Department of Theatre
The Southwestern Department of Theatre operates out of the Fine Arts Center (FAC) which houses the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. The School of Fine Arts consists of the Departments of Theatre, Dance, Art, and Music.
The Department of Theatre offers two degrees—Bachelor of Arts (BA), and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). The BA degree is best for students seeking a wide range of Theatre experience, or for those seeking to double-major or minor in another area. The BFA degree offers specializations in Acting/Directing, Musical Theatre, and Design/Stage Management. Auditions for the BFA program are held at the end of the fall semester of the student’s sophomore year. Students accepted to the BFA program are evaluated by a jury of faculty at the end of the Spring semester each year.
The Department faculty create a season of 2-3 productions for each semester. The shows selected reflect the performance and design opportunities that are anticipated. The Theatre Department produces two kinds of shows—mainstage and black box. The mainstage productions rehearse and are usually performed in Jones H. & Mary Gibbs Theater (“Jones Theater”). Once every 2 years, a mainstage show is performed in Alma Thomas Theater. These shows alternate between musicals and straight proscenium style productions. Mainstage shows are usually directed and designed by faculty or guest artists, and all technical aspects are produced by the Theatre Laboratories. The black box productions rehearse and perform in Heather Jean McGaughey Rehearsal Hall (“Heather Hall”). These are often directed and/or designed by students for Capstone Projects or independent studies.
There are three theatre labs that aid in technical production—lighting/sound, costumes, and scenery. Theatre students are required to take a certain number of Theatre labs for course credit as part of their degree plans. Though Theatre lab is only worth one credit hour, students input at least six hours per week. Students must take each lab at least once to broaden their technical skills. Students may be sent to aid another lab if all work in their own specific area has been finished. Labs typically require a 3-6 hour weekend work call for every mainstage show.