Theatre Degree

Theatre Program

Theatre Degree

Learn advanced techniques in acting, directing, and stage and lighting design!

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The core curriculum for all Theatre majors provides a solid basis in all aspects of Theatre.

Theatre Core Courses include:

  • Acting I
  • Theatre Practicum
  • Play Production, Set and Lights
  • Play Production, Costume and Makeup
  • Dramatic Literature
  • Directing
  • Theatre History
  • Senior Project in Theatre (Individually Designed Capstone Course)




Theatre Major Tracks


  • Acting Track- focuses on skills required for performance; training the actor's mind, voice, and body.

  • Technical Theatre Track- focuses on skills required for backstage work; stage management, theatre production, and design.

  • General Studies Track- Overview of all aspects of theatre practice.

Musical Theatre Performance is a seperate degree offered by McKendree. For more information, visit the McKendree Musical Theatre Program.




Why a B.A. Degree in Theatre?

With a bachelor’s degree in Theatre, you’ll learn advanced, hands-on techniques in acting, directing, and design, complete with the opportunity to utilize those skills in production at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, Southern Illinois' premier performing arts venue.




Photo of Theatre StudentsAbout the Theatre Major

Housed under the Division of Visual and Performing Arts, the B.A. in Theatre allows you to gain a broad understanding of theatre art while honing your skills in a specific area of emphasis. Curriculum includes applied studio courses in acting, directing, and technical production and design, as well as dramatic literature, theatre history, and theory. Our courses will help you build the needed skills in movement, voice, interpretation, design, production, critical analysis, and writing.

2020-2021 Program Catalog

2019-2020 4-Year Plan

A minor in Theatre is also available.




Scholarship Opportunities

There are Theatre Activity Scholarships available for incoming students. Recipients commit to working on the production each semester in some capacity, but do not have to be a Theatre major or minor. Contact Michelle Magnussen for more information.




Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you’ll get here. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Photo of the Hett Theater

Program Highlights


  • The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts - Opened in 2006, the Hett gives theatre students an impressive venue to showcase their talents. Act in an on-stage production, work with sound and lighting, construct set pieces, and much more!

  • Coursework is enhanced with hands-on experience and the opportunity to interact with professionals from a variety of fields performing on campus.

  • Related clubs and honor societies allow you to meet others and enhance your resume.

  • Follow us on Facebook for updated information at McKendree Theatre Department.

  • The Theatre Department presents one mainstage production every semester. Tickets are free and admission is open to the public. If you are interested in bringing a group, contact Michelle Magnussen. Backstage tours and question and answer sessions with the cast and crew can be arranged. Current Hett Calendar of events.

  • Work Study opportunities in technical theatre available at the Hett.




Club Information / Honor Societies


  • Alpha Psi Omega (National Theatre Honor Society)
  • Literary Interest Society - Join this student group as they journey on their annual weekend trip to the Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago to view a performance by the theatre’s professional actors.




Related Programs





Your Student Success Support Team





Key Faculty


Michelle Magnussen, M.F.A.Michelle Magnussen, M.F.A.

Associate Professor
Eisenmayer Hall 105
(618) 537-6586



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