Bachelor of the Arts
Undergraduate majors in Drama at the University of Virginia enjoy a combination of a superb intellectual climate and a vital, engaging production program. The resources of this award-winning university are committed to providing every student with the benefits of a superior liberal arts education.
Majors are expected to participate in the production program and work as directors, actors, designers, stage managers, technologists, and playwrights. Students audition for roles in main stage and lab theatre productions and work on various projects, including acting in scenes for directing classes, staging work to be presented in other departments, constructing sets and costumes, and in some cases, serving as a designer on one or more of the main stage productions.
Requirements for Major
To declare a major in Drama contact please contact our undergraduate advisor Professor LaVahn Hoh.
Students may declare a Drama Major after completing the prerequisite: DRAM 2020- Acting I with a minimum passing grade of C. The total credits required for the major (including the prerequisite) is 33.
Performance (10 credits)
DRAM 2020 Acting I (3)
DRAM 3651 Directing I (3)
DRAM 3652 Production Management (3)
DRAM 3653 Production Lab: Stage Management (1-2)
History, Literature, Criticism (9 credits)
DRAM 3050 History of Theatre on Stage (3)
DRAM 3600 Modern American Drama (3)
Elect one 3 credit course from the following:
DRAM 3610 Modern European Drama (3)
DRAM 3070 African American Theatre (3)
DRAM 3080 Script Analysis (3)
or select another Dramatic Literature Course with approval of program director or advisor.
Design/Tech (8 credits)
Elect 4 credits each from two of four areas:
DRAM 2110 Lighting Technology (3) or
DRAM 4110 Lighting Design (3)
DRAM 2130 Production Lab (1)
DRAM 2210 Scenic Technology (3) or
DRAM 3210 Scenic Design (3)
DRAM 2230 Production Lab (1)
DRAM 2310 Costume Technology (3) or
DRAM 4310 Costume Design (3)
DRAM 2330 Production Lab (1)
DRAM 2620 Sound Design (3)
DRAM 2630 Production Lab: Sound (1)
Note: Production labs may be repeated up to four credits.
Synthesis (6 credits)
DRAM 2010 Image to Form (3)
DRAM 4910 Senior Seminar (3)
The Drama Department provides a menu of courses for undergraduate students interested in acting. The basic 3-course acting sequence anchors more specialized offerings, which include Voice for Theatre, Musical Theatre Performance, Movement for Theatre, Stage Combat, Audition, Script Analysis, Dialects, Theatre Makeup, and performance elements of Television Texts, Scripting and Directing, and Film and Television Texts.
Another relevant course is Acting Out, in which students are directed in special request monologues and scenes which are taken “on tour” to class sessions across university grounds.
While not a component for the major, dance courses are increasingly becoming a regular part of the Department’s offerings.
Additional courses may be available when second- and third-year graduate students bringing expertise to the program offer courses in those areas. Current and past offerings include Auditioning for the Stage, Acting for Film, Improvisation, Stage Combat, and Bogart’s Viewpoints.
Faculty members may also be available to work with students on an independent study basis. Performance faculty members, available outside of class hours, spend significant time every week coaching students for class projects, Department productions, Virginia Theatre Association auditions, and University/Resident Theatre Association Auditions for accredited graduate acting programs.
Performance opportunities include roles in main stage, lab theatre, and ad hoc productions, as well as scenes in directing classes and readings of new plays in playwriting classes.
The majority of performance-oriented guest artists provide workshops for undergraduate and graduate students.
Playwriting is an active and vital part of the Drama curriculum, and provides basic and advanced instruction in the craft. Playwriting I is open to all students and requires no past experience or training. This course provides an introduction to playwriting through guided exercises and culminates in a staged reading of selected scenes at the end of the semester.
For students who want to develop their playwriting skills, there are several advanced classes, and an undergraduate student may take as many as five playwriting classes while at U.Va. These advanced classes focus on the development of longer works and, again, culminate in staged readings of selected sections. Often these staged readings combine playwriting classes with directing or acting classes.
Beyond the classroom, there are many opportunities for the playwriting student to see his or her work on stage as part of our ongoing Lab Series of student productions. For those who want specialized training, independent study is also possible, where the playwright will work one-on-one with a faculty member to develop a longer work, a screenplay, or a teleplay.
The Playwriting program can thus provide a basic introduction to the craft as part of Liberal Arts studies, or provide advanced instruction for those who may want to pursue graduate study or professional work in the field.