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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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Succeed around the globe

Award-winning faculty whose experience spans the world provide individualized instruction, giving students the extra edge they need to succeed. Preparation that extends beyond skills and experience – that’s what you’ll find in the School of Theatre.

The School of Theatre offers undergraduate and graduate degrees covering a range of areas, including Acting, Musical Theatre, Stage Management, Theatre Design and Technology, and Directing.

Learn more about our community commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

 

Create on Centre Stage

The School of Theatre houses Penn State Centre Stage (PSCS), the professional theatre training program in Central Pennsylvania. PSCS presents theatrical masterpieces and new gems – including a series of livestreamed virtual performances – by emerging masters.


Learn more about Penn State Centre Stage

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Degree
Offerings

A discussion with students

B.A. in Theatre

The B.A. in Theatre inspires the next generation of theatre professionals to shape the future of the industry after experiencing an impactful education supported by endless artistic outlets.
Theatre students performing a scene from Argonautica.

B.F.A. in Acting

The B.F.A. in Acting degree program trains the next generation of stars using a holistic educational approach that prepares performers for success on every stage.
Musical Theatre students performing the halftime show at Beaver Stadium.

B.F.A. in Musical Theatre

The B.F.A. in Musical Theatre is a revered and intensive professional training program that prepares students to step into the spotlight on Broadway and beyond.
School of Theatre dress rehearsal of Argonautica.

B.F.A. in Theatre

With options in Stage Management and Theatre Design and Technology, the B.F.A. in Theatre trains the behind-the-scenes theatre professionals to produce a transformative theatrical experience by artistically engaging modern technology and skills.
Scenic design from the play Argonautica.

M.F.A. in Theatre

The M.F.A in Theatre program is one of the most unique and well-respected theatre education programs in the country that consistently exists as a conduit to Broadway and beyond. Collaboration...
Stage crew students adjusting sound and lighting for the production rehearsal of Violet, located in the Playhouse Theatre at Penn State University Park campus.

Theatre Minor

The Theatre minor is designed for personal enrichment or to enhance study particularly for students in the humanities, communication, and the arts.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State embraced my vision for a cross-disciplinary education that combined electrical engineering with theatre and stage lighting.
Penn State alumnus Andrew Giffin

Alumni Spotlight

Andrew Giffin

Inter-College Bachelor of Philosophy, 2005

Andrew Giffin – a Schreyer Scholar who earned a inter-college Bachelor of Philosophy incorporating studies in Theatre Design and Technology plus Electrical Engineering – is the associate lighting designer for the rock band, Phish, and is widely considered as the top lighting programmer in the industry. Andrew has designed and programmed light shows for musicians such as Pearl Jam, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber in addition to his work on music award shows, theatre productions and sporting events.

Studios, Labs and Venues

Production studio spaces, a design and lighting lab, and venues that support student, faculty, and professional performances.
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Theatre Arts Production Studio (TAPS)

The Theatre Arts Production Studio (TAPS) features a large, state-of-the-art equipped scenic shop with adjacent properties shop and scenic paint studio. The costume shops,


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Pavilion Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, built in 1915, is a key venue for the Penn State School of Theatre. Designed by architects Frank Miles Day and Charles


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Penn State Downtown Theatre

Finished in 2003, the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center is an intimate 152-seat theatre in the heart of downtown State College. The Penn State


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Playhouse Theatre

The Playhouse Theatre is a 383-seat proscenium-thrust theatre equipped with a dual level, moveable pit, full fly space, and advanced lighting and sound control


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Theatre Lighting Lab

The Penn State School of Theatre Lighting Lab is one of the most advanced and well-equipped labs of its kind in the country. Seating


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Faculty Spotlight

"Into the Woods" production photo with cast grouped in front of a darkened background at Ford's Theatre. Image credit: Carol Rosegg.

Milagros Ponce de León

Associate Professor of Theatre

Milagros‘ areas of specialization include scenic design, 3D drafting, scene painting, and rendering for the theater. Recent design credits in the Washington DC area include scenic designs for Into the Woods, Jefferson’s Garden, and Ragtime at Ford’s Theatre; Life is a Dream at Gala Hispanic Theatre; and Matilda, In the Heights, and Sweeney Todd at Olney Theatre Centre. Additional credits include scenic designs for Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in NC; and Catalyst Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Imagination Stage, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Metro Stage, National Players, Opera Vivente, Roundhouse Theatre, Theatre Alliance, and Studio Theatre 2nd Stage in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.

Milagros has received three Helen Hayes nominations for outstanding scenic design in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local-829, an Associate Artist at Ford’s Theatre, and an Artistic Associate at Olney Theatre Center.

Milagros Ponce de Leon; image credit Roderick Mccladdie-Mcleod
Place holder image for Events
Oct 22

Bach's Lunch: Acting for Singers

CSED All Faith Chapel
Acting for Singers Students from the Acting for Singers class present a showcase of their work. "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon concert series

Events

Go. Explore.

"Front Row: National"

Virtual event
Four musicians are seated on a stage while they play their instruments.
Oct 22

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’sFront Row: NationalSummer Evenings III Watch the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 22. It will be available for streaming


"Front Row: National"

Virtual event
Four musicians are seated on a stage while they play their instruments.
Oct 23 - 26

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’sFront Row: NationalSummer Evenings III Watch the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 22. It will be available for streaming


Bach's Lunch: Voice Performance Students

CSED All Faith Chapel
Place holder image for Events
Oct 29

Voice Performance Students A program featuring undergraduate voice performance majors. "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon concert series during the school year, jointly sponsored


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News from A&A

Student theatrical work reveals personal experience of being Black at Penn State

B.F.A. Acting student Jalen Martin wrote "The Black Boy Who Thought He Had It All" to share his experiences being Black at Penn State.

Senior B.F.A. Acting student Jalen Martin says he’s the type of person to step up and do the hard stuff, especially when his actions could make things easier for his


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Penn State Centre Stage Virtual presents fall season

Penn State Centre Stage Virtual will present three projects ranging from a student-created work to a unique cabaret performance, and a workshop of a new performance piece.
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College welcomes new faculty

The College of Arts and Architecture welcomes six new faculty members
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