The Honors Tutorial Program in Theater provides a solid liberal arts education combined with a strong professionally oriented training in theater. The program is based on the philosophy that theater artists and scholars should have a broad humanistic knowledge of the world around them. The art of theater is richer when it is infused with politics, history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, and the other arts.

Graduates of the theater program are able to create vibrant performances that speak to the world around them and to the human spirit. Graduates who pursue other careers have gained a rigorous education in the humanities that has helped them learn to think critically, to write well, to articulate their ideas, and to create expressively.

The Theater Division is one of the best and most highly regarded theater schools in the country. The faculty is made up of esteemed theater professionals who not only nurture and encourage your development as an artist, but also, facilitate and target your professional placement through internships and high-level networking. Graduates include Tony-award winning performer Chuck Cooper, movie and television star Piper Perabo (HTC), and major Hollywood scene designer David Sackeroff.

Program Description

As a student in the Theater Division, you will become part of a community of artists, building links and liaisons in the field through your contact with faculty, guest artists, teachers, and your fellow classmates. Faculty will mentor and work with you individually, tailoring your talent and needs to quality benchmarks that will ensure your competitive entry into the profession.

Students take one tutorial each semester with a professor who is a specialist in the field. Tutorials can cover theater history and dramatic literature, acting, directing, playwriting, design and technical theater. Students also learn research techniques that are specific to the artist and the scholar.

In addition, tutorials can focus on actual performance work, such as the creative project in the junior year and the thesis in the senior year. Students also take conventional courses with other theater students.

The theater program is built around a set of recommended tutorials and courses, but each student devises his or her individual course of study in consultation with the Director of Studies. The student is expected to learn the foundational information in all areas of theater, to be involved in production and performance, and to specialize in one area. The student may earn either the BA or BFA in theater, with an emphasis in performance (acting), playwriting, directing, or production design and technology.

The course of study culminates in a series of experiences that synthesize and focus the student's education. These include an optional internship and/or study abroad, a comprehensive examination, a creative project and a thesis (performance or scholarly). Students are also expected to gain external recognition for their work, such as in a performance, exhibition, publication or conference.

Thesis: HTC students are required to complete a thesis, which may involve research and/or creative work. The director of studies for the tutorial program assigns tutors in accord with the interests of the individual student. The tutor, in consultation with the student, develops an individual plan of instruction. For BFA students, the thesis involves participation in a performance, with a written report, evaluation and documentation. For a BA student, the thesis is a scholarly research paper.

Combined BA-MA Program: Students may elect to enroll in a combined program with the graduate Theater History and Criticism Program. It is possible to complete both programs in four to five years

Admission and Eligibility

Students should have a potential for self-motivated undergraduate study and be active participants in the educational process while learning in a non-lecture format. 

Admission to the Performance Program is based on an audition and interview with the head of the undergraduate performance program, in consultation with the Director of Studies. Transfer students should have a minimum 3.4 GPA. The review process is individualized to allow for students who do not perform well on standardized tests but demonstrate exceptional aptitude in other ways.

Director of Studies

Cornish Headshot

Dr. Matthew Cornish
Director of Studies Theater Tutorial Program
Division of Theater
Kantner Hall 013
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701-2979
(740) 566-6418