About the Major

Theatre at Hamilton is a dynamic, challenging community that aims to awaken and cultivate every student’s creative potential and presence. Students learn, create, and perform in the new Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts, and faculty help them develop their own identity through classes, workshops, projects, and productions that are innovative — and often provocative. Students may major in theatre or minor in theatre or design and production. Majors maintain high academic and artistic standards as they work on individual and collaborative projects. 

Students Will Learn To:

  • Exhibit competence in production/design of theatre
  • Exhibit competence in acting/directing of theatrical performances
  • Analyze plays/productions as aesthetic/cultural productions related to institutional and social hierarchies

A Sampling of Courses

Olivia Batal '23 mixes sound for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, April 2021

Lighting Design

An in-depth exploration of lighting and projection design for live performance. The course will cover the process, techniques, equipment and methodologies of these theatre design disciplines. These include; composition, color theory, projection mapping, CAD drafting, as well as lighting for the camera.

Explore these select courses:

This class will cover performance strategies in relationship to digital technology, ritual and the social. We will create collaborative and hybrid work at the intersection of performance, digital media and social practice and map out modes of ritual engagement within these intersections. We will explore "liveness" as a digital and/or embodied presence and survey contemporary hybrid performance work. Enrollment 16, No prerequisite.

This studio-type course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of costume design for theater, film and television. Through a series of lectures, demonstrations and projects students will explore various aspects of costume history and the costume design process. Specific attention will be given to fashion silhouettes and historical periods, as they relate to the assigned texts. Areas covered in the course will include, costume history, script analysis, textiles, life drawing and watercolor rendering.

How does avant-garde theatre utilize shock as a strategy to lead us to see ourselves from new and unexpected perspectives? How are issues of colonialism and appropriation embedded in the evolution of the avant-garde? How does it simultaneously reflect and rebel against the social hierarchies from which it sprang? Through research and performance we will examine the historical, cultural and philosophical origins and influences of avant-garde theatre, as well as exemplary works from the early avant-garde movements (1890-1940) and more contemporary theatre and performance art (1950-1990), including Surrealism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Dada, Futurism, Constructivism, and Epic, as well as The Living Theatre, Grotowski, Monk, Wilson, Foreman, and The Wooster Group.

Classical texts and contemporary performance. Focus on Shakespeare, language and character. May include other classical dramatists Scene and monologue work, textual analysis, vocal and speaking preparedness, verse and heightened speech, characterization, improvisation and rehearsals.

Fundamentals of play direction and script analysis. Study of selected directors and directorial problems; the direction of exercise scenes; and direction of a final scene or one-act for public presentation.

Meet Our Faculty

Mark Cryer

Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre


acting; Shakespeare; African-American theatre; Sanford Meisner; Uta Hagen; August Wilson

Jeff Larson

Assistant Professor of Instruction in Theatre


projection and video design, production management, technical theater, and interdisciplinary performance

Asian and intercultural performance, performance studies, and directing

Jeanne Willcoxon

Assistant Professor of Theatre


feminist performance, performance theory, theatre for social change, and acting

Tom Marhenke

Director of Technical Theatre


technical direction, crew management, teaching tool craft, welding

Explore Hamilton Stories

Spring ’22 Theater Department Production

Behind the Scenes: Spring Theatre Production Opens on April 14

Communications and Marketing Office student writer Alyssa Samuels ’25 shares her experience as musical director for the spring theatre production.

Mark Cryer

Cryer Performs in August Wilson’s Fences

Associate Professor of Theatre Mark Cryer has been cast in the Redhouse production of August Wilson’s Fences.

Lois Bryan '04

Because Hamiltonians Keep the Lights On: Lois Bryan ’04

Her standard joke is that she could wire your house, but you wouldn’t want her to. And anyway, that might be a waste of her creativity. Lois Bryan ’04 is a master electrician in the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University, Fullerton.

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in theatre are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • General Manager, Actors Theatre of Phoenix
  • Actor, Donna on USA Network’s Suits
  • Master Electrician, South Coast Repertory Theatre
  • Chief of Strategy and Planning, Goldman Sachs
  • Producer, NBC Universal Media LLC
  • Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
  • Physical Therapist, Rhode Island Rehab Institute
  • Teacher/Theatre & English, NYC Board of Education
  • Public Relations Director, Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Features Producer, Entertainment Tonight


Department Name

Theatre Department

Contact Name

Maria Maier

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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