Theatre : About The Program

About Our Degrees

Acceptance Criteria

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum grade of C+ in all required courses.
Minimum GPA of 2.5 in prerequisite courses.

Degree Requirements

Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Facilities

The $50 million Center for the Arts benefits UB students directly through outstanding public performance and exhibition facilities. The center houses the Departments of Art, Media Study, and Theatre & Dance, showcasing both academic and public presentations of the arts in their many intriguing and interdisciplinary forms. The Department of Music is housed in adjacent Slee and Baird Halls, allowing music students to also discover a genuine intermingling of the arts.

Theatre students have a variety of theatres and studios in which to work and learn. The range and complexity of theatre spaces allow students great versatility in their professional preparation. Supporting this effort are excellent shop facilities for costumes, scenery, properties, paint, and makeup.

The 400-seat Drama Theatre is intimate, with inviting decor and technical advantages that make it ideally suited to theatre and dance department productions. The orchestra pit can accommodate approximately forty musicians.

The 1,800-seat Main Stage Theatre houses the majority of the professional touring companies that perform at the Center for the Arts. It features a custom-built orchestra shell, allowing stage concerts to take place without the need for microphones and speakers. Computer-controlled panels on the walls of the auditorium are designed to adjust the acoustics at the touch of a button.

The twin black box theatres allow almost any kind of theatrical presentation. A 200-seat media study screening room can be used for departmental programming, as well as for the public presentation of films, speakers, panel discussions, poetry readings, and press conferences. Dance studios are spacious with Marley covered maple wood floors engineered for maximum resiliency, twelve-foot mirrors, upper-level observation spaces, and specially designed sound systems.

UB theatre and dance students also work regularly at Alleyway Theatre, Artpark, Buffalo United Artists, Irish Classical Theatre Co., MusicalFare, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Studio Arena Theatre, Theatre of Youth, and Western New York-affiliated Dance Masters of America dance establishments. Buffalo's Studio Arena is a LORT theatre located in the heart of the downtown theatre district.

About Our Courses

Suggested Introductory Courses

The typical class size for:
  • Freshman/introductory courses is: 20-50
  • Sophomore/intermediate courses is: 16-35
  • Upper level/advanced courses is: 10-20

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

Our theatre faculty has extensive professional experience which includes directing, designing, dramaturgy, and acting in both on and Off-Broadway productions and in major theaters such as the Guthrie Theatre, New York Public Theatre, Irish Classical Theatre, Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Kavinoky, Alleyway, ArtPark, and MusicalFair, Steppenwolf, Shea's Buffalo, Virginia Stage. Many are active members in the professional unions and continue their professional theatrical activities in Buffalo and elsewhere. Faculty specialties include acting, directing, voice, experimental theatre, design, theatre technology, and dramaturgy. Literature courses are taught by faculty who regularly publish in leading academic journals and whose books have been published by such presses as Yale University Press and Routledge, and in major international venues.

The faculty have received their training and previously taught in leading theatre schools such as Carnegie-Mellon, Juilliard, New York University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Northwestern University and major institutions in Europe.

See a list of our Undergraduate Faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Notable Program Features

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers BA and BFA degree programs in which students may study a broad range of production, design, technology, performance, historical, and literary aspects of theatre, dance, and music theatre. A central curriculum of courses is shared by all theatre, dance, and music theatre majors from which students go on to pursue separate majors in theatre, dance, music theatre, or theatre and dance areas. Auditions/portfolio review are required for entrance into the BA Dance and all BFA programs.

In theatre, there is a full sequence of courses in theatre technology and design, acting, playwriting, directing, history, dramaturgy, and dramatic literature. In dance, there is a full sequence of courses in jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, tap, choreography, teaching methods, history, and research.

Performance and production are essential parts of the curriculum, providing hands-on learning experiences. There are four performance spaces in the Center for the Arts: the Drama Theatre with 400 seats and the 1,800-seat Main Stage, and two multipurpose black box spaces. The Katharine Cornell Theatre provides performance opportunities for student-directed productions. The department's Zodiaque Dance Company and Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble Company perform at the university and present in the community; membership is by audition held at the beginning of the fall semester. Emerging Choreographers Showcase, featuring the work of student choreographers by invitation of the dance faculty, performs in the spring semester. These auditions are open to all University at Buffalo students, regardless of major.

The Theatre and Music Theatre programs both offer one major proscenium production and one black box production each year. Recent works include: Blood Wedding, Urinetown, The Rocky Horror Show, Merrily We Roll Along, A Winter's Tale, The Trial, The Good Women of Szechuan, Steel Pier, Spinning into Butter. These performance opportunities are augmented by classroom projects that culminate in a performance at the end of each semester, as well as "Poor Theatre," directed by the faculty.

The Theatre and Music Theatre programs both offer one major proscenium production and one black box production each year. Recent works include: Merrily We Roll Along, A Winter's Tale, The Trial, The Good Women of Szechuan, Steel Pier, Spinning into Butter. These performance opportunities are augmented by classroom projects that culminate in a performance at the end of each semester, as well as "Poor Theatre," directed by the faculty.

Students may shape the courses that complete the requirements for the BA Theatre major by following sequences in areas such as performance, design/tech, directing, history, dramaturgy, and dramatic literature.

Special Majors, Double Majors, and Joint Majors

Students can design their major to fit their specific needs. Theatre can be combined with:

Awards
  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Departmental Award
  • College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior Award
  • Julia Pardee Prize [Awarded for excellence in writing in theatre or dance]
  • Perry Watkins Scholarship for African Americans


The Perry Watkins Scholarship is available to African American freshman students majoring in design/technology. Auditions, portfolios, and a personal interview are required for all scholarships.

Extracurricular Activities

The Guild is managed entirely by students. It hosts opening night receptions, is the liaison among department faculty, staff and students and produces evenings of new works by students.

Dancers Workshop, a student-run organization, also generates a production annually. Workshop advisors are members of the faculty. The Guild, a student theatre and dance organization, develops and supports student-directed workshop productions.

From the Wings is a student organization that offers non-credit performance opportunities for, but not limited to, music theatre majors. Faculty advisors are members of the music theatre faculty.

See the UB Student Association.

Complementary Programs and Courses

Majors that Complement Theatre

Minors that Complement Theatre

Courses Outside the Major that Could Improve Employment Opportunities

Links to Further Information About this Program

Updated: 10 Apr 2014 10:05:44 EDT