Have you performed in high school plays and want to continue to feel that rush when the applause begins? Are you talented in writing, designing, or technical aspects of theatre performance and you think a career in film, television, or teaching could be a good fit? Do you enjoy dramatic literature and criticism and dream about being the drama critic for the New York Times?
If so, theatre arts might be the right major for you. Theatre majors quickly become involved in classes and productions. All University of Iowa students are welcome to audition for the many roles available in plays.
The department invites nonmajors to participate in courses and performance opportunities, too. More than two dozen theatre arts courses are open to nonmajors, and some fulfill General Education Program requirements. See Theatre Courses for Nonmajors in the UI General Catalog.
Theatre arts majors need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. An audition is not required.
Theatre majors regularly participate in mainstage productions directed, designed, or written by faculty members. The Undergraduate Directors Festival in the fall and the 10-Minute Play Festival in the spring, as well as the "Gallery Series," feature short plays written, directed, designed, and performed by students that play to appreciative audiences.
Theatre arts majors are encouraged to audition for all department productions. General auditions are held three times each year: the first week of class in the fall, early November, and early March.
Students normally present a three-minute audition consisting of two contrasting pieces. From this audition, callback lists are posted for major productions. Notices of auditions are posted on the department's call board in the Theatre Building and in the electronic call board on the Student Auditions section of the department's website.
All students are welcome to audition for the department's productions, as are community members, but theatre arts majors are given first consideration for roles.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
The Department of Theatre Arts awards several scholarships. Incoming students are eligible for the Iowa Center for the Arts Scholarships, which offer full in-state tuition for three students who intend to major in theatre arts and who demonstrate exceptional promise. In addition, the Tanna Frederick Scholarship provides $5,000 for an exceptional incoming student and the Hatch-Billops Scholarship offers aid to promising African American students. More than a dozen scholarships ranging from $500 to full in-state tuition are available to upper-level students. Contact the Department of Theatre Arts for additional information and an application.
The theatre arts BA program includes courses in acting, theatre technology, performance analysis, history of theatre and drama, design, dramatic literature, and production. It is based on the philosophy that the best way to develop future artists is to expose them to rigorous professional practice within the framework of a liberal arts and sciences education. Required course work includes completing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.
Students learn how to collaborate by working with graduate students and faculty members in every area of production. Together they grow as artists and share their commitment to artistic excellence.
Review Theatre Arts in the UI General Catalog to learn more about requirements for the major or minor and graduating with honors.
Music Theatre Track
Students may add a focus to their plan of study by completing a specialized track in music theatre. This optional track provides a gateway for students to develop and enhance the basic performance skills necessary for a music theatre performer to be successful. Course work includes acting, singing, musicianship, and dance. Students interested in entering this program must audition. Each student's program of study will culminate in a final presentation, to be determined in consultation with the track adviser.
See Music Theatre in the UI General Catalog to learn about required course work.