Courses Recommended for First-Years

General Recommendations

All courses offered by the Barnard Theatre Department are open to all Barnard, Columbia, and General Studies undergraduates.

First-Year Students are encouraged to consider the following:

Acting Courses

For First-Year Students looking for an introductory acting class, please consider taking one of the Acting Workshop sections:

The Acting Workshops are only offered in the fall. Please note that they are strictly for First-Year Students only; sophomores, juniors, seniors, transfer students, and international visiting students cannot take Acting Workshop.

For everyone else, we recommend the Scene Lab course:

Finally, please note that First-Year Students are eligible to audition for any of the acting courses, i.e. Acting the Musical Scene, Acting Shakespeare, Acting Solo Performance, Scene Lab. However, the Advanced Acting Labs (THTR UN3006 sections 1 and 2) require that students complete at least one 3000-level acting course prior to the audition; thus, students in their first semester are ineligible.


Only the following courses require auditions: Acting Workshop (which is for First-Year students only), Acting the Musical Scene, Acting Shakespeare, Acting Solo Performance, Scene Lab, and the Advanced Acting Labs.

Auditions will take place Tuesday 9/3 and Wednesday 9/4.

The one mainstage spring production: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch, directed by Colette Robert. Students who get cast must enroll in the Drama & Theatre Arts course "Rehearsal & Performance," as participating in the productions is a curricular activity undertaken for course credit.

The auditions will take place in the Minor Latham Playhouse (118 Milbank Hall on the Barnard Campus). There are three audition sessions: Tuesday 9/3 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM and Wednesday 9/4 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. First-Year students are encouraged to audition on Wednesday, but can audition on Tuesday if needed. There is also a brief informational meeting in 118 Milbank at 5:30 PM that all auditioners should attend.

There will be 5 1-hour audition times, and everyone will audition individually. Auditioners must arrive at the beginning of the session and remain until they audition, but then can leave.

We will list 25 slots for each audition time, but we hope to audition more than 25, so if you cannot sign up for a slot in your preferred time, just come to the beginning of that session, and we will do our best to accommodate everyone in that time. If at, say the 9 PM session, there are no more auditioners, we will leave—so it's imperative that everyone planning, whether signed up or not, to audition at a given session arrive at the beginning of the hour.

Auditioners will audition for stage productions (above) and acting classes at once. Everyone needs a 1-minute monologue. If you are auditioning for Acting the Song (spring) or Acting the Musical Scene (fall) or Advanced Acting: Sondheim (spring or fall when offered), you need to sing a cappella 1 minute, roughly 16 bars. You will be able to get your note from a piano.

(No students will be admitted to acting classes without an audition during the audition period. If you do not audition, you will not be placed in an acting class.)

For full details on the auditions process, please see our Auditions page.

Backstage Crews

Students interested in working on backstage crews should contact Greg Winkler (our Technical Director) or Mike Banta (our Production Manager). Please note that the production offices are often closed during the summer and resume operations in late August.


For assistance in planning which courses to take in the Theatre/Drama & Theatre Arts major, we recommend that you make an appointment with one of our academic advisers. All full-time faculty members in the Department of Theatre serve as advisers:

  • Lecturer Gisela Cardenas,
  • Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Sandra Goldmark,
  • Assistant Professor Paige Johnson,
  • Assistant Professor Shayoni Mitra,
  • Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Alice Reagan,
  • Assistant Professor Hana Worthen,
  • Professor and Chair, W. B. Worthen.

These faculty also advise first- and second-year students as well. To make an appointment, simply email the professor directly and request an appointment.

General Rule: Attend the First Day of Class

Simply enrolling in a Theatre course is not enough to secure a place on the roster. The general rule for all Theatre Department courses (besides acting courses, which have a separate process outlined above) is that students should attend the first class meeting. If the course is over-enrolled, the instructor will determine a method for deciding which students get priority, and only those students present on the first day will be considered.


Feel free to email with your questions and concerns. (Please note that the Department is closed during the summer months and will resume operations in late August.)