Theatre Arts

Major/Minor

Add skill to your God-given passion. The study of theatre provides an immersive experience that pursues excellence on and off the stage and faces difficult questions in pursuit of truth.

Listen to Tracy Manning, Managing & Artistic Director of Theatre, describe her passion for theatre at Taylor.

"It's time to redeem the craft, to reclaim the creativity endowed to us by God, to fill performace spaces all over the world with people who are passionate about the craft, equipped for the work and empowered by the Holy Spirit." Listen to Tracy Manning, Managing and Artistic Director of Theatre, describe her passion for theatre at Taylor.

Theatre students at Taylor are willing to do the hard work. They sacrifice time and energy and immerse themselves into their craft - working together, challenging each other to create a quality performance that honors God and their own pursuit of excellence.

As a Taylor theatre arts student, you will . . .

  • join a national award winning theatre program with a legacy of high-quality productions
  • study theatre's history and development since its supposed origins in ancient Greece and Rome
  • consider the biblical foundations of theatre arts and their integration into the practical application of the art form
  • learn and practice performance and character development techniques
  • expand your skills as an actor, director, dramaturge, stage manager, and set designer

Every theatre arts student must participate in two productions each year (8 total). Senior theatre arts students direct their own full-length production.

See the theatre arts curriculum guide.

Taylor Theatre

Campus Venues

Taylor Theatre uses Mitchell Theater, a space uniquely designed for flexibility in set design, for its full-length productions. Theatre students also have access to a black box theatre in Rupp Communication Arts Center, which they can use for small productions or theatrical exercises.

Production Casebooks

Students interested in writing, media, history, and arts education gain valuable dramaturgical experience by working directly with Artistic Director Tracy Manning to create production casebooks. Combing research, analysis, and reflection, casebooks provide supplementary materials that offer valuable insight throughout rehearsals and invite the audience into the world of the play.

Leah Murphy

"Theatre at Taylor is a constant conversation about humanity. Everything done within Mitchell Theatre exposes the truth about the human condition, the reality of this world, and the need for a Savior. From conversations with friends while painting the set to conversations with fellow fictional characters about the loss of a child, my own understanding of justice, love, forgiveness, peace, my faith, and myself were challenged and expanded."

Leah Murphy, Class of 2016

Opportunities Outside of the Classroom and Theatre Performances

Touring Company

The Taylor Touring Company takes theatre productions on the road, presenting shows at churches, schools, and businesses throughout the US and internationally. Student actors and crew gain professional experience while learning the ins and outs of touring a small-scale production. In addition to performing, the troupe-members also offer specialty theatre workshops to their audiences on tour.

In 2014, the Company departed from traditional productions to an improvisational, interactive theatre form called Playback Theatre. In these productions, the audience shares stories and experiences that the actors and musicians play back in an engaging, unscripted format.

The current production, Out of Darkness, integrates this theatrical form with scriptural engagement, identifying psalmic themes present in stories from everyday life.

August 2015, the Playback Troupe performed at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Theatre Mission Trips

Summer 2016, a theatre team traveled to Peru to volunteer in the Roma Lee Courvisier School, which is run by the Latin American Children's Fund. The group's main work was an after-school program for high schoolers that used theatre games and scene work to start conversations and study ways of handling conflict.

"The high schoolers were timid at first, because theatre as we know it is foreign to them," said Terrance Volden, Technical Director of Taylor Theatre and trip leader, "but by day two, three, and the rest of the week, they were all participating."

Here are some examples of professional connections through businesses that come to campus:

  • Nathan Garrison, Production Stage Manager, Indianapolis Repertory Theatre
  • Kevin Gawley, Professional Lighting Designer, University of Wisconsin
  • Cory Rodeheaver, Scenic Designer, Taylor Studios, Champaign, Ill.
  • Actors From the London Stage, on-campus residency
  • Valerie Smith, Professional Actress (alumni), Director of Theatre Messiah College

Professional Organizations: 

  • Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
  • Christians in Theatre Arts (CITA)
  • Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)