May be elected as a departmental major 

Effective Fall 2015

The RC Drama program offers a unique course of study at U-M: the understanding of drama both as art form and literature. They learn to understand all the stages of the dramatic process - from the circumstances of a work's composition, to the history of theater methods and presentation. Students attune their sense of theater aesthetic through practice and experimentation. They immerse themselves in the dramatic process as actors and directors as well as learning about all the aspects of production: costuming, scenery, lighting and sound design.

The Drama major is operated in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Drama. The major combines the strengths and faculty resources of the RC and Theatre and Drama.

  • The RC brings strengths in a humanities approach to drama and the dramatic arts, most notably in its Text-to-Performance orientation that combines the literary, the historical, and the theatrical.
  • Theatre and Drama contributes expertise in design, production, and practicum work, thereby exposing students to the best of both worlds. 

Both programs offer students a variety of hands-on experiences and opportunities to study, explore, and perform.

Students have the opportunity to explore the fields of dramaturgy, directing, the teaching of dramatic literature, and practical theatre as it relates to theory; and to study dramatic texts and experience performance and production. It consists of 35 credits that move from introductory courses to those along two distinct upper-level tracks. The major culminates in a play production capstone seminar that brings all the elements of this major into focus.

The Program regards drama as an art form that is both literary and theatrical, drawing on these and many other arts for its expression, but claiming methods and purposes which are finally its own. A proper appreciation of drama requires the recognition and study of several stages in the making of a play, primarily those of the playwright and his conditions of work, the text and form of the play, the performance of the play, and the audience and society from which the play arises and to whom it is addressed. This demands a practical as well as a theoretical encounter with all the components of the dramatic experience. Accordingly, the method of study employed by the Drama Program combines active experiment and dynamic presentation with critical analysis and appropriate conditions for interpreting, enjoying, and evaluating the living work of dramatic art.

Prerequisites to the Major


Requirements for the major

Students wishing to pursue a sustained exploration of dramatic literature and its performance must complete a minimum of 35 credits of course work, distributed as follows:

  1. Theater History sequence:  THTREMUS 321 and 322
  2.  Fundamentals of acting and script analysis: 
    1. One of RCHUMS 281 or RCHUMS 282
    2. One of THTREMUS 101 or 110 or 102
  3.  The Senior Capstone. RCHUMS 481.
  4. Category Requirement. Five courses, with at least two in each category, for a total of at least 18 credits
    1. Actor and Text. Choose at least two from:
      • RCHUMS 383, 387, 389, 390, 483, 485
      • THTREMUS 233, 323
      • AAS 342
      • ENGLISH 349
    2. Design and Production. Choose at least two from:
      • RCHUMS 482
      • THTREMUS 227, 240, 241, 250, 251
      • ENGLISH 227

RC Players. The RC Players is a student-run theatre organization that provides students all over campus with the opportunity to showcase their talent in acting, directing, producing, and more.  RC Players provide leadership opportunities and venues for creative and dramatic expression through its various student-written and published theatrical pieces in East Quad. Past productions have included Evenings of Scenes, premieres of original student-written works, student-senior theses that reflect and re-enact their undergraduate experiences, various experimental texts, and the modestly (in)famous Kamikaze Theater. We are open to all students across campus, but provide the unique advantage to become active and creative within the East Quad and RC community, even without any prior experience.

Shakespeare in the Arb. A theater production of the LSA Residential College that moves through different areas of the Nichols Arboretum. The unique experience of Shakespeare in the Arb comes from the environmental staging of the plays. There is no fixed stage-instead, the audience follows the action through different locations in the Arboretum. The staging takes advantage of the vistas and valleys, the special arrangements of the natural settings. Performances held Thursday-Sunday evenings in June. This beloved annual tradition is eagerly anticipated by the community and commands sold-out performances.

German Theatre Program. U-M RC Deutsches Theater is part of the RC Intensive German Language Program. It has staged plays in German annually since 1985. The group travels to Munich or Berlin each year to see theater.

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