Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Capstone


This course if open to Seniors (90+ credit hours completed) with permission from the student’s advisor and Jury Members.

Credit Hours

The Senior Capstone course is three credits.

Course Description

The Capstone project serves to demonstrate the student’s proficiency in theatre.  It is the culmination of coursework in the Marshall University Program Theatre curriculum.

Students must develop proposals appropriate to a 3 hour research commitment. While varying with the individual student and their project, students should expect to spend a considerable amount of time on this project.

Students should consider carefully their Topic for Proposal with input from their Mentor/Instructor of Record. A list of “Suggested Topics” are attached to this document and are by no means exclusive, but rather should serve as a guide for topic selection.

Assignments will be submitted via Blackboard in the BA Theatre Capstone organization.

Proposal – 10%

Student should first consult with their academic advisor about who best will serve as their mentor/instructor of record.  In most cases, the academic advisor will serve as mentor/advisor and chair of the capstone jury.  Student should then identify two additional faculty members to serve on their Capstone jury for a minimum of three total jury members including the Chair. Additional instructors including part-time instructors may serve but are not required. Part-time instructor may not serve as a Capstone Jury Chair.  If a part-time instructor is selected as a project mentor, the student’s academic advisor will serve as the Jury Chair and Teacher of Record.  Student will submit a Proposal Form to their Project Mentor/Teacher of Record. On the form, students will indicate which additional jury members they have invited and confirmed to serve.  Proposal forms are available online on the School of Theatre webpage under the “Student Resources” tab. Proposals must be submitted at a time determined by their Project Mentor.

Periodic Documentation / Research – 40%

  • BB submission 1: Resources—Bibliographic resource list (This need not be a complete list, however it should include a majority of student’s research needs : 50 points
  • BB submission 2: Abstract/Outline—A thorough outline and/or abstract of their research report.  Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length : 50 points
  • BB submission 3: Two page (800-1000 words)—A  section of the research report: 50 points
  • BB submission 4: 1st Draft—A rough draft of the entire research report: 50 points
  • BB submission 5: 2nd Draft—A revised draft of the entire research report:100 points
  • BB submission 6: Final Draft—Completed report :100 points

NOTE:  BB Submissions should be made according to the Project Calendar approved by the Mentor and the Student as submitted in the Project Proposal.  Weekly submissions are highly recommended, but flexibility is provide to meet the exigencies of each individual project.

Public Presentation – 20%

Public Presentation/Performance of the work :  All BA Capstone candidates must present an 8-10 minute public presentation prior to their jury.  Students will consult with their mentor/teacher of record as to the technical nature of the presentation, i.e., Power Point, Prezi, etc…

Self Assessment – 10%

Student will complete a written self-assessment in which he/she will reflect on the efficacy of their work and discuss strengths and weaknesses with regard to skills, professional practices and/or collaboration with peer artists.

Jury Defense – 20%

Students will complete an oral self-assessment / Q&A with selected jury members in which he/she will reflect on the efficacy of their work and discuss strengths and weaknesses with regard to skills, process, professional practices and collaboration with peer artists.


A student must earn a C or better in order to pass the course and graduate with a BFA.

Examples of Senior Project Research Topics

  1. A study on the economics of theatre – How the cost of producing Theatre is affecting what is being produced and where the trends are heading.
  2. How Theatre has influenced society in the twenty-first century. (Choose one aspect): politics, cultural, or social behaviors or norms, gender roles etc.?
  3. How has technology influenced theatre? What is the impact on current theatre productions (Choose one area to focus your research): playwriting, production design, sound, make-up lighting scenery, costumes, and props?
  4. Historical background for a character based on a real person: the cabaret performer Anita Berber.
  5. Production history, compare/contrast three noteworthy productions of Cabaret.
  6. Three actors who originated roles in Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun and their influence on African American theatre.
  7. Design and construction of flexible zombie body prosthetics for Z the Zombie Musical and rod puppet design, execution and operation for THE SNOW QUEEN.
  8. Femininity on stage in post WW II America: Ethel Merman, Uta Hagen and Judy Holliday.
  9. Pig Iron Theatre’s “Chekhov Lizardbrain,” and Paul D. MacLeans Triune Brain.
  10. Theory, Ethics and Science: Experiment with an Air Pump by Shelagh Stephenson.
  11. From A Chorus Line to Hamilton:performance at the cutting edge of innovation.
  12. The ‘Gay’ musical and the LGBT Rights Movement.
  13. From Page to Stage: verbal conceptualization to physical expression.
  14. Theatrical design using “non-traditional” materials.
  15. Applying diverse disciplines in the theatre environment.
  16. The significance of gender in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
  17. Disciples of Stanislavsky: A comparison of methods of Michael Chekhov and Richard Boleslavsky.
  18. The Cherry Orchard: The Onset of the Russian Revolution.

Contact Us

Marshall University
School of Theatre
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Telephone: 304-696-7184

Fax: 304-696-6582

Box Office: 304-696-ARTS (2787)

COVID-19 Plan

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