Theatre Arts

College of Arts and Humanities

Division of Performing, Visual and Digital Arts



Theatre Education

Theatre Performance



Subject Matter Preparation Program

(for requirements, refer to the English section in this catalog)



Bill DeLuca, Coordinator

Rex Heuschkel, Donis Leonard, Peter Rodney, Sydell Weiner

Victoria Miller, Secretary

Program Office: UTC A-101, (310) 243-3588


Emeritus Faculty

Jack Vaughn


Program Description

The Theatre Arts Program offers courses in the fields of acting and directing, design and technical theatre, theatre history, dramatic literature, speech, and drama for the classroom.  Course requirements for both the major and the minor programs provide for flexibility and allow students considerable choice in planning their academic careers.

The Major is a generalist Liberal Arts degree, preparing the student in all areas of theatre practice (Performance, Design/Tech, and Literature/History). The Performance Minor focuses on acting and directing, while the Theatre Education Minor doubles as both a general program and a preparation for future teachers. Theatre Arts Majors are also permitted to take their minor requirement in our Speech Minor, which prepares students for a variety of speaking opportunities, and includes a semester of work with our highly successful Forensics Team.

The area of Theatre Arts is closely affiliated with the Division of Performing, Visual and Digital Arts at CSU Dominguez Hills.  Students often collaborate with others in Music, Dance, TV Studies, and Audio Recording.



All Theatre Arts Majors and Minors participate in the department’s ambitious production program through acting, scenery design and construction, lighting, stage management, box office operations, and the student-directed one-act program.  Students receive academic credit for such participation, and individual attention from faculty to a degree seldom possible in larger universities.  Also, the ability of a freshman or sophomore Theatre Arts major to secure a leading role in a major production assignment is far more likely than at a larger university.

The Theatre Arts program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).  NAST is located at 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Ste. 21, Reston, VA  22090.


Academic Advisement

The Theatre Arts Program places great importance on the advisement process.  We request that students, upon completion of 60 semester hours, meet with their respective advisors for consultation concerning the remainder of their time at the University.  Advisement is far more than simply answering the question, “Which course shall I take?”  Advisors serve as career counselors, concerned friends, and professionals who help bridge the gap between the world of the university and the world of the working artist.  Advisors are resources to be cultivated and used for the betterment of the student.

Dedication and commitment are the keys to the successful pursuit of a career in theatre arts. To help students achieve high academic and production standards, the department requires all Theatre majors and minors to pass their required classes with a “C” grade or better. Students who do not register this grade will have to “Repeat and Cancel” that course in a following semester.



The Theatre Arts Program strongly suggests that students wishing to major in theatre arts be able to deal effectively with the English language.  Six to eight courses of college preparatory English are advised. 

In addition, students should have a strong background in vocal skills and basic movement capabilities.  Since the theatre affects and makes use of the whole person, awareness and development of the human body and voice are equally as important as the development of the human mind. Therefore, students are urged to take courses in speech, diction, singing, dance, fencing and physical education. 


Career Possibilities

Recent projections from the U.S. Department of Labor indicate that opportunities in the field of acting are expanding, as a result of the establishment of year-round professional acting companies in cities, the growth of summer and winter stock companies, outdoor and regional theatre, repertory companies and dinner theatres.  A large number of actors and actresses, as well as other talented personnel, are employed by Commercial television, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), UHF stations and Cable Television companies. Also, opportunities exist in university theatre and community recreation programs.

Many graduates of the Theatre Arts program find secondary careers in the field of education. Our Majors, and especially our Theatre Education Minors, learn how to adapt theatre games, improvisation, pantomime and storytelling, to help their students in primary and secondary classrooms to develop social, communication, creative and problem solving skills. Our graduates are also prepared to direct, design, and write full-length productions for high schools.

Related careers available to graduates of the CSU Dominguez Hills Department of Theatre Arts include the following occupations:  actor, actress, costumer, playwright, fashion designer, set designer, lighting designer, director, producer, theatre historian, technician, theatre manager, makeup artist, drama coach, announcer, recreation director, dancer, musician, entertainer, public relations person, sales representative, model, merchandising person, lawyer, critic, carpenter, press agent, dramatic agent, and governor of California.


Student Organizations

Toro Forensics is an award-winning Speech team that competes annually in Public Speaking, Debate, and Oral Interpretation tournaments held throughout Southern California. Students acquire excellent training in speech support, articulation, organization, and non-verbal delivery skills.

Teatro Dominguez is designed for students (not necessarily future actors) who are interested in providing high quality theatrical programs that inform, delight, and promote cross-cultural understanding in the Dominguez communities.  As actors, directors, discussion leaders, stage managers, playwrights, and business managers, members receive a full experience in developing life skills that will make them effective leaders in tomorrow’s pluralistic society.

The New African Grove Black Theatre Program (BTP) provides courses, touring shows and workshops that illuminate the Black experience for people of all ages and ethnic groups. BTP also offers academic scholarships to students interested in playing a leadership role in promoting African-American arts on campus.


Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may graduate with Honors in Theatre Arts provided that the following criteria are met:

1.   A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;

2.   A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in Theatre Arts;

3.   Recommendation by the faculty in the department or program in which the honors are to be awarded.

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree

See the “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.


Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 units.


General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the “General Education” requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.


Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the “Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement” in the University Catalog.


Minor Requirements

Students completing this major will need to complete a minor in another field.


Major Requirements (35 units)

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.


A.   Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

THE 251.     Script Analysis (3)

THE 264.     Acting I (3)


B.  Upper Division Required Courses (29 units)

1.   Required Courses (23 units)

THE 342.       Design/Tech I: Fundamentals of Theatre Design (3)

THE 343.       Design/Tech II: The Design Experience (3)

THE 346.       Theatre Workshop (1, 1, 1)

THE 355.       World Theatre and Drama I (3)

THE 357.       World Theatre and Drama II (3)

THE 364.       Acting II (3)

THE 374.       Stage Directing (3)

THE 499.       Senior Project (2)

2.   Elective Courses - select two courses from the following
(6 units):

THE 322.       Oral Interpretation of Literature (3)

THE 339.       Multicultural Children’s Theatre (3)

THE 353.       Playwriting (3)

THE 464.       Acting III (3)

THE 490.       Seminar in Theatre Arts (3)

THE 495.       Special Topics in Theatre (3)

Minor in Theatre Performance (17 units)

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

THE 251.     Script Analysis (3)

THE 264.     Acting I (3)


B.  Upper Division Requirements (11 units)

1.   Required Courses (4-5 units)

THE 346.       Theatre Workshop (1,1)

THE 364.       Acting II (3)

THE 374.       Stage Directing (3)

THE 464.       Acting III (3)

Minor in Theatre Education     

(16-17 units)

A.   Upper Division Required Courses (16-17 units)

THE 337.     Creative Dramatics (3)

THE 339.     Multicultural Children’s Theatre (3)

THE 342.     Design/Tech I: Fundamentals of Theatre Design (3)

THE 346.     Theatre Workshop (1-2)

THE 355.     World Theatre and Drama I (3) or

THE 357.     World Theatre and Drama II (3)

THE 374.     Stage Directing (3)

Minor in Speech (13 units)

A.   Upper Division Required Courses (13 units)

THE 320.     Speech Skills and Techniques (3)

THE 322.     Oral Interpretation of Literature (3)

THE 326.     Persuasion (3)

THE 329.     Forensics Workshop (2,2)


B.  Recommended Course

THE 323.     Interpersonal Communication (3)

Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.


Lower Division

THE 100  Television, Film
and Theatre (3).

Appreciation of the performing arts of television, film, and the live theatre through the viewing of films and videotapes, as well as attendance at plays and musicals.

THE 120  Fundamentals of Speech (3).

Introduction to the basic principles of speech communication. Classes cover the use of organization and evidence in speech preparation, and emphasize research and preformance techniques. Students develop speeches for a variety of topics and situations. A-C/NC grading.

THE 160  Acting for Non-majors (3).

Introductory course for non-majors who wish to develop awareness and control of the voice and body while building self-confidence, and improving concentration and imagination.

 THE 251 Script Analysis (3).

A study of classical and contemporary dramas in terms of plot, character, theme, and language. Students analyze one script per week.

THE 264  Acting I (3).

An integrative approach to the actor’s emotional, intellectual, physical, and vocal tools. Exercises in characterization, voice, and movement will be emphasized.


Upper Division

THE 320  Speech Skills
and Techniques (3).

Effective and persuasive oral communication in a variety of situations: formal address, group discussion interviews, chairing of meetings, and others. Of particular value for Liberal Studies majors, managers and business persons.

THE 322  Oral Interpretation
of Literature (3).

Principles and practice in the effective delivery of readings in drama, poetry, and prose.

THE 323  Interpersonal
Communication (3).

Prerequisite: THE 120.

Introductory study of interpersonal communication in face-to-face interaction; consideration of interpersonal roles, needs, barriers, perceptions, and adaptation.

THE 326  Persuasion (3).

Discussion of techniques in argumentation and debate; logic, reasoning, and fallacies of reasoning; gathering and testing of evidence, construction of bases, and skills of refutation; practical application through debates about current issues.

THE 329  Forensics Workshop (2).

Intercollegiate competition in debate, persuasive speaking, oral interpretation, reader’s theatre, and other competition events. Independent projects in specialized fields. (Only 4 units may be used toward the minor.) Repeatable course. Six hours of production per week.

THE 337  Creative Dramatics (3).

Creating, planning and assessing dramatic exercises, including theatre games, pantomime, and improvisation. Of particular value to prospective teachers of young children.

THE 339  Multicultural Children’s
Theatre (3).

Analysis of educational theatre, multicultural plays, and folktales. Students discuss educational theatre production and how to create culturally-enriching programs at K-12 schools.

THE 342  Design/Tech I: Fundamentals of Theatre Design (3).

A course in Theatre Arts Utilizing research, discussion and workshop demonstrations in order to integrate the six major areas of theatre design: scenery, costume, lighting, makeup, properties and audio.

THE 343  Design/Tech II:
The Design Experience (3).

Prerequisites: THE 243.

Students are assigned design projects both on and off campus, where they can apply their skills. Students will work under the supervision of lead and/or master designers.

THE 346  Theatre Workshop (1-2).

Participation in any aspect of campus theatre or television production including (but not limited to) acting, stage management, scenery, lighting, costume, construction, audio, properties, box office, promotion, and running crews. This participation includes attendance at Theatre Arts productions for the semester enrolled.

THE 353  Playwriting (3).

Theory and practice in writing for the stage. Students explore plotting, characterization, and dialogue; scenes and short plays are submitted for discussion and evaluation.

THE 355  World Theatre and Drama I (3).

History and literature of the theatre from its origins through the 16th century. Emphasis on production styles, cultural background and literary trends.

THE 357  World Theatre and
Drama II (3).

History and literature of the theatre from the 16th century to the present with emphasis on production styles, cultural background and literary trends.

THE 364 Acting II (3).

Prerequisites: THE 264 or consent of instructor.

The actor’s approach to a role, including text and character analysis. Performance of scenes from plays. Vocal work on dialects with concentration on melody, rhythm, and sound substitutions. Beginning movement work in body alignment, centering and balance.

THE 374  Stage Directing (3).

Prerequisites: THE 264 is recommended.

Theories and techniques of directing for professional or educational play production. Students develop the ability to research, analyze and conceptualize in order to plan the rehearsal and performance of a play script. Attendance at the Theatre Arts two mainstage productions is required.

THE 464  Acting III (3).

Prerequisites: THE 264 and THE 364 or consent of instructor.

Study and performance of period scenes involving methods of approaching various types of plays and specific problems they present the actor. Emphasis on the synthesis of analysis, action, characterization, subtext, vocal problems posed by verse and exploration of advanced movement techniques.

THE 490  Seminar in Theatre Arts (3).

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Discussion and exploration of advanced problems in Theatre Arts. Intensive study of one or more subjects relating to the theatre and drama. Three hours of seminar per week.

THE 494  Independent Study
in Theatre Arts (1-3).

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and department chair.

Investigation of a single topic, chosen
in consultation with a faculty member, culminating in a paper, presentation, or project. Repeatable course.

THE 495  Special Topics in Theatre (1-3).

Study of a single topic in drama and theatre, to be determined by the instructor. Topic varies each offering. Repeatable course. One to three hours of lecture
per week.

THE 496  Off-Campus Internship (1).

Prerequisites: THE 326 and THE 328.

Directed work experience in the industries of local professional theatre, cable television, broadcast stations and networks, production houses, or motion picture studios under the supervision of a professionally-qualified mentor. CR/NC grading only. Repeatable course. Ten hours of work experience per week.

THE 499  Senior Project (2).

A capstone course culminating in the production of a final, collaborative project. Selected in consultation with and evaluated by a faculty panel.

Infrequently Offered Courses

The following courses are scheduled on a “demand” basis. Students should consult the department office for information about the next schedule offering.


THE 367  Acting for the Camera (3).

Prerequisite: THE 160 or consent of instructor.

Techniques of directing and performing before the camera. Scenes and presentations will be videotaped both in the studio and on location.

THE 453  Contemporary Drama (3).

A study of plays by American and international writers from the last twenty-five years. Emphasis on the works of playwrights from traditionally underrepresented groups.