Theater and Dance Overview

Paul Sarvis, Department Chair

Noma Petroff, Department Coordinator

Professor: Davis R. Robinson

Assistant Professors: Charlotte M. Griffin, Abigail Killeen

Senior Lecturers: Gwyneth Jones, Paul Sarvis

Lecturer: Judy Gailen

Visiting Faculty: Sally Wood

Fellow: Christina Knight

Students may minor in dance or theater. Although no major is offered in the Department of Theater and Dance, students with special interest may, with faculty advice, self-design a major in conjunction with another academic discipline. More information on student-designed majors may be found in the Curriculum section.

Interdisciplinary Major

The department participates in an interdisciplinary major in English and theater.  


The dance curriculum provides a coherent course of study through classes in dance technique and repertory, choreography, and dance history, theory, and criticism. The department emphasizes dance’s relation to the performing and fine arts and its fundamental connection to the broad liberal arts curriculum. The program’s goal is dance literacy and the development of skills important to original work in all fields: keen perception, imaginative problem solving, discipline, and respect for craft.

The department offers technique and repertory classes in ballet and modern dance, the latter term designating a wide spectrum of styles that focus on an inventive, unrestricted approach to movement. Many of these are half-credit courses, offered only on a Credit/D/Fail basis—and may be repeated up to four times for credit. Full credit is given to students enrolled in both a technique class and its corresponding repertory class. Attendance at all classes is required. See course descriptions for full details.

Requirements for the Minor in Dance

The minor consists of five course credits as follows:

• Dance 1102 {101} or 1501 {140}

• At least one course from Dance 1103 {103}, 1211/1212 {111/112}, 1221 {121}, 2211/2212 {211/212}, 2221/2222 {221/222}, 2231/2232 {231/232}, 2241/2242, or 3211/3212 {311/312}

• At least one course from Dance 1101 {102}, 1203 {145} (same as Theater 1203 {145}), 1302 {130} (same as Theater 1302 {130}), 2401 {270}.

• Two additional courses at the intermediate level or higher (numbered 2000 {200} or higher).

Students must earn a grade of CR (Credit) or C- or better in order to have a course count toward the minor in dance.


The theater program at Bowdoin offers students the opportunity to examine the ways theater can provoke the imagination, tell stories, create community, and challenge assumptions. Courses are offered in performance, theory, history, design, and stagecraft. Emphasis is placed on theater’s fundamental connection to the liberal arts curriculum, as well as theater literacy, performance skills, respect for language, and an understanding of social/historical influences on drama. The aim is to develop imaginative theater practitioners who collaboratively solve problems of form and content with a passionate desire to express the human condition on stage.

Requirements for the Minor in Theater

The minor consists of five courses as follows:

• Two courses from Theater 1101 {101}, 1201 {120}, 1202 {150} (same as Dance 1202 {150}), 1203 {145} (same as Dance 1203 {145}), 1301 {104} (same as Dance 1301 {104}), 1302 {130} (same as Dance 1302 {130});

• Two courses from Theater 2201 {220}, 2202 {225}, 2203 {270}, 2401 {260} (same as English 2850 {214}), 2402 {250} (same as Dance 2402 {250}), 2501 {201}, 2502 {240} (same as Dance 2502 {240}), 3201 {320}, 3202 {321}, 3204 {323}, 3301 {340} (same as Dance 3301 {340}), 3401 {322}, 3402 {305}, 3205;

• And one additional course in theater or dance.

Students must earn a grade of CR (Credit) or C- or better in order to have a course count toward the minor in theater.