• Academics
  • Theatre Program

    The Theatre Program, offered through the Humanities Department, leads to an Associate of Science (A.S.) in Theatre and provides students with skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a wide spectrum of careers in the theatre and entertainment industry. Students transferring to senior colleges will have the option of pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

    The Theatre Program allows students to develop performance-based skills through a combination of classroom training and theatre experience. Participation in campus-wide productions — including classic and modern plays, musicals, performance pieces, developmental readings, and student productions — will be a part of every student program. In addition, students will gain valuable experience working “behind the scenes” - designing, constructing, managing, researching and writing theatre.

    Students also gain a solid foundation in academic theatre. Studies include the ability to analyze, critically assess and document theatre studies through rigorous courses in theatre history, dramatic analysis and observation of the contemporary New York theatre scene. This balanced approach to the A.S. in Theatre degree provides students with the knowledge to pursue a career in performance or production (acting, directing, designing, playwriting, stage managing, producing) or a scholarly career (critic, dramaturge, historian, teacher).

    Theatre students have the opportunity to perform in state-of-the art facilities which include the 740-seat LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, the 200-seat Little Theatre, the 100-seat experimental Black Box Theatre and the spacious mirrored Dance Studio LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. In addition, LaGuardia productions extend to non-traditional spaces which include the bi-level Atrium and the serene Courtyard Garden.

    Through internships with profit, non-profit and not-for-profit New York City based theatre organizations, students gain vital knowledge and hands-on experience in the production and creation of theatre. The Theatre Program’s partnership with the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) allows students the opportunity to observe and work with top theatre and entertainment professionals in the creation of new works.

  •  Theatre (AS)

    Theatre (AS)

    Program Director:

    Lisa DeSpain
    (718) 482-6192

        New Student Seminar 0
    English: 8 credits   
        Composition I: ENC/ENG 101 3
        Writing through Literature: ENG 102  3
        Preparing & Writing the Research Paper: ENG 103 2
    Education and Language Acquisition: 3 credits   
        Introduction to Language: ELL 101 3
    Math, Engineering & Computer Science: 3 credits   
        College Algebra & Trigonometry: MAT 115 3
    Health Sciences: 3 credits   
        Human Sexuality: SCH 210 3
    Natural Sciences: 4 credits   
        Principles of Biology: SCB 115 4
    Social Sciences: 6 credits   
        Introduction to Sociology: SSS 100 3
        General Psychology: SSY 101 3
    Cooperative Education: 6 credits   
        Fundamentals of Professional Advancement: CEP 121 3
        Full-Time Internship: CEP 201 3
    (Both Day and Extended Day students are required to take CEP 121.  Extended Day students may take CEP 201 or an unrestricted elective course.)   
    Humanities: 27 credits   
        Art of Theatre: HUT 101 3
        Acting I: HUT 110 3
        Acting II: HUT 111 3
        Introduction to Design for the Theatre: HUT 122 3
        Theatre: Pre-history to Renaissance: HUT 210 3
        Theatre: Renaissance to Modern Times: HUT 211 3
        Theatre Production Workshop: HUC 195 3
        New York Theatre Experience: HUN 245 3
        Select one of the following courses:  3
        Acting for Screen: HUT 112  
        Rehearsal and Performance: HUT 127  
        Directing for the Stage: HUT 175  
        American Musical Theatre Experience: HUM 201  
    Total Credits:  60 

     Theatre Faculty

    John Henry Davis (Professor of Theatre and Film) received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.F.A. from the University of Southern California. He is a director and producer of work for stage, screen, and television. His feature film debut as director, Ordinary Sinner, was honored as “Best Picture” at the Slam Dunk Film Festival and he was selected “Best Director.” His film also won the “Audience Choice Award” at the Greenwich Film Festival, and has played in theaters across the country and on Logo Television. Professor Davis has directed an episode of the acclaimed HBO television series, Oz, segments of One Life to Live, Bravo’s Sarah Jones Show, It’s Always Something for Ripfest, and numerous documentaries. His directorial credits in theatre include Off-Broadway and regional productions, including the recent production of Babes in Toyland at Lincoln Center.

    Lisa DeSpain (Assistant Professor of Music and Program Coordinator) is an award-winning jazz pianist, composer and vocal coach. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship, Copland House Fellowship and the 2000 ASCAP Commission Honoring Duke Ellington. She studied jazz piano under Ellis Marsalis and Brazilian recording artist Eliane Elias. She is the editor for Broadway Presents! – Alfred Music Publishing’s Teen Musical Theatre vocal anthology series and vocal arranger for their “Pop/Glee” choir series - creating mash-ups of Broadway hits Next to Normal, American Idiot and “Mama Who Bore Me” from Spring Awakening. She is the former Musical Director for 1960s pop icon, Lesley Gore, and conductor of the Big Apple Circus. Lisa received her B.M. in Composition at the University of North Texas and her M.M. in Jazz Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

    Steven Hitt (Managing Director of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center - LPAC) is a professional choreographer and director whose work has been presented throughout the country. Steven is a Broadway veteran, a cast member of the International company of A Chorus Line and a member of the American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House. Steven has directed LaGuardia’s production of For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, choreographed varied performances and workshops, and continues to provide countless opportunities for LaGuardia performers on our multiple stages.

    Handan Özbilgin (Associate Artistic Director of LPAC) is an international theatre director who specializes in site-specific productions. Her experimental theatre productions include projectmaids, Three Sisters Vanishing, Wall-House-Yard Trilogy and Rumi's Math.  

    Jason Ramírez (Assistant Professor of Theatre) received his Ph.D. in Theatre from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is a playwright, actor and director holding memberships in Actors' Equity Association and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. His scholarship includes essays in Aztlán Journal of Chicano Studies, Theatre Journal and El Boletín del Archivo de Teatro y Cine. His creative work has been produced at the Mark Taper Forum, La Mama E.T.C., Theater for the New City, The Nuyorican Poet's Café, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Intar Theatre, Teatro Iati, Henry Street Settlement, Julia de Burgos Center, Aaron Davis Hall and the Ford Ampitheatre. Jason’s post-9/11 play, Passing Judgment, is published in the Anthology of Nuyorican Theatre. As an actor, Jason has maintained an active career on the stage, including stints as Judas in the National Tours of both Jesus Christ Superstar and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Dr. Ramirez’s ePortfolio can be accessed at Jason Ramírez's ePortfolio.

    Stefanie Sertich (Assistant Professor of Theatre) is an award-winning director and choreographer. She has directed the world premiere of Eduardo Machado’s Havana Journal (Theater for the New City), The Dome (Prospect Theater), Museum Pieces (Prospect Theater), Do Gooder (The Public Theater), The Useless Man (Intar New Works Lab), Animal Farm (The New Rep), Electra (Classic Greek Theatre of Oregon), Kimberly Akimbo (Salem Rep Theatre), Cole Porter's You Never Know (Millbrook Playhouse) and Picnic (Western Oregon University). Stefanie has also taught acting, directing and musical theatre to students ranging from young children to graduate students at various institutions including NYU Tisch School of the Arts, City Lights Youth Theatre, Oregon Children’s Theatre and Western Oregon University. Stefanie received her B.A. in Acting from Western Michigan University and an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Portland.


    Taryn Anderson (College Laboratory Technician) – B.A. in Theatre: Binghamton University.

     LaGuardia Theatre Season 2011-2012

    The Shape of Things
    by Neil LaBute
    Directed by Stefanie Sertich
    Little Theatre - November 2011

    The Cherry Orchard
    by Anton Chekhov
    Directed by John Henry Davis
    Main Stage Theatre – February 2012

    Cherry Orchard – An Experimental Project
    Directed by Handan Özbilgin
    Main Stage Theatre – February 2012

    Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
    Directed by Jason Ramírez ~ Musical Direction by Lisa DeSpain ~ Choreography by Steven Hitt
    Little Theatre – May 2012
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