The joy of performance

The theatre program allows students who share an intense joy for performing and producing plays to share the profound ways that theatre art can raise significant questions or communicate insight about the human condition.

Start your future in theatre.

Program Highlights

The power of story

The power of story. We all are touched by stories and our lives are affected by how they move us. Stories tell us of history or legacy, and help to chronicle our learning or discovery, and help us share what we witness or encounter in revelation. Whether they be comedy, drama, tragedy or farce, stories move us, provoke us, admonish us, encourage or inspire us. We identify with Characters who encounter challenges, make decisions, overcome obstacles, take risks and face consequences.

The Theatre Arts

The theatre degree emphasizes all aspects of theatre arts through performance and production while embracing learning in the finest liberal arts tradition as a cornerstone for preparation for further graduate study, professional training or community service.

Learn From the Finest

The degree works ideally in combination with other studies such as visual art, business, education, music theatre and spiritual formation. Theatre students at Friends University have the opportunity to learn from some of the finest creative minds in the region, as well as perform or provide technical support in theatrical productions throughout the academic year.

An Intense Joy in Performing

The theatre degree provides a program of study for those who share an intense joy in performing or producing plays that participants and audiences alike enjoy. All who are involved can further seek to explore and share the profound ways that theatre arts can raise significant questions or communicate insight about the human condition.

Theatre in the ‘Real World’

As a discipline, theatre focuses on skills that apply to a wide range of careers and applied learning in the ‘real world’.

Passionate Faculty

Accessible educators with performance expertise

Career Services

Helpful career guidance

Schedule an audition.

Someone has said that if you are successful in theatre—especially in a smaller educational environment—you have learned how to improvise in the face of various challenges, how to manage diverse projects, to work with limited budgets, to interact and empathize with a wide range of different people, to do humbly whatever needs to be done to make an enterprise successful, to work hard, to make tough decisions, to motivate by convincingly presenting ideas to others and to work contentedly but diligently with the circumstances you are given. If you are such an individual, we invite you to study with us and craft and shape the stories that impact us all!

The theatre program intentionally supplies a framework for that development to take place by offering courses in aesthetics, acting, design, literature, makeup, management, stagecraft, speech, technical support, producing and directing, as well as field internships.

Program Outcomes

  • Show acquaintance with an appropriate range of theatre contexts including principal eras, persons, genres and cultural sources.
  • Demonstrate ability to conduct critical analysis in understanding and interpreting dramatic texts.
  • Exhibit performance skills appropriate to the student’s degree of ability.
  • Show knowledge of procedures and approaches used to create and execute theatrical design.
  • Show directorial ability to conceptualize, interpret, organize and assume leadership in presenting drama onstage to a ‘live’ audience.
  • Show managerial ability to coordinate the elements and processes of stage production, while effectively collaborating with others.

Featured Faculty

Nathanael May

Dr. Nathanael May

  • Professor of Music; Tim & Gail Buchanan Division Chair of Fine Arts
  • Fine Arts
  • B.M. Piano Performance, University of Wisconsin –Whitewater; M.M. Performance and Literature, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester; D.M.A. Performance and Literature, University of Kansas
Charles Parker

Dr. Charles Parker

  • Speech
  • Fine Arts
  • B.A., Harding University; M.A. Harding School of Theology; M.A., University of Memphis; Ph.D., SIU-Carbondale

Request Info

Get started.

Tell us a little about you, and we’ll connect you with the answers you need. Ready to get started at Friends?