Theatre & Dance, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The A.B. degree in Theatre & Dance provides students with an appreciation for an understanding of performance and its role in culture and society. The program offers a strong foundation in all aspects of drama, theatre, dance performance, and production. Students build significant skills in specific areas (including acting, directing, choreography, design, playwriting, devising, production skills and management) as well as achieving a broad knowledge of theatre and dance.

Productions & Facilities

Each year's schedule includes opportunities to work with professional artists (directors, choreographers and writers) in three Granada Artists-in Residence productions; the Main Stage Dance/Theatre Productions; Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank, Film Festival at UC Davis; projects generated through the Institute for Exploration in Theatre, Dance and Performance; and workshops and performance projects developed by M.F.A and Ph.D. students. These productions are staged in our proscenium (Main), thrust (Wyatt), black box (Arena), performance studio (Della Davidson Performance Studio) and intimate laboratory theatre (Lab A), as well as the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. These productions are part of the academic program of the department and serve an important purpose in the study of theatre and dance. Participation is open to all students.

Production Requirements

All students completing a major in Theatre & Dance must participate in productions, including work in at least two of the following three areas: acting/dance; design (scenic, costume, lighting, painting, props, sound); directing/playwriting/stage management, as well as crew assignments for a minimum of two productions and work in production labs.

Graduate Study

The Department of Theatre & Dance offers programs of study and research leading to the M.F.A. in Dramatic Art (the interdisciplinary weaving of acting, directing, design, choreography, practice and research) and contributing to the Graduate Group Ph.D. in Performance Studies. Detailed information may be obtained by contacting the Graduate Program Administrators: for the M.F.A. in Dramatic Art, 530-752-8710, and for the Graduate Group in Performance Studies, 530-754-6973.

Major Requirements

Preparatory Subject Matter
Choose DRA 021A or 4 units from DRA 040A, 040B, 042A, 042B:4
Fundamentals of Acting
or 4 units from:
Beginning Modern Dance
Intermediate Modern Dance
Beginning Ballet
Intermediate Ballet
DRA 024Visual Aspects of Dramatic Art4
DRA 028Entertainment Engineering & Management: Stagecraft to Stage Management4
Choose three:12
Contemporary Local, National & Global Theatre, Dance & Performance
History of Theatre & Dance I: Myth, Magic & Madness
History of Theatre & Dance II: Romance, Revenge & Rebellion
History of Theatre & Dance III: Sex, Society & the State
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal24
Depth Subject Matter
Choose two:8
History of Modern Dance
American Theatre & Drama
Representing Race in Performance
African American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean
Performance Analysis
Theatre in History & Place: Local, National & Global Conditions for Production
Modern Aesthetic Movements in Performance
Theatre History Through Shakespeare
Performance Studies Undergraduate Seminar
Contemporary Experimental Performance, Theatre & Drama
Choose one:4
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Lighting
Principles of Theatrical Design: Costume
Costume Design for Film
Principles of Performing Arts Stage Management
Topics in Entertainment Engineering
Principles of Theatre Sound
Choose one:4
Intermediate Acting/Gateway: The Actor's Toolkit
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Movement
Introduction to Traditional Chinese Embodied Culture
Professional Track Modern Dance I
Choose one:4
Principles of Directing
Dance Composition
Principles of Playwriting
Choose 8 units:8
Theatre on Film
Advanced Study of Major Film Makers
Design on Screen
Intermediate Acting/Gateway: The Actor's Toolkit
Advanced Acting: Scene Study & Script Analysis
Advanced Acting: Rehearsal Processes & Practices
Advanced Acting: Character & Style
Advanced Acting: Devising & Collaboration
Advanced Acting: Shakespeare & His Contemporaries
Advanced Acting: Special Topics in Acting
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Lighting
Principles of Theatrical Design: Costume
Costume Design for Film
Scenic Painting: Studio
Principles of Performing Arts Stage Management
Topics in Entertainment Engineering
Principles of Directing
Principles of Directing
Principles of Theatre Sound
Approaches to Theatrical Design: Practice & Theory
Voice in Performance
Dance Composition
Dance Composition
Dance Composition
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Movement
History of Modern Dance
Dance & Movement Studio
Introduction to Traditional Chinese Embodied Culture
Traditional Chinese Physical Culture
Daoist Philosophy in Traditional Chinese Movement Culture
Professional Track Modern Dance I
Professional Track Modern Dance II
Professional Track Modern Dance III
American Theatre & Drama
Musicals: History, Practice & Production
Latinx Theatre & Performance
Asian Theatre & Drama: Contexts & Forms
African American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean
Performance Analysis
Theatre in History & Place: Local, National & Global Conditions for Production
Modern Aesthetic Movements in Performance
Theatre History Through Shakespeare
Performance Studies Undergraduate Seminar
Contemporary Experimental Performance, Theatre & Drama
Principles of Playwriting
Principles of Playwriting
Media Theatre
Acting for Camera
Small Scale Film Production
Special Topics: Artist in Residence-Seminar
Special Topics: Artist in Residence-Studio
Choose 6 units from at least two of:6
Directed Choreography Projects
Theatre Laboratory: Performance
Theatre Laboratory: Design
Theatre Laboratory: Management, Directing, other Production Team
Choose 4 units:4
Theatre Laboratory: Crew
Choose 2 units:2
Theatre Laboratory: Scenic
Theatre Laboratory: Costume
Theatre Laboratory: Lighting/Sound/Projection
DRA 195Senior Capstone Experience2
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal42
Total Units66

Honors Major Requirements

Preparatory Subject Matter
Choose DRA 021A or 4 units from DRA 040A, 040B, 042A, 042B:4
Fundamentals of Acting
or 4 units from:
Beginning Modern Dance
Intermediate Modern Dance
Beginning Ballet
Intermediate Ballet
DRA 024Visual Aspects of Dramatic Art4
DRA 028Entertainment Engineering & Management: Stagecraft to Stage Management4
Choose three:12
Contemporary Local, National & Global Theatre, Dance & Performance
History of Theatre & Dance I: Myth, Magic & Madness
History of Theatre & Dance II: Romance, Revenge & Rebellion
History of Theatre & Dance III: Sex, Society & the State
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal24
Depth Subject Matter
Choose two:8
Theatre on Film
Design on Screen
History of Modern Dance
American Theatre & Drama
Musicals: History, Practice & Production
Latinx Theatre & Performance
Asian Theatre & Drama: Contexts & Forms
Representing Race in Performance
African American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean
Performance Analysis
Theatre in History & Place: Local, National & Global Conditions for Production
Modern Aesthetic Movements in Performance
Theatre History Through Shakespeare
Performance Studies Undergraduate Seminar
Contemporary Experimental Performance, Theatre & Drama
Choose one:4
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Lighting
Principles of Theatrical Design: Costume
Costume Design for Film
Principles of Performing Arts Stage Management
Topics in Entertainment Engineering
Principles of Theatre Sound
Choose one:4
Intermediate Acting/Gateway: The Actor's Toolkit
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Movement
Introduction to Traditional Chinese Embodied Culture
Professional Track Modern Dance I
Choose one:4
Principles of Directing
Dance Composition
Principles of Playwriting
Choose 6 units from at least two of:6
Directed Choreography Projects
Theatre Laboratory: Performance
Theatre Laboratory: Design
Theatre Laboratory: Management, Directing, other Production Team
Choose 4 units:4
Theatre Laboratory: Crew
Choose one:2
Theatre Laboratory: Scenic
Theatre Laboratory: Costume
Theatre Laboratory: Lighting/Sound/Projection
Choose 16 units:16
At least 8 of these units must be in a specific area determined in consultation with a faculty advisor and reflecting preparation for the honors project. Courses from other departments may be used to fulfill this requirement with permission of Chair and faculty advisor. Consult the Theatre & Dance advisor for alternative course options for fulfilling this requirement
Theatre on Film
Advanced Study of Major Film Makers
Design on Screen
Intermediate Acting/Gateway: The Actor's Toolkit
Advanced Acting: Scene Study & Script Analysis
Advanced Acting: Rehearsal Processes & Practices
Advanced Acting: Character & Style
Advanced Acting: Devising & Collaboration
Advanced Acting: Shakespeare & His Contemporaries
Advanced Acting: Special Topics in Acting
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery
Principles of Theatrical Design: Lighting
Principles of Theatrical Design: Costume
Costume Design for Film
and Costume Design for Film
Scenic Painting: Studio
Principles of Performing Arts Stage Management
Topics in Entertainment Engineering
Principles of Directing
Principles of Directing
Principles of Theatre Sound
Approaches to Theatrical Design: Practice & Theory
Voice in Performance
Dance Composition
Dance Composition
Dance Composition
Introduction to the Fundamentals of Movement
History of Modern Dance
Dance & Movement Studio
Introduction to Traditional Chinese Embodied Culture
Traditional Chinese Physical Culture
Daoist Philosophy in Traditional Chinese Movement Culture
Professional Track Modern Dance I
Professional Track Modern Dance II
Professional Track Modern Dance III
American Theatre & Drama
Musicals: History, Practice & Production
Latinx Theatre & Performance
Asian Theatre & Drama: Contexts & Forms
African American Dance & Culture in the United States, Brazil & the Caribbean
Performance Analysis
Theatre in History & Place: Local, National & Global Conditions for Production
Modern Aesthetic Movements in Performance
Theatre History Through Shakespeare
Performance Studies Undergraduate Seminar
Contemporary Experimental Performance, Theatre & Drama
Principles of Playwriting
Principles of Playwriting
Media Theatre
Acting for Camera
Small Scale Film Production
Special Topics: Artist in Residence-Seminar
Special Topics: Artist in Residence-Studio
DRA 194HASpecial Study for Honors Students3
DRA 194HBSpecial Study for Honors Students3
DRA 195Senior Capstone Experience2
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal56
Total Units80