4 Credits)

An introduction to the study of voice, exploring the connections between thought, feeling and vocalization through exercises that strengthen and enhance an actor’s (or speaker’s) understanding and command of vocal expression. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}

Spring

THE 153 Play with Light: An Introduction to the Culture of Light (4 Credits)

This course explores the culture of light as an illuminating, form-giving and artistic medium. Students study the physics of light and the history of lighting. The course examines the leap from representation of light in paintings where light is portrayed through imitation, to reality of light as an agent giving meaning in contemporary light art. The course approaches some of the theatre designers who transformed the look of the modern stage and goes beyond theatre to investigate ways in which light continues to capture and spur human imagination in creative fields such as cinematography, architecture and digital graphics. Enrollment limited to 18. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 154 “Reading” Dress: Archival Study of Clothing (4 Credits)

How do we “read” clothing? How accurate is our interpretation? What clues do we miss or misread, especially in dress from an era unfamiliar to us? What information can we look for to “explain” the significance or meaning of the garment? This course is an introduction to a methodology for the study of dress as material culture, examining physical structure, terminology, technology of production and some of the historical, social and cultural variables shaping- and shaped by- these objects. It is a class using objects from the Smith College Historic Clothing Collection. Each student will study several similar garments, identifying common features as well as distinctions that may reflect different classes, aesthetic choices and industrial influences.. Enrollment limited to 20 students. {H}

Fall

THE 198 Theatre History and Culture: Ancient Greece to English Restoration (4 Credits)

This course surveys the history of theatre, drama and performance from Ancient Greece to the 18th century. The main focus is on the theatres of Europe and their relationship to their respective cultures. Non-Western issues in regards to Asian theatres are also discussed. Lectures and discussions are complemented by video screenings of recent productions of some of the plays under consideration. {A}{H}{L}

Fall

THE 199 Theatre History and Culture: 18th Century to the Present (4 Credits)

This course surveys the history of theatre, drama and performance from the 18th century to the present. The main focus is on the theatres of Europe and the United States and their relationship to their respective cultures. Non-Western issues in regards to African, Australian and South American theaters are also discussed. Lectures and discussions are complemented by video screenings of recent productions of some of the plays under consideration. {A}{H}{L}

Spring

THE 200 Theatre Production (1 Credit)

This is a studio course which gives one credit for participation in a Theatre Department production. Most positions are designed for people with no previous experience. Offerings within the course cover all areas of theatre production, on stage and off, including positions as stage crew, light and sound board operators, dressers, stage managers, design assistants, box office assistants, props charges, electricians or actors. May be taken four times for credit, with a maximum of two credits per semester. There is one general meeting at the beginning of the semester. Attendance is mandatory. Attendance at weekly production meetings may be required for some assignments. S/U only.

Fall, Spring

THE 201 Theatre Production (1 Credit)

Same description as THE 200. There is one general meeting . Attendance is mandatory; attendance at weekly production meetings for some assignments may be required. S/U only.

Fall, Spring

THE 213 American Theatre and Drama (4 Credits)

This course discusses issues relevant to theatre history and practices, as well as dramatic literature, theories and criticism in 18th-, 19th- 20th- and 21st centuries United States of America, including African American, Native American, Hispanic American and Latinx, Asian American, LGBTQ+, the American musical, political, feminist and contemporary theatre and performance. Lectures, discussions and presentations are complemented by video screenings of recent productions of some of the plays under discussion. {A}{H}{L}

Spring

THE 217 Modern European Drama 1870s–1930s (4 Credits)

The plays, theatres and playwrights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe. A leap from Büchner to Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw, Chekhov, Wedekind and Gorky onwards to the widespread experimentation of the 1920s and earlier avant garde (e.g., Jarry, Artaud, Stein, Witkiewicz, Pirandello, Mayakovsky, Fleisser, early Brecht). Special attention to issues of gender, class, warfare and other personal/political foci. Attendance may be required at selected performances.

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 218 Modern European Drama 1930s–present (4 Credits)

Pioneering and influential contemporary theatre in Europe from the 1930s to the present. The playwrights to be studied may include later Brecht, Camus, Sartre, Anouilh, Gombrowicz, Carr, Kirkwood, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, Duras, Handke, Fo, Havel, Schimmelpfennig, Page, Mrozek, Loher and Churchill. Special attention to issues of gender, class, warfare and other personal/political foci. Attendance may be required at selected performances. {A}{H}{L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 220 Colloquium: Asian American Drama (4 Credits)

In this course, students survey plays written by American writers of East Asian, South Asian and Southeast Asian descent, starting with the first wave of Asian American playwrights in the 1960s to more contemporary work. Students will learn the fundamentals and vocabulary of dramaturgical analysis and employ these skills in class discussion and written assignments. Intersectional identities are emphasized and readings include work by biracial, queer and transgender writers. While the focus is on reading plays, students also explore the socio-historical context of each work via reading assignments that will include critical essays, writings on the history of immigration to the U.S. from Asia and writings on the representation of Asian Americans on stage. Enrollment limited to 18. (E) {A}{L}

Fall, Variable

THE 224 Digital Theatre Workshop (4 Credits)

Students will produce Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in a digital format that includes live and taped performance, along with elements of design (costume, set, lights, animation), editing on virtual platforms, and music. Working together with directors, design faculty and production staff, students will engage in intensive study of Julius Caesar, collaborate on all aspects of the production, with each student performing a selected role (acting, directing, designing, editing) to form a cohesive company, and develop performance that combines digital presentation and live performance. The interterm intensive course culminates in a short-form version of the play, recorded for broadcast. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 236 Colloquium: Anti-Racist Theatre (4 Credits)

In this course we look at the practice, the history and the future of theatre as an anti-racist activity. We seek to define and understand the concept of anti-racism and to look at how theatre--through performance, through structure, through training, and in other ways--can be racist or anti-racist. We look most of all at contemporary thinking, writing, organization and making around this topic. Learning together, we seek to explore and imagine how theatre--in professional, educational and other settings- -can be part of the work of anti-racism. Prerequisite: One previous course in the Theatre Department. (E) {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 242ad Acting II: Acting and Directing Actors for the Camera (4 Credits)

What is the particular nature of acting for the camera? This course examines film and television production, and develops an acting approach suited for work in film and television. Students act on camera and examine the results of their work. We work with particular emphasis on the building of a performance through the process of the shoot. A limited number of students can, with instructor approval, take the course with an emphasis on directing for the camera. Prerequisite: THE 141 or FMS 280. Enrollment limited to 12. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 242im Topics in Acting II: Improv for Actors (4 Credits)

In this class, students will learn and build upon the principles and rules of theatrical improvisation. Through theatre games and improvisational experiences, students will work towards freeing themselves physically, vocally, emotionally, and mentally, to stimulate spontaneity, creativity, imagination, self-expression and the collaborative spirit. Prerequisites: one semester of acting or one semester of dance. Enrollment limited to 12. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 242pt Acting II: Physical Theatre (4 Credits)

This course explores significant points of access to Physical Theatre for actors and directors, including experiential research and practice in the Method of Physical Actions, Viewpoints, Composition, Laban Movement Analysis and Authentic Movement.  Additionally, we explore the demands and expressive potentials of physically distinct styles of performance (commedia dell’arte, melodrama, corporeal mime). Prerequisites: one semester of acting or one semester of dance. Enrollment limited to 16. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 242ss Topics in Acting II-Scene Study (4 Credits)

An in-depth exploration of selected scenes from a range of theatrical works. The course will cover character development and relationships through examination, analysis, and lab based performance exercises. Prerequisite: THE 141. Enrollment limited to 16. (E)

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 242va Acting II: Verse (4 Credits)

This is a course in performance, focusing on poetic expression and heightened language in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Students research, analyze and compare selected works with particular attention to top unifying themes, rhetorical strategies and historical perspectives, attempting to understand the requisites of performance. The class has a studio component designed to develop skills in textual analysis, physical and vocal expressiveness and theatrical imagination. The course will culminate in a publicly presented production. Prerequisite: THE 141. Enrollment limited to 12. {A}

Fall, Variable

THE 252 Introduction to Set Design (4 Credits)

The course develops overall design skills for designing sets for the theatre. After reading assigned plays, students learn to develop their designs by concentrating on character analysis and visualizing the action of the play. Visual research, sketches, basic drafting skills and model building are some of the areas in which students learn to develop their ideas. This course also emphasizes the importance of collaborating with every member of the creative team. Enrollment limited to 12. {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

THE 253 Introduction to Lighting Design (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of stage lighting design. Over the semester, the course cultivates sensitivity towards the expressiveness of light and the relationship between light, form and space, eventually learning to manipulate light to articulate ideas. Through script analyses and design projects, students learn to understand the power of light in enhancing stage presentations, acquire skills in illuminating the drama and apply such skills to collaboration with the production team at large. Through hands-on exercises in the lab and in the theatres, students also become familiar with the mechanical aspects of lighting: instrumentation, control systems and safe electrical practice. Enrollment limited to 12. {A}

Spring

THE 254 Intro to Costume Design (4 Credits)

The elements of line, texture and color, and their application to design and character delineation. Research of clothing styles of various cultures and eras. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}

Fall, Spring

THE 261 Writing for the Theatre I (4 Credits)

The means and methods of the playwright and the writer for television and the cinema. Analysis of the structure and dialogue of a few selected plays. Weekly and biweekly exercises in writing for various media. Goal for beginning playwrights: to draft a one-act play by the end of the semester. Plays by students are considered for staging. Writing sample and instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring

THE 262 Writing for the Theatre II (4 Credits)

Intermediate and advanced script projects. Prerequisite: THE 261. Writing sample and instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring

THE 312ld Topics: Masters and Movements in Performance: Contemporary Latine Drama (4 Credits)

From Chavez Ravine in LA to a Brechtian telenovela set in Mexico, Contemporary Latine Drama explores Latine stories as told through the lens of dramatic performance. Readings and discussions will engage with different forms of theatre; from standard plays and one-person shows to a radio play and more. This course will cover a variety of subject matter from recent history up to the present. Spotlit writers include; Karen Zacarías, Octavio Solis, isaac gomez, Culture Clash, María Irene Fornés, Tanya Saracho, Luis Alfaro, Eduardo Machado, y más. (E) {A}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 312vd Topics in Masters and Movements: Performance-Verbatim Documentary Theatre (4 Credits)

This course explores—through reading, viewing and making—theatre created using documentary sources, including interviews, found texts, historical documents and other sources. Students explore the dramatic, social and political implications of this work, while considering notions of authenticity and authority derived from direct testimony, documentary sources and community involvement. Students also explore the tension between maintaining truth and creating dramatic shape, theatricality and audience engagement. Readings and viewings will include the work of theatre-makers such as Anna Deveare Smith, Moises Kaufman and many others. Students in the course also create original work. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 312ya Topics in Masters and Movements in Performance: Theatre for Young Audiences (4 Credits)

In this class, students will work with a variety of teaching styles focused on introducing elementary and middle school-aged children to the creative and collaborative process of theater. Through games, improvisation and the fundamentals of theatrical storytelling, classmates will also have the opportunity to adapt, design, rehearse and perform an original script appropriate for elementary through high school-aged students. Diversity, inclusion and Equity will be incorporated as students navigate the ways in which these principles become part of both a storytelling curriculum and a theatrical setting. Enrollment limited to 16. Prerequisite: Any course in Theatre or Education. (E) {A}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 313ts Masters and Movements in Drama: Contemporary Dramatizations of Teacher-Student Dynamics (4 Credits)

Educational dynamics in teacher/student relationships as dramatized on stage from the mid-20th century to the present. Discussions of race, gender, social class and cultural differences constitute central points of exploration and intersection.  Plays by BIPOC playwrights occupy a significant portion of the syllabus. e.g. Marie-Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy, Dominique Morisseau, Anna Deavere Smith, Eleanor Burgess, Nilaja Sun,  Idris Goodwin and Julia Cho. ​ {A}

Fall, Spring, Annually

THE 316 Contemporary Canadian Drama (4 Credits)

Michel Tremblay and contemporary Canadian playwrights. Emphasis on plays by and about women, within the context of political and personal issues of gender, class, race, sexuality and cultural identity in English Canadian and French Canadian and Native Canadian drama of the past five decades. Other playwrights explored are Judith Thompson, George Walker, Erika Ritter, David French, Rene Daniel DuBois, Margaret Hollingworth, Anne-Marie McDonald, Sally Clark, Tomson Highway, Hannah Moscovitch and Sharon Pollock. {A}{L}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 344 Directing I (4 Credits)

This course focuses upon interpretative approaches to dramatic texts and how they may be realized and animated through characterization, composition, movement, rhythm and style. Prerequisites: THE 141 or FMS 280. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Spring

THE 352 Set Design II (4 Credits)

This course looks at the advanced challenges when designing sets for ballet, music theatre and opera. What must the set designer consider when live music is added to each of these performing arts? Students have the opportunity to pick which ballet, music theatre and opera they want to design for from a list of productions provided by the instructor. The syllabus can also be customized to address a specific interest of a student with the instructor’s permission. The objective of this course is to build a portfolio of set designs showing the specific needs in all of the performing arts. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 353 Lighting Design II (4 Credits)

This course further explores light as a tool to illuminate, sculpt and articulate ideas and their execution on and off stage. We examine various contemporary approaches to designing for a diverse range of performing arts such as drama, dance, concert and opera. We also probe light as an expressive medium in creative realms beyond theatrical venues, and investigate its role in cinematography, digital animation, architecture, interior design, industrial design, etc. Students design lighting for the annual Spring Dance Concert and develop research and creative projects under the instructor’s individual guidance. Interdisciplinary projects are strongly encouraged. Can be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: THE 253. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Spring

THE 354 Costume Design II (4 Credits)

The integration of the design elements of line, texture, color, gesture and movement into unified production styles. Further study of the history of clothing, movement in costume, construction techniques and rendering. Production work may be required outside of the class meeting time. Prerequisites: THE 254. Instructor permission required. {A}

Spring

THE 360 Production Design for Film (4 Credits)

Filmmaking is storytelling. This story can be told by the actors or by its visuals. Every film employs a production designer who, with the director and cinematographer, is in charge of the visual design of the film. In this class we learn how a production designer breaks down a script to determine which scenes should be shot on location and which should be built as sets. Each student makes design choices for the entire script. Whether picking out locations or creating sets to be shot on a soundstage, this class examines what makes one design choice better than another. Students also learn the basic skills to communicate their designs through storyboards, photo research and drafting. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Alternate Years

THE 361 Screenwriting I (4 Credits)

The means and methods of the writer for television and the cinema. Analysis of the structure and dialogue of a few selected films. Prerequisite: THE 261 or THE 262 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12. Writing sample required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 362 Screenwriting II (4 Credits)

Intermediate and advanced script projects. Prerequisite: THE 361. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required. {A}

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 400 Special Studies (1-4 Credits)

For qualified juniors and seniors. Admission by permission of the instructor and the chair of the department.

Fall, Spring

THE 430D Honors Project (4 Credits)

This is a full-year course.

Fall, Spring, Variable

THE 431 Honors Project (8 Credits)

Fall, Spring, Annually

THE 432D Honors Project (6-12 Credits)

This is a full-year course. Please consult the director of honors or the departmental website for specific requirements and application procedures.

Fall, Spring, Annually

THE 512 Advanced Studies in Acting, Speech and Movement (4 Credits)

Fall, Spring

THE 515 Advanced Studies in Dramatic Literature, History, Criticism and Playwriting (4 Credits)

Fall, Spring

THE 580 Special Studies (4 Credits)

Fall, Spring

THE 590 Research and Thesis Production Project (4 Credits)

Fall, Spring, Annually

THE 590D Research and Thesis Production Project (4 Credits)

This is a full-year course.

Fall, Spring, Annually

Crosslisted Courses

FYS 119 Performance and Film Criticism (4 Credits)

An introduction to the elements, history and functions of criticism. How do reviewers form their critical responses to theatre and dance performances as well as to films? This course explores different critical perspectives. The students attend live performances and film and video screenings, and write their own reviews and critical responses. This course counts toward the theatre major. Enrollment limited to 16 first-years. WI {A}{L}

Fall, Spring, Variable

Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting

The Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting program, offered by the Department of Theatre, provides specialized training to candidates who have demonstrated professional promise in playwriting. The department places great emphasis on collaborative work among designers, performers, directors and writers, offering a unique opportunity for playwrights to have their work nurtured and supported by others who work with it at various levels. For more information, please refer to the MFA in Playwriting website.

Requirements

Sixty-four credit hours, including a thesis, and two years of residence are required. In a two-year sequence, a student would have eight required courses in directing, advanced playwriting and dramatic literature and a total of eight electives at the 300 level or above. 

To count toward the degree, all work must receive a grade of at least B-minus, but the degree will not be awarded to a student who has no grade above this minimum.

Courses
  • THE 512: Advanced Studies in Acting, Speech and Movement (4 credits)
  • THE 513: Advanced Studies in Design (4 credits)
  • THE 515: Advanced Studies in Dramatic Literature, History, Criticism and Playwriting (4 credits)
  • THE 580: Special Studies (4 credits)
  • THE 590: Research and Thesis Production Project (4 credits)
  • THE 590D: Research and Thesis Production Project (full-year course; 4 credits)

Elective graduate course options include all undergraduate theatre courses at the 300 level and above that are taken on a graduate level of achievement, with the recommendation that half be in dramatic literature. Electives may be chosen from acting, directing and design/technical courses. Students are also encouraged to take liberal arts courses outside of the theatre department and in the Five Colleges that are of particular interest to them and may inform their work.

Interested students may consult the graduate adviser, Leonard Berkman, 413-585-3206; email: lberkman@smith.edu.

Additional Programmatic Information

Director: Leonard Berkman

Requirements

  • 430d Thesis (8 credits)
  • 431a Thesis (8 credits)
  • 432d Thesis (12 credits)
  1. Production–linked proposals for the honors program must be submitted to the department in the semester preceding entrance into the honors program and no later than March 1 of the second semester of the junior year. Non–production–linked proposals must be submitted to the director of theatre honors no later than April 4. The department recommends that all prospective theatre honors students enter the program at the outset of the junior year.
  2. Fulfillment of the general requirements of the major. These should be taken as early as possible to allow for seminars and independent study in the department and in approved related departments during the junior and senior years.
  3. Completion of honors work will be: 
  • a thesis in literature, aesthetics, critical analyses or history of any of the theatre arts; or
  • a creative project in acting, dance, design, direction, playwriting, choreography or stagecraft. Performance projects should be supplemented by production materials (logs, directors' notebooks, etc.) as requested by the department. All creative projects are to be supplemented as well by a research paper relating the project to its specific theatrical context (historical, thematic, stylistic or other).
  1. Work for a one–semester thesis or project paper must be done in the first semester of the senior year; and the thesis or component research paper is due on the first day of the second semester. Work for a two–semester thesis or project/paper must be done during the senior year, and the thesis or component research paper is due on April 15.
  2. Two examinations: a general examination in the theatre arts and an oral examination in the general field of the student's honors thesis or project/paper.

The Current Season

Fall 2023

Fall 2024

New Play Reading Series
September 26 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1

Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi
directed by Monica Lopez Orozco and Max Lerin
October 23, 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre  

New Play Reading Series
November 7 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1

New Play Reading Series
November 21 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1

Fall Studio Productions: 
Authorial Intent by Itamar Moses
directed by Rachel Knell

Al Takes a Bride by Gary Sunshine
directed by Livie Johnston
December 6, 7 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Spring 2025

New Play Reading Series
February 13 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1

Scissoring by C. Quintana
directed by Kelsey Rainwater
February 26, 27, 28, March 1 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

New Play Reading Series
March 27 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1

New Play Reading Series
April 10 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
directed by Daniel Kramer 
April 23, 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 PM
Theatre 14 

Spring Studio Productions:
May 1, 2 at 7:30 PM
Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

Auditions

EVERYBODY

by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Tara Franklin

This modern riff on the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from amongst the cast by lottery at each performance) as they journey through life’s greatest mystery—the meaning of living.

Contact/Questions

Production Manager, Nikki Beck, ncbeck@smith.edu   
Director, Tara Franklin, tfranklin@smith.edu

Sunday, January 28 and Monday, January 29, 7:00-9:00 PM   
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall CPA   
Please let us know if you are interested but unable to make either date.   
Callbacks will be on Tuesday, January 30.

April 24, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 PM in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre

This play is written for a company of nine performers of varying generations and gender and ethnic identities. The exact breakdown of roles should vary from performance to performance via lottery or some other element of chance.

USHER/GOD/UNDERSTANDING: played by an actual usher or at least it should initially seem so.

DEATH: played by the oldest actor in the company.

SOMEBODIES: played by five actors until they become something else.

EVERYBODY: played by a Somebody (as determined by chance).

FRIENDSHIP/STRENGTH/KINSHIP/BEAUTY/COUSIN/MIND/STUFF/SENSES: played by remaining Somebodies.

GIRL/TIME: played by a young child stolen from the audience - or at least it should initially seem so.

LOVE: played by an audience member - or at least it should initially seem so. A, B, C, & D: voiced by Somebodies not playing Everybody.

No appointment necessary. Sides from the script will be available at the audition for cold reads. No preparation necessary. Perusal scripts available at Josten Library. 

Spring 2024

Theatre 200 Meeting
Monday, January 29 at 4:30 p.m. 
in the Mendenhall CPA Green Room (T114)
Email ncbeck@smith.edu for more information.

Mendenhall Tour
Email Nikki Beck if you are interested!

To join the department of theatre mailing list, please email Production Manager Nikki Beck (ncbeck@smith.edu).

Theatre in Performance

Smith’s theatre department presents an adventurous mix of plays from a variety of cultures, periods and genres. Opportunities are plentiful for students—majors and non-majors—to audition for and participate in productions at Smith and at the other four colleges.

PERFORMANCE CALENDAR

Faculty

Emeriti

Andrea Hairston
Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor Emerita of Theatre

John Hellweg
Professor Emeritus of Theatre

Ellen Kaplan
Professor Emerita of Theatre

Paul Zimet
Professor Emeritus of Theatre

Staff

Tilly Adams
Assistant Costume Shop Director

Nikki Beck
Production Manager

Emily Justice Dunn
Costume Shop Director

Celadry June Humphries
Assistant Technical Director

Shelley Latham
Publicity Manager for the Performing Arts

 

Ella Longpre
Academic Administrative Assistant

Amy Putnam
Technical Director

David Wiggall
Lighting and Sound Supervisor

Sena Yacteen
Assistant Lighting and Sound Supervisor

Facilities for Theatre

The MFA in Playwriting

The Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting program, offered by the Department of Theatre, is a unique opportunity for writers to work collaboratively with designers, performers, directors and other writers.

THE MFA IN PLAYWRITING

Performance of Steel Magnolias

Contact Department of Theatre

Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3201

Academic Administrative Assistant
Ella Longpre