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BFA in Interarts Performance: Requirements

For those who wish to create new, personal works which transcend aesthetic, discipline, and genre boundaries.

Pre-college preparation

Significant involvement in theatre and art is recommended.  Talented students without previous experience in one or the other may apply.

Degree Requirements:

Studio Courses

Two types of Art & Design and Theatre courses comprise the studio component of the program:

              1) introductory studio courses taken during the first two years, and

              2) advanced studio courses taken during the third and fourth years.  

Considerable individual latitude is available for students in the studio course options.  This latitude is possible with regular, intensive faculty guidance. 

Introductory studio courses provide the conceptual and physical foundation required to communicate ideas physically and visually.  Students learn that techniques and materials are somewhat neutral tools used to express subjective notions about the world.  They can be used in any context to create work.  By being introduced to a wide variety of tools, students gain the advantage of many possible options.

Advanced studio courses build upon the introductory experiences, challenging students to work more independently and with greater focus.  As a capstone advanced studio, students undertake a two-semester Integrative Project course during their final year.  This course is designed to accomplish a number of objectives:

  • the development of an ambitious student-initiated project
  • the synthesis of academic and studio work
  • a public presentation of the project

In this course, the student works with both A&D and Theatre faculty.  The final presentation engages a public context and is documented in both written and visual portfolios.

The program also includes comprehensive reviews at the end of the second and fourth years.  All students must present a summary of their work to date in the program to an ad hoc committee, which includes faculty teaching in the program. A successful second-year review is required for continuation in the program, and a successful fourth-year review is required for graduation.

A semester or summer of international study during the third year is also highly recommended.  In this age of growing international awareness and connections, every student is encouraged to arrange and carry out a summer or semester of study and travel in another country. Flexibility in the program's curriculum allows for a semester of international study without impeding progress toward graduation.  Students will be encouraged to begin planning during the freshman year for a junior-year international study experience.



Academic Courses

Academic Courses in A&D and Theatre provide students with visual culture and performance histories and current practices that cover a wide variety of media and artistic tendencies, and provide the opportunity to experience the potential of contemporary live art and artists.

One new, jointly offered course, Live Art Survey, is required for all entering majors in the program. 

Art & Design Perspectives Courses: One 3-credit course required, selected from the following:

ARTDES 150:  Art & Design Perspectives I:  The Creators

ARTDES 151:  Art & Design Perspectives II:  Society

Art & Design Lecture Series:  Eight 1-credit courses required, one each semester.  A special section of this course will be designated for all majors. 

ARTDES 160:  Lecture Series I

ARTDES 161:  Lecture Series II

ARTDES 260:  Lecture Series III

ARTDES 261:  Lecture Series IV

ARTDES 360:  Lecture Series V

ARTDES 361:  Lecture Series VI

ARTDES 460:  Lecture Series VII

ARTDES 461:  Lecture Series VIII

Theatre academic courses, two 3-credit courses are required from this group.

THTRE 211:  Introduction to Drama

THTRE 212:  Intro to World Performance

THTRE 222:  Intro to Black Theatre

THTRE 321: History of Theatre I
THTRE 322: History of Theatre II

THTRE 323: American Theatre and Drama

THTRE 324: Contemporary Black Theatre

THTRE 325: Contemporary American Theatre & Drama

THTRE 326: Script Analysis for Black Writers and Directors

THTRE 385: Performing Arts Management

THTRE 399: Topics in Drama

THTRE 400: Directed Reading

THTRE 402: Ideas of Theatre

THTRE 403, 404: Design & Production Forum I, II

THTRE 427: Advanced Playwriting

THTRE 440: Special Topics in African American Theatre

THTRE 441: Design for Directors

THTRE 466: History of Décor

THTRE 468: History of Theatre Architecture and Stage Design

THTRE 477: History of Dress

Academic courses in liberal arts provide students with a combination of required and elective courses designed to develop basic familiarity with the three traditional components of a liberal arts education - humanities, social sciences and natural sciences; an introduction to analytical reasoning; an awareness of other cultures; and familiarity with contemporary environmental issues.

The liberal arts component requires that students distribute 36 credits of the Academic course module as follows:


English Composition 4 credits
Humanities 3 credits
Social Science 3 credits
Natural Science 3 credits
Analytical Reasoning 3 credits
Environmental Studies 3 credits
Cultural Diversity 6 credits
Free Academic Electives 11 credits
TOTAL   36 credits


Students may use AP credit to fulfill any of the academic requirements, with the exception of English composition.



Introductory Studio Courses

A&D Introductory Course Options (15 Credits)

ARTDES 100:       Digital Studio I:  Image & Document (3)

ARTDES 110:       Drawing Studio I:  Light & Form (3)

ARTDES 120:       Tools, Materials and Processes I:  Construction (3)

ARTDES 121:       Tools, Materials and Processes II:  Messages (3)

ARTDES 220:       Tools, Materials and Processes III:  Time (3)

ARTDES 130:       Concept, Form and Context I:  The Human Being (3)

ARTDES 230:       Concept, Form and Context II:  Culture (3)

ARTDES 231:       Concept, Form and Context IIII:  Nature (3)


T&D Introductory Course Options (15 Credits)

THTRE 172:          Movement I (2)

THTRE 181:          Acting I (3)

THTRE 182:          Acting II (3)

THTRE 192:          Voice I (3)

THTRE 227:          Playwriting I (3)

THTRE 233:          Acting and the Black Experience (3)

THTRE 240:          Introduction to Design (3)

THTRE 241:          Directing I (3)

THTRE 242:          Directing II (3)

THTRE 245:          Introduction to Stage Management (2)

THTRE 250:          Introduction to Technical Theatre Practices (3)

THTRE 251:          Production Practicum I (1)

THTRE 252:          Production Practicum II (1)

THTRE 256:          Lighting Design I (3)

THTRE 260:          Scene Design I (3)

THTRE 261:          Production Practicum III (1)

THTRE 262:          Production Practicum IV (1)

THTRE 270:          Costume Design I (3)

THTRE 271:          Movement II (2)

THTRE 272:          Movement III (2)

THTRE 274:          Stage Combat I (2)

THTRE 281:          Acting III (3)

THTRE 282:          Acting IV (3)

THTRE 291:          Voice II (3)

THTRE 292:            Voice III (3)



Advanced Studio Courses

ARTDES 300 - Advanced Studio Courses (12-15 Credits)

3-D and Interactive Technologies: Conjuring for Non-Wizards

Advanced Drawing: Realism, Cubism, & Collage

Advanced Painting

Advanced Photo

Advanced Tactical Media

Aesthetics of the Autobiographical

Analytical Product Design



Aspects of Graphic Language

Audio Narratives

Beyond Symmetry

Bio-Built; Re-Inventing Life

Bronze Casting

Ceramics:  Aesthetics, Kinesthetics, and Pyrometrics


Come As You Are: Multi-media Performance of Identity

Considering the Future of the Great Lakes 

Conspicuous Consumption; Food as Material

Design in the Third Dimension

Designing Images, Objects, and Spaces

Devices of Japanese Animation as Art Therapy: Metal Sculpture

Digital Typefounding

Documentary Storytelling

Dressing Up & Down: Making Costumes & Other Wearables


Experimental Ethnographic Video

Exploring Self & Society Through Photography

Field Sketching: Yellowstone

Figures in Context

Guerilla Video

Identity Systems

Imagining Place: an Interdisciplinary Experience

Imagining the Genomic Era

Information Designing


Interactivity & Behavior

Interlacing & Surface Designing

Internet Communications

Invention and Innovation

Life-Size Figure Sculpture

Light, Space & Time

Modeling Space and Marking Time: Experiments in Video

More with Less

Motion Capture in the Arts and Sciences

Multiples and Meaning

Muscles, Bones, Skin & Soul

Narrative Art/Comics: Autobiography

Narrative Mapping: Integrating Type and Image

Narrative/Comic Art: The Dream

Organizing Visual Space: An Exploration of Oil Painting

Painting with Clay: Tile and Low Relief

Pieces and Parts:  Advanced Metals

Print Matrix

Publication Design

Representational Sculpture

Shaping Space & Modeling Time

Show Me the Money


Sound for Video

Studio Photography

Stuff & Creative Practice

Text, Image, and Visual Communication

The Better Mousetrap

The Moving Image: Techniques in Motion Graphics

The Repetitive Gesture in Print Media

The Serial Image in Printmaking

Video Installation: Shaping Architectural Space

Visual Literacy and the Elementary School Curriculum

Voices: Type in Context

Wearable Narrative: Metals

ARTDES 310 - Outreach Advanced Studio Courses

After Gepetto: Performing Objects from Puppets to Parades

Alternatives for Girls

Art of Wander: Devices of Memory

Art Workshops in Prisons

Beyond Symmetry

Bodies in the World: Representing Human Rights

Bureau of Creative Solutions: Food from Farming to Feast

Detroit Connections

Hysterical Reenactment:  Embodying History and Presenting the Present

Journeys, Dreams, & Fellow Travelers

Mental Ecology

Retaining Identity: Exploring the Role of Creative Work in Healthcare

Trouble in Paradise: Devices of Post-Utopian Society

Veteran's Video Project

Ways of Seeing: Working with the Visually Impaired

We Are Family

Where the Wild Things Aren't

T&D Advanced Studio Courses (12-15 Credits):

THTRE 327: Playwriting II

THTRE 332: Performing Gender: Dramatizing from Oral Sources

THTRE 340: Black Theatre Workshop

THTRE 341: Directing III

THTRE 342: Directing IV

THTRE 345: Stage Management Practicum: Plays

THTRE 350: Scenic Construction I

THTRE 351: Production Practicum V

THTRE 352: Production Practicum VI

THTRE 353: Sound for Theatre

THTRE 356: Lighting Design II

THTRE 360: Sound Design II

THTRE 362: Drafting & Model Making

THTRE 370: Costume Design II

THTRE 371: Physical Theatre

THTRE 374: Stage Combat II

THTRE 381: Acting V

THTRE 381: Acting VI

THTRE 386: Practicum in Performing Arts Management

THTRE 395: Stage Dialects

THTRE 401: Independent Study

THTRE 429: Playwriting Toward Production

THTRE 442: Directing Project

THTRE 462: Drafting

THTRE 464: Scene Painting for the Theatre

THTRE 470: Costume Design III

THTRE 472: Stage Make-Up

THTRE 483: Acting VIII

THTRE 484: Acting IX

THTRE 499: Special Topics in Theatre

THTRE 557: Light Lab

THTRE 574: Advanced Scene Painting


Videodance (Taught with Film and Video Studies)

Cultural Concepts of Dance

261: Dance Composition

Dance Improvisation

Dance and the Related Arts

Performing Arts Technology

331: Sound Recording

201/401: Microcomputers and Music

441: Music and Media



Listing of all Theatre Courses

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower