Are You Ready for a Life in the Theatre?

Queensborough is the only college in New York State to offer a National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) accredited Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree in Theatre. We offer concentrations in Acting & Technical Theatre.

The National Association of Schools of Theatre

Welcome to Professional Theatre Arts Training

We prepare students for professional careers in the Theatre. Students choose a concentration in either,

Acting, or
Technical Theatre,

but our curriculum is designed to ensure students gain experience in each area - onstage, backstage, and front-of-house. Students can change their concentration anytime up until their final semester.

“Queensborough not only taught me how to be a well-trained actor but opened my eyes to other opportunities, such as playwriting and stage managing. I was over-prepared for my acting program at my 4-year school, which is never a bad thing.”

Matthew Dean Wood, Alumnus
Transfer: Queens College, B.A., Drama & Theatre

Our Stages Prepare You for a Career

We produce 4 fully-staged works of theatre, each season, providing students opportunity to work, as actors and technical artists, twice a semester, every semester, exploring significant eras, genres, styles, cultural contexts, and modes of presentation. Our season is curated to include one of each: 

Classical Work or Musical (alternating)
Social Issues (controversial topics)
American Experience (life in America)
Other Perspectives (experimental/alternative)

“Leaving Queensborough was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It is my second home and family. I felt safe in the department and discovered talent I never thought I had.  I worked on 7 out of the 8 shows, and became President of Drama Society, all in 2 years.”

Jessica Kreisler, Almunus
Transfer: Adelphi University, B.F.A. Acting

Our Program Prepares You for Success

We empower students to be leaders. Our mission is to prepare students with the skills necessary to succeed; whether they pursue a career in the Theatre, or go on to study Education, Law, Business, Journalism, Health Services, or other ambition. Our program challenges students to:

Develop confidence & cultivate leadership skills
Perfect the creative self, style, & voice
Exercise the ability to think, critically
Hone communication & presentation skills
Advance self-discipline & work ethic
Engage in team work & the art of collaboration

“Surveys of the key skills employers seek in graduates continue to place… verbal and written communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively in teams and to influence others – in the top ten. But a 2016 report found that other skills – such as critical thinking, problem-solving, attention to detail, and writing – top the list of missing skills among job-seekers. These skills are rated as being important across all jobs and industries.”

World Economic Forum, 3/7/2017

Our Faculty & Staff are Working Professionals

Who you study with matters. Our faculty and staff are a collective of internationally produced, award-winning, working professionals possessing union affiliation and relationships with professional theatre organizations:

Actors Equity Association
Stage Directors & Choreographers Society
Dramatist Guild
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One Stagehands
The Public Theatre
INTAR
La MaMa

We are a Community of Artists

Community is the heart of our program, and it starts with the student-faculty mentor relationship. Our department works to promote healthy, productive relationships among the faculty, staff, and student body at Queensborough. As part of our mission, every theatre major receives personal, one-on-one mentorship, every semester, by a theatre faculty member dedicated to help students with:

Continuous artistic development
An appropriate academic plan
Timely graduation
Successful transfer

“I love Theatre at Queensborough. No matter how far I go, it's always home.”

Amanda Morris, Alumnus
Transfer: Howard University, B.F.A., Acting

State-of-the-Art Theatres & Facilities

Broadway-style, 875-seat, proscenium theater
Off-Broadway-style, black box theater
Digital audio-visual design lab (sound/projection)
Intelligent lighting system
Costume shop
Scene shop

Comprehensive Course Offerings

Acting I & II
Stagecraft I & II
Introduction to Theatre
Actor’s Workshop I & II
Practicum in Stagecraft I & II
Vocal Production & Movement
Makeup for the Stage
Stage Management
Costume Construction

Academic Excellence

Queensborough has more than 400 full-time faculty with 60% having earned a doctoral or terminal degree; 3x the national average for community colleges.

Intimate class sizes, offering personable, individualized attention
Courses taught by professors, not teaching assistants
Professors focused on teaching not publication
Free unlimited access to support services:
-Academic Computing Center
-Campus Writing Center
-Mathematics Learning Center
-Student Learning Center
-Transfer Resource Center

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Free tickets to Broadway, Off-, & Off-Off-Broadway productions
Professional development workshops with guest artists
Annual trip to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF)
KCACTF National Playwriting Program
CUNY Stage Doors Program
CUNY Theatre Festival
Free one-week, spring-break, travel abroad program in Salzburg, Austria
Summer Theatre Workshop Internship (paid)
Departmental Scholarships & Awards
Annual, student produced, Drama Society Tin-Foil Soiree
Annual Meet & Greet for all theatre majors
More than 50+ Student Clubs, including the student led, Drama Society

Engage in an Arts-Focused, Liberal Arts Curriculum

Complement your Theatre Arts training with Arts-Focused Liberal Arts courses such as, Chemistry in the Arts, Sociology and the Arts, and a full suite of survey courses in music, dance, and visual arts, allowing you to complete your degree through the lens of art.

Diverse Student Body

Our students come from more than 120 countries and speak some 78 different languages. Queensborough proudly reflects the unique character of the local Queens community (the most diverse county in the United States) with nearly equal populations of African Americans, Asians, Caucasians and Latinos.

Be a Working Artist, Not a Starving Artist

Gain experience and skill, not debt. When you receive your degree from Queensborough, the first 2 years (60 credits) of a traditional 4-year (120 credits) college program will be complete, at a fraction of the cost.

90% of our students graduate without Federal student loan debt
45% savings on tuition compared to Public 4-year In-State Institutions
20% savings on tuition costs compared to CUNY 4-year Colleges

Nassau County residents, and residents anywhere in New York State, may be eligible for NYC tuition rates. You don’t have to live in New York City to get the NYC tuition rate offered by Queensborough.

“The money I saved going to Queensborough allowed me to pursue my dreams after I graduated from Marymount Manhattan College. Many of my colleagues had so much student debt they couldn’t take advantage of opportunities needed to advance in the profession.”

Victoria A. Villier, Alumnus
Transfer: Marymount Manhattan College, B.A in Theatre Performance, with a concentration in Technical Theatre

Your First Semester

Theatre majors are provided with an exclusive schedule and cohort of courses available only to theatre majors. Theatre majors at Queensborough begin their journey together in the following courses:

3 Theatre courses, 8 credits:

Introduction to Acting for the Major
Stagecraft I
Vocal Production & Movement

3 Liberal Arts courses, 7 credits:

English Composition I
Mathematics in Contemporary Society
Yoga

After the first semester, students work closely with their faculty mentor and academy adviser, to create an appropriate academic degree and transfer plan.

Transfer & Life After Queensborough

Students graduating with an Associate’s degree are extremely attractive to 4-year colleges. Colleges that, after High School, may have been out-of-reach, financially or academically, now seek to fill vacated seats in the junior year, many offering substantial scholarships.

Our graduating students transfer (with notable scholarships) to:

CUNY (City, Lehman, Hunter, Queens, York)
SUNY (Binghamton, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Purchase)
Private (Adelphi, Howard, Marymount Manhattan)
Out-of-State (Montclair State University, NJ)

We possess Articulation Agreements for seamless transfer with:

Adelphi University (B.F.A., Acting)
Lehman College (B.F.A. Multi-Media Performing Arts, B.A. Theatre)

From day one at Queensborough, students work with their faculty mentor and the Transfer Resource Center to chart a transfer plan.

“Rushing off to another school before completing my Associates degree created problems for me. Not all of my credits were accepted, which meant an extra semester at my 4-year, at a cost that could have covered two years at Queensborough! Also, I didn’t receive the degree, and I have to wear the “former student” title.”

Khari Constantine, Former Student
Transfer: SUNY Oswego, B.A. Theatre, Acting and Directing Track

Have Questions?

For more information, contact Department Enrollment Coordinator, Professor Arthur Adair at  AAdair@qcc.cuny.edu

Our Mission

We believe theatre, a vital component in holistic learning, to be crucial in the development of the individual and the life of a civilized community. It is the values inherent in the theatre (i.e. the steady development of skills, the self-revealing self-discipline, the engagement in collaboration, and the pursuit of a creative vision) that foster personal and creative autonomy and a dedication to life-long learning.

The student artist of the 21st century needs to be provided with exceptional, professional, and comprehensive training comprised of both theoretical and practical education that aims to inspire a fierce curiosity about the world and empowers the artist to engage in a productive and creative dialogue with society.

We believe that access to excellence is a fundamental right for all, regardless of socio-economic status, and that a diverse eco-system of individuals across a broad spectrum of culture, ethnicity, experience and ability creates the ideal learning community.

At QCC, we seek to foster and advance the development of the theatre through the initiation of new audiences and the training of its developing artists, both of whose intellect, vision, and imagination will shape it. Ours is a theatre which seeks to entertain and educate; that embraces its ancient origins, celebrates its historical evolution, and seeks to perfect contemporary practice; a theatre that sits at the center of its society, contributes to the health of the community, and serves both artist and audience.

Our Student Learning Outcomes

Throughout our degree program, students will demonstrate progressive development in the following outcomes. Upon completion of our program, graduates will be prepared to:

Engage in the creation and execution of individual and collaborative works of theatre in performance and production.

Analyze plays perceptively and evaluate them critically.

Identify a broad selection of theatre repertory including significant eras, genres, styles, cultural contexts, and modes of presentation.

Develop and defend informed judgements about theatre.

Our Vision

The theatre program at QCC is meant to be a beginning of a lifetime of engagement with the theatre in that it serves as the foundation for a more advanced degree within the theatre; a career in the theatre; the study of varying disciplines such as law, education, and the sciences; a more informed and appreciative audience for the theatre.

In the study of theatre, we advance student skills in critical analysis, expression in written, oral, and physical communication, perception, research, and quantitative reasoning in stagecraft through the use of current pedagogy including: cornerstone courses, learning communities, WI courses, project based learning and service learning. Students who elect Theatre as a concentration engage in holistic learning that empowers students to integrate knowledge and training as may only be achieved in a liberal arts environment through interdisciplinary study.

Our Courses

THEATRE STUDIES

TH-111 Introduction to Theatre (2C1)
3 hours - 3 credits
Prerequisites: BE-122 (or BE-226) and BE-112 (or BE-205)
An introduction to the fundamentals of theater with an emphasis on the evolution of theatrical conventions and practices in Western Society. Material for analysis, discussion and illustration is selected from a body of dramaturgy that spans the history of the theater from the Greeks to the present day. Students are required to attend and critique theatrical performances on campus.

ACTING

TH-120 Acting I for non-major (2C1)
3 class hours - 3 credits
Theory and practice of the art of acting; exercises in sense impression; characterization, improvisations; scenes from plays; special reports. Designed for the development of a knowledgeable and appreciative audience as well as for basic acting techniques. For non-majors. FA1 majors should enroll in TH121. This course is a Writing Intensive course.

TH-121 Introduction to Acting for the Major
3 hours - 3 credits
Co and/or Prerequisite: Must be a Theatre Major.
Students who have passed TH-120 should not enroll in this course, but take TH-221.
An introduction to the actor’s process with particular emphasis placed upon the development of the basic tools of perception, expression and improvisation. Additionally, students will learn the basic concepts, vocabulary and methods of scenic analysis as introduced by Stanislavski and be able to apply them in performance.

TH-221 Acting II
3 class hours - 3 credits
Prerequisites: SP-531 or TH-121 or TH-120 and permission of the Department
Application of the techniques learned in Acting I: further development of preparation, rehearsal and performance. The creation of believable characterizations through Stanislavski’s concept of actions. Review of Stanislavskian-based actor vocabulary and introduction to character and scene analysis.

TH-151 Vocal Production and Movement for the Actor
3 class hours -2 credits  
Exercise the potential of the voice and body for strength, ease, flexibility and responsiveness in performance. Integrate greater plasticity of motion into movement, apply connection to the breath and voice in movement, combine physical action with psychological action, support the articulation of character through voice and movement.

TH-122/222 Actors’ Workshop I & II
2 class hours - 3 lab hours - 3 credits
Prerequisites: Audition or Permission of the Department
In this actor’s laboratory, students act in one or more plays for public performance under the guidance of a faculty director. A weekly production lecture concerns use of stage, props, diction, movement, styles and other pertinent issues. The history of the play, its author and its era are also covered. Hours to be arranged depending on rehearsal and performance schedules.

TECHNICAL THEATRE

TH-131/231 Stagecraft I & II
4 class hours (plus participation in departmental productions) - 3 credits each course
Prerequisite for TH-231: TH-131
Project based learning with a concentration on the principles of technical stagecraft; fabrication of scenery for the stage; proper mounting and handling of scenic elements; introduction to various scenic painting techniques; installation and manipulation of lighting and sound systems for the stage; fabrication of stage properties. Students are required to apply stagecraft skills to laboratory projects outside of class studio hours. Students in TH-231 are given more complex class and crew assignments.

TH-132/232 Practicum in Stagecraft I & II
1 credit each course - 1 class hour each course (plus rehearsal and performance hours)
Prerequisite TH-132: none. Prerequisite TH- 232: TH-131 or Permission of the Department
Project based learning with a concentration on introduction to backstage responsibilities, procedures, and preparations. Crew assignment to departmental productions provides students with experience on state of the art equipment. Students are required to attend all technical rehearsals and performances.  Students enrolled in TH-232 are given crew assignments of greater complexity and responsibility.

TH-134 Stage Makeup
1 class hour - 2 studio hours - 2 credits
Theory and practice of theatrical stage makeup. Project-based learning with a concentration on the design and practical application of stage makeup for a variety of characters. Proper use of tools and materials used in the application of stage makeup techniques. Comprehension of terminology and function used in makeup design.

TH-135 Costume Construction
2 class hours - 2 studio hours – 3 credits
Students will learn the elementary skills required in the construction of garments and costumes. Through project based learning, students will learn the different techniques employed in hand sewing, machine sewing, fabric selection and the operation of costume shop equipment. Emphasis will be placed on basic pattern making, flat patterning, and draping. Student will apply their skills to various personal sewing and building projects, as well as being involved in builds and alterations for current theatrical productions. This will garner a greater understanding of the process and function of a professional costume shop.

TH-235 Stage Management
3 class hours - 3 credits
Prerequisite: TH-131
Project based learning with a concentration on stage management and production, call book, rehearsal and technical rehearsal process, and performance. Basic introduction to different techniques for organization and personal management. Student will apply their skills to stage manage current department theatrical productions. This will garner a greater understanding of the process and function of a professional stage

TH-124 Summer Theatre Workshop
2 class hours - 2 studio hours (plus participation in summer campus productions) - 3 credits
Students participate in productions directed by professionals to gain experience in directing, acting, technical theater, design, lighting, stage management, publicity and promotion. Classroom projects are related to actual productions. A student showcase will provide opportunities for all students to act before an audience.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC)Opens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art GalleryOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.