Department of Theatre Arts

Ann Hoste, Dept. Chair (204 Shoup Hall 83844-2008; phone 208-885-6465, Faculty: Robert C. Caisley, Jesse Dreikosen, Matt Foss, Ann Hoste, Ben James, David Lee-Painter, Stephanie S. Miller (Emeritae), Dean F. Panttaja, Kelly M. Quinnett, Ginger Sorensen, Robert Valliere.

The programs offered by UI’s Department of Theatre Arts are designed to encourage the development of the whole person, which is the hallmark of a liberal arts education.

Through the study of drama, students learn how to use the elements of theatre as performance as well as process. Performance experience helps students gain a deeper understanding of themselves and human behavior. Students learn how to manipulate space, lighting, color and texture in the studies of design. Collaborative participation in the creative process helps students develop the teamwork skills needed to be effective and successful members of contemporary society.

Arts and entertainment is one of this country’s fastest growing sectors, and the career options continue to expand along with its economic impact. The career prospects are vast literally hundreds of possibilities in professional theatre, film, television, education, playwriting, dramaturgy, arts management and production, art therapy and recreational drama for special populations. The department’s program of study offers a solid foundation for competitive placement in distinguished graduate programs.

The B.A. and B.S. degrees are available for students interested in the study of theatre within a liberal arts background, or as part of a teacher education program. The B.F.A. is a rigorous, competitive program of study for students interested in pursuing careers in professional theatre. An audition or portfolio review as well as faculty approval are required for acceptance in the program. The progress of B.F.A. candidates is monitored closely each semester, utilizing performance juries and portfolio reviews. A core of theatre work is required of all theatre majors. Specialization is available in performance or design at the undergraduate level, and students enjoy flexibility in shaping their studies according to particular goals or interests. Minors are available in theatre for those students wishing to expand the focus of their degree program.

Productions, which include collaborative partnerships with the university’s music and dance programs, helps students foster a close working relationship with faculty, and enable the kind of growth that comes through working with professional artists. Class projects and studio work are fully integrated with the department’s season to create a balance between theory and skill development.

The department also offers Idaho’s only M.F.A. in theatre, and students may select an area of emphasis in acting, directing or design and/or technology (with specialization in scenery, costumes or lighting). Numerous opportunities exist to design, perform and direct productions, which are considered an integral part of graduate training. If qualified, graduate students may assist in teaching basic course work to undergraduates. Admission requires a minimum of 3.0 GPA, a statement of goals or intent, three letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of design work or a 4-6 minute audition tape.

Students are also encouraged to seek out internships with professional theatre companies to enhance their studies.

The department has two theatre venues as well as a performance studio that is used for productions, rehearsals and classroom. The elegant 417-seat Hartung Theatre features a semi-thrust proscenium stage, new digital lighting and fully-equipped shops for scenery and costume construction. The Forge Theatre is an intimate 100-seat performance studio, equipped for flexible staging, including theatre-in-the-round. The 50-seat Arena, which is used for both productions and as a class laboratory.

For more information on the department, its programs of study and theatre productions, visit our web site at, or call (208) 885-6465.


See the course description section for courses in Theatre Arts (THE).