Theatre Arts: Acting Concentration Advising Sheet

Professor Paul Draper,
Director of the Acting Program
Room 111, Ives Hall
707-664-3904
paul.draper@sonoma.edu

Below is a sequence of theatre courses for Theatre Majors with Acting Concentrations, and others who are seriously pursuing actor training at Sonoma State.  You can optimize your acting here by following these guidelines. This sheet augments the Sample Four-Year Program as listed in the University Course Catalogue.

Theatre courses listed below are in addition to University guidelines for First-Year students. The University recommends that you complete English and Math requirements in your first year. 

An excellent way to complete the A2 and A3 GE requirements is to enroll in the University 160 “First-Year Experience” course.  This course meets in a large-lecture small-seminar format over two semesters during which students earn a total of 9 units.

Freshman Year/ Fall

Class Code Class Name
THAR160A/PHIL 101A Humanities Learning Community (4 units). First semester of a two-semester sequence earning credit in GE Areas A3 and C3
THAR 120A Acting: Fundamentals (1 unit)
THAR 145A Voice for the Actor (1 unit)
THAR 143A Stagecraft (1 unit)

Freshman Year/ Spring

Class Code Class Name
THAR 120B Fundamentals of Acting for Acting Majors (2 units):
NOTE: This course is required to go on to sophomore level acting classes
THAR 143B, 144A or 144B One tech theatre course: lighting, sets or costumes
THAR 160B / PHIL 101B Humanities Learning Community continued (4 units). Second semester of a two-semester sequence earning credit in GE Areas A3 and C3.
THAR 145B Speech for the Actor (1 unit)

Some tips

  • The Theatre Office is in Ives Hall 206; 707-664-2474
  • Jason Wilson is the go-to guy in the office (wilsonja@sonoma.edu; 707-664-2736)
  • Our CALLBOARD is located across the hall from Ives 46 --(where you can get audition and casting information.)  Check it often.
  • Consider taking an acting class every semester. 
    THAR 120B, 145A, 145B and 220A, 220B, and ENG 339 (Shakespeare) are prerequisites for entrance into the Acting Block.
  • Consider taking most of your lower division courses by the end of your sophomore year, including all your lower division GE’s.
  • Evert B. Person Talent Scholarship auditions are held on the first or second Saturday of March.  Applications are due by 4pm on the first Friday each February.  Check our website or at the theatre office for current information.  Annual awards range from $2000-$4000. You must be a theatre major to apply.
  • Consider taking a voice class every semester-even after you have completed the requirements.  This will really help you develop your speaking voice and language skills.
  • Audition for every show, and be prepared when you go to your audition. Audition notices and details are posted on this website and in Ives Hall well before audition dates. When cast in a main stage show you must register for THAR 302 –Drama Ensemble Workshop and receive 3 units of credit. THAR 302 course may be repeated six times for credit.
  • Try reading a play each week, (assigned for a class or on your own) and consider taking the THAR 276 and 376 play reading courses in the department.
  • In THAR 160 “Humanities Learning Community” Is a course where students view a wide variety of videotaped performances of contemporary drama and dance from around the world--a very exciting look at what’s possible in the world of performance!
  • Do you enjoy seeing shows? Try to see live theatre and dance: on campus, in San Francisco, Berkeley, Petaluma or Santa Rosa.
  • THAR 300 “Theatre in Action” is a required course for acting majors and is designed to encourage attendance at live performance. In this course, you will see eight theatre and dance performances (including several professional shows in San Francisco and Berkeley). Note:  You may take it as a freshman—though upper division GE credit will not be given unless you are a junior.
  • Get to work with others in the Department by offering to perform in Directing Workshop scenes (THAR 350) and other student-organized projects such as Stage One shows and Senior Projects!
  • Get involved in other arts such as Music, Studio Art, Video, and Dance
  • Consider taking the Musical Theatre Workshop class at least once, even if you don’t think you can sing.
  • Take THAR 300 your first non-show semester after you become a junior. It is difficult to take it in a semester when you are in a main stage show

Finally, be advised by your academic advisor (Professor Paul Draper) regularly. In your first two years, make an appointment with Professor Draper to he can briefly look over your schedule before you register.  If you are having academic trouble, talk to him before it becomes serious. If you have concerns about residential life or just feeling pressure from being in a new environment of college—speak to a counselor or Res Life Director.

We hope you find pleasure in your work because it can be more fulfilling than just having fun.  But have lots of fun, too.


Looking Ahead

Sophomore Year/ Fall

Class Code Class Name

THAR 275 or
THAR 375

Contemporary Plays and Playwrights
Race, Gender, and Performance
THAR 220A Acting: Text and Scene Study (offered fall only, THAR 120B is a prerequisite)
THAR 325 Audition for Theatre
THAR 145A Voice for the Actor or a voice course in Music Department
THAR 110 Dance Fundamentals

Sophomore Year/ Spring

Class Code Class Name
THAR 220B Acting: Characterization (offered spring only, THAR 120 & 220A are prerequisites)
ENG 339 Introduction to Shakespeare (required for Verse/Shakespeare Block semester)
THAR 145B Speech for the Actor or a voice course in Music Department
THAR 115 Dance Styles

Junior Year/ Fall

Class Code Class Name
THAR 320A  Intermediate Acting Block
THAR 300 Theatre in Action or
THAR 350 Directing Workshop
THAR 370A Early Plays: Evolutions and Innovations

Junior Year/ Spring

Class Code Class Name
THAR 320A Intermediate Acting Block
THAR 300 Theatre in Action
THAR 302 Drama Ensemble
THAR 375 Race, Gender, and Performance
THAR 400 Theatre of Today

Senior Year/ Fall

Class Code Class Name
THAR 420A  Advanced Acting Block
THAR 300 Theatre in Action
THAR 350 Directing Workshop

Senior Year/ Spring

Class Code Class Name
THAR 420B  Advanced Acting Block
THAR 300 Theatre in Action
THAR 302 Drama Ensemble

Revised June 2013