Why Study Theatre?
Whether you're ready to take the stage or build it, you'll find your place in theatre at Aquinas. With a leading-edge facility and the addition of a new theatre department director, our program is setting a new standard of excellence.
In 2003, the $7-million Aquinas College Performing Arts Center (in collaboration with Aquinas College, Community Circle Theatre and Grand Rapids Catholic Secondary Schools) had its Grand Opening Season. It's a cooperative effect that brings extraordinary theatre to our community and our students.
How We're Different
Aquinas is the only four-year private school in the Grand Rapids area that offers a theatre major.
The program is part of a unique collaboration with Circle Theatre and the League of Catholic High Schools, the only one of its kind in the nation, allowing for a variety of performance, teaching, and technical training opportunities.
The department produces four to five fully-mounted shows a year, with a focus on contemporary plays, musicals, and adaptations.
The department offers three different 21-credit concentrations (performance, technical, and general) in addition to a 27-credit core.
Aquinas offers up to four talent scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfers, based on audition (for performers) or portfolio (for designers, stage managers, and directors).
Students have had internships at all of the major theatres in the Grand Rapids as well as at The Purple Rose in Chelsea and in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.
Students leave with more acting and design credits than majors from other colleges because they have access to unparalleled opportunities for building their resumes from arrival on campus, rather than waiting years to see stage time or shadow designers.
In recent years, a wide roster of visiting playwrights and designers from around the nation have spent time on campus, giving students exposure to the development and production of new work and creating networking connections.
The department has toured children’s productions to local underserved schools with shows like Rising Sun Rising Moon, Brave Little, Tailor, The Troll and the Elephant Prince, and the Operation: Play! program, which dramatizes stories written by local elementary school children
Students are individually coached in their futures after graduation, learning how to market their skills not only in professional theatre, but as rare and marketable skills required for alternative career paths.
Forty-eight (48) credit hours in Theatre: the core (27 credits) and one concentration or “track” (21 credits) selected from the following options: performance (acting and/or directing), technical studies, creative dramatics or general studies.
Theatre Major core required courses:
TE/EH217 Dramatic Literature
TE242 Script Analysis
TE361 Theatre History I
TE362 Theatre History II
TE141 Acting I
TE244 Directing I
TE399 Senior Capstone Project/Independent Study
Five (5) credits of Theatre Practica (TE253 and TE341) at least one credit in each area, counts for mainstage production and the Children's tour only
General Studies Track Requirements
TE130 Intro to Theatre Design
TE241 Acting II
TE278 Dance Sampler
TE 352 Script Writing
Nine (9) credits of theatre electives.