Puget Sound Production photos: Kurt Walls. For production detail, double click on image.
Theatre Arts offers courses and creative activities in which students learn to make, understand, and evaluate theatrical events. In doing so, students acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to become collaborative, informed, imaginative, and engaged theatre makers, who - as artists, scholars, and citizens - will pursue paths after graduation in professional theatre, education, business, and other fields of endeavor. The faculty is committed to theatre as a liberal art and an emphasis on the total artist. Majors, minors, and non-majors develop skills and connect insights in acting, directing, design, production, dramaturgy, research, and writing throughout their coursework, culminating in thesis projects presented as part of Senior Theatre Festival. Through participation in student- and faculty- directed productions, students ground their study of theatre in rehearsal and performance. Department productions provide the university and local community with the opportunity to experience high-quality theatre of diverse style, content, and form from a variety of historical periods.
The department annually offers scholarships for incoming and continuing students: deadline, January 15 for incoming and March 25 for continuing students. For information, visit the department website or contact the office coordinator at 253.879.3330.
All students are welcome to audition for and participate in Theatre Arts productions.
Senior Theatre Festival:
Hedda Gabbler by Henrick Ibsen
The Lady's Not For Burning by Christopher Fry
How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel
We are happy to announce that in the fall of 2019, Dr. Wind Dell Woods will join us as Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts.
Dr. Woods is a playwright, scholar, and educator. He holds a MFA in Playwriting from Arizona State University and a PhD from the joint doctoral program at UC Irvine and UC San Diego. As a theatre artist, his work explores the topics of race, gender, identity, community, and memory. He is influenced by Hip Hop music/culture, as well as ancient and modern mythology. Woods's research focuses on Hip Hop Theatre, Hip Hop aesthetics, narratology, blackness and performance, as well as the themes of death and rebirth, identity, gender, and slang. His dissertation, titled “Pleading the Fifth Element: Disaesthetics and Hip Hop as Black Study,” brings the playwrights Zakiyyah Alexander, Aya de León, Katori Hall, and Susan-Lori Parks into a critical hip-hop cypher and uses dance theory to articulate how these writers “turn theory into flesh” with their aesthetic-political interventions.
Woods has two book chapters in production: “Bonding over Phobia: Restaging a Revolution at the Expense of Black Revolt,” which will appear in Reframing the Musical: Race, Culture and Identity (ed. Sarah Whitfield) and
“Close Edge: Hip Hop and Miranda’s Hamilton,” which will come out in Know (the) Ledge: Critical Essays on the Limitation of Hip Hop Studies (eds. P. Khalil Saucier and Tryon Woods).
As an educator, Woods has taught English composition, literature, playwriting, poetry, acting, and public speaking courses, and most recently a course in Hip Hop Shakespeare. At Puget Sound, he will teach SSI seminars, Theatrical Experience, World Theatre, and playwriting, as well as classes to be designed and productions still to be dreamed.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Woods when he arrives to campus.
In June 2019 Distinguished Professor Dr. Geoff Proehl will conclude his 25-year tenure at the University of Puget Sound. If you’ve had Geoff as a professor, director, advisor, or colleague, you already know that he is the kind of person who changes lives. He has also forever changed our department. He brought a deep commitment to dramaturgy, which has become the foundation of our departmental pedagogy; a level of intellectual rigor that has established the threshold of excellence that guides students and colleagues alike; and both led and served the department with a full heart and an unflappable commitment to the liberal arts.
His departure marks a significant moment of transition for our department. We are sad to see him go, deeply thankful for the ways in which he has elevated the department over the last two and a half decades, and excited about the ways in which his contributions will serve us long into the future.
We wanted to take this moment to acknowledge this substantial change and publicly thank Geoff for his tremendous service. We will celebrate Geoff more fully at the end of this coming academic year, so stay tuned for more information about that!
In the meantime, we’ve started the process of finding an exceptional candidate to move our department into the next phase. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this position, please see the job description.
Sara Freeman, Kurt Walls, and Jess Smith
Senior majors in the Department of Theatre Arts complete a culminating thesis project that requires the planning, execution, and evaluation of a four-show festival of plays, collaboratively produced. This Senior Theatre Festival is the capstone of experiential learning in the program, and draws on all areas of study in the major, while also mirroring many aspects of professional work in the field post-degree. Through an intense supervised process housed in the THTR 490 class, the senior class reads extensively, selects four full-length plays to produce, and determines which seniors will direct, design, dramaturg, and act in STF shows as their thesis mainstage season.
Theatre Arts faculty provide guidance, beginning with thesis-oriented readiness assessment during junior interviews. The faculty project. This year-long ensemble process results in an April festival that is part of the department's emphasizes that success in STF, particularly in key roles such as director and dramaturg, correlates with three distinct modes of achievement: maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA across all theatre classes; participating in a faculty directed show in a high responsibility production role; and a strong experience in the 313 Directing class.