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Message From The Chair

Dear prospective student:

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Theatre Arts at Eastern Illinois University. Having recently celebrated our department’s 50th anniversary as a department, we are within an exciting transition into the next half century! We hope that you will join us and be a part of our theatre community.

We look forward to helping you meet your academic and career goals. The Department is comprised of seven diverse faculty and approximately forty theatre majors, as well as minors and students throughout the university working on productions. Faculty areas of expertise range from performance, design & technology, to history/dramaturgy and creative dramatics. The department annually produces 4-6 productions in state-of-the-art facilities that include a 286-seat proscenium theatre, Black Box Theatre, and movement studio. Both faculty and students regularly direct and design in each of the performance spaces annually.

The Theatre Department is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students pursuing the BA in Theatre or BA in Theatre withTeacher Licensure will take a broad range of coursework in theatre practice, theory, and history/ literature/dramaturgy, in addition to their specific area(s) of focus (performance, design/technology, and history/literature/dramaturgy). Students are encouraged to participate in KCACTF, USITT, ATHE, and other professional organizations, as well as securing professional theatre internships and study abroad opportunities. Our graduates successfully work in industry, pursue advanced degrees in theatre, and/or work in related fields.

We work very hard to make sure that our academic programs and extra-curricular opportunities enable our students to cultivate their talents and passions. If you are a prospective student, please consider the many wonderful benefits of being a part of the EIU Theatre Community:

  • Small class sizes with one-on-one instruction from caring and nurturing faculty,
  • Solid education and training in every aspect of theatre practice and study
  • The ability to work on fully mounted departmental productions your first semester here!
  • Support for internships at professional theatres and study abroad opportunities
  • Excellent facilities in the Doudna Performing Arts Center —come for a tour!
  • Regular and diverse range of guest artists working alongside our students
  • A family-like atmosphere with warm and generous colleagues!

Please note that EIU is financially competitive and delivers a high quality liberal arts education.  Did you know that according to the U.S. News & World Report’s (Sept. 10, 2014) annual rankings, EIU is ranked 4th among the Midwest’s top public regional universities, 31st among all Midwestern regional universities and EIU ranks highest among all Illinois’ public universities!  And remember that when you earn a degree in theatre, you gain skills for a lifetime: communication, teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving, etc.

Feel free to get in touch with me personally if you want to learn more about the Department of Theatre Arts. Prospective students may arrange for an audition and/or interview for scholarships.

Welcome to the EIU Theatre community. Please contact me at jkdoolen@eiu.edu if you have any questions or wish to arrange for an on-campus visit.

Sincerely yours,


J. Kevin Doolen
Professor and Chair