The Theatre Arts program offers comprehensive study in theatre history, dramatic literature and criticism, and performance and production skills. Coursework is complemented by opportunities to participate in productions directed by faculty, visiting artists, and students. The major in theatre arts prepares students for careers in the professional theatre, for graduate studies in theatre, and for a variety of other careers that demand the analytic, creative, and interactive skills developed by theatre majors.
WMC Alumni Hall
Ms. Elizabeth van den Berg
The major in theatre arts prepares students for careers in the professional theatre, for graduate studies in theatre and applied theatre, and for a variety of other vocations which demand the interpersonal, creative, and interpretive skills developed by theatre majors.
Majors & Courses
McDaniel College's Theatre Arts Department offers several major and minor options:
Please see the Dual Majors section on the Online Catalog for dual majors with Communication, English, and Music.
Professor and department chair Elizabeth van den Berg
(M.F.A., New York University), is a much-in-demand dialect coach who works in professional theatre when she’s not on campus mentoring her students in acting, directing, musical theatre and voice and movement, directing them in on-stage productions such as “The Good Soul of Szechuan” and recently in John Waters’ “Hairspray” or cheering them in regional and national theatre competitions and auditions.
Professor and director of the Theatre Ira Domser
(M.F.A., Boston University), a specialist in design and technical production who coaches theatre technology students as they explore puppetry, animatronics, special effects and flying often at U.S. Institute of Theatre Technology conferences, teaches courses in his areas of expertise: design, technical production, theatre appreciation and theatre management as well as a Jan Term theatre study trip to England.
Adjunct / Part-time Faculty
Gené Fouché (M.F.A. Towson University) is a founding member of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, where she currently serves as Associate Artistic Director. She has directed and acted in dozens of MET productions and has directed several shows for McDaniel College Theatre. Her teaching focuses on Acting, Interactive Theatre, and Movement.
Britt Burr (M.A. University of Kansas) is a certified drama therapist working in Westminster.
Nick DePinto (M.F.A. Wayne State University) is an actor and musician working in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. He teaches Acting, Acting for the Camera, and escorts students to the Region 2 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in January.
Julie Herber (Towson University) is a member of Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Musical Theatre Dance Styles.
Robb Hunter (M.F.A. Virginia Commonwealth University) is a certified Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors, and works professionally as a Fight Director and Actor in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. He teaches Unarmed Stage Combat, Broadsword for the Stage, Rapier/Dagger for the Stage.
Collin Ranney (M.F.A. University of Maryland) is a costume and set designer working professionally in the DC Metropolitan area. He teaches Costume and Makeup Design.
Richard Sautter (M.F.A. Virginia Commonwealth University) History of Western Theatre, Acting.
Internships offer students the opportunity to earn credit for working with professional theatre groups. An internship in theatre arts involves "work-place" experience in the theatre or a closely related enterprise, for example, in the areas of production management, stage management, design and technology, acting, directing, box office, promotion, casting, dramaturgy, children's theatre, etc. Internships are awarded for work at off-campus theatres or theatrical enterprises; for work on-campus in support of the Theatre Arts Department; and for work as a classroom assistant.
Recent internships in Theatre Arts have included:
Company Management at Center Stage
Stage Management at The Baltimore Opera
Box Office/Theatre Management at Round House Theatre
Public Relations at Morris Mechanic Theatre and The Kennedy Center
Special and Directed Studies courses offer students a chance to work closely with a supervising faculty member. Special Studies courses allow students to explore topics of interest that may not be covered in the regular curriculum. Special Studies credit is available for projects of academic value designed and executed independently by students with faculty guidance, or for work associated with the McDaniel College production season (duties in the scene or costume shops, box office, etc.) on more than one play. Typically, student directors sign up for special studies credit.
Recent student–faculty research collaboration
|Yi Chong Li, Rosalie Edelson||Mr. Ira Domser||Between the Lines directed by student Yi Chong Li and lights designed by student Rosalie Edelson|
|Jessica Anderson, Kyla Greenhorn||Ms. Gené Fouché||Intimate Portraits lights designed by student Jessica Anderson, stage managed by student Kyla Greenhorn|
|Kiera Gillock||Ms. Elizabeth van den Berg||Prepared a scene from Independence Day for the Society of Directors and Choreographers Scholarship Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival|
Elizabeth van den Berg Prepared scenes and monologues for the Irene Ryan Scholarship Awards in conjunction with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival
The Theatre Department offers an active season of performances, including: scripted performances directed by faculty and visiting artists from the Washington/Baltimore professional theatre; curricular performances for students focusing in acting; and community-based and playback theatre performances. Typically, a season will include four or five productions, including plays directed by faculty and visiting artists, student-directed plays or scenes, and a community-based performance. Additionally, there are several student productions that happen when active theatre students get excited about doing their own "thing". Recent examples have included a student-written and directed children’s theatre show called GOGOL, a holiday Cabaret, performances of the student improv group DANGERSAUCE, and a student-directed showcase of scenes from the directing class.
Visiting professionals from the Baltimore/Washington area support the permanent faculty with specialized courses in performance, history and design.
McDaniel’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the national Theatre honors society, encourages dramatic production at every step in a student’s academic career. Pledging criteria include noteworthy participation in the Theatre Arts department, cumulative GPA of 2.5, and a Theatre Arts department GPA of 2.8. They also must have been involved in at least 3 McDaniel productions, during which they performed in at least two of the following categories: performance, technical theatre and design, theatre management, or literary contributions.
Alumni from the Theatre Arts program have successfully pursued graduate study and roles in professional theatre. Examples follow:
Rob McQuay is a pastor, and still performs professionally as an Equity actor in the DC area – he was nominated for two separate Helen Hayes Awards – one for playing the role of Jesus in SUPERSTAR, and the other for directing GODSPELL
Julie-Ann Elliott is an Equity actress who recently received critical acclaim in Olney Theatre’s THE CONSTANT WIFE and THE MILLIONAIRESS
Steve Zumbrun wrote the book for a new musical based on Cyrano de Bergerac entitled BRING ME GIANTS and served as musical director for the premier at McDaniel College.
Denise Umland works as a freelance costume designer
Tony Rosas is the tech director at Towson University
Dan Franko is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and has been featured on the television shows The West Wing, The Jersey, The Wire and America's Most Wanted
Colin Forman is a freelance actor working in film and television in New York
Jon Reynolds spent two years on tour with National Players and performed Ariel in The Tempest for Washington Shakespeare Company
Kelly Dunnavant completed his MFA in Technical Theatre from SUNY Purchase and is an assistant tech director at the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C.
Cassie Domser has her MFA in Stage Management from Rutgers University, and has worked for the Washington Performing Arts Society and Baltimore Opera
Two of our alums (Albert Pero III and Andrew Pecoraro) toured the North Eastern US with the NATIONAL PLAYERS performing in DRACULA and TAMING OF THE SHREW. Andrew completed a run of LONG DAYS JOURNEY INTO NIGHT with Firebelly Productions, and is attending grad school at Glasgow University in Scotland. Albert performed at Totem Pole Playhouse in PROPOSALS
Grant Rice served as Associate Company Manager for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS on Broadway, the General Manager of the off-Broadway plays FEDDING BEATRICE and I WITNESS, as well as president of Granticus Productions Inc (his production management company).
Tony Cimino received his graduate degree for Drama Therapy at NYU and is now teaching in the Carroll County School System
Chris De Rose attended the graduate conservatory training program with Second City in Chicago