Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

A Passion to Prepare

Our B.A. program provides training across the full range of theater arts – acting, design, directing, playwriting and technical theatre, with the goal of graduating theatre artists of the highest caliber. You will be well prepared to enter a career, further your studies in graduate school, or pursue the teaching profession. Undergraduates benefit from an expert professional faculty and a vibrant guest artist series, exposing you to cutting edge practices and the highest national standards.

Each Department of Theatre student receives individual attention as you make your way through the program. We understand that talent is very important; however training and dedicated mentorship is paramount to developing a young theatre artist. Our B.A. program allows theatre students to find and cultivate their artistic style through exceptional coursework and cutting-edge productions.

The Department of Theatre is a practical and production-based program. Trained across a broad range of theatre skills, each student will choose an area of study, either performance which includes acting, directing and playwriting or design & technology with includes costume, lighting and scenery.  Specialized advanced level classes such as Creating a One-Person Show, Scenic Painting and other topics are offered. Our ultimate goal is to awaken in our students a deep respect for theatre and their artistry.

Undergraduates are integrated into the training and coursework by training and performing alongside graduate students. MFA candidates provide mentorship, leadership and guidance to undergraduates pursuing professional theater as a career path.

Undergraduate students are able to participate in over six departmentally supported productions each academic school year. Challenging scripts, cutting edge playwrights, new works, Shakespeare, period pieces, and musicals provide exposure to a wide variety of styles and authors. Each year we offer a dedicated undergraduate production, where B.A. theatre majors and minors contribute in all areas of the process.

Numerous performance and productions opportunities are available with directing and designing opportunities open to qualified students. We strongly encourage active involvement in all aspects of production and strive to provide a variety of opportunities which will prepare students both academically and professionally for a successful future in theatre.

A Theatre Scholarship is much more than a monetary award. It is an indication of your abilities and promise. When noted on your resume or printed in a show program, the term “Theatre Scholarship Recipient” implies dedication, discipline, responsibility and professionalism.

The Department of Theatre encourages a personal interview/audition for scholarship eligibility. Each year Theatre Majors are encouraged to apply to the department for a Department of Theatre Scholarship.  Financial aid, in the form of work-study and scholarships is available to qualified students.

Masterclasses and production experiences with professional theatre artists enhances the programs intensive curriculum.

Recent guest artists include Robert Redford, Laurence Luckinbill, Mary Louise Parker, Christine Jones, Howell Binkley and workshops in automated lighting effects, sound design Commedia. Le Coq, Alexander Technique, watercolor techniques with professional actors and directors from New York and Los Angeles, as well as Shakespeare performance with The Acting Company and the Aquila Theatre Company of London.

Northwest Arkansas is home to many active theatre companies. The department of theater has local partnerships with the following companies.

TheatreSquared, Arkansas’s only year-round professional theatre company

Arts Live, the regions only dedicated children’s and youth theatre company

Trike Theatre, a professional theatre for youth located in Bentonville

The Department of Theatre typically produces six productions a year with generous budgets in three different venues giving designers a variety of experiences.

  • The University Theater is a 315-seat proscenium stage theater, housing fully equipped scenery, and costume construction facilities and up-to-date lighting, sound and rigging systems.
  • The UA Black Box Theater is a 181-seat flexible black box space, located on the Downtown Fayetteville Square. This theater features state of the art sound, lighting and production systems.
  • Studio 404 in Kimpel Hall is a 75-seat black box space which accommodates student directed, projects, experimental productions and new play workshops.

Students have the opportunity to travel to London for this five-week course. Outside of class, students view at least 12 professional theatre performances at the National Theatre, RSC and London’s West End, tour theatres and historic theatre sites, and take master classes with actors, designers, directors, and critics from the English stage.

Excursions include trips to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and Bath (to view the costume collection house there) among many others.

Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville and its Northwest Arkansas environs are fast becoming a cultural destination. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, only adds to the area's already rich cultural legacy and has announced plans to open a new space for contemporary performance and art.

Fayetteville and the surrounding area of Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale is home to a thriving theatre community. Dazzling architecture and abundant live music, together with the area's natural beauty and congenial urban environment are found in the area. With its many restaurants and cafés and its tradition of live music, Fayetteville is often referred to as Austin's younger cousin.