Theater Option

Liberal Arts A.A. Degree with Theater Option
The Theater Option within the VPA Unit provides students majoring in Liberal Arts with the skills and knowledge necessary to begin a career in the theatre. The Option recognizes that theatre is a combination of different arts, from writing and designing to performing and directing. This Option provides a well-grounded introduction to all the components that make theater such an exciting and creative art form.

Students can enroll in a series of classes designed to lay the foundation for careers in theater, including working on a variety of fully-produced plays and appreciating the various artistic aspects of theater. Field trips to Broadway and Off-Broadway plays are part of course offerings.

Additionally, through a partnership with the Hostos Center for the Arts, students have the opportunity to observe and work with top theater and entertainment professionals in the creation of new work. Every winter, select students will also participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Region I. In the past, students have also performed at the International Collegiate Theater Festival in Edinburgh’s Fringe. Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Theater can easily transfer to Lehman College (articulation agreements exist) or any other CUNY senior college. 

Theater opens our minds to human experience and inspires both reflection and activism. The Theater Option will enable students to gain the vital knowledge and insight that will prepare them not only to perform and work in theater, but also to engage with the world in which we live. Theater courses are helpful to actors and non-actors alike as confidence boosters in speaking to audiences and learning collaborative skills
Requirements for the Theater Option: 9 credits

In addition to any courses taken as part of the Common or Flexible Core, students must take 3 additional courses from the offerings below:

VPA 171 Introduction to Theater
3 credits, 3 hours
Co-requisite: ENG 91 or ESL 91
 The student will analyze, discuss, and define the nature, meaning, and components of theater, as well as the creative collaborations that contribute to its shape and effect. The course will
include field trips and special projects.
VPA 172 Play and Performance Analysis
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ENG 93 or higher OR ESL 91/93 or higher
Students will examine plays to find production and performance values as well as analyze for literary structure. Using a variety of plays, students will learn to investigate a script and this will assist them when acting, designing, and directing. This course empowers practitioners with analytical skills to enhance their artistic work. Students will examine various approaches to reading plays as dramatic texts and as their basis for production, focusing on elements such as structure, character, language, theme, and larger social significance. Students will present a final written and oral presentation on their own artistic interpretation of a specific play. This course is recommended for students planning to major in theater but all students can benefit from this course.
 VPA 181 Acting I (CE)
(Formerly Theater Production)
(Formerly VPA 3598)
3 credits, 3 hours
Co-requisite: ENG 91 or ESL 91
 The student will execute physical and vocal exercises; do dramatic
improvisations and readings; execute ensemble exercises; act from scripted
scenes; and perform in public.
Offered in English and Spanish.
VPA 182 Movement for the Actor I:
Theory and Practice
3 credits, 3 hours
This course introduces the student to a diversity of movement influences such
as mime, the Alexander Technique, the Suzuki training, and Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints for the stage. Methods will be used to help the student connect physically, emotionally and mentally with the challenges of the dramatic text. The student will become familiar with the different theories as well as with the application of various methods.
VPA 193 Voice & Diction
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ESL 25 or ESL 82/84 or
higher Co-requisite: ESL 35 or ESL
86/88 or higher; ENG 91 or ESL 91
 The student will take a speech diagnostic test at the beginning of the course, and through individual and group exercises, demonstrate measurable improvement in speech production, diction, and pronunciation.
VPA 281 Acting II
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: VPA 181- Acting I
 This course further develops the basic principles mastered in Acting I. The student will learn a diversity of exercises and improvisational work to expand the imagination and stimulate the instruments—an actor’s body and mind—by increasing sensorial awareness, enabling each student to make specific and clear choices in becoming a truthful character on the stage. The emphasis will be on characterization through monologues and scene work.
VPA 282 Movement for the Actor II
(Formerly VPA 207)
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: VPA 182
Co-requisite: None
 This course continues the work introduced in Movement for the Actor I. The student will be further challenged in a diversity of movement influences; methods and trainings will be used to help the student connect physically, emotionally, and mentally with the challenges of the dramatic text and the development of a character. The student will become familiar with different theories as well as with application of various methods.