Majoring in Theater

Overview

As a theater major at Connecticut College, you are immersed in the entire process of staging a performance – acting, directing, design, technical theater, playwriting, dramaturgy and dramatic literature. We have three theater spaces on campus, and there's likely to be an extraordinary performance in at least one of them at any given moment. The liberal arts offer limitless ways for you to explore connections with other disciplines that will enrich your theater studies. You develop a strong working relationship with your professors. They direct and critique your performances, and are available for ongoing consultation and discussion. Your options for acting and directing are many and varied.

Performances and productions

You can participate in our main stage productions as well as in independent productions sponsored by the department or by student groups. Works recently staged include "Dead Man's Cell Phone;" "Four Dead in Ohio: Antigone at Kent State;" "Three Sisters;" "I <3 Juliet: A Hip Hop Musical," an original ensemble piece created by The Q Brothers in collaboration with students; and "On The Town," a collaboration with the departments of music and dance. As a senior, you may choose to work with a faculty mentor on a one-semester capstone project or a two-semester honors study in writing, performing, directing or design. The project represents the culmination of your college study of theater and may serve as a starting point for future work.

Special opportunities

You have many opportunities to intern at regional or New York theaters, study abroad and collaborate with guest artists in acting, directing, design and technical theater. Students have completed summer internships at the nearby Eugene O'Neill Theater Center as well as the Pearl Theatre, the Signature Theatre and the Culture Project, all in New York City. In your junior year, you can study at theater institutes in the U.S. or abroad. Recently, students have gone to Moscow, Italy and Ireland.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in Theater?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • President/ Executive Director, Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization
  • Creative Director, Epic Entertainment
  • Executive Director, Flock Theatre
  • Broadway Press Agent, The Publicity Office
  • Director, Going to Tahiti Productions
  • Education Director, Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization
  • Director of Standards and Practices, Nickelodeon
  • Drama Teacher, John F. Kennedy Memorial Middle School
  • Director of Global Marketing, Akamai Technologies
  • Assistant Professor of Theatre & Artistic Director, Salve Regina College
  • Development Coordinator, Garde Arts Center
  • Filmmaker, CM Pictures
  • Marketing Associate, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
  • Marketing Specialist, NBA
  • Park Ranger, City of New York
  • Marketing Assistant, Columbia Records
  • Acting Teacher, Palm Beach City School District
  • Assistant Audience Services Manager, Long Wharf Theatre

Faculty

Virginia Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theater Virginia Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theater

Virginia Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theater
LGBT theater • Women's theater • Children's theater • The AIDS epidemic in theater and film • Theater history

David Jaffe, Associate Professor of Theater, Theater Department Chair David Jaffe, Associate Professor of Theater, Theater Department Chair

David Jaffe, Associate Professor of Theater, Theater Department Chair
Actor training • Collectively created performance • Theatrical adaptation • The works of Anton Chekhov

Stephen Luber, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater, Associate Director of Curriculum and Student Research, Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology Stephen Luber, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater, Associate Director of Curriculum and Student Research, Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology

Stephen Luber, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theater, Associate Director of Curriculum and Student Research, Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology
Multimedia performance • Avant-garde and experimental performance • Performance art • History of scenography

Sabrina Notarfrancisco, Assistant Professor of Theater Sabrina Notarfrancisco, Assistant Professor of Theater

Sabrina Notarfrancisco, Assistant Professor of Theater
Costume design • Costume construction • Costume history • Costume shop management

Kenneth Prestininzi, Associate Professor of Theater Kenneth Prestininzi, Associate Professor of Theater

Kenneth Prestininzi, Associate Professor of Theater
Playwriting • Creative ensemble • Performance studies • Theater history and literature

Student profile


Terilyn Eisenhauer  Terilyn Eisenhauer

Theater, American studies


Q: Why theater?
A: When I first came to Conn, I thought I would only be involved in theater as an extra-curricular activity. However, I quickly fell in love with our Theater Department’s commitment to all aspects of theater. My freshman year, I was able to take two acting classes, act in one main stage show and work as a crew member on three more. My professors are inspiring and approachable, and they constantly challenge me to do my best work.


Q: Favorite class?
A: I absolutely adored Professor David Jaffe's course, "Directing II: Building a Concept." In this upper-level class, we were given the freedom to conceive and develop an original 20-minute piece of theater, which was ultimately performed in Tansill Theater. This course allowed me to focus on my personal goals as a theater artist and create something I was truly passionate about.


Q: Have you done any independent research or projects?
A: I've been working with Professor Ken Prestininzi on my solo performance, "Are You My Mother, Amelia?" for more than a year now. What started as a class project turned into something I’m now hoping to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Q: Did you study abroad?
A: I studied in Dublin at the Gaiety School of Acting: The National Theater School of Ireland. This program allowed me to take a break from my liberal arts studies and focus solely on training as an actor in a conservatory setting. My experience abroad reinforced my passion for acting and I returned to Conn a more focused and dedicated theater student.

Selected courses


  • The Art of Theater
  • Acting I: Preparation
  • Acting II: Play Analysis
  • Playwriting Workshop
  • Directing One: Coaching the Actor
  • American Drama
  • Solo Performance Event
  • The AIDS Epidemic in Theater and Film
  • Theories of Performance
  • Eugene O'Neill and his America
  • Advanced Scene Study: Shakespeare
  • Advanced Scene Study: Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg and O'Neill
  • The Breakout/ Breakthrough Musical: Form and Content

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