Watch an audience erupt in laughter as you deliver your line perfectly. Write a scene that draws tears from a full house. Create a set that places the viewer in another world. With Hanover’s Theatre program, you have the opportunity to be a multifaceted producer/playwright/actor and director.

Four main-stage productions, numerous student written and directed pieces, and hands-on experience will help you discover your talent in the world of the stage. Non-majors receive class credit and are encouraged to participate in productions as well.

Hanover's Theatre department, together with its play-production arm, the Hanover College Theatre, will involve and educate you in all aspects of theatre in the context of a liberal arts education. You can:

  • Take courses in everything from acting, directing, design and playwriting, to stage combat, global theatre and theatre management. You can even study-abroad in London and Stratford-on-Avon.
  • Major or minor in theatre, or simply participate in it as extra-curricular activity.
  • Be involved in four to five main stage productions during the season, as well as many additional student-originated shows, including an all-student-run comedy improv troupe.
  • Not just act, but direct, design, and write for the main stage as well.
  • Take advantage of internships and assisted summer-work activities in theatre.

Recent Hanover productions have included:

"The Dining Room," by A.R. Gurney Jr.
One-Act Plays — a series of five short plays by various playwrights.
"Love’s Labour’s Lost" by Shakespeare
Short & Sweet: student written and directed plays

"The People, Yes," based on a poem by Carl Sandburg
"Harvest," by Manjula Padmanabhan
"70 Scenes of Halloween," by Jeffrey Jones
"The Importance of Being Earnest," by Oscar Wilde
"Zastrozzi, The Master of Discipline" by George F. Walker, based on a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Catholic Girls Gun Club," by Stacia Saint Owens
"God of Carnage," by Yasmina Reza
"Hagar’s Children," by Ernest A. Joselovitz
Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida"

What do theatre majors study?
Acting, Directing, and Stagecraft
Play and Screenwriting Stage
Combat, Voice & Movement
Global Theatre, and World Cinema
Shakespeare in England

Theatres where graduates have become company members:
Chicago Dramatists
Roundabout Theatre Company
American Repertory Theatre
Writers Theatre in Chicago
Actors Theatre of Louisville
Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
Tennessee Repertory Theatre
Boston Improv
Atlanta Shakespeare Co.
South Carolina Repertory Co.
Cincinnati Shakespeare
Celtic Arts Theatre, Los Angeles
Cirque du Soleil
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
Blue Apple Players
Other Career Opportunities:
Entertainment law
Film & TV production
Event planning
Marketing & fundraising
Nonprofit management
Teaching Ministry & counseling

Travel and Study Abroad Opportunities

Take advantage of immersive spring travel courses on subjects such as Shakespeare in England. Semester-long study abroad programs are also available in several different countries including Australia, Turkey and Spain. Foreign university programs approved for credit can be applied toward your Hanover course requirements.

Recent Internships:
Berkshire Theatre Festival
Seattle Children’s Theatre
Warehouse Theatre
People’s Light & Theatre Co.
New Jersey Shakespeare Festival
Arden Theatre Company
Smokey Mountain Shakespeare Festival
High School Institute at Northwestern
Actors Theatre of Louisville
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
Millbrook Playhouse
Marin County Shakespeare

Recent Graduate School Placements:
Harvard University
Northwestern University
Arizona State University
Yale University
University of Birmingham – Shakespeare Institute
Florida State University – Asolo Theatre
Boston University
American Repertory Theatre
Moscow Art Theatre School
Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Purdue University
University of Nevada – Las Vegas
Tisch School of the Arts – NYU
Florida Central University


THR 049
Theatre Participation
Students may participate in departmental productions or other projects as assigned. 0.25 unit. May be repeated for up to 1 unit. Not open to Theatre majors.
THR 114
Introduction to the Theatre
The processes by which theatre artists from Ancient Greece to the present have transformed dramatic literature into stage reality.
THR 115
Film As Art
A study of film in which students learn to evaluate films, recognize cinematic techniques, write critically about films, and identify various film genres.
THR 121
Elements of Stagecraft
Theory and practice of the technical elements of theatre production.
THR 131
Acting: Psychology and Technique
An introduction to the art and techniques of acting, including theory and practice in creating a plausible performance, active performance with others, and awareness and control of the body and voice. The course is studio-based, encompassing warm-ups and exercises, scene analysis, and performance of monologues and scenes. With permission of instructor.
THR 201
Theatre Practicum
Practical experience in the technical crafts of theatre. .50 unit. May be repeated once for credit.
THR 211
Styles in Acting
Students will rehearse and perform scenes from dramatic literature chosen for variety in historical period and theatrical style. Emphasis on script anaylsis and "ism" theories, to inform physical and vocal techniques for performance. Prerequisite Thr131.
THR 215
World Cinema
Screening, analysis and comparison of films from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America along with some European and North American films. Satisfies the Other Cultures LADR. Spring Term. May count towards the major in Theatre.
THR 232
Theatrical Design
Creative exploration of the design elements in theatre production. May be repeated for additional credit with permission of instructor.
THR 233
Voice & Movement for the Stage
A studio course for the actor in the fundamentals of training and achieving an expressive voice and body. Students explore many exercises and activities that lead to deeper self-awareness and control over their vocal and physical instrument, and to remedy poor habits that may be limiting their full range of vocal and physical expressiveness in the portrayal of emotions and characters on the stage. Participants will be encouraged to develop a personal regimen for continuing growth in their vocal and physical skills after the course is done. Offered alternate years.
THR 248
Acting and Stage Combat
Principles of safety and theatrical effectiveness in physical expression. Techniques addressed include unarmed combat, falls and rapier/dagger work. Emphasis on physical acting skills, and development of sound rehearsal processes. Offered alternate years. Prerequisites: 131.
THR 309
Stage Management Seminar
The course is an intensive mentoring process for students who assume stage management duties for departmental productions. Emphasis on best practices for organization, communication, practical techniques and portfolio development. Elective. 0.5 unit. Prerequisite: Thr 121 and permission of instructor.
THR 311
Global Theatre
A survey of plays and theatrical performance traditions of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Latin America and Indigenous peoples. Satisfies the Other Cultures LADR.
THR 312
Western Drama: Greeks to Realism
Survey of foundational plays of the western theatre tradition, from the classical Greeks to the dawn of Realism and the modern era. Includes plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes; Rome's Seneca and Plautus; and representative work from the Medievals, Elizabethans (other than Shakespeare), the French and the Spanish classicists; the English Restoration and the 18th-century; and concludes with Romanticism and Goethe's Faust. Offered alternate years.
THR 322
Monologue and Solo Performance
Students will develop a portfolio of monologues suitable for audition use, and will explore the field of solo performance in longer texts. Emphasis on script analysis and refinement of technique for acting in contemporary styles. Prerequisite: 131
THR 331
Directing for the Stage
Theory and practice; student direction of two scenes of different styles for rehearsal/performance, and a one-act play for public performance. Prerequisites: 121, 131 and permission of the instructor.
THR 332
Contemporary Theatre
Theatre and its role in the world today. With permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
THR 334
Theatre History
History and development of theatre as an art form from the Greeks to the modern.
THR 343
Writing for narrative film. Emphasis on structure, character development, meaning and professional format.
THR 345
Theory and practice. Beginning with a basis in dramatic structure derived from Aristotle's Poetics, students will write four short plays and produce a revision. Plays are read aloud in a workshop setting and then responded to by other playwrights and the instructor in structured feedback sessions. Emphasis is upon sustained action, character development, and creating in dialogue.
THR 346
Advanced Playwriting
Builds upon the knowledge and skills gained in 345, now applied to writing a full-length play. Focus on structure and pacing, point of attack, and character development in plays one hour or more in length. Workshop method, with readings and feedback from peers and instructor. Each student will write at least one full-length play and the course culminates in a public reading of student work. Prerequisite: 345.
THR 348
Shakespeare in England
Selected plays of Shakespeare in performance, together with the cultural settings from which they emerged. Identical to Eng 348. Offered in Stratford-upon-Avon in Spring Term alternate years. Permission of the instructor is required. May be repeated for credit.
THR 349
Advanced Stage Combat
Students will practice advanced techniques for physical acting, with emphasis on safety and clarity of nonverbal expression, with script analysis and rehearsal processes. Students may have the opportunity to test for credentials with The Society of American Fight Directors. Prerequisite: 248