Apr 18, 2024  
2021-2022 General Catalog 
2021-2022 General Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: To search archives, MUST use search box to left. Current catalog: catalog.usu.edu.

Theatre Arts

Department Head: Paul Mitri
Location: Chase Fine Arts Center 232
Phone: (435) 797-3023
FAX: (435) 797-0086
E-mail: theatre@usu.edu
WWW: http://theatre.usu.edu/

Undergraduate Advisors:
Angela Neff, (435) 797-9751, angela.neff@usu.edu

BA Degree and General Theatre Studies Minor:
Amanda Dawson, amanda.dawson@usu.edu

BFA Degree Theatre Design and Technology Emphasis:
Bruce L. Duerden, Fine Arts Center 148, (435) 797-3026, bruce.duerden@usu.edu

BFA Degree Acting Emphasis:
Leslie Brott, Fine Arts Center 139C, (435) 797-3139, leslie.brott@usu.edu

BFA Degree Theatre Education Emphasis:
Matt Omasta, University Reserve 125, (435) 797-3103, matt.omasta@usu.edu

Graduate Program:
Shawn W. Fisher, Fine Arts Center 139D, (435) 797-2120, shawn.fisher@usu.edu

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Undergraduate programs: BA—General Theatre Arts Studies; BFA—Students choose an emphasis in Acting; Theatre Design and Technology, which offers options in costume design, film production, lighting design, technical production, scenic design, and stage management; or Theatre Education with certification.

Graduate specializations: MFA—Design (scenery, costume, lighting)

Full details of the learning objectives, assessment plan, student outcomes, and evidence of continuous improvement for these programs of study can be found at theatre.usu.edu/assessment.


The Department of Theatre Arts supports the missions of Utah State University and the Caine College of the Arts by cultivating artistic and academic excellence, by contributing to the cultural enrichment of the university and surrounding communities through live theatre production, and by fostering respect for the arts through advocacy and professionalism.

We assist undergraduate and graduate theatre students in acquiring and developing the tools they need in order to succeed in their future pursuits by:

  • Giving them a foundation based on a broad theoretical and working knowledge of the theatre
  • Providing advanced training in their chosen area of concentration
  • Offering performance and production activities that provide students with practical experience in their chosen field while challenging them to engage in a complex and diverse world

Talented, well-trained students who are committed to the art of theatre and its potential to heighten intellectual, cultural, and humane sensibilities are essential to the fulfillment of our mission. 

Production Groups and Theatres

The Department of Theatre Arts sponsors the following production groups and divisions: Utah State Theatre (UST) and the Lyric Repertory Company (Lyric Rep), a professional summer repertory theatre company. Facilities used for performances by these groups include the 700-seat thrust stage Morgan Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center, the 360-seat proscenium Caine Lyric Theatre in downtown Logan, and a flexible 90-seat Black Box. Facilities also include a costume shop, scene shop, design studio, dance and movement laboratory, and prop and costume storage areas.

Admission Requirements 

Admission into the Department of Theatre Arts is limited and requires a minimum 3.0 overall GPA, a separate departmental application, an audition or portfolio review, and interview with department program area faculty.  Acceptance is competitive and not guaranteed.  Students not accepted into one of the department professional degree programs will be referred to undeclared advising until they choose another major. Audition and interview dates for new students are scheduled during the year, both on-campus and at regional theatre conferences and festivals. Students are encouraged to apply by December 1 for admission consideration for the following year. Contact the Department of Theatre Arts for more information or visit our website (www.theatre.usu.edu) for more information.

Retention Requirements

Most programs of study require theatre students to maintain an overall minimum 2.75 GPA.  Courses within the required theatre programs must have a B- grade or better to count towards graduation.  Theatre education students must maintain an overall minimum 3.0 GPA.  With the exception of practicum, theatre courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.  All theatre students are required to enroll in practicum, usher for departmental productions, and attend required production strikes each semester.  Other departmental and program retention requirements are outlined in the Theatre Student Handbook located on the Department website: http://theatre.usu.edu.

Degree Roadmaps

Advising sheets, which provide detailed information about requirements for the undergraduate degree programs within the Department of Theatre Arts, including sample semester-by-semester four-year plans, are available in the department office.

Students should consult with their advisor before registering for classes each semester to ensure they are following their program of study and meeting requirements.

Production Responsibilities

Production and practicum assignments provide students with a variety of opportunities to gain practical experience in the various theatre disciplines.  They are not voluntary, nor in any sense extra-curricular.  Practical production work is required and an essential part of a well-rounded professional theatre training.  A permanent theatre participation record is maintained for each student, and successful completion of production assignments is a requirement for graduation. 

Financial Support

Scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities are available through the University. Contact Financial Aid for information. The department offers a small  number of scholarship opportunities to full time theatre majors who have completed their first year of study through yearly departmental application. Contact the Department of Theatre Arts or visit their website at theatre.usu.edu for more information.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply.  See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website (honors.usu.edu) for more information.

Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the MFA program are encouraged to have their applications in by December 1. Students who cannot interview with a member of the theatre arts faculty must submit a resume and a portfolio with renderings, designs, photographs appropriate to the specialization, and any special letters of reference not included with the formal application to the School of Graduate Studies, to the Department of Theatre Arts.

Students who have received their undergraduate training at other institutions, or in a discipline other than theatre, will be expected to meet a proficiency equivalent to that of USU Theatre Arts graduates. This may require the student to complete undergraduate level courses as deemed appropriate by the graduate student’s committee, with a minimum accepted grade of B-, which will not count toward the graduate degree, and is not covered by assistantships. The student will be given credit for any equivalent courses taken within seven years prior to the date of admission.

Students accepted into the program must begin during the fall semester. The nature of the discipline and the program require that students maintain a continuous residence at the campus during the first two years of study.

Financial Assistance

Graduate Students are not guaranteed financial assistance during their initial year of residence. Teaching and general assistantships are awarded by the department, and are renewable for up to three years.

Additional Information

For more detailed information about individual MFA design specializations, contact the Department of Theatre Arts Graduate Advisor: shawn.fisher@usu.edu.

FACULTY - Caine College of the Arts