A Practical and Creative Education

At DU, we value all aspects of the production process, from playwriting, acting and directing to technical elements like scenery, lighting and costume design. You'll learn the ins and outs of theatrical production, absorbing insight from experienced faculty and an array of professional visiting artists.

With a solid background in all phases of production and hands-on experience in both the practical and aesthetic sides of theatre, you'll be ready to pursue a creative career in the dramatic arts.

Cabaret Theatre production

Our Mission

The Department of Theatre strives to connect students with faculty and guest artists who complement classroom learning with creative work. We emphasize critical thinking and practical skills in acting, designing and directing that provide students with a toolkit that will shape their future career in any area.

Distinction in Theatre

We recognize outstanding achievement by theatre majors through a "Distinction in Theatre" designation that will accompany your degree from DU when you graduate. Students who receive distinction demonstrate significant qualities of professional work in their respective field(s).

If you're seeking a distinction in theatre, you must submit a checklist and a letter of intent to the department chair. Both are due by the end of the second week of classes in the quarter the student plans to graduate. Distinction may be awarded in additional areas not listed below (e.g., movement, production management, vocal technique) at the discretion of and in consultation with the faculty. When in doubt, please ask!

We encourage students who are eager to pursue distinction to get started early (by sophomore year) to realistically have enough time to pursue and accomplish all criteria.

  • Note: Fulfilling the requirements listed below does not automatically grant distinction in the Department of Theatre. The faculty has the final say as to whether the work is of sufficient quality to earn this designation.
  • Note: A departmental production = fully-produced show, part of the department's mainstage season, directed by faculty or professional guest artist. For the purposes of distinction, "departmental" productions do not include class projects, independent projects, senior capstones or staged readings.
  • Design
    • Design one departmental production and five other productions that aren't part of a class requirement
    • Complete a Directed Study with faculty mentors as an Assistant Designer
    • Compile a portfolio in consultation with your Design advisor; make a formal presentation for faculty review
    • 3.7 GPA in at least five design classes
  • Acting
    • Act in six productions, at least four of which must be departmental
    • 3.7 GPA in at least five acting classes
  • Directing
    • Assistant-direct one departmental production (faculty or guest professional director)
    • Direct two productions (that are not part of a class or practicum assignment; can be on campus or off; staged readings are not considered productions)
    • Complete two Independent Studies with faculty mentors in Directing or Directing-related areas
    • 3.7 GPA in both Directing 1 and Independent Studies
  • Playwriting
    • Have a play produced as a departmental or off-campus production, or have three works developed at DU through staged readings, talkbacks and rewrites
    • 3.7 GPA in playwriting and two dramatic literature classes
  • Theatre History
    • Complete a written thesis (research or production related)
    • 3.7 GPA in both theatre history classes, aesthetics in performance, and two others in history, art history or cultural studies
  • Stage Management
    • Stage manage or assistant stage manage five productions: three departmental and two others
    • Complete a professional production internship
    • Compile a portfolio in consultation with your Stage Management advisor; make a formal presentation for faculty review
    • 3.7 GPA in Stage Management, Directing, Acting I and one design class at the 2000 or 3000 level
  • Dramaturgy
    • Dramaturg three departmental productions
    • 3.7 GPA in five classes chosen from theater history and dramatic literature, including seminars, Shakespeare, etc.
  • Theatre (General Distinction)
    • Complete a written thesis your senior year under the supervision of a theatre faculty mentor (may be completed with independent study hours and/or PINS)
    • 3.7 GPA in all theatre classes
  • Other Guidelines
    • We may award distinction in more than one area, but the same production or project cannot be listed for multiple awards.
    • For instance, if a student wants distinction in both directing and stage management, he or she must participate in four departmental productions in addition to the other respective requirements listed.
    • "Departmental" refers to the major production(s) each quarter, directed by a faculty member or guest artist. This excludes senior projects and independent student productions.