Theater Major Concentrations

Students in the B.A. program in theater will choose a concentration in one of the following areas: design, directing, playwriting, theater and community, or theater and performance studies.


The design concentration offers fundamental coursework and practical experience for students interested in theater design and production. Students will select courses in design history, stage management, and scenic, lighting, and costume design, supplemented with our practicum series and assignments in department productions.

Required preparation:

  • Theater 19 - Design Fundamentals for Dance and Theater (4 units)
  • Theater 29A - Scenic Practicum (1 unit)
  • Theater 29B - Lighting Practicum (1 unit)
  • Theater 29C - Costume Practicum (1 unit)
  • Theater 29D - Run Crew Practicum (1 unit)

Additional units from the following courses:

  • Theater 122 – Advanced Scenic Design (4 units)
  • Theater 123 – Advanced Lighting Design (4 units)
  • Theater 125 – Advanced Costume Design (4 units)
  • Theater 130 – History of Decorative Styles (4 units)
  • Theater 132 – History of Decorative Styles (4 units)
  • Theater 134P – Puppet Design and Construction (4 units)
  • Theater 153P – Projects in Design and Production (1-6 units)
  • Theater 194D – Group Studies in Design (4 units)
  • Theater 195 – Principles of Stage Management (2 units)
  • Theater 195P – Stage Management Production (2-4 units)
  • Dance 151DB – Digital Dance Portfolio (3 units)
  • Dance 151DC – Dance Videography (3 units)


Beginning in the Junior year, the Directing Concentration is a dynamic five-quarter program designed to introduce young artists to the art and craft of directing. Directing students learn to analyze dramatic text, tell the story of a play visually, work with actors to develop and shape their performances, collaborate with designers, and become leaders fostering an atmosphere of joy, exploration and collaboration. In the second year, directing students work with acting students on two workshop productions of one-act plays. The department also provides opportunities to assist professional directors either on campus or in professional venues when possible. Taught by a faculty composed of working professionals, this concentration strongly prepares young directors for internships and apprenticeships at theaters across the country, MFA programs, and/or creating their own work.

Required preparation

  • Theater 152A - Introduction to Stage Directing (4 units) and Permission of instructor

Concentration courses

  • Theater 152B - Techniques of Directing (4 units)
  • Theater 152C - Advanced Directing (4 units)
  • Theater 152D - Directorial Production (4 units)
  • Theater 152E - Projects in Directing (4 units)
  • Theater 195 - Principles of Stage Management (2 units)


The playwriting concentration is based on a series of courses that require students to practice playwriting, and includes public readings, visiting lecturers, and periodic departmental productions of original scripts. All courses require permission of the instructor, and further work in this area might include additional courses in theater studies, creative writing, and theater arts. For more information about how to enroll in specific Playwriting courses, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor in Theater and Dance at

Required preparation

  • Twelve units from Area F of UD Major

Concentration courses

  • Three additional courses from:
  • Theater 104A - Essentials of Playwriting (4 units)
  • Theater 104B - The Writer's Voice (4 units)
  • Theater 104C - From page to Script (4 units)
  • Theater 104D - Story Structure (4 units)
  • Theater 104E - Solo Performance ( 4 units)
  • Theater 180E - Culture Clash: Studies in U.S. Latino Theater (4 units) 

Theater & Community

The concentration in Theater and Community will allow students to practice their performance skills in both the campus and the Santa Barbara communities. Students will visit schools and community organizations where they will both perform plays specially written for school audiences and work with school children to develop their own plays.  Their performances will often address matters of compelling interest to the community and the experience will lead them to understand and practice theatre as a means of uniting the community.

Recommended preparation

  • Theater 90 - Community Theater (3 units)

Required preparation

  • Twelve units from Area F of UD Major

Concentration courses

Twelve additional units from at least three of the following courses:

  • Theater 140A & B - Advanced Acting Workshop I and II (4 units ea)
  • Theater 142 - I.V. Live (2 units)
  • Theater 144A & B - Shakespeare Production (4 units ea)
  • Theater 152B - Techniques of Directing (4 units)
  • Theater 180G - Race, Gender, and Performance (4 units)
  • Theater 187TA & TB - Teatro I and II (4 units ea)
  • Theater 195 - Principles of Stage Management (2 units)

Theater & Performance Studies

The theater and performance studies concentration will allow students to achieve broad education in theater as it has been practiced in different historical periods and in various parts of the globe. Students will have the opportunity to study the critical, historical, and theoretical aspects of theater. They will also engage in practical courses in theater and participate in departmental and class productions. 

Required preparation

  • Completion of Areas A-D of UD Major

Concentration courses

  • Theater 192 - Upper-Division Seminar (with permission of instructor) OR an additional UD dramatic literature course

One additional course from (all 4 units courses):

  • Theater 180A - American Drama to 1940
  • Theater 180B - American Drama 1940 to Present
  • Theater 180C - Contemporary American Drama and Theater
  • Theater 180D - Hispanic-American Theater and Performance
  • Theater 180E - Culture Clash: Studies in U.S. Latino Theater
  • Theater 181AA-ZZ -National Studies in European Theater & Drama
  • Theater 182AA-ZZ -Transnational Studies in European Theater & Drama
  • Theater 185AA-ZZ -Cross =-Cultural Studies in Theater & Drama
  • Theater 187AA-ZZ -Performance Studies
  • Theater 188AA-ZZ -History of Performance
  • Theater 194L - Group Studies in Literature

One additional course from:

  • Theater 183AA-ZZ -Asian Theater and Performance OR
  • Theater 184AA-ZZ - African and Caribbean Performance (students who have taken 183AA-ZZ in the UD Major should take 184AA-ZZ for the concentration, and vice versa)