Theatre and New Dance


The Cal Poly Pomona Department of Theatre and New Dance awards a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre which emphasizes process and the practical experience of producing theatre. The Department follows the University’s “learn by doing” philosophy by offering practice on mainstage and studio theater productions, various workshops, and courses in all aspects of the theatre both artistic and academic. The program stresses concern for students as artists and individuals. Faculty and staff work closely with students to build a solid foundation of knowledge of both the practical and artistic aspects of theatre and dance.

Five tracks are offered. The general track enables students to develop a broad theatre curriculum with primary interests in directing, playwriting, management, or theory and criticism in order to create a course of study that best suits their goals. The acting track is for the student whose primary interest is in acting for the stage. The design and production track is for students with an interest in the theatrical design areas of scenery, lighting, costumes, makeup or sound; and in the production areas such as scenic or costume construction, production management, or technical direction. The dance track is for students interested in a general background in theatre with a specific performance interest in dance. The track for theatre in education and community is available to students interested in teaching theatre in secondary schools and working with community-based theatre organizations.

Students have the opportunity to participate on the main stage as actors and dancers and fill leadership roles as designers or in areas of production. The Department of Theatre and New Dance also offers an opportunity for experimentation in a program of workshops and student driven projects. In the classroom, students receive intensive training in acting, voice, movement, directing, stage lighting, costume and scenic design, playwriting, stagecraft, makeup, and theater management. Coursework also includes theatre history and criticism, dramatic structure and dramatic literature. The curriculum is structured to nurture intellectual and academic skills which work hand-in-hand with artistic skills. Departmental productions draw audiences from the university and the community, making a contribution to their cultural climates. After completing the theatre and new dance major at Cal Poly Pomona, students are prepared for advanced training in graduate schools, for teaching at the high school level, or to begin their careers or specialized training in professional theatre, television or film.

The New Dance program supports a variety of campus/community projects, invites innovative collaborations across groups and disciplines, and promotes the development of engagement projects that reflect a diverse and dynamic cultural climate. Student choreography and performance are presented in the annual student/faculty dance concert. Other opportunities for informal works occur in the studio and campus wide. By addressing the complexity of contemporary multicultural society through the examination of cultural issues, global perspectives, and personal histories, the Dance Minor is committed to developing student-centered study. Internships, independent-study, cross-listed course proposals, community-based projects, and outreach, are some of the ways in which students can explore a variety of learning experiences not traditionally available in dance.