Theatre Arts

The bachelor’s degree in theatre arts prepares students for excellence in performance and design. To achieve that goal, the Theatre Department offers a rich variety of courses and a six-play production season open to the San Diego community with many creative design and performance opportunities for the student. In addition, professional growth opportunities are provided through association with a number of regional professional theatre companies, as well as campus visits by professional theatre managers, directors, stage managers, designers, playwrights, and performers.

Program Overview

Located in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film, the Department of Theatre offers students a wide variety of courses taught by a highly-qualified faculty. The mission of the department is twofold. First, to provide quality education on the undergraduate and graduate levels for students who desire to pursue a career in theatre, whether that career is in acting, directing, design, technical theatre, or teaching. Equally important is a strong commitment to the philosophy of the university as a liberal arts institution.

Through its curriculum and production season, the department provides students an opportunity to enrich their present and future lives by learning to understand and appreciate the rich history and tradition of live theatre. The program is structured in a manner that involves students in all aspects of theatre. Students have the option of pursuing either a general emphasis in theatre arts or specializing in a single emphasis area. Emphases that students may choose from include Children's Drama, Design and Technology, Design for Television and Film, and Performance.

The Department of Theatre offers a wide variety of courses that provide excellent enrichment opportunities for the non-theatre major, as well. Students pursuing study in “people/service related” disciplines, such as education, business administration, telecommunications and film, counseling, advertising, journalism, and pre-law, are encouraged to explore the many courses available in the department’s curriculum.

Special Features

  • Opportunity to interact with students in the Television and Film program through integrated curriculum and special projects.
  • Unique opportunity to study with the Don Powell Endowed Chair in Scene Design.
  • A 6-production public season of plays and musicals staged either in the large (500 seat) Don Powell Theatre or in the smaller (175 seat) "black box" Experimental Theatre.
  • Unique experiences with professional theatre companies and theatre, TV and film professionals through special events such as the Theatre of the World Festival and Annual Design/Directing Jury.
  • Opportunity to study and work in a well-maintained facility with state-of-the-art equipment. The Dramatic Arts building includes two theatres; complete production and design facilities; classroom, rehearsal, and office space; well-equipped, professionally-run scenic and costume studios; dressing and makeup rooms that accommodate up to 60 performers at a time; and large property, furniture and costume storage vaults.
  • Innovative instruction in a state-of-the- art computer graphics/technology studio and a Multi-media Interactive Fine Arts Technology laboratory that links students and faculty in art, dance, drama, film, and music.
  • Use of a specialized Design Research Library and a rare, hands-on study collection of historic garments dating from 1830-1960.
  • Exceptional opportunities for quality, hands-on practical production experience.
  • Regular interaction with guest professional theatre artists.
  • Availability of undergraduate scholarships, such as the Marion Ross Acting Scholarship.
  • Membership in Skull and Dagger, the theatre arts student organization. Founded in 1923, it is the oldest active student group on the SDSU campus.
  • Membership in Teatro A.L.T.O. (A Latino Theatre Organization), an interdisciplinary organization, under the official auspices of the Department of Theatre, dedicated to promoting Latino/Chicano theatre on the SDSU campus.
  • Work Experience. Theatre arts majors may choose from an unusually wide range of opportunities to perform, direct, design, produce and publicize plays. An annual Theatre For Young Audiences production of a children's play tours San Diego County schools and is a major departmental outreach effort to the San Diego community. Many SDSU Theatre Arts majors also participate in the dynamic San Diego theatre scene, joining an active local SDSU theatre network.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information regarding the Theatre Arts program in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a General Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.