Earn your Associate of Fine Arts Theatre degree at Inver Hills Community College and transfer to a four-year college or university

Our mission centers on giving you a lifelong appreciation for theatre arts and film studies while helping you develop your performance skills and capabilities. As Stella Adler, the renowned acting teacher, once said, “The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time. The theatre was created to tell people the truth about life and the social situation.”


Contact Information

George Roesler
Theatre Instructor


Admissions Team

College Center

The Theatre department at Inver Hills offers a wide variety of courses, both practical and theoretical, that will give you the experience and knowledge you need to harness your talent. You can begin by taking introductory film, cinema and theatre courses that teach you how to view and analyze performances. You can follow through by taking practicum courses that provide hands-on learning in essential theatrical areas, including:

  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Oral interpretation of literature
  • Set construction
  • Scene painting
  • Lighting
  • Props
  • Makeup
  • Publicity
  • Costuming
  • Stage management
  • Creative drama for children

The Theatre department features two venues ideally suited for live theatrical performances, the 300-seat Inver Hills Theatre and the more intimate Black Box Theatre. The former features three plays a year, including a children’s play in April for students in area elementary schools. Our students have worked on and performed in numerous college productions, including:

Our instructors bring strong academic credentials and professional experience to the theatre curriculum. Many continue to work on Twin Cities theatrical productions, directing and performing live. Former theatre students have gone on to become respected professional actors, designers and theatrical managers in the metro-area theatre community. Opportunities for both beginners and old hands, including the chance to participate in student-directed productions through Theatre Club, give our department an exciting, interconnected atmosphere.


Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.),Theatre – 60 credits

This two-year degree program is for students pursuing their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and for students interested in entering the professional theatre world. Students will take 31 credits in general requirements and 29 credits in Theatre or Film Studies.

Program Information

The theatre department is committed to improving student and community awareness and appreciation of theatre. Performance and theatre background and history courses offer a strong foundation for transfer students intent on majoring in theatre, as well as those entering the local theatre community directly. Lecture courses integrate classroom and local theatre experiences. Performance/practicum courses offer an environment where students learn specific techniques they can apply to theatrical endeavors on both the community and professional levels.

Coursework   Program Planning Guide

Theatre Curriculum – 29 credits

Course Number Title Credits
THTR 1105 Intro to Theatre 3 cr
THTR 1152 Beginning Acting 3 cr
THTR 2153 Advanced Acting 3 cr
THTR 1157 Theatre Makeup 3 cr
THTR 1161 Theatre Activities1 2 cr
THTR 2109 Theatre History I 3 cr
THTR 2154 Design for the Theatre 3 cr
Choose 9 credits from the following:
THTR 1101 Introduction to Film 3 cr
THTR 1103 International Cinema 3 cr
THTR 1107 Film History I 3 cr
THTR 1108 Film History II 3 cr
THTR 1158 Creative Drama 3 cr
THTR 1161 Theatre Activities 1-2 cr
THTR 1185 Directing/Acting (Practicum course) 2 cr
COMM 2210 Oral Interpretation of Literature 2 cr
ENG 2253 Shakespeare 3 cr
MUSC 1105 IHCC Choir 1 cr
MUSC 2105 IHCC Choir 2 cr
MUSC 1107 Class Voice I 3 cr
MUSC 1132 Applied Voice 2 cr
MUSC 1144 Broadway Musicals 3 cr
Total Credits: 29
1Course is one credit; must be taken at least twice

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) – 31 credits

Complete all ten areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), including all courses listed. Additional credits to meet the 40 credit MnTC are fulfilled through the program requirements (above.) A course may satisfy more than one MnTC emphasis area, but the credits may be counted only once.

Goal Details Courses Needed
Goal 1 Communication
  • ENG 1108
  • ENG 1111 OR ENG 1114
  • COMM 1110
3 courses
Goal 2 Critical Thinking
(Satisfied with required coursework)
Goal 3 Natural Science (1 with lab)
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
2 courses
Goal 4 Mathematical/Logical Reasoning
Goal 4 course
1 course
Goal 5 History/Social Sciences/Behavioral Sciences
Recommend: Psychology and Sociology courses
3 courses
Goal 6 Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature
Satisfied with required coursework
Goal 7 Human Diversity
Recommend: English course
1 course
Goal 8 Global Perspectives
Recommend: THTR/FS 1103 International Cinema
1 course
Goal 9 Ethical and Civic Responsibility 1 course
Goal 10 People and the Environment
Total Credits Needed: 31
Course Descriptions

THTR 1101  Introduction to Film   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1101

Helps students understand, appreciate, and enjoy motion pictures from their inception to the present as an art form. A beginning approach to the history, theory, and criticism of the cinema and film industry. The relationship between form and contents is basic to this course.

THTR 1103  International Cinema   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1103

Introduces the student to a study of major world cinemas, including influential filmmakers, screen personalities, and motion pictures. Important films are screened, discussed, and critically evaluated.

THTR 1105  Introduction to Theater   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1105

Helps increase students' understanding of the performing arts. Introduces the student to the history and theory of plays, playwrights, and the various arts and crafts of the theatre. Students will attend two (2) play productions selected by the instructor.

THTR 1107  Film History I   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1107

Surveys the History of Film from the silent era through the sound era of Classical Hollywood, with special focus on filmmakers, genres, and styles. Influential films are viewed and discussed.

THTR 1108  Film History II   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1108

Surveys the History of Film from the classical studio system to the contemporary American Independents. The focus of the course is on analysis and interpretation of films and evolving national traditions of cinema. Influential films are viewed and discussed.

THTR 1152  Acting I   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1152

Develops students' understanding of and skills in the theories and practices of stage acting. Exercises, games and discussion develop individual skills in the beginning actor.

THTR 1157  Theatre Makeup   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1157

Introduces the student to the theory, technique, and application of makeup for the theatre. Emphasis placed on practical application of the makeup.

THTR 1158  Creative Dramatics   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1158

Helps students develop skills in the use of creative drama activities. Skills are to be applied to guide children in the creation and dramatization of poems, stories, historical events, and other literature. Units on children's theatre and puppetry are included.

THTR 1161  Theatre Activities   1.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1161

Provide students opportunities to participate in a theatre production on campus through acting, set construction, scene painting, lighting props, makeup, costuming and/or stage management. This course may be repeated for credit. Students will engage in a minimum of 50 hours on aspects of play production arranged with the instructor.

THTR 1185  Directing/Acting   2.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 1185

In this practicuum course, students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of directing actors, including choosing scripts, defining character motivation, and working with stage movement and composition. Actors will have the opportunity to practice and develop their skills with novice directors. Students will have the opportunity to both act and direct under the guidance of the Director/Acting instructor. The final project of the course will be an in-class or public performance. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

THTR 2109  Theatre History I   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 2109

Surveys theatrical history from its origins to 1700. Major periods and movements of theatre are discussed as they occurred chronologically. Analysis of the period's practices, practitioners, playing space and audience. Prerequisites: Recommended THTR 1105.

THTR 2152  Script Analysis   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 2152

Focus on analyzing play scripts with a view to discovering production and performance values and aesthetics. Students will read, interpret and respond to a wide variety of plays from different periods and styles. Critical analysis of structure, character, theme, dialogue, genre, and style relating to the play script. Emphasis placed on plays as performance texts and fundamental techniques used by actors, directors and designers to analyze scripts in preparation for performance.

THTR 2153  Acting II   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 2153

Develops student understanding of and skills in more advanced theories and practices of stage acting. Attention will be paid to Shakespeare.

THTR 2154  Design for the Theatre   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 2154

Introduces the concepts, process, and practices common to the design of scenery, lighting and costume. The study and application of the aesthetic principles and graphic skills involved in all areas of theatrical design. Development of the student's abilities in research methodology, as it applies to design for the theatre. Emphasis on design skills (including CAD programs) as a communication tool in the collaborative process of theatrical production. Prerequisites: Recommended THTR 1105.

THTR 2210  Hitchcock, The Master of Suspense   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 2210

Examines the work of Alfred Hitchcock, a film director known world-wide for his artistry with a camera, his craftsmanship with story structure, and his ability to hold the audience in a state of edge-of-the-seat suspense.

THTR 2220  Documentary Films   3.0 cr

Course Outline for THTR 2220

Explores the nature and history of documentary film. Students will understand, appreciate, and enjoy documentary motion pictures as a form of communication, a method of persuasion, a reflection of culture, and as an art form. The course provides a beginning approach to the theory and criticism of documentary film. The relationship between form and content is basic to this course.

Transfer Information

The Theatre department has articulation agreements with Minnesota State University, Mankato, and ugsburg University. The department is pursuing articulation agreements with the following four-year institutions:

Meet the Faculty

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Clubs & Organizations

Student Clubs

Film Club

Purpose: Provide a safe and comfortable environment for students to express themselves through the film.

To learn more, contact:

Student Life

Theater Club

Purpose: Provide a safe and comfortable environment for students to express themselves through the dramatic arts; the club also provides opportunities for those interested in theater production, acting, costuming, stage management, lighting, directing and more.

To learn more, contact:

George Roesler
Theatre and Film Studies Instructor
Theatre Club Faculty Advisor

Improv Club

Purpose: Provide students with improvisational performance opportunities where dialogue, action, story line and characters are developed collaboratively by actors or players in present time.

To learn more, contact:

George Roesler
Theatre and Film Studies Instructor
Improv Club Faculty Advisor

Professional organizations

Playwrights’ Center

MSP Film Society

Minnesota Playlist

Employment Information

Building a career in theatre

Theatre arts date back more than 2,500 years to the city-state of Athens in ancient Greece. Modern theatre in the English-speaking world is exemplified by Broadway, which features 40 professional theatres with 500 seats or more. Dozens and dozens of theatre companies across the U.S. produce plays of all kinds, including dramas, tragedies, musicals, comedies and improv.

Potential jobs in the theatre arts, including pre-production, production and staff

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Dramaturge
  • Playwright
  • Scenic designer
  • Lighting designer
  • Costume designer
  • Sound designer
  • Property master
  • Production manager
  • Technical director
  • Choreographer
  • Makeup designer
  • Charge artist
  • Scenic artist
  • Electrician
  • Carpenter
  • Wardrobe supervisor
  • Publicist
  • Stage manager
  • Stagehands
  • Artistic director
  • Costume director
  • Marketing director
  • House manager
  • Ticketing agent
  • Grip

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start by earning an A.F.A. in Theatre from at Inver Hills.

Additional resources

Field of Study: Directing, Theater Production, and Arts Management

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your freshman and sophomore theatre obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. Be part of opening night and tell a story that creates memorable audience experiences
  2. Stretch your creativity and discover what it takes to bring a character to life on stage
  3. Construct sets, design lighting, and contribute to a full-scale theater production
  4. Receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with theatre faculty
  5. Get live-performance experience in superb theatre facilities
  6. Save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

Additional resources

Academic Calendar