Theatre Arts Studies BA

Program Purpose

We develop scholar artists who are inspired by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and who build on the great performance ideas from the past and present to become the innovators of the future.

We believe students who graduate from BYU should have five qualities that will help them achieve their goals and fulfill our mission statement:

  1. Knowledge (of the field,of their own goals, and of the multiple possibilities for their future)

  2. Responsibility (for their own learning and for those they work with as part of a community

    of scholar artists)

  3. Innovation (in creative and critical thinking, in practical application of skills, and in vision for

    the future)

  4. Advocacy (for themselves as scholar artists and for the arts in general)

  5. Testimony (of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ)

Curricular Structure

The strategy of the program's curriculum is to offer a solid base, with adaptability and a degree of specialization for each student.

Thirteen credits of prerequisite and foundation courses give grounding in fundamental skills and analysis of narrative texts, as well as experience in the practical skills of acting, directing, collaboration, research and visualization.

Fourteen credits in core courses deepen knowledge of dramatic literature and theatre history, including theory and performance techniques.

The two credit Capstone courses allow synthesis of prior academic and production work in preparation for movement into graduate school or career.

Twenty credits in major theatre electives allow students to develop individually tailored skills as well as develop an area of emphasis, and give the student maximum flexibility to customize their training.

One important aspect of the program is "learning how to learn," as well as learning specific skills and abilities. Therefore, many curricular activities are supplemented by practical courses and production-related experiences where students are often taught by professionals in a professional environment. Students learn factual, conceptual, historical and theoretical ideas in the classroom. Then they integrate their knowledge, skills, and character through involvement in collaborative, evaluative and creative practical experiences.

Some of the most effective co-curricular opportunities extend the educational goals of core courses, overtly integrating spiritual and creative concerns. Graduates leave BYU with meaningful hands-on experiences, grounded on solid historical, critical thinking and technical competencies. This allows our students to compete with graduates of other university programs for jobs and graduate degrees in the professional and/or academic worlds.


Catalog Information

Major Academic Plan

Learning Outcomes

Critical Engagement

Students will demonstrate a comprehension of the processes, history, and theory of performance.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 140 TMA 227 TMA 240 TMA 331 TMA 411 TMA 483 TMA 111 TMA 115 TMA 201 TMA 202 TMA 215R TMA 251 TMA 301 TMA 302 TMA 380 TMA 395 TMA 480R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge
Technical Training

Students will implement analytical, conceptual, and technical skills in a variety of performance


Courses that Contribute: TMA 140 TMA 227 TMA 258 TMA 260R TMA 316 TMA 331 TMA 379R TMA 411 TMA 460 TMA 465 TMA 479R TMA 483 TMA 489R TMA 160 TMA 215R TMA 220R TMA 251 TMA 256 TMA 259 TMA 260R TMA 266 TMA 267 TMA 316 TMA 330R TMA 336 TMA 351 TMA 360R TMA 362 TMA 363 TMA 364 TMA 365 TMA 366R TMA 367 TMA 368 TMA 369R TMA 380 TMA 420R TMA 423R TMA 443R TMA 451R TMA 462 TMA 465 TMA 467R TMA 468R TMA 469 TMA 479R TMA 480R TMA 485R TMA 515R TMA 551R
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Competence
Performance Practice

Students will show proficiency in an aspect of performance practice: ie, acting, critical writing, design and technology, devising, directing, dramaturgy, and/or playwriting.

Courses that Contribute: TMA 240 TMA 331 TMA 360R TMA 483 TMA 489R TMA 215R TMA 220R TMA 251 TMA 301 TMA 323R TMA 330R TMA 336 TMA 351 TMA 360R TMA 364 TMA 369R TMA 380 TMA 395 TMA 420R TMA 436 TMA 443R TMA 451R TMA 461R TMA 485R TMA 515R TMA 536R TMA 551R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Human knowledge

Evidence of Learning

Most formal assessment occurs at the level of individual courses through exams, papers, teacher interviews, participation in discussions, etc. Informal learning occurs in the production process, including extensive mentoring from pre-production through the performance and ending with the post production evaluation.

Direct Measures

Theatre Arts Studies faculty place value on explicit, objective evidences of learning. They assess these evidences using traditional evaluation tools that include, but are not limited to:

  1. Written examinations
  2. Written research papers
  3. Quizzes
  4. Journals
  5. Pre- and post- production papers
  6. Portfolios
  7. Monitoring progress through the College Advisement Center.

Theatre Arts Studies faculty further recognize that many traditional assessment tools do not adequately and objectively measure learning in the realm of creativity, inspiration, and originality. Other assessment tools, which endeavor to determine student progress in these more intangible performance areas include, but are not limited to:

  1. Immediate faculty verbal and written assessment of in-class performances
  2. Immediate student verbal and written assessment of in-class performances
  3. On-campus public performances with feedback from faculty, students, and published sources
  4. Faculty assessment of off-campus performances
  5. Faculty adjudicated performance proficiencies at the end of each semester
  6. Carefully and specifically designed evaluation criteria for each performance discipline
  7. Professionally engaged faculty offering a knowledgeable industry perspective to students
  8. Faculty and student assessment within the rehearsal process

Indirect Measures

Indirect measure include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Student Evaluations
  2. Alumni Questionnaire
  3. Senior Survey
  4. Student Focus Groups
  5. Feedback from academic and industry professionals
  6. Feedback from graduates and colleagues in state and national theatre organizations
  7. Feedback from patrons and off-campus colleagues

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement

Theatre Arts Faculty members gather the generated data and outcomes from the direct and indirect assessment measurements. The data is evaluated against program goals and learning outcomes. Strengths and weaknesses of the various program areas and courses are identified and recommendations for adjustments and improvements are submitted to the TMA Curriculum and Executive Committees. Through thoughtful discussion and debate, consensus is reached, changes are identified, and procedures are put in place to refine goals and outcomes. When and if necessary, proposals are forwarded to the College and University Curriculum Committees for approval.

The state of the department and its programs is a major topic of discussion at the annual pre-school meetings. Periodic faculty meetings throughout the year are devoted to program and curricular issues.