Special Courses

The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance offers a variety of classes for a well-rounded theatre and dance education. Below are a few examples of our diverse curriculum.


Stage Combat
two people practicing stage combat


Acting for the Camera
The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a beginning and an advanced course in acting for the camera. The focus of the courses is to develop the necessary technical skills for acting for the camera by demonstrating key crew positions and participating in the post-production process.
In Acting for the Camera 1, students develop technical acting for the camera skills such as hitting the mark, scaling the performance for each shot size, physical continuity, reaction shots, and proper eye lines.  They shoot exercises and monologues in the studio, scenes on location, and they edit their own work on Adobe Premiere Pro. Students perform the basic crew duties found on a Film/TV set, and by practicing these different positions, students strengthen their acting for the camera technique.
In Acting for the Camera 2, students continue to develop the fundamentals of acting combined with the technical aspects of acting for the camera. Students shoot scripted material, write and direct their own scenes, and function as a professional crew shooting on multiple locations throughout the semester. Students will continue to strengthen their acting for the camera skills be taking an active role in the post-production process.

UK Theatre & Dance provides one of only a handful of undergraduate programs across the country that offer college student playwrights the opportunity to hone their art and craft in multiple playwriting courses and to put those skills into practice via readings, workshops and productions.

Young playwrights enrolled as Theatre Majors working towards a BA in Theatre emerge from our rigorous theatre department curriculum with a well-rounded liberal arts education and an emphasis in playwriting that will position them for a career as a professional playwright. Playwrights who have studied playwriting here have gone on to graduate school and burgeoning careers in the field.

Image of cast from "Highlighter Girl" by Amy Pan, 2018.
Highlighter Girl by Amy Pan, New Works Now 2018.

Student playwrights are encouraged to enroll in the Playwriting I course where the fundamentals of playwriting are investigated via: readings of plays by established and contemporary playwrights; writing exercises that explore each of Aristotle's six essential elements of drama (plot, character, diction, thought, music and spectacle); and the development of a ten minute play while receiving thoughtful and critical feedback from peers and faculty over the course of the semester. Independent study courses in playwriting are offered to playwrights interested in writing longer works. Playwriting II is an advanced course available students who have taken Playwriting I and are interested in: experimenting with a variety of dramatic styles and forms; studying the work of great playwrights across the globe and throughout the centuries; and writing a one act play, leading to a workshop production. Student playwrights are also encouraged to take seminars in dramatic literature (i.e., Shakespeare, Eugene O'Neill, August Wilson, Contemporary Women Playwrights) in order to better understand a variety of dramatic structures, forms, styles, and genres.

In addition to course work, playwright students at UK Theatre & Dance are afforded numerous opportunities to develop their plays in The Studio Season, with student-run productions in the Lucille Little Black Box Theatre.

Musical Theatre

Students who have been accepted into the Musical Theatre Certificate benefit from the Master Class series where they have sessions and workshops with guest faculty and industry professionals to hone their skills and prepare them to enter the profession. Guest faculty in the past have included Sheri Sanders, Lyndy Franklin Smith, Christianne Noll, Patrick Garr and many other Broadway performers.

Dance Master Class Series

The Dance Master Class Series is designed to broaden students’ awareness of a variety of genres, styles and perspectives. It will provide the intermediate and advanced dance student with skills necessary to take dance classes or audition in New York, L.A. or other cities. Each session features a different guest teacher.  This is an opportunity to work and meet many professional teachers, choreographers, directors and dancers. The course is designed for 1 ½ hours of dancing followed by a 20 to 30 minutes of questions and answers from the instructor. 

Some of the classes have included

  • Andrew Ray - Fight Choreography
  • Lyndy Franklin Smith - The Lex - Musical Theatre Dance
  • Shuling Fister- Chinese Folk and Classical Dance 
  • Jasmine Snellen - Mutual Dance Theatre  Cincinatti, Ohio - Contemporary Dance
  • Hannah Reitz - African Dance
  • Gail Bednedict - Former Fosse Dancer - Musical Theatre Tap
  • Susie Thiel - Holistic Nutrition
Created 06/28/2021
Last Updated 03/15/2024