The Department of Theatre strives to inspire students to expand their vision of the world and themselves through the study and practice of theatre arts, preparing them for leadership as artists, educators, and scholars.
The curriculum promotes creativity, inquisitiveness, critical thinking, communication skills (oral and written), and cultural appreciation through classroom experience, individual and collaborative study, and actualized stage productions, all emphasizing the particular skills necessary for the generation of high-quality stage performance. Theatre majors develop a working knowledge of the art form through a core curriculum, area studies (performance, theatrical design, technical production, directing, playwriting, theatre studies or dramaturgy), and a collaborative approach to production work. Students learn to participate in current critical discourse while engaging with the theory, history and material conditions of performance; the program thus creates a rigorous intellectual environment firmly rooted in the theatrical art form. These fundamentals also prepare students who so wish to specialize in theater education with the goal of obtaining a North Carolina teaching license.
The department sponsors a wide range of course-based capstone performances, master classes led by theatre artists and scholars from around the world, lecture-discussions, workshops, and other learning opportunities. Throughout their training, students work both as faculty-mentored individuals and in collaborative groups, so that in addition to making significant contributions to the cultural life of the campus through departmental productions, they emerge ready for theatrical internships, graduate programs, or for any profession which places value on independent thinking, confidence, and communication skills.
The department presents a season of faculty-directed, student-acted MainStage productions, as well as a series of professional guest performances and events, classroom projects, student-driven works, and original collaborations. Auditions are open to all members of the University community. Productions and classes are held in Robinson Hall, which contains three performance spaces and specialized rehearsal, design, and construction laboratories, as well as additional classrooms and department offices.