The Newcomb Department of Theatre and Dance offers options for several levels of study: a non-conservatory Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Performance or Design; a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Performance, Design, or generalist theatre track; and a minor. The Design track in turn allows for a focus in costume, scenic, or lighting design, stage management, or technical direction. Students of any major are also welcome to take classes and be involved in shows as performers or behind the scenes. All of our degree programs are interdisciplinary, with the aim of developing well-rounded, academically-informed theatre artists.
All theatre students train in the fundamentals of performance, design, history, and criticism, as well as having access to classes in stage management, theatre management, playwriting, and directing. Each discipline in turn teaches a variety of approaches. The performance curriculum includes classes in movement, voice, acting for the camera and other media, classical text, Stanislavsky’s method and other modern realist techniques, and the Suzuki Method of Acting. Design/tech students benefit from the leadership not only of the faculty, but of the department’s M.F.A. candidates and often enroll in master’s-level classes. During the summer, students can gain professional credits with the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, an Equity festival.
Departmental facilities include a large black box mainstage, a smaller second black box stage, several dance studios, and on-campus scene and costume shops. The department produces two mainstage performances per semester from a variety of periods and styles, as well as a variable number of student-run productions. Some students also seek out the chance to be involved in the New Orleans theatre scene, present work at the New Orleans Fringe Festival, audition for student films, or seek out extra or day player work on film sets.
Theatre students at Tulane have the freedom to pursue courses in other fields and often to double major, especially those receiving a B.A. Admission to B.F.A. programs is based on an audition or portfolio review, which takes place after the freshman year. For this reason, no audition or portfolio is required for applicants interested in Tulane’s theatre program, but they are welcomed and considered in the application process. Visit our Portfolios & Auditions page for more information on auditions and portfolios.