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EIU Department of
Theatre Arts

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Eastern Illinois University's Department of Theatre Arts is a vital component of the exciting and growing arts community on campus. Its diverse faculty is well-trained in all areas of theatre study.

The Theatre Arts major at EIU offers a broad-based curriculum designed for the undergraduate student. At Eastern, you will find a wide range of courses, from theatre history to dramatic literature, from basic acting to dialects, stage movement and scene study, and from basic stagecraft and costuming to scenic lighting.

Why Choose EIU for Theatre

Actively Engaged

From the moment you begin as a Theatre Arts Major or Minor, you will find yourself immersed in the program with the ability to participate both onstage and behind the scenes. Our program focuses on the undergraduate student, and our philosophy is that the best way for you to master your craft is to be actively engaged from the onset – both in the classroom and in production. You’ll be engaged; you’ll be busy! And you’ll be doing what you love. And all the while, you’ll be learning and growing as a theatre artist.

Diverse Production Season

We strive to offer our students a wide and inclusive range of theatrical styles of production during their time here at EIU. Our season selections come from such diverse genres as musicals, classical and period plays, contemporary dramas and comedies, and children’s theatre. In addition to our six-show season, each year, the Department of Theatre Arts also produces a Children’s Theatre Tour that travels to area schools. Other opportunities can be found in the performances of Hello Dali, our improv comedy troupe, Lunchbox Voodoo, our sketch comedy troupe; and through EIU Dancers, which is co-sponsored by the Departments of Theatre Arts and Kinesiology.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

The EIU Department of Theatre Arts is housed in the newly renovated Doudna Fine Arts Center. Our home since 2008, the Lumpkin Theatre Wing houses The Theatre, a 290-seat proscenium; the Black Box, a flexible space that can be configured in various arrangement from arena to thrust to proscenium; and the Movement Studio, which is a flexible performance laboratory.

Click here for more on our facilities.

Meet our Faculty

Anne Thibault

Associate Professor of Acting

Anne Thibault comes to EIU from the theatre faculty at Columbus State University in Georgia, where she also ran a citywide arts program for at-risk and incarcerated youth, Empowered Youth of Columbus. Anne has worked professionally as an actress, playwright, and director for over twenty years and holds memberships in the Actors' Equity Association and Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

Nick Shaw

Associate Professor of Design

Nick joined the faculty of EIU in 2008. He is excited to continue teaching and designing for EIU Theatre Arts Department. He has the fortune of designing the scenery for the EIU Theatre Arts Departmesnt. Some of his favorite designs are; Brighton Beach Memoirs, Shape of Things, Fiddler on the Roof, and Urinetown.

Larry Cox, Jr.

Instructor of Musical Theatre

Larry is a native of both North Carolina and Pennsylvania. His graduate degrees are from the University of Georgia (MFA in Acting with research in Musical Theatre, Feldenkrais, Devised Movement, and Athletics in Performance), and Villanova University (MA in Dramatic Production with concentrations in Dramaturgy, Musical Theatre Composition and Acting). His undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, with a concentration in Vocal Performance, Piano Performance and Choral Music. Before joining the Theatre Department at EIU in 2019, he had taught at both Emory University and The University of Georgia. He is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Don't take our word for it

“I feel at home in the Theatre Department. Classes are small so if you really need that extra help the professors are there to give it to you. Plus It’s not everyday you get to see live performances going on in the Concourse in the middle of the day, but in our department, it is kinda the norm. I’m happy I’m in this department I really love the staff.”

Robert Newman (2022)

“I transferred from Sangmyung University in South Korea to Eastern Illinois University because I wanted to get diverse experience in theatre. Though I'm in a foreign country by myself, I feel comfortable being here thanks to passionate and hard-working faculty and classmates who are friendly and always willing to help. I'm learning so much from them by being with them in classes and shows.”

Eui Jin Lee (2021)

“Eastern's theatre department is an inclusive and diverse program that will guarantee success after graduation. Our BA program trains you in all the basics; design, construction, theatre history, and, of course, a mass of knowledge on acting techniques and styles from professors with experience in today's job market. Our program offers an honors program which includes the opportunities to direct a production, build a portfolio, design a production, or create something completely new. Our small department size means you are never alone, never overlooked, and never forgotten with a staff that expects both professionalism and mistakes. There are always opportunities, so long as you seek them, and always a safe space amongst our staff.”

Danny Becker (2020)

“I felt at home in the EIU theatre department from the first day of classes. As a transfer student, I didn’t know what to expect from a bigger school, but everyone was so friendly and helpful. It was so easy to get involved in the core aspects of theatre production that I was interested most. The staff really want you to succeed and go far here.”

Brooke A Olaivar (2020)

“I came to EIU with a completely different major. After I got a taste of what the theatre department was achieving, I couldn’t help but switch to theatre. I know I can always go to Doudna and see a familiar face, and I am comforted knowing that our dedicated staff helps us in such a personalized way. I have so much to learn from all the experienced students and staff who are taking this journey with me. I have never felt so safe taking risks and asking questions. My academic life has finally found a home in this amazing department.”

Chelsea Claussen (2023)

“EIU Theatre has given me so many opportunities to grow both on stage and off. I've been so fortunate in being cast in at least one production every semester. All of the faculty and staff in this department have given me their full support in finding myself as an actor, and I know others would say the same thing. Although it can be challenging at times, we find the fun within the work we do and we realize that it's okay to make mistakes. I truly feel like EIU Theatre has given me helpful tools to succeed in this career field, and I for sure will be a proud representative of the department once I graduate."

AJ Lingad (2020)

Related Pages

NAST AccreditationDoudna Fine Arts CenterVisiting Artists School Group Reservations

Contact Information

Department of Theatre Arts

2080 Doudna Fine Arts Cntr.
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3121

Box Office

(217) 581-3110

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