Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

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.

Theatre & Dance at the University at Buffalo engages emerging artists, scholars, and audiences dedicated to sustaining and innovating the performing arts across disciplines. Our diverse programs integrate rigorous training, critical understanding, and impassioned creation supported by close faculty mentorship and developed in collaboration with internationally recognized guest artists.

Learning within conservatory style courses and grounded in the liberal arts, students acquire the essential skills for effective communication, collaborative problem-solving, and critical perspective in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

The Department's production season of fully produced plays, musicals, dance concerts, and experimental performance work is integral to the training of new artists and provides an essential cultural resource for the larger campus community.

About Our Facilities

University at Buffalo's Theatre & Dance department utilizes three performance spaces including a flexible black box theatre and two distinct performance venues. With a rehearsal workshop space, numerous dance studios, scene and costume shops, a craft room and a design suite, UB boasts an array of resources for both classroom training and practical preparation for productions.

The Center for the Arts (CFA) benefits UB students who use its outstanding public performance and exhibition facilities. Within the CFA, students from the Department of Theatre & Dance directly benefit from the use of:
  • The Drama Theatre: a 388-seat theatre that is the venue for most of our fully produced shows, from large-scale dramas to Broadway musicals to performances by Zodiaque, the department's dance company.
  • The Black Box Theatre: a flexible space that can be configured in a variety of ways with seating of 100-120. This is where the department produces and supports several smaller-scale productions and workshops each season in this flexible black box theatre.
  • Rehearsal Workshop: a mirror image of the Black Box Theatre, our rehearsal workshop is used for acting classes and as a rehearsal room for departmental productions
  • Dance Studios: two spacious studios used for classes and rehearsals. 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.
  • Scene Shop
  • Costume Shop
  • Craft Studio
Students also use the Katherine Cornell Theatre (KCT), a flexible performance space housed in the Ellicott Complex on UB's North Campus. This space functions as a rehearsal space, performance space, and the Graduate Student Studio. Theatre majors are eligible to apply to use the space for original student-created shows with generous financial support from THD alumni.

Alumni Arena, adjacent to the Center for the Arts, also includes:
  • The Design Suite, which includes a drafting studio, lighting lab and a ten-seat computer lab with design software, including Vectorworks, WYSIWIG, and Adobe Photoshop
  • Two additional classroom and rehearsal spaces
  • A departmentally run seminar room for lectures
  • Department and Faculty Offices

About Our 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
Our curriculum is largely structured around sequential progression through our required performance and design courses, with successful completion of the previous level necessary in order to stay on track toward your degree. With this in mind we generally do not allow for courses to be taken out of sequence, nor do we typically place students out of any courses.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

Composed of active theatre professionals and internationally recognized scholars, UB's Theatre and Dance Faculty is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre and dance artists, teachers, and supporters.

Our theatre faculty have extensive professional experience that includes directing, designing, dramaturgy, and acting on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, Hollywood films, and in major North America theaters, including:
  • The Guthrie Theatre
  • Steppenwolf
  • Stratford Theatre Festival
  • The Shaw Festival Theatre
  • New York Public Theatre
Regional theatres include:
  • Irish Classical Theatre
  • Shakespeare in Delaware Park
  • Kavinoky Theatre
  • Alleyway Theatre
  • ArtPark
  • MusicalFare

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Performance and production are essential parts of the curriculum, providing hands-on learning experiences for students in every area.

The Theatre & Dance department produces eight shows a year including two musicals, two theatrical productions, and four dance concerts by the Zodiaque Dance company, Zodiaque Dance Ensemble, and Emerging Choreographers Showcase, in addition to numerous student-led productions throughout the year. Students can begin performing as early as their second semester Freshman year, and Design & Technology students can begin working on productions their first semester at UB.

Special Majors, Double Majors, and Joint Majors

Students can design their major to fit their specific needs. As a liberal arts degree, the BA in Theatre offers the most flexibility in course requirements. Students may complete their BA Theatre degree in one or more of the following areas: acting, design, technology, directing, dramaturgy, history, and dramatic literature.

Many of the courses in Theatre fulfill the General Education requirements and can be combined easily with other degree programs such as:


  • SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence
  • honors State University of New York students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts.

  • College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior Award
  • annually, honors the best senior graduating from each department in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) with the "Dean's Outstanding Senior Award". The selection criteria are:
    • Demonstrated academic excellence exemplified by an exceptional grade point average
    • Election to honor societies
    • Participation in research
    • Other academic achievements selected by the department

    Perry Watkins Scholarship for African Americans 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 a theatre-oriented group managed entirely by students. It hosts opening night receptions, organizes group attendance at local theatre and performance events, and supports original students work. The student representatives from this group also function as the liaison among department faculty, staff, and 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 music theatre majors and others in the department with an interest in musical theatre performance. Music Theatre faculty serve as advisors and mentors for this group.

    Under faculty guidance, students participate in a number of professional development opportunities including the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Conference. They participate in a host of programs through the Department's International Artistic & Cultural Exchange Program.

    Paid technical assistant positions are available with the Center for the Arts Production Department. To apply, please call (716) 645-6926.

    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

    Last updated: February 22 2022 21:08:39