Theatre at Wagner College provides students with a broad liberal arts background combined with intensive training, particularly in Musical Theatre, through a rigorous combination of classes and public performances. By linking theory with practice, the department seeks to foster leadership, a sense of community, artistic integrity, intellectual expertise, and the best professional values to serve students in their chosen profession.
The Department of Performing Arts offers training in Acting, Musical Theatre Performance, Dance, Design, and Management as well as Playwriting, Directing, and more.
Wagner offers a BA in Theatre and Speech. Students can elect to concentrate in Performance, Design/Technology/Management, and Theatre Studies, or complete a Dual Major in Theatre and Education. The Performing Arts Department is also home to Bachelor of Science programs in Arts Administration and Dance Education.
The Theatre Performance Concentration involves a sequence of acting courses, including classical styles, improvisational techniques, musical theatre performance, dance, voice, and the business of acting. The curriculum culminates in a Senior Showcase at Playwrights Horizons. Performance majors have a wide variety of courses in dance, music, and acting to chose from. An audition is required for acceptance into the program as select classes are exclusively for Performance majors. A student in the Performance Concentration cannot finish the degree in less than 3 years at Wagner, and no transfer credit in performance will be accepted toward the major requirements. Currently recent graduates are represented on Broadway with shows like Dear Evan Hansen, Aladdin, Fiddler in Yiddish, and Moulin Rouge.
The Theatre Design, Technology and Management (D/T/M) Concentration allows students to find their own path as they pursue their major in fields like Stage Management, Technical Direction, Set and Lighting Design, Wardrobe and Hair/Make-Up, Sound Engineering, and more. There are many opportunities to practice by working on the various departmental productions. An interview is required for acceptance into the program. Currently D/T/M alumni are represented on Broadway in shows like Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Book of Mormon, Aladdin, and more.
Theatre Studies is designed for students who want to study the many aspects of theatre, from performance based classes including acting, playwriting, and directing, to history and theory including several in English and Modern Languages, to design and management. Many Theatre Studies majors go on to graduate school and work professionally as theatre-makers. Students are required to interview prior to declaring this major. This is the most flexible of the concentrations in terms of accepting transfer credits and community college degrees; if a student is transferring from a community college and is looking to complete a Theatre degree at Wagner in two years, Theatre Studies should be the curriculum followed.
Dual Major in Education and Theatre is designed for students interested in a career teaching in primary or secondary schools. Students take a range of Theatre courses as well as all the required courses to prepare for teacher certification, including the Senior Learning Community in Education that involves a semester of student teaching. Students will have an adviser in both areas.
The Dance Program includes a Minor in Dance and a Major in Dance Education. All Wagner students are able to take studio dance classes in a range of disciplines, including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Tap, as well as courses in Pedagogy, Movement Analysis, Choreography, History, and Criticism. Professional dancers and choreographers regularly offer guest workshops and are hired to participate in the program.
Full Course Descriptions
(Please note: Transfer credits, including AP credits, from other institutions will not necessarily be accepted toward the major.)
- Major in Theatre and Speech: Performance Concentration (B.A.)
- Major in Theatre: Design, Technology and Management Concentration (B.A.)
- Major in Theatre: Theatre Studies (B.A.)
- Dual Major in Theatre and Childhood Education (B.A.)