Department of Theatre


Professor Emeritus
 James Leonard, Ph.D.
  Cornell University

 Andi Lyons, M.F.A. (Department Chair)
  Yale University

Associate Professors Emeriti
 Robert J. Donnelly, M.F.A.
  Yale University
 Jerome Hanley, M.F.A.
  Yale University

Associate Professor
 Eszter Szalczer, Ph.D.
  City University of New York

Visiting Assistant Professor
 Chad Larabee, M.F.A.
  Florida State University

Instructional Support Associate
 John Knapp, B.A.
  University at Albany, SUNY

The curriculum of the Theatre Department (which includes its production program) is designed to aid students in learning to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to work collaboratively and creatively to solve problems, to acquire intellectual skills necessary to confront a changing world, to acquire proficiency in a core of theatre knowledge and practice, and to understand the self-discipline and work ethic necessary to pursue a life in the arts. A minor in Theatre is available.

Theatre is a performing art. It is also an area of study through which one may gain a liberal arts education. The Department of Theatre assumes these two views of the theatre to be mutually supportive. Design, directing, acting, technology, management, history, theory, criticism, and dramatic literature are considered interdependent studies. However, a degree of specialization is expected of all students.

Study in the Department of Theatre prepares students for specialized graduate study in dramatic art or conservatory training in performance or production. Thus they acquire a wide range of knowledge and skills transferable to a variety of career paths. In addition, study in theatre prepares students to pursue any career path requiring a broad liberal education. Past graduates are currently acting and directing in television, film, on stage in New York, and in regional theatres. Graduates in design and technical areas have found employment in New York theatres and major scenic studios, as well as with regional theatres, Cirque du Soleil, Disney, Las Vegas, and touring with national and international productions. Other graduates work with equipment developers and manufacturers, in film and television production, in event production and management, and with assorted digital and web-based companies. Other graduates have gone into architecture, interior design teaching, journalism, communications, computer technology, medicine, law, and business.

Casting Policy Statement
The Department of Theatre, University at Albany/State University of New York:

  • Has pledged itself to the goal of achieving cultural diversity in its casting.
  • Encourages all University at Albany students to audition for and participate in its productions.
  • Strives to provide educational opportunities for the growth, development, and training of students, and casts its productions in part to fulfill this goal.
  • Encourages its faculty and staff to employ the freedom implicit in educational theatre to make bold and experimental artistic choices in the conceptions, casting, and design of their work.
  • Recognizes the director as the person responsible for making casting decisions for each production and encourages integration between the production process and coursework.
  • Promotes the ideal that earning and retaining a role is a privilege, not a right.
  • Relies on the good faith and common sense of its faculty, staff, and students to interpret these policies in the proper spirit.

The Student-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major in Theatre*

Students wishing to go beyond the undergraduate minor in Theatre may propose their own Interdisciplinary Major by blending courses from the Department of Theatre and other academic departments on campus. Many departments on campus offer courses relevant to the study of Theatre, including (but not limited to) Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art, Art History, Business, Communciations, Documentary Studies, English, History, Music, Physics, and Women’s Studies. See the guidelines for the Student-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major:

The Interdisciplinary Major must consist of at least 36 but not more than 66 credits. If the major includes fewer than 54 credits, the student will need a separate minor to meet graduation requirements. If the major includes 54 or more credits, the student will not need to declare a separate minor.

At least half of the total credits in the Interdisciplinary Major must be at the 300 level or above. Up to 25% of the credits earned toward the Interdisciplinary Major may take the form of independent study courses.

The Interdisciplinary Major must have at least two faculty sponsors, one primary and one secondary, with the primary sponsor serving as the student’s major advisor. The two sponsors must be faculty members of academic rank (i.e. Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor) and must come from two different academic departments offering courses included in the proposed major.

Formal application to initiate an Interdisciplinary Major must be made through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education located in Lecture Center 30 (442-3950). In order to apply, a student must have already completed at least 30 general credits toward graduation. Proposals will be reviewed by the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee of the Undergraduate Academic Council.

For further information and advising, please contact the Department of Theatre (PAC 262, phone 442-4200).

*Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2011 who are declared Theatre majors, Theatre Departmental Majors, and Theatre Honors majors should consult the previous Undergraduate Bulletin year appropriate to their date of matriculation as well as their DARS Degree Audits for their own graduation requirements. Previous Undergraduate Bulletins are available online at: