University of Southern Indiana
students in USI theatre production

Theatre Arts

The theatre arts program at the University of Southern Indiana is one of the fastest-growing programs in the region. Because it is an undergraduate program, you will never have to compete with graduate students for roles, designs or crew positions. And unlike programs at larger universities, full-time faculty, not graduate students, teach our classes.

Theatre students are actors, set and costume designers and lighting technicians in the USI Theatre. Each season is designed to introduce students to a wide range of theatre styles, from contemporary comedies to ancient Greek tragedies.

Each season, the USI Theater and the New Harmony Theatre - USI's professional summer company - co-produce one or two productions that blend professional actors with junior and senior performance students in the Repertory Project. These productions are supported artistically and technically by USI theatre students under the direction of the New Harmony Theatre artistic director and the chair of the USI Performing Arts Department and with the artistic participation of professional artist/educators. Not only are USI students of acting and stage management able to work with accomplished professionals in their chosen field of study, they also gain valuable points toward qualifying to join this exclusive and prestigious Actors' Equity Association.

Each summer USI produces The New Harmony Theatre. Located in New Harmony, Indiana, about thirty minutes from Evansville, New Harmony Theatre produces three plays every summer with Equity actors based in New York and Los Angeles. USI students regularly serve at New Harmony in apprenticeship positions, thereby receiving their first professional experience.

Theatre Programs

Students may choose a major or minor in theatre arts. A minor in theatre education teaching also is offered. The theatre arts major culminates in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires 12 semester hours in the same foreign language or demonstration of proficiency at that level of study.

In addition to the departmental degree requirements, students must complete the University Core 39.

The USI theatre program presents students with exciting experiences that carry the work of the classroom forward into the practical realm of the University's fully-produced season of plays, a season that ranges from such classic playwrights as Sophocles and Shakespeare to contemporary plays and musicals.

Theatre coursework requires a balance between performance and technical subject areas. Students take classes in acting, directing, playwriting, lighting, scenery and costumes.

Elementary, Early Childhood and Special Education

The theatre education teaching minor provides a solid foundation for theatre teaching in elementary schools. 

Students planning to teach theatre in elementary schools (pre-kindergarten through grade six) should seek teacher licensure through a major in early childhood education, elementary education or special education, offered through the Teacher Education Department.

Secondary Education

In addition to a teaching minor in theatre, in order to teach theatre in Indiana secondary schools (grades five through 12), a student must have a teaching major in another discipline and a secondary education licensure minor. Students preparing for careers in teaching secondary school in the liberal arts should review the College of Liberal Arts' teacher licensing policy.

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