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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

*P. Mitri, MFA (Chair)—acting, voice, movement
*G. Lizenbery, BFA (Associate Chair, Director of Dance)—modern dance, kinesiology, movement analysis
*E. Wichmann-Walczak, PhD (Associate Chair, Director of Theatre)—Asian theatre
*P. Gaither Adams, MFA—modern dance, choreography
*T. H. Baker, MFA—Hawaiian theatre, playwriting
*M. Branner, MFA—theatre for young audiences
*E. Fisher, DAD—modern techniques, dance history, choreography
*J. Iezzi, PhD—Asian theatre
*K. Miller, PhD—dance ethnography, visual media for dance, research
*L. O'Malley, PhD—theatre history, dramatic literature
*K. Pauka, PhD—Asian theatre
*A. Schiffner, MFA—creative dance and drama, pedagogy; dance/theatre teaching internships, research, theory
*B. Shevelenko, MFA—lighting, sound, special effects, projections
*C. Vasek, MFA —costume design
*M. Wessendorf, PhD—dramatic literature, theory

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

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

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in dance, BA (including minor) in theatre, BFA in dance, 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; Asian theatre, Hawaiian theatre, and TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences), and performance studies. Imaginative and creative individuals interested in the disciplined, practical application of classroom theory are suitable candidates as theatre majors. Teaching and professional stage, film, and television work are typical professions of theatre 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 a wide variety of industries and professions. Other fields known to actively recruit employees with a theatre degree include: advertising, animation, architecture, arts administration, business administration, design for public spaces, fashion, graphic design, human-computer interface design (HCI), landscaping, multi-media marketing, non-profit management, public relations, themed entertainment, urban design and planning, and video game design and performance. The theatre major will benefit from a comprehensive curriculum that includes the world's most noted Asian theatre program, a nationally respected TYA program, and our Hawaiian theatre offerings.

Dance is the art of human motion. It encompasses the study of human movement as it relates to the physical sciences, music, theatre 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, production, 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 culture and performance studies and Asian and Pacific dance.

Affiliations

The department belongs to the Hawai'i State Theatre Council, is an institutional member of the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology, and participates in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The Asian theatre 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 theatre program, undergraduates must consult each semester with the theatre undergraduate advisor. Each theatre major also chooses a faculty mentor to supervise their progress and help in preparation of graduation portfolio. Newly admitted theatre graduate students should consult for the first one or two semesters with the director of graduate studies in theatre for initial advising, after which each graduate student is expected to select from the graduate faculty a permanent advisor well-versed in the area of the student's concentration.

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

Undergraduate Study

BA in Theatre

This degree is designed for students with a broad interest in theatre and allows maximum flexibility to satisfy requirements in the greatest areas of interest. Incoming students may declare a BA major in Theatre on their university application.

Students must complete 42 credit hours, determined in consultation with an advisor and based on the student's interests within theatre while fulfilling the broad-based requirements in the areas of acting, directing, theatre history, Asian theatre, theatre for young audiences, design and technical theatre production:

  • THEA 240, 311, 312, 411, and 412
  • Two courses in Hawaiian, Asian, or Pacific theatre (one in theory/history/literature, one in performance)
  • One course each in acting, voice/movement, directing or playwriting, design, and theatre for young audiences
  • 6 credits of theatre workshop
  • Recommended additional courses: ART 101, DNCE 150 or 255, and MUS 106 or 107
  • 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.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

BA in Dance

This degree is designed for students with a broad interest in dance and allows them maximum flexibility to satisfy requirements in their greatest areas of interest. Incoming students may declare a BA major in Dance on their university application.

Students must complete 40 credit hours: 29 credits of required courses and 11 of elective courses. Elective credit hours are determined in consultation with an advisor and based on the student's desired focus within dance, such as teaching, choreography, dance culture and performance studies, or technical theatre production.

Course Requirements

  • DNCE 151, 255, 260, 360 or 361, 370 or 490, 452, or 453
  • THEA 200C, 200D, or 200E
  • 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 and at least one of these in Asian dance
  • 11 credits of focus electives to be selected from:
     DNCE 250, 360, 361, 362, 370, 371, 372, 452, 453, 459, 460, 470, 480, 490, 499, 660, 693, MUS 107, THEA 200, Asian and Pacific performance courses, related courses in ethnomusicology, Asian theatre, anthropology, Hawaiian studies, Pacific Island studies, or ethnic studies

Other Requirements

BA Dance students are required to participate in at least one (1) UH dance production per year (eg., student dance concerts, main stage dance concerts, as performers or crew members). BA majors are required to attend the annual end-of-year assessment class. BA majors are required to register for and attend at least one technique class per semester.

Graduation requirements include the submission of a portfolio of student work, assessment essay, exit interview, and completion of a survey.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

BFA in Dance

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, usually in April. Incoming students may declare a BA major in Dance on their university application, then audition for the BFA degree during spring semester of their first year at UH Manoa, if interested in the BFA degree program.

Course Requirements

Students must complete 62 credit hours, including:

  • DNCE 151, 250, 360, 361, 362, 370, 371, 372, 452, 453, 495
  • 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 and at least one of those in Asian dance
  • 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 200C, 200D, or 200E

Other Requirements

BFA Dance students are required to participate in at least two (2) UH dance productions per year. At least one must be in a performance capacity. Attendance at the BFA audition/end of year assessment class is required each year by the BFA major. Prior to the senior project, BFA students must audition choreography for a fall or spring student concert by the sixth semester of the dance major. BFA majors are required to register for a technique course every semester.

Graduation requirements include the submission of a portfolio of student work, assessment essay, exit interview, and completion of a survey.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Minor in Dance

Course Requirements

Students must complete 15 credit hours numbered 200 level and above, including nine credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above. A maximum of 9 credit hours from dance technique courses may be designated for the minor. Dance minors should consult with the undergraduate advisor.

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. Courses must include one from performance, one from technical theatre, and one from history/literature. Participation in two departmental productions is required. Theatre minors should consult with the undergraduate theatre advisor.

Graduate Study

Most graduates, especially those with PhD degrees, pursue teaching careers, but there are many career opportunities in professional theatres and dance companies, radio, television, films, and community theatres, as well as the wide variety of other fields which actively recruit those with theatre degrees.

The degrees in Asian theatre 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 therefore eligible, upon admission, to enroll at Hawai'i-resident tuition rates.

Master’s Degrees in Theatre

Master's degrees offered in theatre include the MA Plan A (thesis) in two areas: (a) Theatre, and (b) Performance Studies; Plan B (non-thesis), and the MFA Plan B (creative/performance).

For the MA Plan A, the candidate writes a thesis in Asian or Western theatre (history, theory, or dramatic literature), or in Performance Studies. 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 seven concentrations: acting, directing, design, and playwriting (each of these four may include Western, Asian, Hawaiian, and TYA), Asian performance, Hawaiian Theatre, and TYA.

Applicants must present an adequate undergraduate background and submit three letters of recommendation. The department expects that all incoming graduate students will have taken at least two courses in dramatic literature or theatre history, and one course in each of the following three areas: acting, directing, and design or technical theatre. 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 500/61 (paper/internet) or IELTS overall band test result of 6.00 (600/100 for TOEFL and 7.0 for IELTS for Graduate Assistantship applicants). 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 portfolios, video of acting audition material or material directed, or play scripts.

Application deadline for the fall semester is January 15. Spring semester application deadline is August 15. 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 advisor, 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); practicum in teaching (THEA 692); Asian theatre theory/history; Western theatre theory/history; and graduate theatre 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. MA (Thesis) students take an additional 6 credit hours in theatre history or theory; 3 credit hours in a creative area; and must complete 6 credit hours of THEA 700 Thesis Research. MA (Non-Thesis) students take 3 credit hours each of TYA, creative drama, creative movement, or Western puppetry; Asian or Western acting or directing; design/technical theatre. A minimum of 18 credit hours must be in courses numbered 600 to 798; a minimum of 6 credit hours must be in Asian theatre (excluding 690); credit for 699 may not exceed 9 credit hours. Students pursuing an MA (Thesis) in Performance Studies develop, with an advisor, 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 or DNCE 651); performance theory (THEA 615); seminar in performance studies (THEA/DNCE 617); theory (DNCE 653 or THEA 611); practicum in teaching (THEA 692); and a 3-credit course in a creative area. For all MA degrees, students will take a four-hour written comprehensive examination followed by an oral examination. MA (Thesis) 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 foundation courses (3 credits in research, 6-9 practicum in teaching); 39 credit hours of concentration courses, including enrollment in THEA 690 Graduate Theatre 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 single or a series of culminating projects, depending on concentration, for which the student will enroll in a total of 6 credit hours of THEA 695 Creative Project; and 6-9 credit hours of electives (total number depending on concentration). 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 in consultation with their advisors 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 advisor, 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); 3 credits of THEA 692; 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 theatre, or playwriting; 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theatre Workshop (a minimum of 4 credits in acting and 1 credit in technical theatre; 1 credit may be in design, directing, playwriting, etc.), and 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project.

Design

For the concentration in design, students must complete 3 credits in research; 6 credits in history and/or theory, Asian and/or Western (minimum one 3 credit seminar); 3 credits of THEA 692; minimum 6 credits in intermediate design (400 level or above) and minimum 3 credits in advanced design (600 level), excluding other requirements below; 6 credits of THEA 657 Seminar in Design; 6 credits in creative/performance courses (400 level or above) (may include acting, directing, dance, playwriting, puppetry, or others as approved); 9 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theatre Workshop (as approved by graduate committee chair); minimum 3 credits in Asian theatre (excluding THEA 690); 6 credits of THEA 695 Creative Project (including qualifying and final projects); and minimum 3 credits THEA 699 Directed Research.

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 of THEA 692; 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 theatre (in two areas—theatre 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 Theatre 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); 3 credits of THEA 692; 9 credits in playwriting (excluding THEA 318); 3 credits in script analysis; 3 credits in contemporary dramatic literature or theatre history; 6 credits in design/technical theatre (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 theatre; 3 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theatre 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 theatre history/theory; 3 credits of THEA 692; 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 theatre 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 Theatre 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.

Theater for Young Audiences (TYA)

For the concentration in TYA, students must complete 3 credits in research; 9 credits in Asian and/or Western history and/or theory; 3 credits of THEA 692; 3 credits in creative drama/dance; 3 credits in theatre for young audiences; 3 credits in a teaching seminar; and 3 credits in a TYA seminar. Areas of specialty in the TYA concentration include acting, curriculum, directing, playwriting, and puppetry. Candidates must take 9 credits in any one of these areas along with minimum of 4 credits of Graduate Theatre Workshop (THEA 690) and 6 credis of Creative Project (THEA 695). An additional 12 credit hours of electives are available, although a minimum of 3 credits in Asian theatre (excluding THEA 690) are required.

Hawaiian Theatre

For the concentration in Hawaiian theatre, students must complete 3 credits in research; 3 credits in Hawaiian theatre history/theory; 3 credits in Pacific theatre history/theory; 3 additional credits in Western/Asian history/theory; 3 credits of THEA 692; 3 credits in Hawaiian acting; 3 credits in Hawaiian puppetry/hula ki'i; 3 credits in Hawaiian dance/hula; 3 credits in Hawaiian music/papa mele; 3 credits in design/technical theatre or playwriting; 3 credits in directing; 3 credits in youth theatre/puppetry; 3 credits of additional creative/performance courses in above areas or courses at the graduate level; 6 credits of THEA 690 Graduate Theatre Workshop; 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, MA Plan B, and the MFA. 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. The MA Plan B requires a capstone project. 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. 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 DVD sample of their choreography and performance. MA and MFA candidates must submit a sample of written work, such as a major paper. Application and transcripts should be sent to Graduate Education. All other materials should be sent to the graduate chair of dance. The application deadline for the fall semester is February 1 (January 15 for foreign applicants). The spring semester application deadline is September 1 (August 1 for foreign applicants). All materials should be sent directly to Graduate Education.

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.

Dance Culture and Performance

The MA Plan A (dance culture and performance emphasis) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 651, 652, 653, 654, 655, or 661 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. Language courses may be required if necessary for the student's thesis research.

Dance Education

MA Plan B (dance education emphasis) requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, including DNCE 460 or 490, 651, 652, 691, 693, and 699; 9 credit hours from DNCE 321, 331, 421, 431; 3 credit hours in 300 to 400 level Asian or Pacific dance courses; and 6 credit hours of electives (3 credits at the 600 level).

Performance and Choreography

The MFA 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; DNCE 672 (4 credit hours); DNCE 679 (2 credit hours); DNCE 691; DNCE 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 and attend a technique course each semester. It is expected that MFA candidates present choreography every semester.

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 theatre history, theory, or criticism, not creative or artistic work, is offered in four areas: (a) Western theatre, (b) Asian theatre, (c) comparative Asian-Western theatre, and (d) performance studies. 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 at least one non-English language, 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 UH Manoa. At the end of the second semester in residence, the graduate faculty will provide the candidate with an assessment of his or her progress to date.

Required courses in the Western area are THEA 600, THEA 692, plus three other 600 to 700 level courses from a departmental list of approved courses; required courses in the Asian area are THEA 692, 464, 465, and 466, as well as THEA 660 if the candidate's dissertation requires field research; required courses in performance studies area are DNCE 651 or THEA 600; THEA 615; DNCE/THEA 671; DNCE 653 or THEA 611; THEA 692; and 3 credits in a creative area. The curriculum of the comparative Asian-Western theatre area is determined by the student's doctoral committee and must include THEA 692. A high level of accomplishment in the foreign language or languages appropriate to the proposed area of research (as determined by the advisor) is required, and language competency 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 and by serving as teaching assistants.

Written comprehensive examinations and two and a half 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. The comprehensive includes questions on both Asian and Western drama and theatre and/or performance studies; further guidelines are available from the graduate advisor. The questions on the written portion are posed by the theatre 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. There is a seven-year time limit for PhD students to complete all requirements. For unusual circumstances, one extension may be granted.

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 and a sample of their research (such as a seminar paper or a master's thesis). The application deadline for admission in the fall semester is January 15 for U.S. and foreign applicants. Spring semester application deadline is August 15 for U.S. and foreign applicants. Requirements include a broad background in the humanities, a master's degree in theatre or its equivalent, and competence in dramatic production.

DNCE Courses

THEA Courses