The Department of Theater offers education and participation in all aspects of drama with course offerings in acting, design, directing, history and literature, playwriting, and stagecraft. Students have the opportunity to perform on stage as well as serve on the technical crews in mainstage theatrical productions each year. The high ratio of faculty to students ensures that students will be able to work closely with highly skilled professionals. The department treats all performances as educational experiences and welcomes the participation of all students.
The Department of Theater at CWRU seeks to develop artists who have a mastery of craft, breadth of vision, and liveliness of thought. The liberal arts education we offer our undergraduates provides a solid preliminary preparation for careers in the performing arts and related endeavors.
We take great pride in our contributions to the university community as well as the local, national, and international artistic communities. These contributions include on-going efforts to develop knowledgeable, articulate, responsive audiences for drama and for the arts in general; to place before our audiences a rich diversity of cultures, beliefs, and aesthetics; and to provide a stimulating and collaborative environment for the faculty and the students of our program to develop together as artists, scholars, teachers, and learners.
If you seek a world class education with many opportunities for scholarship assistance, study abroad experiences with prestigious institutions like the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and collaborations with top notch artistic institutions such as the Cleveland Play House and the Great Lakes Theater Festival, we offer you the opportunity to become part of a university-based producing theater with integrity and a keen sense of artistic adventure. We are looking for a talented, motivated, and diverse group of students to take up the challenge and join our program. Your journey as an artist is one we are eager to share as we reshape theater training in America and strive toward full recognition of the place of the artist and the arts in our society.
Hear from undergraduate alumna Eliana Fabiyi about her experience at CWRU and the Department of Theater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-wZeXuuhG8&feature=youtu.be
ACTING: Actor education in the Department of Theater Arts prepares majors for acting career opportunities in the American Theater. Students often go on to pursue advanced degrees in acting or other related fields. Graduates are currently employed nationally and regionally as actors, directors and teachers.
Hear undergraduate performance major Caroline Canale talk about the department from an actor’s perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwj7iz_FfH8&feature=youtu.be
DRAMATIC WRITING: Students in the dramatic writing concentration take courses in playwriting, screenwriting, dramatic literature and history areas, as well as core performance and technical courses.
DIRECTING: The student studying the work of the director learns to understand all the different facets of the theater, from acting to design to dramaturgy. Students in this concentration take a variety of courses and a two-semester directing sequence which culminates in the directing of a short play.
DESIGN/TECHNICAL THEATER: Demand for the services of the talented, well-trained designer and technician is strong. Students in this academic track study scenic, costume, and lighting design, stage management and technical theater problem solving. Careers may be pursued in regional theatre, as well as in areas of film, television and industrial scenic design.
Hear from undergraduate major Austin Kilpatrick talk about his opportunities studying all aspects of design and technical theater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykxu75WCEaU&feature=youtu.be
GENERAL THEATRE: The student who pursues a concentration in general theater studies can expect exposure to a wide variety of theatrical activities. Combining study in acting, directing, design, dance, dramatic writing, and the history, literature and criticism of the theater, this concentration provides students a breadth of knowledge and great flexibility in determining their own career path. Many graduates pursue advanced degrees in theater as well as law, business, management, communications and human relations.
Hear from undergraduate alumna Elizabeth Huddleston on how she integrated her work on- and off-stage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-us0-MaptSo&feature=youtu.be
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Many CWRU theater majors spend part of their junior year abroad at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, UK. There they study intensively with London theater professionals and explore the world-renowned London theater scene. For more information on RADA’s programming, please click here.