Theatre Arts

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Undergraduate major: theatre arts (BA)

Undergraduate minor: theatre arts

Graduate degree: MFA in theatre arts



The Department of Theatre Arts offers academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students. It also stages live performances throughout the academic year and during the summer. The department also administers the Certificate in Digital Arts and the Certificate in Social Justice and the Performing Arts.

The department educates students who plan to enter other fields in which understanding of the arts and experience with theatre skills are useful. Some earn a major in theatre arts, sometimes with a second major in another discipline. Others earn a minor or take theatre classes as nonmajors. For information, view the minor in theatre arts in the catalog or see "Courses for Nonmajors."

Several of the department's courses are approved for the GE CLAS Core; look for courses with the prefix THTR in the GE CLAS Core section of the catalog.

Courses for Nonmajors

Most theatre arts courses are open to all students, regardless of their majors, and are appropriate for nonmajors interested in theatre. The following courses are designed specifically for nonmajors.

Course # Title Hours
THTR:1140Basic Acting3
THTR:1141Basic Acting II3
THTR:1400Theatre and Society: Ancients and Moderns3
THTR:1401Theatre and Society: Romantics and Rebels3
THTR:1410Musical Theatre History3
THTR:1411Comedy and Society3
THTR:1412The Arts in Performance3
THTR:2301Playwriting I3
THTR:2320Playwriting in a Global World3
THTR:2405Staging Americans: U.S. Cultures Through Theatre and Performance3
THTR:2605Monsters, Victims, and Villains: Changing Perceptions3
THTR:2610Acting for Success3
THTR:2620Improvisation for Engineers, Scientists, and the Curious3
THTR:2690Sound Excursions: The Evolving Soundscape and the Reverberations of Human Activity3
THTR:3210Makeup Design for the Stage3
THTR:3301Playwriting II3
THTR:3510Introduction to Arts Management3
THTR:3615Action! Engage! Art! Creative Placemaking for the Public Good3

Productions and Auditions

The Department of Theatre Arts presents around 20–25 public productions each year. These include a mainstage series of five plays, a festival of new works, and other productions, most of them new plays written by students.

Special attention is given to the process of developing new works and to the collaborative process that involves writers, directors, designers, dramaturgs, stage managers, and actors. Graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and visiting guest artists work together on large and small projects throughout the year.

Auditions for Theatre Arts Productions

Auditions for theatre arts productions are open to everyone. For academic considerations, priority is given to theatre arts majors first, and then all other University of Iowa students and members of the local community. There are many excellent roles available throughout the year and many nonmajors and actors from the surrounding community are cast each season. Occasionally, professional guest actors are employed.

General auditions are held at the beginning of the fall semester. Additional general auditions usually are scheduled in early November and in March. Information about auditions is available on the Department of Theatre Arts website. Notices of auditions are posted on the department's online call board.