Theatre Arts

Theatre Arts students in a play.

What is Theatre Arts?

LMU's Theatre Arts major encourages students to develop an appreciation of their unique self and the broader universality of the human experience. LMU is home to two theatres, the Strub and the Virginia Barnelle.

The major offers comprehensive coursework and hands-on training in acting, directing, musical theatre, design, theatre technology, playwriting, history, or criticism. Coursework is oriented toward a professional career in the arts or entertainment. Students have opportunities for individual research and creative projects for their senior theses.

Most students pursue Theatre Arts degrees to train for careers in film, television, theatre, law, public relations, teaching, and arts management. Others choose this major because they are interested in developing communication and leadership skills and applying them in a humanistic context.  

What do Theatre Arts majors do?

Theatre Arts majors strengthen their skills in observation, concentration, and imagination. They apply learned techniques to performance and creative works of their own. Majors interpret dramatic texts and critique theatrical performances using appropriate critical language and analytical frameworks.

Majors learn to use their bodies and voices to communicate in a theatrical space. They learn about scenery, construction and lighting, and are able to read technical drawings related to these aspects of theatre production.

Theatre Arts majors may study abroad during the spring semester in an LMU program that takes participants to Bonn, Germany, to study Brechtian theatre and to Moscow to study Stanislavski techniques.  

About our faculty

Our award-winning faculty members are experts in fields such as acting, directing, playwriting, theatre history, dramatic literature, theatre technology, and design.

Faculty members have won grants, awards, and honors such as the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Two are Fulbright Scholars. Others are members of Actor's Equity, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and United Scenic Artists of America. 

Faculty members have published books on acting, co-founded theatre companies, created festivals, and published papers in scholarly journals. They've directed, acted, written, designed sets and lights, and otherwise contributed to stage and film productions in distant locales but also on campus at the Strub and Virginia Barnelle theatres.   

About our students and graduates

Our students actively participate in the theatrical community at home and abroad. Students earn internships and apprenticeships in off-campus equity and equity-waiver production houses and film and television companies.

Students and faculty annually present Stages of AIDs, which benefits the Global AIDS Alliance, and the New Works Festival.  LMU Theatre Arts alumni have appeared on Broadway and in many other stage productions and television and film works. They write for stage, film and television and direct productions nationally and internationally.

LMU's many stage productions include The Arabian Nights, Kiss Me Kate, The Rocky Horror Show, Noises Off, The Seagull, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Laramie Project, The Balcony, The Maids, Hamlet, Dancing at Lughnasa, Helen After Troy, Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard, The Threepenny Opera, and The Elephant Man.  

Representative courses

Our courses have included: 

  • Acting: Method and Technique
  • Playwriting
  • Introduction to Theatre Performance
  • Scene Study and Presentation
  • Voice and Movement for Stage
  • Lighting Design
  • Scene Design
  • Costume Design and Construction
  • Western Theatre History and Literature
  • Directing for the Theatre
  • Introduction to Camera Acting
  • Cold-Reading & Audition Technique
  • Avant-Garde Spirit in Drama
  • Career Development
  • Script Analysis
  •  Devised Ensemble Theatre
  • Theatre of the Oppressed
  • Costume History and Fashion
  • Theatre in Los Angeles
  • New Play Development Workshop
  • Catholic Spirit in Drama

More resources (links)