Michigan State University

Michigan State University Department of Theatre THR 300 Policy

For credit working in or on Department produced/sponsored productions

  • Not all positions are available all semesters—THR 300A list will be sent out prior to semester start by THR 300A Coordinator; THR 300Cs are determined by advisors in discussion with the student.
  • All require approval by Head of Acting and Directing or THR 300 Coordinator.
  • Student production projects are only available as Independent Study, not for THR 300 credit.
  • Non-department projects are generally not available as THR 300 credit. 
  • All students who wish to must fill out the THR 300C application at first rehearsal (for acting, directing, dramaturge, choreography credit).  These will be signed by the director and returned to the Head of Acting for final approval and filed with the Theatre office for enrollment or held for future enrollment. If the student wishes to add the credit to the current semester prior to first rehearsal it becomes their responsibility to bring the forms to the appropriate faculty and head of area for signatures. Head of Acting and Directing or THR 300 Coordinator will file the form with the Theatre Office for registration.
  • Students who wish to receive THR 300C credit for design assignments must fill out the appropriate form no later than the first design meeting or first meeting with their mentor and return it to the Head of Design for final approval and filed with the Theatre office for enrollment or held for future enrollment. If the student wishes to add the credit to the current semester prior to first meeting, it becomes their responsibility to bring the forms to the appropriate faculty and head of area for signatures. Head of Design or THR 300 Coordinator will file the form with the Theatre Office for registration.
  • All students with THR 300A/C production assignments (crew positions and shop hours) must have the form filled out by the end of the first week of classes or within one week of approval (if later than the first week of classes).  The completed form will be emailed to the THR 300 Coordinator for Production for signatures and returned to the Theatre office for enrollment or held for future enrollment. Forms will be kept on file in the Theatre office (with recorded grades) until the student chooses to use them for credit.  If a form is not filled out within the timeline detailed above NO CREDIT will be granted. 
  • THR 300A/ C production assignments (crew positions or shop hours) will be approved via email by THR 300 Coordinator.  Appropriate section numbers and name of faculty of record will be provided in this email.

THR 300A=production based projects
THR 300C=area of emphasis/creative based projects

THR 300 (no letter): these do not sub for THR 300A or THR 300C

Olin Troupe participant (troupe coordinator is not included as it is a paid position through Olin)
Others as determined (this can be where student productions go ONLY if the student has used all possible independent study credits)

THR 300As (can also be THR 300Cs)

  • 50 Shop hours costume
  • 50 Shop hours scenic
  • 50 Shop hours lighting
  • 50 Shop hours media
  • 50 Shop hours sound
  • Deck crew chief (requires training pre tech)
  • Costume crew chief (requires training pre dress)
  • Makeup crew chief (requires training pre dress)
  • Sound board op (requires training pre tech)
  • Projection board op (requires training pre tech)
  • Light board op/programmer (requires training pre tech)
  • Stage manager
  • Assistant Stage manager
  • Props master
  • Paint charge
  • Master electrician
  • House manager/Front of House (non-Fairchild/Pasant shows ONLY)
  • Backstage crew (any area, may be needed based on low THR111L enrollment)
  • Haunted Aud Producer (only two available each year)

THR 300Cs (cannot be THR 300As)

  • Acting
  • Design (any/all areas)
  • Assistant Design (any/all areas)
  • Haunted Aud Designers (4 available: scenery, costume, makeup, lights)
  • Outreach & Engagement leaders (SPOT, 4th Wall or similar.  Only non-paid roles)
  • Specialized tech projects (any/all areas)
  • Specialized Production Roles (all require area head approval). For example:
    • Dramaturge
    • Assistant director
    • Choreographer 
    • Assistant designers (any/all areas)
    • Movement Coach
    • Dance Captain
    • Fight Choreographer
    • Fight Captain
    • Assistant to the Playwright
    • Dialect Coach
    • Musical Director

The THR 300 series are the Department’s practicum classes. The letters designate different types of projects but have no actual meaning. THR 300A is Production Practicum—this is participating in the cumulative process of theatrical production by working backstage on a crew or in one of the production shops creating the work that will be seen on stage. THR 300C is your Area of Emphasis—this is intensive experience participating in a departmental production as part of the creative team: actor, designer, director, etc. OR can also include any of the production categories from THR 300A. THR 300 is there for projects that do not fall into either of these categories—it can be any practical experience approved by a faculty member.  See the THR 300 Policy for specific projects that may be available in each category in a given semester.

You should start working toward your THR 300s after you successfully complete THR 111 and THR 111L. THR 111 teaches you the basics for participation in production work. One THR 300A credit will be required as a pre-requisite or co-requisite for THR 292: Sophomore Seminar. The second THR 300A credit will be required as a pre- or co-requisite for THR 492: Senior Seminar.  If you begin the THR 300s in your sophomore year you have plenty of time to complete the required credits (THR 300A x2 and THR 300C x2 for majors; THR 300A x1 and THR 300C x1 for minors) before you graduate. It’s best if you spread out the THR 300 experiences over your time at MSU so you don’t have to try and cram four of them in during your last semester—this may be impossible to accommodate due to there being a finite number of opportunities available each semester.

THR 111L is the lab requirement for that class. You are being trained to be an introductory level crew member or technician. THR 300A/C Production Practicums are the next level—you know the basics and are now ready to be a crew leader or to help with construction/creation of production elements. The curriculum is designed to give you a minimum of four practical theatrical experiences integrated into the major (two for minors).

When you are cast in a show or offered a design or assistant design/production role you should fill out a THR 300 form for C credit. Often these are available to cast members at the first rehearsal. Designers/production assistants should fill out these forms at the first meeting with their mentor/project advisor.  THR 300A projects opportunities are emailed to all majors and minors after cast lists are posted each semester.  This allows you to know your rehearsal requirements from casting before committing to another production’s technical rehearsal.  The email will tell you everything you need to know to request a THR 300A/C Production Practicum position for that semester.

These courses are enrolled by override only. You will be able to enroll after the THR 300 Application form has been approved.

Once you have been approved for the project, you will receive an email with instructions for filling out the THR 300 Application. Fill it out, return it via email as directed, and it will be forwarded to the Department office. The office will process enrollment as soon as possible, usually within one week of receipt of the form. Forms are currently due at the end of the first week of classes for projects approved prior to the semester start and within one week of approval for projects approved after the beginning of the semester. Need the credit added to your schedule sooner? Get the form filled out sooner!

Hold for future enrollment means you do the project in the current semester but pay for the credit in a future semester.  Why? We’re nice people and we understand that some semesters you may have time to complete a project but not money to enroll in another credit. We also understand that you may want a semester with a lighter class load but need to be enrolled in credits. By choosing to hold a THR 300 credit for the future, you will complete the project in the current semester, have it graded by the professor of record at the completion of the project, but it will not be added to your class schedule until you tell us you want it added.  With flat rate tuition, if you are enrolled for more than 12 credits, but less than 18 and working on a THR 300 project, you may want to consider adding the credit to the current semester since the tuition cost will be the same.

THR 300C’s are project based—the time commitment depends on how many hours of rehearsal you are called to; how many production meetings you need to attend; how long the show runs during tech week; etc. etc… It’s hard to say since every production is so different. 

Likewise, the time commitment for working backstage crew for THR 300A/C can be difficult to estimate. In general, crew is called for one week prior to opening night for the technical rehearsal process and are required to be in attendance for every technical rehearsal and performance and to participate in strike. Call times are approximately 5pm to 11pm, but can be earlier and/or later depending on the needs of a particular production.

Shop hours are the easy one—it’s a 50 hour commitment over the semester. This equals approximately four hours per week and most shops will ask that you work a minimum of two hour blocks.  The costume and scene shop are usually open 9am-noon, 1-5pm and you can schedule your hours around your classes. Media, lighting and sound may be either regular weekly hours or scheduled around load-in or projects—you can always find out more by talking with the supervisor/primary faculty member of the shop you are interested in working in.

In order to make you a well-rounded theatre professional, we want you to have a broad base of experiences by completing THR 300 Production Practicums in two different areas. All that means is that you cannot do the exact same job twice for THR 300A credit. But you CAN do more of the same project as THR 300C credit if you decide you really like it—it can become your area of emphasis.

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