Edward Isser, Ph.D., Professor and Chair
The Department of Theatre offers a variety of complementary perspectives on performance. Our acting classes teach students to interpret dramatic texts through a combination of western and eastern techniques for training body and voice. We offer dramatic literature and theatre history courses to place texts in historical and thematic contexts while focusing on them as a medium for performance. We provide dance courses grounded in an understanding of dance history, as well as technique and composition, and design courses that explore visual interpretations of texts in performance. Our directing classes locate performance as an intersection of all of these disciplines and train students to read texts on several levels simultaneously. Film classes and tutorials in playwriting and screenwriting are also offered.
The fully equipped Fenwick Theatre houses the major productions of the department and dance concerts. A range of studio productions (directed by both faculty and students), workshops, and classes takes place in The Studio (O’Kane 481), The Pit (O’Kane 37), and the Dance Studio (O’Kane 28). Work on any department production is open to all Holy Cross students, faculty, and staff.
The Department of Theatre offers a major with a 12-course curriculum with two major emphases (Acting and Design). The following courses are required of all majors: Theatre History 1, Basic Acting, Design and Technical Production, American Drama 1920 to Present, and Modern Drama or Theatre History 2. Lab experience, combining Theatre Practicum and Advanced Theatre Practicum, is required for three semesters of all majors regardless of emphasis.
Students with the Acting Emphasis are also required to take Voice in Acting 1, Shakespeare Through Performance, one semester of any dance course, and four electives chosen from the following: Scene Study, American Film, World Film, Film as Narrative, Selected American Stage and Film Artists, Comedy on Stage & Screen, Gay Theatre & Film, Holocaust on Stage & Screen, Voice in Acting 2, Kamikaze Acting, Stage Combat, Audition Techniques, Scene Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Directing 1, Advanced Directing, Performance Recital, Performance for Audience, Dance Performance, Basic Dance, Ballet 1-2 and 3-4, Modern Dance 1-2 and 3-4, Jazz 1-2 and 3-4, Balinese Dance 1-2 and 3-4, and tutorials in production, film, playwriting, dance, directing, dramatic literature, or design. Students with the Design Emphasis are required to take Scene Design, Lighting Design, and Costume Design, as well as four electives from an approved list of courses (see Department of Theatre website).
Beginning with the Class of 2018, all majors are required to complete a capstone project during their senior year. The capstone requirement is filled by performing, directing, designing (sets, lights, costumes, video, sound, etc.), or stage managing a significant production. Students may create a Film Studies minor through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.
The Holy Cross Department of Theatre is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.