Theatre (BA)


The Performing Arts Department embodies and practices the University's mission, which "seeks to integrate the intellectual, spiritual, ethical and social development of students." Coursework in the performing arts encourages students to explore varied points of view, skills and techniques for understanding and expressing the human condition. Students exploring art, music and theater experience a broadened and enhanced worldview through exposure to widely diverse cultures and means of expression. The Department of Performing Arts offers coursework in fine arts, music and theatre that fulfills the University core requirement under "essential humanities." The Department of Performing Arts offers a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre. A minor in Theatre (for non-theatre majors) is also available.

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    Fine Arts

    The introductory course in fine arts fulfills the Aesthetic Experiences requirement of E3 of the University Core. Focus on theory and appreciation rather than practice makes this course suitable for non-majors:

    • FINA 2000 Introduction to the Arts (3 credits)

    Students discover the language, principles and methodologies needed to understand the aesthetic experience. Exposure to and discussion of key works in painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, cinema and all forms of theatre lead to understanding the role of the arts in reflecting, explaining and guiding both individual development and civilization itself.



    Course offerings in music, with the exception of MUS 1000 University Chorus (1 credit), fulfill the Aesthetic Experience E3 requirement of the University Core. Music courses provide students with a wide variety of cultural experiences. A general music survey course explores European and American orchestral and vocal music. Other studies include musical theatre, emphasizing Broadway musicals, opera and operetta. Course offerings are also available in American and African American music, which include the study of jazz, spirituals, folk and classical genres.

    Fulfills E3 Aesthetic Experiences of the Core:

    • MUS 2020 Survey of Our Music Heritage (3 credits)
    • MUS 2060 Music of the Theatre (3 credits)
    • MUS 2080 American Music (3 credits)
    • MUS 2090 African-American Women in Music (3 credits)

    Does NOT fulfill E3 Aesthetic Experiences of the Core:

    • MUS 1000 University Chorus (1 credit)
    • EDU 4500* Integrating the Arts in the Classroom (3 credits)

    *This course is cross-listed with the Education Department.


    Degree/Major Requirements

    University of Detroit Mercy offers a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre. The Detroit Mercy Theatre Program is concerned with stimulating artistic expression by articulate, dynamic and creative people. The program is designed to prepare students to engage in further development of their skills through graduate school or internships. Students may also choose to enter the profession in their area of interest. A conservatory-style approach in the classroom ensures that students receive personal guidance provided by faculty and carefully chosen artistic associates. Emphasis on small class size enhances the student’s potential for rapid development. Departmental advisors work with the student to build an individualized program within the College Core Curriculum and the requisite and elective courses found within the Theatre major or minor. Students entering the program will work with departmental advisors to develop the course of study that best suits their professional goals.

    The program’s philosophy, which centers on the strengths gained in apprenticeship-style training, is practiced in the application of classroom techniques to performance and professional practices found in the performing arts. Toward this end the department sponsors a season of mainstage productions and provides opportunities for student performances in other special projects. Casting is open to all students, and non-majors are encouraged to participate. The Theatre faculty, staff and students at Detroit Mercy also form the producing organization known as the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company. The Detroit Mercy Theatre Company has been an established and respected member of the Detroit area theatre community since 1972. Using an apprenticeship approach to stimulate artistic growth in a creative production process, we combine the work of seasoned professionals with young talents. At the heart of this process are the professional talents of the faculty and associate company members, who also maintain dynamic partnerships with theatres throughout the area. All students in the major degree program apply their classroom training by working in the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, where they assist in all areas of the production process. Students will stage manage at least one production towards their degree requirement.

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, the requirements for the program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

    Requirements for the Major (45 credits)

    The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre is for students who intend to achieve their goals as theatre practitioners and educators. Some students may wish to pursue a more diversified liberal arts program through a double major and/or up to two minors.

    Students majoring in theatre are required to:

    • prepare and participate fully in all coursework;
    • work closely with an academic advisor to maintain academic progress;
    • audition for all productions including student projects in directing;
    • participate in all productions in some way other than being cast;
    • accept any role or assignment that is given;
    • stage manage at least one production before graduation; and
    • attend departmental functions and receptions.

    Required Courses (21 credits):

    • TRE 1310 Introduction to the Theatre (3 credits)
    • TRE 1320 Rehearsal and Production I - taken 4 times (1 credit / total of 4 credits)
    • TRE 2550 Scene Study and Analysis (3 credits)
    • TRE 3650 Fundamentals of Directing (3 credits)
    • TRE 3740 Rehearsal and Production II - taken 4 times (1 credit / total of 4 credits)
    • TRE 4311 Survey of Theatre History (3 credits)
    • TRE 4315** Survey of Theatre History Research (1 credit)

    **Note:   TRE 4315 must be taken concurrently with TRE 4311.

    Prerequisite Acting Courses (9 credits):

    Prerequisite Design and Management Courses (6 credits):

    • TRE 2650 Management Techniques (3 credits)
    • TRE 3100 Theatrical Design (3 credits)

    Focus Area: Acting OR Design/Management (6 credits)


    Design/Management Courses - choose two (6 credits):

    • TRE 3060 Principles of Arts Management (3 credits)
    • TRE 4950 Directed Studies (3 credits)
    • TRE 4980 Directed Studies in Design (3 credits)

    Graduating seniors will enroll in Senior Seminar where they will create a final performance, project or portfolio with an appropriate advisor.

    • TRE 4990 Senior Seminar in Theatre Studies (3 credits)

    Theatre Minor (20 credits)

    The 20-credit Theatre minor is designed to complement the experience of non-Theatre major students whose career goals include public appearances, presentations or performance in fields such as business, health administration, pre-law and social work.

    Visit the Theatre minor page for more information.

Program Contact Information

Department Chair: Greg Grobis
Reno Hall, Room 037
McNichols Campus

Telephone: 313-993-3269
Fax: 313-993-3256

Department Website