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EIU Department of

About the Program

The theatre major at Eastern offers a broad-based curriculum designed for the undergraduate student. The department offers courses that explore performance, design/technical, musical theatre as well as theatre history and literature. Students majoring in theatre receive a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. There is also a theatre honors program and a flexible, student-tailored minor.

Why theatre at Eastern Illinois University?

  • Strong, diverse faculty
  • Close-knit cohort of students
  • Small but active program providing many opportunities for young creative artists         
  • Multiple and varied performance opportunities
  • Broad-based generalist curriculum and strong liberal-arts-based education
  • Four upper division emphases: Performance, Musical Theatre Performance, Technology/Design, and Theatre Generalist
  • State-of-the-art facilities 


Theatre Mission Statement

The Department of Theatre at Eastern Illinois University supports in every way possible the Mission of Eastern Illinois University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It prepares its majors for careers in the various fields of theatrical arts and provides for the non-major and the community, as a whole, the opportunity to experience live theatre performance both as a spectator and as a participant. To that end, the Department of Theatre strives to achieve the following goals:

  1. to prepare the undergraduate theatre major for graduate school, entry level positions in theatre, film, television, or related professional areas (secondary education, management, public relations) at a level appropriate to their degree plan.
  2. to provide the minor and non-major the opportunity to participate in theatrical experiences at every level of study (performance and production).
  3. to support the work of other programs and departments within the university by providing a varied production season, representing major works, genres, and social and historical perspectives.
  4. to provide a valuable cultural experience for the campus community and the Charleston area.



Message From The Chair

Dear prospective student:

Theatre is a collaborative art that draws upon the literary, visual, and performing arts. There is a space for everyone to create and work in the theatre! The Department of Theatre at EIU is an excellent place to pursue a strong liberal arts-focused approach to studying theatre. In our program, your participation is active, important and immediate! The department is housed in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. Our program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and currently serves between 40 and 60 undergraduate majors and minors from all across the globe. Working with a strong faculty in a beautifully designed and well-equipped facility, you will learn to explore - in the classroom and in production - the art and the craft of theatre. The Department prepares its students for entry level positions in the professional theatre and related careers, graduate school admission, or as a supportive compliment to other majors on campus.

As a Theatre major or minor at EIU, you will find yourself involved as soon as you arrive on campus, as freshman are eligible to audition and are regularly cast in our departmental productions. We work to involve all of our students in our productions - whether onstage, behind the scenes, or front of house. You will also be enrolled in a wide range of theatre courses beginning with a strong foundation in your first few semesters and branching out into more focused electives after the foundation is established. There is no theatre graduate program at EIU; all of our departmental resources and support are for the undergraduate program. You’ll be doing what you are passionate about while learning and growing as a theatre artist.

The Department of Theatre at Eastern Illinois University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. Students take a required core of classes that cover all aspects of Theatre, and are expected to choose one of the following emphases for further study:

  • Performance
  • Musical Theatre Performance
  • Technical and Design
  • Generalist

Please visit our beautiful campus so you can see our phenomenal facilities and see exciting theatre being created on a daily basis. We would love for you to continue your journey into the important and exciting world of theatre at EIU Theatre. Feel free to contact me for more information about our program.




Nick Shaw

Professor and Chair

Department of Theatre

Related Pages

Contact Information

Department of Theatre

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

Box Office

(217) 581-3110

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