Skip to main
Theatre students on stage.

Theatre Arts

Tell a story. Bring it to life. Change the world. Whether you’re passionate about acting, or writing, or designing sets, or literally lighting up the stage, McDaniel’s Theater Arts program trains you in all the disciplines that go into creating theatrical experiences that celebrate humanity, inspire social change, and bring out your very best.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Special Benefits
Senior year headshots (included), Stage Combat training

Because McDaniel has a full and active production slate, you’ll learn about theoretical aspects of theater in our classrooms, and then get the chance to apply them on the stage, in real-life productions. We choose our production season carefully to align with courses being taught in the department. So you might learn about classical acting styles in one semester, and the following semester help produce a Greek drama or a piece from Shakespeare. You might learn about realism in the History of Western Theatre course, and in Acting, and in Creating a Character—and then learn how to use that theory and those skills in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire, a piece of classic realism.

Whatever your passion, our department is essentially a giant laboratory to help you hone your craft and build your skills (and have a lot of fun in the process).

Future Career Paths

Graduates of the Theater Arts program have gone on to well-respected graduate programs and to careers in:

  • Acting
  • Technical direction
  • Costume design
  • Lighting and electrical design
  • Music direction
  • Stage management
  • Teaching

Distinctive Courses

THE 1111 - Stagecraft

An introduction to the theory and practice of stagecraft in the live theatre. This course concentrates on the machines, materials and methods used by the theatre technician to accomplish the set and prop designs of a play. This course will concentrate on stage carpentry, prop construction, scene painting, and stage management. The course is a combination of lecture and shop work and requires backstage participation.

THE 1113 - Acting

An introduction to acting combining practical exercises with study of contemporary texts on acting. Emphasis is placed on scene analysis and scene work, as well as written exercises in performance analysis and acting theory.

THE 2227 - Modern & Contemporary Theatre

A survey of developments in Western theatre in modern and contemporary periods in theatrical literature including expressionism, epic theatre, theatre of the absurd, as well as contemporary and emerging forms. 

THE 3354 - Set Design

An in-depth study of the function and creation of scenic designs for the theatre. Practical experience is provided through both hypothetical and realized design assignments.

Special Opportunities

Senior Capstone

Theatre Arts major Najee Banks ’17 talks about his senior capstone—his role in the musical Hair as the culmination of his theatre training at McDaniel.

Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Gene and Alex Closeup.

Theatre Arts Internships

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, or children's theatre. 

Student-Directed Play Festival

McDaniel students have the opportunity direct one-act plays with student actors during the College's Student-Directed Play Festival presented by the Department of Theatre Arts. Video was filmed and edited by Cinema major Mackenzie Greene.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Ben Michaels '19 majored in Theatre Arts

Meet Our Students Class of 2019: Ben Michaels Getting to Know a Green Terror

Theatre Arts major Ben Michaels' most influential professor is Gené Fouché who has shown him the many different ways theatre can be used in everyday life and in different jobs that people would never expect to be related. Whether it is through improvisation or a script, Ben says theatre influences almost everything people do.

Christopher Molloy, National Bohemian brand manager, and Boh, the mascot

Christopher Molloy ’10

As brand manager for National Bohemian, Christopher "C-Mo" Molloy '10 serves as the point man, reminding consumers in and around Baltimore that the beer is still here, still cold and still a reminder that life is good.

Peter Mark Kendall '08

Alumni Spotlight Peter Mark Kendall 2008, Theater Arts

From stage to screen, Peter Mark Kendall has made a mark as a professional actor, on shows like Strange Angels, Girls, and The Americans.

News for Theatre Arts