Department of Theatre Arts

Robert Caisley, Department Chair (Corner of 6th and Rayburn Shoup Hall - 2nd Floor, 208-885-6465, theatre@uidaho.edu

Theatre is a liberal art as well as a fine art. The programs offered by the Department of Theatre Arts are designed to encourage the development of the whole person, which is a hallmark of a liberal arts education.

We offer a supportive environment where individuals may achieve their full potential as independent creative artists and compassionate people. Our programs promote knowledge, critical thinking, and creative problem solving. As students explore diverse theatre traditions, they gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their role in society. As they participate in the creative process of theatre production, they develop the teamwork and communication skills they will need as effective and successful members of society.

Career prospects for theatre students are vast and varied. Theatre arts degree graduates find employment in professional theatre, film, television, virtual technology, education, arts management, art therapy, marketing, and other fields. The department's program of study also offers a solid foundation for competitive placement in distinguished graduate programs. 

The B.A. and B.S. degrees are available for students interested in the study of theatre within a liberal arts background or as part of a teacher education program. The B.F.A. is a rigorous, competitive program of study for students interested in pursuing careers in professional theatre. An audition or portfolio review and faculty approval are required for acceptance into the B.F.A. program. The progress of B.F.A. candidates is monitored closely each semester, utilizing performance juries and portfolio reviews. A core of theatre work is required of all theatre majors. Specialization is available in performance or design at the undergraduate level, and students enjoy flexibility in shaping their studies according to particular goals or interests. Minors are available in theatre for those students wishing to expand the focus of their degree program. 

All theatre arts students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to participate in productions as actors, stage managers, designers, or assistants.

Students must also earn a C or above in all theatre classes to participate in productions the following semester. 

Productions help students foster a close working relationship with faculty and enable the kind of growth that comes through working with professional artists. Class projects and studio work are fully integrated with the department’s season to create a balance between theory and skill development.

M.F.A. in Theatre

The department also offers Idaho’s only Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in theatre. The program is a rigorous 60-72 credit hour degree designed for students wishing to prepare for a career in the professional theatre. The M.F.A. is also the terminal degree expected for individuals teaching at the university or college level. Graduate students may select an area of emphasis in acting, directing, design, and/or technology, dramatic writing, or theatre pedagogy. Numerous opportunities exist to design, perform, and direct productions, which are considered an integral part of graduate training. Student progress is monitored by portfolio review or performance jury each semester. Exit procedures for the program include a creative project and comprehensive exam.

Admission requires a minimum of 3.0 GPA, a statement of goals or intent, three letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of design work or a 4-6 minute audition tape. A limited number of graduate assistantships are available for qualified candidates.

M.F.A. in Theatre: Distance-Delivery Format

The department also offers the curriculum for our M.F.A. program via our unique distance-delivered format. This format is designed for place-bound graduate students who are working professionals and unable to relocate to continue their graduate study toward their terminal degree. We offer the distance-ed option in the following areas of emphasis: design, technology and management (DTM), directing, dramatic writing, and theatre pedagogy. 

Theatre Facilities 

The department has two theatre venues as well as a performance studio that is used for productions, rehearsals, and classrooms. The elegant 417-seat Hartung Theatre features a semi-thrust proscenium stage, new digital lighting, and fully-equipped shops for scenery and costume construction. The Forge Theatre is an intimate 100-seat performance studio, equipped for flexible staging, including theatre-in-the-round. The 50-seat Pocket Playhouse is used for both productions and as a class laboratory.

For more information on the department, its programs of study, and theatre productions, visit our web site at, or call 208-885-6465.