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Departments

Theatre and Dance

College of Arts and Humanities
Kennedy Theatre 115
1770 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7677
Fax: (808) 956-4234
Web: www.hawaii.edu/theatre

Faculty

*Graduate Faculty

*W. D. Carroll, PhD (Chair)—playwriting, directing, theory
*G. Lizenbery, BFA (Director of Dance)—modern dance, kinesiology, movement analysis
*P. Gaither Adams, MFA—modern dance, choreography
*D. Anteau, MFA—lighting, technical theatre
*K Burns, MFA—dance and theatre education
*G. Cannon, AB—acting, directing, TV/film
*J. Dodd, MFA—scene design
*S. Finney, MA—costume design
*E. Fisher, DAD—modern techniques, dance history, choreography
*T. Hunt, PhD—theater for children, puppetry, creative drama
*J. Iezzi, PhD—Asian theater
*R. Long, PhD—Asian theater, acting
*L. O’Malley, PhD—theater history, dramatic literature
*K. Pauka, PhD—Asian theater
*J. Van Zile, MA—dance ethnology, notation
*M. Wessendorf, PhD—dramatic literature, theory
*E. Wichmann-Walczak, PhD—Asian theater

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

M. Cristofori, MA, MBA—theory and dance history
H. Glass, MA—improvisation, choreography
P. Leong, MA—Asian theater, movement
M. Wong, MA—modern dance, choreography

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in dance, BA in theatre, BFA in dance theatre, MA in dance, MA in theatre, MFA in dance, MFA in theatre, PhD in theatre

The Academic Program

The Department of Theatre (THEA) and Dance (DNCE) is comprised of two separate but related disciplines.

Theatre includes the study of dramatic literature and theory; acting and directing; stage, costume, and lighting design; stagecraft; playwriting; and Asian and youth theater. Imaginative and creative individuals interested in the disciplined, practical application of classroom theory are suitable candidates as theater majors. Teaching and professional stage, film, and television work are typical professions of theater majors, but the analytical and practical skills, discipline and self-confidence, creativity, problem solving, and ability to work toward common production goals are applicable to all professions. The theater major will benefit from a comprehensive curriculum that includes the world’s most noted Asian theater program and a nationally respected youth theater program.

Dance is the art of human motion. It encompasses the study of human movement as it relates to the physical sciences, music, theater performance and production, history, cultural context, education, visual design, and human expression. Dance majors find careers in the areas of performance, choreography, teaching, arts administration and production, therapy, history and criticism, and research. UH Manoa’s dance program offers comprehensive theory courses and a wide variety of dance techniques and styles. The program is considered unique with its offerings in dance ethnology and Asian and Pacific dance.

Affiliations

The department’s Asian theater program is affiliated with the Association for Asian Performance.

The dance program is affiliated with the American College Dance Festival Association and the Council of Dance Administrators.

Advising

After being admitted as majors in the theater program, undergraduates must consult each semester with the theater undergraduate adviser. Newly admitted theater graduate students should consult each semester with the director of graduate studies in theater for initial advising. After one year of study, a graduate student is expected to select from the graduate faculty a permanent adviser well-versed in the area of the student’s concentration.

In dance, undergraduate majors must consult with the dance undergraduate adviser every semester. Graduate students must consult with the director of graduate studies in dance each semester.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

BA in Theatre

Students must complete 42 credit hours, including:

  • THEA 240, 311, 312, 411, and 412
  • Two courses in Asian theater (one in theory/history/literature, one in performance)
  • One course each in acting, voice/movement, directing, design, and youth theater
  • 6 credits of theater workshop
  • Recommended additional courses: ART 101, DNCE 150 or 255, MUS 106 or 107, and PHIL 200

BA in Dance

This degree is designed for students with a broad interest in dance and allows them maximum flexibility to satisfy requirements in greatest areas of interest.

Students must complete 40 credit hours: 29 credits of required courses and 11 of elective courses. BA majors are required to register for and attend a technique course each semester and must be involved in a UH dance production once each year. Elective credit hours are determined in consultation with an adviser and based on the student’s desired focus within dance, such as children’s dance, choreography, dance ethnology, or dance science.

Requirements

  • DNCE 151, 255, 260, 360 or 361, 370 or 490, 452 or 453
  • THEA 200
  • 12 credits of dance technique at the 200 level or above, including:
  • 3 credits in ballet
  • 3 credits in modern dance
  • 3 credits from two different Asian/Pacific dance forms
  • 11 credits of electives to be selected from:
  • DNCE 250, 360, 361, 362, 370, 371, 372, 452, 453, 459, 470, 471, 480, 490, 499, 660, 693
  • THEA 200

BA Dance students are required to participate in at least one (1) UH dance production per year (eg., student dance concerts, mainstage dance concerts, UH dance ensemble).

Graduation requirements include the submission of a portfolio of student work eight (8) weeks into the student’s final semester, an exit interview, and a written assessment of the student’s tenure at UH Manoa.

BFA in Dance Theatre

This program is designed for students who wish to pursue professional careers as dancers, teachers, and/or choreographers. Admission to the program is by audition held annually. Interested students should notify the Department of Theatre and Dance as early as possible since the BFA requires 60 credit hours in dance, including advanced-level dance technique courses, plus 2 credit hours in theater practicum. Each semester BFA majors are required to register for and attend a technique course and must be involved in a university dance production.

Requirements

Students must complete 62 credit hours, including:

  • DNCE 151, 250, 360, 361, 362, 370, 371, 372, 452, 453
  • 1 credit hour of DNCE 495
  • 6 credit hours of DNCE 321
  • 6 credit hours of DNCE 331
  • 3 credit hours of DNCE 470 or 480
  • 2 credit hours in two different Asian or Pacific dance performance courses
  • 6 credit hours of ballet technique at the 300 level or higher (DNCE 321 or 421) or 6 credit hours of modern dance technique at the 300 level or higher (DNCE 331 or 431)
  • 6 credit hours of DNCE 421 or 431
  • 2 credit hours of THEA 200

Recommended courses

  • DNCE 255, 490, 660, 693
  • THEA 101, 221

BFA Dance students are required to participate in at least two (2) UH dance productions per year (eg., student dance concerts, mainstage dance concerts, UH dance ensemble).

Graduation requirements include the submission of a portfolio of student work eight (8) weeks into the student’s final semester, an exit interview, and a written assessment of the student’s tenure at UH Manoa.

Minor in Dance

Requirements. Students must complete 15 credit hours numbered 200-level and above, including:

  • 9 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above
  • Maximum of 9 credit hours from dance technique courses

Minor in Theatre

Requirements. Students must complete 15 credit hours in courses numbered 200 or above, including 9 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above. Participation in two departmental productions is required. Theatre minors should consult with the undergraduate theatre adviser.

Graduate Study

Most graduates, especially those with PhD degrees, pursue teaching careers, but there are many career opportunities in community theaters, dance companies, radio, television, films, and professional theaters.

The degrees in Asian theater are recognized Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) regional graduate programs. Residents of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible, upon admission, to enroll at Hawai‘i-resident tuition rates.

Master’s Degrees

Master’s Degrees in Theatre

Master’s degrees in theatre offered are the MA Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis) and the MFA Plan B (creative/performance). For the MA Plan A, the candidate does research in theater history, theory, or dramatic literature; the thesis may be in Asian, Western, or youth theater. For the MA Plan B, a generalist degree, the candidate takes additional advanced course work in lieu of writing a thesis. The MFA Plan B emphasizes creative or performance work in six concentrations: acting, directing, design, and playwriting (each of these four may include Western, Asian, and youth theater work), Asian performance, and youth theater.

Applicants must present an adequate undergraduate background and submit three letters of recommendation, as well as official scores from the GRE General Test. The department expects that all incoming graduate students will have taken at least two courses in dramatic literature and one course in each of the following four areas: acting, directing, design or technical theater, and theater history. If such courses have not been taken, they will be made up as undergraduate deficiencies while in residence for the master’s program and will not count toward the credit accumulation for the master’s degree. The TOEFL minimum score for foreign students is 600. Applicants for the MA Plan A degree are also expected to submit a major paper; those seeking the MFA degree should present appropriate supplementary materials such as slides, photographs, video, or play scripts.

Application deadline for the fall semester is February 1 (January 15 for foreign applicants). Spring semester application deadline is September 1 (August 1 for foreign applicants). Upon the successful completion of 12 graduate credit hours within the department, the elimination of any undergraduate deficiencies, and (for MFA students) the presentation of an acceptable qualifying creative project, the student may be admitted to candidacy.

Students pursuing an MA in theatre develop, with an adviser, a program appropriate for their interests (minimum of 39 credit hours). The program must include 3 credit hours in each of the following areas: research methods (THEA 600); Asian theater theory/history; Western theater theory/history; youth theater, creative drama, creative movement, or Western puppetry; Asian or Western acting or directing; design/technical theater; and graduate theater workshop (THEA 690), in which students receive 1 or 2 credit hours (depending upon extent of involvement) for working on a single Kennedy Theatre production. A minimum of 18 credit hours must be in courses numbered 600 to 798 (excluding 700); a minimum of 6 credit hours must be in Asian theater (excluding 690); credit for 699 may not exceed 9 credit hours. In addition, MA Plan A students must complete 6 credit hours of THEA 700 Thesis Research. For both MA degrees, students will take a three-hour written comprehensive examination followed by an oral examination. MA Plan A students will have an additional oral comprehensive on the written thesis.

MFA students in all concentrations will take a minimum of 60 credit hours comprised of 12 credit hours of foundation courses (3 credits in research and 9 in history and/or theory); 39 credit hours of concentration courses, including enrollment in THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop, in which students receive 1 or 2 credit hours (depending upon extent of involvement) for working on a single Kennedy Theatre production, and a culminating project for which the student will enroll in 6 credit hours of THEA 695 Creative Project; and 9 credit hours of electives. Of the total 60 credit hours, 30 must be at the 600 level or above. There is no written comprehensive examination for the MFA degree. However, the culminating project will include a written component that goes beyond the descriptive record of the project; the thesis committee, in conjunction with the candidate, will decide the nature, extent, and scope of the written component in each case. Additionally, each student will be given an oral examination on the culminating project.

To receive a list of specific recommended courses for meeting MA and MFA requirements, contact the departmental director of graduate studies. Students will select their elective courses (MA Plan A, 12 credits; MA Plan B, 18 credits; or MFA Plan B, 9 credits) in consultation with their advisers to reflect their special interests. Students with sufficient undergraduate preparation may take approved related graduate courses in other departments for credit toward their degree.

In consultation with an adviser, each MFA student develops a program appropriate for his or her interests within the specific requirements of one of the following concentrations:

Acting. For the concentration in acting, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in history and/or theory (minimum 3 credits in Asian and 3 credits in Western); 6 credits in voice; 6 credits in movement and/or dance; 12 credits in acting (minimum 3 credits in Asian and 3 credits in Western); 3 credits in additional creative/performance courses in above areas or in directing, design/technical theater, or playwriting; 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop (a minimum of 4 credits in acting and 1 credit in technical theater; 1 credit may be in design, directing, playwriting, etc.; a minimum of 2 credits in faculty-directed and 2 credits in student-directed shows); and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Design. For the concentration in design, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in history and/or theory, Asian and/or Western (minimum one 3-credit seminar); 3 credits in costume design or construction (400 level or above); 3 credits in lighting design (400 level or above); 3 credits in set design (400 level or above); 3 credits of THEA 657 Topics in Theater Design; 9 credits in additional design courses (costume, lighting, or set, 400 level or above); 6 credits in creative/performance courses (in at least two areas including acting, directing, dance, playwriting, puppetry, or theater management); 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop (minimum 4 credits in design; 2 credits may include acting, directing, playwriting, stage managing, etc.; minimum 2 credits in faculty-directed and 2 credits in student-directed shows); minimum 3 credits in Asian theater (excluding THEA 690); and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Directing. For the concentration in directing, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in history and/or theory (minimum 3 credits in Asian and 3 credits in Western, 3 credits of which must be in theory); 3 credits in script analysis; 12 credits in graduate-level directing (minimum 3 credits in Asian and 3 credits in Western); 6 credits in design/technical theater (in two areas—theater design, costume, lighting, or set); 6 credits in creative/performance courses (in at least two areas—acting, choreography, dance, movement, music, playwriting, puppetry, or voice); 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop (minimum 4 credits in directing including assistant directing and dramaturgy; 2 credits may include acting, design, playwriting, stage managing, etc.; minimum 2 credits in faculty-directed and 2 credits in student-directed shows); and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Playwriting. For the concentration in playwriting, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in history and/or theory (including 3 credits in Asian and 3 credits in Western, both at 600 level or above); 9 credits in playwriting (excluding THEA 318); 3 credits in script analysis; 3 credits in contemporary dramatic literature or theater history; 6 credits in design/technical theater (including 3 credits in lighting design); 3 credits in acting or directing (Asian or Western); 3 credits in movement, dance, or music (Asian or Western); 3 credits in puppetry or youth theater; 3 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop in dramaturgy; electives may include an additional 3 credits of THEA 690 (in acting, design, directing, playwriting, stage managing, etc.); and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Asian Performance. For the concentration in Asian performance, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in Asian theater history/theory; 9 credits in Asian acting; 6 credits in Asian/multicultural directing; 3 credits in Asian/Pacific music and dance (minimum 1 credit in music and 1 credit in dance); 3 credits in design/technical theater or playwriting; 6 credits of additional creative/performance courses in above areas or courses at the graduate level in Western acting or directing; 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop (minimum 4 credits in Asian performance—acting, directing, or puppetry; 2 credits may include other courses in acting, design, directing, playwriting, stage managing, etc.; minimum 2 credits in faculty-directed and 2 credits in student-directed shows); and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Youth Theater. For the concentration in youth theater, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in Asian and/or Western history and/or theory; 3 credits in creative drama; 3 credits in youth theater; 3 credits in puppetry; 3 credits of THEA 779 Seminar in Theater/Dance for Children; 21 credits in creative drama, creative movement, design, directing, playwriting, puppetry, and/or youth theater, including 1 to 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theater Workshop in acting, design, directing, playwriting, stage managing, etc.; minimum 3 credits in Asian theater (excluding THEA 690); and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Master’s Degrees in Dance

The department’s graduate offerings in dance include the MA Plan A (two options), the MA Plan B (two options), and the MFA Plan A. For admission to the master’s in dance program the GRE is not required; for foreign students the minimum TOEFL score is 600. The MA Plan A requires a written thesis. In Plan B, a generalist degree, the candidate takes additional course work in lieu of a thesis. The MFA Plan A requires a creative performance thesis with accompanying written documentation and video. Intended dance candidates for all degrees must present an adequate undergraduate background in dance or a related field and submit three letters of recommendation. MFA candidates in dance must also submit a video (VHS format) of their choreography and performance. MA and MFA candidates must submit a sample of written work, such as a major paper. The application deadline for the fall semester is February 1 (January 15 for foreign applicants). Spring semester application deadline is September 1 (August 1 for foreign applicants). Upon the successful completion of 12 graduate credit hours within the department, the elimination of any undergraduate deficiencies, and (for MFA students) the presentation of an acceptable example of creative work (the qualifying dance) the student may be admitted to candidacy.

The MA Plan A emphasizes research in dance ethnology or other general areas. The MA Plan A, Option I (dance ethnology emphasis) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, 653, 661, 654 or 655, and 700 (6 credit hours); 3 credit hours in 400-level Asian or Pacific performance courses; related area electives (6 credit hours); dance electives (3 credit hours); and general electives (3 credit hours). All electives must relate to thesis research. Candidates must pass a reading or speaking proficiency exam in a foreign language relevant to their area of thesis research or must satisfactorily complete four semesters of a language relevant to their area of thesis research.

MA Plan A, Option II (general) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, and 700 (6 credit hours); 9 credit hours from DNCE 321, 331, 421 or 431; 600-level dance theory electives (6 credit hours); general electives (6 credit hours); and 3 credit hours in two different Asian or Pacific dance forms.

MA Plan B, Option I (dance education emphasis) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, 691, 693, and 659 or 699; 9 credit hours from 321, 331, 421, 431; 3 credit hours in 300– to 400-level Asian or Pacific dance courses; and 9 credit hours of electives (3 credits at the 600 level). A capstone project or paper is required.

MA Plan B, Option II (general) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, and 659 or 699; 9 credit hours from 321, 331, 421, 431; 3 credit hours from 300- to 400-level Asian or Pacific dance courses; 6 credit hours of 600-level dance theory electives; 3 credit hours of 600-level electives outside of the dance area; and 6 credit hours of general electives. A capstone project or paper is required.

The MFA Plan A emphasizes performance and choreography. The MFA Plan A requires a minimum of 60 credit hours, including DNCE 421 or 431 (18 credit hours); DNCE 651, 652, 660, 661, 671, and 672 (4 credit hours); DNCE 679 (2 credit hours), 691, and 700 (6 credit hours); 2 credit hours in two different Asian or Pacific dance forms; 3 credit hours in 600-level dance electives; 6 credit hours in non-dance electives; and 1 credit hour in a general elective. MFA candidates must participate in two dance productions a year and register for attend a technique course each semester.

The nature of the required performance in productions should be determined in consultation with the student’s adviser.
MFA Plan A and MA Plan B require written comprehensive examinations and an oral defense of the examination. MA Plan A and MFA Plan A require an oral defense of the thesis.

Doctoral Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy degree given for scholarship in theater history, theory, or criticism, not creative or artistic work, is offered in three areas: (a) Western theater, (b) Asian theater, and (c) comparative Asian-Western theater. The PhD degree is not conferred for the acquisition of academic credits. It is granted only to candidates who demonstrate outstanding ability to do imaginative research and who present the results in a cogent dissertation.

A candidate for the degree is required to successfully complete three semesters of full-time residence, required courses (detailed below), other courses as deemed necessary by the student’s doctoral committee, examination in the research language(s) used in the student’s dissertation research, a written and oral comprehensive examination and an oral defense of the student’s dissertation. The minimum residence requirement is three semesters of full-time work or the equivalent in credits at the UH. At the end of the second semester in residence, the graduate faculty will provide the candidate with an assessment of her or his progress to date.

Required courses in the Western area are THEA 600, plus three other 600– to 700-level courses from a departmental list of approved courses; required courses in the Asian area are THEA 464, 465, and 466, as well as THEA 660 if the candidate’s dissertation requires field research. The curriculum of the comparative Asian-Western theater area is determined by the student’s doctoral committee. A high level of accomplishment in the foreign language or languages appropriate to the proposed area of research is required and will be determined by examination.

Proficiency in teaching, whether lecturing before large classes or teaching smaller classes and leading discussions, is considered part of the training of all PhD candidates, who should demonstrate this proficiency by giving several such lectures or by serving as teaching assistants.

Written comprehensive examinations and two hours of oral comprehensive examinations are required of all candidates before admission to candidacy. These are given after a student has completed the language requirement and before embarking on the dissertation. Written comprehensive exams shall consist of nine questions, one or more of which will specifically address the candidate’s major area of research and one or more of which may be of a special nature at the discretion of the candidate’s committee. The comprehensive includes questions on both Asian and Western drama and theater; further guidelines are available from the graduate adviser. The questions on the written portion are posed by the theater and dance graduate faculty and members of the student’s committee. The doctoral committee consists of at least five graduate faculty, of whom a majority are from the Department of Theatre and Dance and at least one from another department.

Applicants for admission to the program must submit a detailed statement of the dissertation research they propose, three letters from those acquainted with their academic work, a sample of their research (such as a seminar paper or a master’s thesis), and official GRE General Test scores. The application deadline for admission in the fall semester is February 1 (January 15 for foreign applicants). Spring semester application deadline is September 1 (August 1 for foreign applicants). Requirements include a broad background in the humanities, a master’s degree in theatre or its equivalent, and competence in dramatic production.

Candidates for the PhD who do not complete all requirements within seven years after admission into the doctoral program may be readmitted to candidacy only on the approval of the department’s doctoral faculty and the Graduate Division.

DNCE Courses

THEA Courses