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Department of Theatre & Dance
Honors Thesis Policies
Honors Thesis Proposals
Due April 15
Form available in Dept. office. Completed form must include adviser's signature(s). Submit
completed forms by due date to Professor Burgess.
1. Types of Proposals
An honors thesis may be one of three types: written (including playwriting), performance (acting, choreography, dance, directing), or design. The three types indicate the object/process for evaluation. Special projects that fall outside the parameters of these three types will be considered.
2. Submission of Proposals
All proposals must be submitted by April 15th in the academic year PRECEDING the date of expected
graduation. Proposals that include SPRING SEMESTER PERFORMANCE may, if necessary, be less detailed
than ultimately will be required. However, these must still include a preliminary annotated
bibliography. Complete detailed proposals for spring performances are due September 15th.
An honors thesis may be undertaken only by a major in the department (Theatre Major, Dance Major, Dramatic Literature Major or an interdisciplinary major whose principal adviser is a faculty member in this department). Academic requirements are as follows:
a. Must have a grade point average IN THE MAJOR of 3.4;
b. Must complete TRDA 199 with a grade of A. (A grade of A‐ or below will convert to
Independent Study credit).
c. One‐half of the courses required for the degree must have been completed at GW;
d. 50% of ALL courses taken at GW must have grades of A or B
4. Thesis Topics
An honors thesis represents the culmination of curricular and co‐curricular work IN THE DEPARTMENT.
*Performance theses must be in the area of LIVE theatre or dance performance. A *design thesis MAY be provided for in a department subscription season productions. The faculty advisor(s) to the thesis must be equipped to evaluate the research area or creative endeavor.**
5. Scheduling of Performances Theses
Theses may NOT be scheduled in conflict with the Department's Subscription Series performances or tech weeks.
Fall Semester: a single block of time in Bldg XX at the end of the Fall Semester (two
performances per thesis when possible).
Spring Semester: a single block of time in Bldg XX
Students interested in doing an acting thesis must audition to determine their eligibility
early in the second semester of their junior before a committee consisting of the full‐time
members of the acting faculty. Guidelines for these auditions are separately published.
NOTE: Bldg XX must be returned to its original condition, including the light plot, after
the thesis performance is struck.
DANCE: a single block of time in Building J after Thanksgiving break in the Fall
Semester (two performances per thesis). Organized in conjunction with S.P.A.D.E. in the
Dorothy Betts Theatre in the spring semester (one performance only).
6. Admission to Thesis Performance
The public is admitted FREE to a thesis performance. In the case of dance theses performed in
conjunction with S.P.A.D.E., an admission fee is permitted only for the purpose of offsetting the
additional expenses associated with producing in the Marvin Center Theatre. These are to be kept to a minimum by the Faculty adviser(s) and the honors candidate, and net proceeds are
to be turned into the department for funding future honors theses. Under no circumstances are
donations to be requested or accepted.
7. Departmental Support for Performance Theses
With the exception of theses occurring as part of the department's subscription season offerings,
the department will provide access to any non‐disposable department materials (properties, existing scenic elements and costumes); the Bldg XX and Bldg J rep plots; photocopying directly associated with the project; additional approved expenses up to $100 (inclusive of any royalty payments); a second faculty reviewer if requested; notice of performances in MainStage programs; for theatre theses priority scheduling of rehearsal space after regularly scheduled classes and mainstage productions.
NOTE: The up to $100 provided by the department IS PROVIDED FOR TANGEBLE MATERIAL PRODUCTION OR PROMOTION COSTS ONLY. IT MAY NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE CREW, DESIGNERS OR PERFORMERS OR NON‐ PRODUCTION COSTS
(E.G. CREW FOOD OR OPENING NIGHT PARTY SUPPLIES).
*All performance and design theses will have a written (and in addition, in dance, an oral)
component which must represent a critical self‐evaluation of the work.
**Exceptions to live theatre or dance performance as a medium are possible ONLY if the adviser has expertise in another medium AND if the student can present a reasonable amount of curricular work in the other medium. Departmental supportremains as noted in #5 of this document.
1. Auditioners: Acting Faculty
2. Purpose: To determine whether the student's progress as an actor recommends
that an honors thesis be undertaken. The acting faculty may not have had
equal experience with the student in classes or in productions. The audition
provides a forum for jointly assessing the student's progress and recommending
the thesis or, alternatively, an independent study. This audition is in
addition to all the normal eligibility requirements for undertaking an
honors thesis as separately published.
3. Audition will take place in early January
4. Nature of Audition:
a. Material chosen should reflect the student's performance interests/expertise
and should in some way anticipate the substantive interests of the potential
thesis. For example, the student may choose to highlight acting range
(comedy and drama, classical and modern, musical comedy and "straight"
plays, improvisational acting and "literary" acting, or any combination
that expresses performative range). OR, the student might choose material
that focuses on a particular theme that the thesis would explore (autobiography,
social conditions, etc.).
b. The student may audition with one other actor, may choose to audition
alone, or with a combination of scene and monologue material.
c. The audition should be approximately 5-7 minutes long.
5. Following the Audition: The faculty will notify the student whether
she or he should propose a thesis in acting by April 15th, whether the
student should consider another kind of thesis, or whether an independent
study should be considered.
6. Students Studying Abroad: In the event an eligible student is studying
abroad during the spring semester, such student will audition at the end
of the fall semester. In the event an eligible student is studying abroad
for the entire academic year, the student must make arrangements to audition
prior to April 15th, at the faculty's convenience, the date by which written
thesis proposals are due.
Sign up sheet on department call board.