Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
Fordham Theatre Department

Back to Training & Curriculum

Performance Major

                 Labyrinth of Desire, Mainstage 2014

Labyrinth of Desire, Mainstage 2014

                      What of the Night?, Mainstage 2013

  Not All Thieves Come to Harm You, Mainstage 2013

                         Waiting for Godot, Studio 2012
                              Eurydice, Studio 2012

                        The Verse Play, Studio 2013

            For A Barbarian Woman, Mainstage 2011

   Rehearsal for Marriage of Figaro, Mainstage 2011

                              Childhood, Studio 2012

                                 Lydia, Studio 2012

The Reagans, Studio 2012
About the Performance Track

The Performance Major includes training in the Stanislavski approach to scene study, performance studies in Chekhov and Shakespeare, Linklater and Fitzmaurice voice techniques, and Feldenkrais and Butoh movement. The curriculum combines voice training and a movement-based approach to acting, drawing upon Stanislavski’s work with physical actions. During their senior year, performance majors take a Senior Audition class taught by a professional New York City casting director to provide students with the resources and knowledge necessary to help them start a professional career immediately upon graduation. Seniors also participate in an industry showcase for agents and casting directors that exposes them to key contacts in the industry.

(13 courses, 52 credits)

Foundation  courses required of all theatre majors:
THEA2080 Collaboration I (open to theatre majors only)
THEA2090 Collaboration II (open to theatre majors only)
THEA2011 Text Analysis 
THEA2000 Theatre History I: The Greeks
THEA2100 Theatre History II:  Medieval to the Restoration
THEA2200 Theatre History III: Modern to the Present

Performance  required courses (these courses are open to performance majors only):
THEA2010 Acting I
THEA2700 Acting II
THEA3000 Acting III
THEA3100 Acting IV
THEA3030 - THEA3040 Actor’s Vocal Technique I and II 
THEA3050 - THEA3060 Movement for the Actor I and II

One advanced acting course taken from the following
(these courses are open to performance majors only):
Creating a Character 
Acting Shakespeare
The Actor and the Text
Acting for the Camera
Clown and Improvisation
Flying Solo

During junior and senior year, performance majors often take more than one advanced acting course. This is permitted as long as all Fordham core requirements have been completed.

Each of the following sequential pairs of two-credit courses, when completed successfully, will count as one course toward satisfying the graduation requirement of 36 courses:
Actor's Vocal Technique I and II
Movement for the Actor I and II
Senior Audition I and II


Collaboration I and II
A two-course sequence for all freshmen theatre majors. This course will instill in students that the primary skill in the theatre is the ability to work together. Students across each concentration (performance, playwriting, directing, and design and production) will create short pieces as a team with leading roles circulating.

Text Analysis
Through careful, intensive reading of a variety of plays with different dramatic structures and aesthetics, students begin to see that options exist for interpreting a script.
Theatre History I: The Greeks
The course explores the major developments in the ancient Greek theatre, focusing on the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. To enrich our context we will read primary Greek texts including The Iliad and The Odyssey, and contemporary responses to the Greeks from writers such as Wole Soyinka, Adrienne Kennedy, and Derek Walcott. The course is open to non-majors.
Theatre History II: Medieval to the Restoration
The course explores the major developments in Theatre from 1588 to 1720. We use major works as a focus including the plays of Hrotsvitha, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Webster, Ford, Calder-n de la Barca, Chikamatsu, Moliere, Racine, Congreve, and Centlivre. We explore their context (when, where, and why they were written) the lives of the playwrights, and the culture and the politics of their society. The course is open to non-majors.
Theatre History III: Moderns to the Present
The course explores the major developments in Theatre from 1879 to the present using major plays of Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Wedekind, Stein, Brecht, O'Neill, Artaud, Genet, Kennedy, Beckett, Soyinka, Mishima, Churchill, and the movements of performance art and butoh. We explore their context - when, where, and why they were written - the lives of the playwrights, and the culture and the politics of their society. The course is open to non-majors.

Acting I
An introductory acting course in which students participate in voice, movement, and impulse exercises with particular emphasis on physical actions. Vocal Lab. (Every fall)

Acting II
Introduction to scene study and text analysis for the actor using the Stanislavski approach. Work on scenes chosen from realistic plays. Students will study characterdevelopment by exploring psychological objectives and how they are embodied in physical actions.  Vocal and Movement Labs. (Everyspring)

Acting III
Continuation of intensive scene study based on the Stanislavski system. Techniques of scene analysis, scoring, and appropriate rehearsal procedures will be covered. Performance majors only.  Vocal Lab. (Every fall)

Acting IV
This is a scene study course with an emphasis on bringing Stanislavsky technique to non-realistic texts. The actors will work with playwrights outside the canon of mainstream realism, such as Samuel Beckett,  Erik Ehn, Gertrude Stein, and the early work of Suzan-Lori Parks.  As Stella Adler said, "In your choice is your talent," and this course reveals how the actor's choice illuminates even the most challenging plays. (Every spring)

Song as Scene
Students will receive training in the techniques of diction, interpretation, vocal production, and acting through the preparation of scenes from major musicals of the American and European theatre. Prerequisite: TDLU 2700 or permission of the theatre program director or instructor.

Actor's Vocal Technique I
Vocal exercises for the actor to help release the voice, develop larger breathing capacity, and agility in articulation. Work on developing physical ease while exploring varieties of vocal projection through speech and song. (Every fall)

Actor's Vocal Technique II
Advanced exploration of the voice.  (Every spring)

Movement for the Actor I
Work to develop realization, strength, centering, and coordination in the body, the basic acting instrument. Butoh movement. Performance majors only.  (Every fall)

Movement for the Actor II
Continuation of Movement I.  (Every spring)

Creating a Character
Advanced scene study employing exercises and exploration specifically designed to give the actor a technique with which to develop a distinct characterization. 

Acting Shakespeare
An investigation of the various historical and contemporary techniques of acting Elizabethan verse through close textual analysis and in-class performance of scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

The Actor and the Text
The actor's interpretation of the text. Advanced work on the actor's choices. Investigation of what makes the word personal. Explores how the actor can deepen and enrich the text. 

Acting for the Camera
An introduction to the skills and techniques employed in acting and auditioning for the camera.

Clown and Improvisation
This disciplined and playful intensive will introduce students to creating physical theatre in the clown tradition while reinforcing the embodiment of strong actions, the cornerstone of all performance styles.

Flying Solo
An exploration of how to write and perform the solo show. 

Senior Audition I
The objective of this course, which is taught by a professional casting director, is to provide performance majors with as much information as possible on how to become a working actor. Topics include agents, casting directors, the audition and call back process, preparation of headshots and resumes, preparation of audition pieces, mock auditions, cold readings, regional and New York theatre companies, graduate schools, etc. The course also introduces students to audition techniques for film and TV. Numerous industry professionals visit the class and share their perspectives on all of the above. (Fall, senior year)

Senior Audition II
Preparation for the Senior Showcase—an evening in May of scenes and monologues performed by the senior performance majors for producers, agents, and casting directors.  (Spring, senior year)

Acting Lab
Rehearsal and performance of a role under faculty supervision. Consent of faculty director.

Projects: Acting
Advanced rehearsal and performance of a role under faculty direction. Written analysis and evaluation of the project. Consent of faculty advisor.


TDLV 3300-Theatre, Creativity, and Values
This course is designed to give students an opportunity to examine and reflect upon creativity and the Theatre. How does creativity mark the distinctness of the human person? How does human creativity point to the presence and action of God? What purpose does the Theatre serve for society? Emphasis is placed on personal integration of philosophical principles and personal technique and craft. Open to Theatre Majors and minors only.

THEA2900-Theatre Management
An introduction to the managerial aspects of American theatre. Topics include:  forming a production company, artistic policy, union contracts, the role of the producer, fundraising, marketing and audience development, etc. Lecture, discussion, field trips, guest speakers from the professional theatre community.

TDLU 3900-Professional Internships

Supervised internship at an outside professional institution related to theatre, television, or film. Monthly evaluations. Prerequisite: consent of chairperson.

See other sections for course descriptions on:
THEA4999 4 Credit Tutorial in Theatre
THEA2510 Theatre as Social Change
THEA2511 Theatre and Social Justice in Latin America
THEA3017 Song as Scene
THEA3095 Stage Combat
THEA4025 Flying Solo
THEA4045 Young Gifted and Black
TDLU 4302-Russian Theatre Workshop
(2 credits; two-week winter break abroad in Moscow; extra fees apply)

If you have any questions about the Theatre Program and/or the classes, please contact Carla Jackson, Theatre Program Administrator, at

Site  | Directories
Submit Search Request