Theater Arts

As a student in Duquesne’s Department of Theater Arts—whether majoring or minoring—you’ll study various aspects of theater, such as acting, directing, playwriting, stage design and technical production. You’ll take core courses in theater history, theory and criticism, through which you’ll gain a broad understanding of the history and evolution of theater, as well as the theoretical concepts and critical perspectives used to analyze and interpret theatrical works.

As a theater arts major, you’ll examine and experience the relationship between drama as literary artifact and drama as performance, and you’ll learn the skills necessary to translate the written word into a living, breathing, dynamic art.

You’ll work on the technical side of dramatic presentation, developing invaluable problem-solving skills, building leadership qualities and learning to work successfully in a team environment. You’ll also learn unique skills that will keep you calm in a crisis, keep your mind flexible, make you versatile and courageous and train you to have a critical eye.

As in all Duquesne’s liberal arts programs, you’ll develop flexibility of mind, clarity and precision in written and oral communication and an ability to negotiate an ever more complex world.

"I love being a theater major due to the hands-on training I’ve received, student run programs and the connections I’ve made through my professors."

Emma M., Theater Arts Undergraduate Student


Program Information

Our Theater Arts majors and minors explore the world of theater through acting, directing, playwriting, stage design, and technical production.

Program Type

Major, Minor



Academic Department




Program Requirements

15 credit hours, including:

  • THEA 151 Introduction to Theater
  • ENGL 203 Introduction to Drama
  • THEA 210 History of Theater I (Ancient to Renaissance)
  • THEA 211 History of Theater II (Renaissance to Present)
  • THEA 305 Directing I
9 credit hours selected from 300-400 level English Department courses that emphasize dramatic literature.

12 credit hours, chosen from the following:

  • THEA 201Acting I
  • THEA 301 Acting II
  • THEA 302 Acting III
  • THEA 303 Acting IV
  • THEA 310 Technical Theater
  • THEA 405 Directing II
  • THEA 481/ENG 434W Dramatic Criticism
  • ENGL 301W Playwriting I
  • ENGL 400W Playwriting II
  • THEA 496 Directed Studies (including practica in Theater Management, Technical Theater, and Performance)

Minor in Theater Arts

Students who choose theater arts as a minor find that it provides an invaluable set of skills.

9 credit hours:

  • THEA 151: Introduction to Theater
  • THEA 210: History of Theater I (Ancient to Renaissance)
  • THEA 211: History of Theater II (Renaissance to Present) 

6 credit hours selected from 300-400-level English department courses that emphasize dramatic literature.

6 credit hours, chosen from the following:

  • ENGL 203: Introduction to Drama
  • THEA 201: Acting I (2 credits)
  • THEA 301: Acting II (2 credits)
  • THEA 302: Acting III (2 credits)
  • THEA 303: Acting IV (2 credits)
  • THEA 305: Directing I
  • THEA 310: Technical Theater
  • THEA 405: Directing II
  • THEA 481/ENG 434W: Dramatic Criticism
  • ENGL 301W: Playwriting I
  • ENGL 400W: Playwriting II
  • THEA 496: Directed Studies (including practica in Theater Management, Technical Theater and Performance


Duquesne’s theater arts program will enhance your academic experience with real-world working opportunities with off-campus professional companies and unions. Students can apply for prearranged internships with organizations such as:

  • Pittsburgh Public Theater
  • City Theater
  • Quantum Theater
  • Gemini Children’s Theater
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
  • Belajack Casting Agency
  • Civic Light Opera
  • Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh Symphony
  • Many others

Embracing the Art Form

As a student of the theater arts, you’ll be immersed in a unique, artistic atmosphere featuring the following supportive elements that will increase your appreciation for the artform and build skills that will be valuable far beyond the stage:

  • A holistic, liberal arts approach to the study of theater. This means you’ll get a well-rounded education in the many aspects of theater, from studying the literature of the plays themselves to developing skills needed both backstage in production and on stage as an actor.
  • A supportive learning environment that includes small classes, one-on-one mentoring, and the chance to work on independent projects.
  • The opportunity to get involved in student productions of the Red Masquers starting your freshman year! The Summer Company, Exhalations Dance Troupe and Encore Show Choir provide additional campus performance opportunities. This practical experience provides valuable skills and connections within the local theater industry.

Theater arts students can also develop their performance and behind-the-scenes skills in the department’s Genesius Theater.