The theatre and speech communication department is one of the finest theatre training programs in the country. We are a “hands-on” program, providing each student with personal interaction with our professionally trained faculty and staff. Our graduates place exceptionally well in graduate schools, conservatories, regional theaters, and in the professional world. Discover more about theatre and speech communication at Salem State.
The bachelor of arts degree provides students with a theatrical world view, a foreign language and a minor that is supportive of their major career aspirations. The BA program requires thirty-three credits of study in theatre while allowing you to also pursue a minor or a dual major. The curriculum includes performance, directing, theatre history, stagecraft, and stage technology courses. Concentrations include performance and technical theatre.
The BFA program is a liberal arts degree program that provides graduates with a high level of competency, specialized knowledge and extensive experience in preparation for a professional career in theatre. One-half of the total undergraduate credit hours in the BFA program are devoted to theatre courses. The curriculum involves intensive study in acting, directing, design, or stage technology. Auditions/portfolio reviews are required for the BFA program, and you must be a BFA candidate for at least six semesters in order to graduate with a BFA degree. Concentrations include design, performance, stage management, and technical theatre.
The BA performance concentration offers at least three specific acting/performance classes and the opportunity to audition for all the department productions. Students will also have a minor with 15 to 18 credits and will also take four semesters of a foreign language or the equivalent.
The BA technical concentration student will take at least three specific technical theatre classes and have to opportunity to work in their area of expertise on all the department productions. Students will also have a minor with 15 to 18 credits and will also take four semesters of a foreign language or the equivalent.
Students in the BFA directing concentration take classes in acting, directing, design, stage management and technical theatre in order to gain understanding in collaborating and leading all theatrical disciplines. BFA directing students are required to assistant direct faculty productions as well as complete their degree track with a fully supported independent thesis production.
Students in the BFA playwriting concentration take classes in creative writing, theatre history, performance theory, dramaturgy, and playwriting. BFA playwriting students complete their degree track culminating in a performance of their original work.
Students in the BFA design concentration can choose a primary design from either scenic, costumes, lighting, or sound and may also have a secondary design concentration. In addition to specific design classes, BFA design students will work with faculty as design assistants and then then may have the opportunity to design a department production.
Students in the BFA performance concentration will take six classes in acting and additional classes in voice and movement. BFA performance students are required to audition for all department productions and could be possibility cast in a production every semester.
Students in the BFA technical concentration will take classes in scenic, lighting, sound, and costume technology. They will have the opportunity to work as technical director, master carpenter, master electrician, costume stitcher or run crew chief, or sound engineer for department productions.
Students in the BFA Stage Management concentration will take classes in performance, directing and stage management. They will work on run crews, serve as assistant stage managers and may have the opportunity to stage manage on more department productions.
The study of speech/oral communication allows students the opportunity to build key 21st century skills necessary for effective and ethical personal, professional, and civic communication. Oral communication is a 3-credit general education requirement at Salem State University and theatre and speech communication offers many classes to fulfill this requirement as well as a minor that pairs well with a variety of majors. In speech communication courses (SPC) students learn workplace skills including: how to secure a job through interviewing as well as keep and advance the job through interpersonal communication skills and presentation skills. In addition, speech communication courses help students understand each other (intercultural communication), become an engaged and contributing members of society, as well as have fulfilling interpersonal relationships.
What if pandemic restrictions weren’t limitations, but a chance to think differently? In a year of canceled events and darkened stages, Salem State theatre uncovered opportunities for true artistry through their recorded stage performance of Paula Vogel’s “The Long Christmas Ride Home.”