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Fairfield's Sacred Heart University Adds New Theater Arts Major

Sacred Heart University's performance of "Spring Awakening" in 2012.
Sacred Heart University's performance of "Spring Awakening" in 2012. Photo Credit: Photo by Kim Tyler

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University is announcing a new undergraduate degree in theater arts, which is expected to launch in the fall.

The new program will be housed in the Department of Communication & Media Studies and will be based at the university’s main campus in Fairfield.

“This major was the exciting next step to our rapidly growing theater arts program,” said Jerry Goehring, artistic director of the new major. “Due to overwhelming interest, it seemed like the right time to create an academic track, and we are very excited to offer a fresh approach to those who want to pursue theater academically and as a career.”

The major prepares students to enter the theater and entertainment industry by gaining the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to pursue the most competitive jobs and career paths in theater-related performing arts and media. Through a curriculum that combines theory and practice, its students will acquire leadership skills through collaborative learning that focuses on artistic integrity, intellectual inquiry and development of the professional values and skills that lend themselves to a successful career after college.

Goehring, who started the program in 2009, and is also a Tony-nominated Broadway producer, is using his experience in the industry to create a major unlike others.

“From our core academic classes, opportunities to be cast in full productions and the creation of new works as part of the annual TheatreFest, students have ample opportunities to grow academically and as performers and creators," Goehring said.

Students will have opportunities to work with these professionals as class instructors and within master classes and student workshops/labs; in addition the professionals will mentor students in directing, acting, stage management, design, arts management and writing. Students will earn the degree in one of two tracks — acting or musical theater.

The bachelor’s degree will consist of 36 credits. Courses will include acting, directing, scene analysis, play writing and voice for musical theater. The new major has been approved by Sacred Heart and is scheduled to begin in the fall pending final approval from the Connecticut Department of Higher Education. For more information, visit www.sacredheart.edu/tap .

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