The Theater Program at George Mason University stresses the ideal that serious practical training and experience, combined with the breadth and vigor of liberal arts study, offers its graduates the best preparation for a life in the theater. Its mission is to use theater as a means of preparing students for a complex and challenging future, regardless of where their interests and training may lead them.
The School of Theater prepares its vocational graduates for entry into the professional world and/or graduate study with rigorous, concentrated, and individualized training. Theater students develop the ability to solve problems creatively, think critically, write clearly, and express themselves comfortably through speech and movement. In addition, students establish a personal work ethic and take responsibility for personal and group efforts.
The Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage & Screen. There are approximately one hundred students in the program, and enrollment continues to grow. Students begin the major by taking the university's general education courses that are required of all majors. Students are then required to take courses in history of the theater, acting, directing, dramaturgy, script analysis, technical theater, as well as theatrical literature and criticism. Through play production practicum courses, students earn credit for working on shows. The degree is completed with upper-level courses from the following areas of specialization: performance, design and technical theater, playwriting and dramaturgy, teaching theater PK-12, and theater studies.
Theater students are expected to be self-directed and are encouraged to develop a resume of personal experience that includes class work, theater productions, internships, and summer field experiences. Individual opportunities are limited only by the student's desire to create them.
The Mason Players, a dynamic faculty-directed student organization, produces six productions each season. These include Mainstage Productions, which are directed by faculty or guest artists, and Studio Productions which are selected and directed by students. Auditions are open to all full-time Mason students. They may also work as stage managers or designers, on construction and lighting crews, and as crew supervisors. The Mason Players perform in the TheaterSpace, a 150-seat flexible venue; the Harris Theater,a 460-seat tradtional proscenium stage with a counterweight fly system, and the 1900-seat Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
The Performing Artist Residency in Theater (PART) initiative engages theater professionals in our faculty, our productions, and special events. Mason's Theater Program provides professional interaction among our students and the working professionals of the vibrant Washington, D.C. theater community and beyond
Alumni from Mason's Theater Program are working professionally in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their training at the university has helped them land positions in acting, directing, stage management, technical work, design, and literary management.
The School of Theater main office is located on the 4th floor of the Performing Arts Building at the Fairfax, Virginia campus. The building is equipped with two black box theaters, a scene shop, a costume shop, and a design studio, with additional rehearsal space currently under construction. For a brochure or more information, email the department at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the School of Theater Office at: (703) 993-1120.