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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

 

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Live theatre at 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

The Wild Party

Decadence and excess are the life of the party in this jazzy 1920s whodunnit.

A steamy prohibition tale, steamrolling and roaring its way across the stage, Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party was an Off-Broadway gem that garnered an array of industry accolades, including Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie awards. Based on Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 narrative poem of the same name, this darkly brilliant show features one of the most exciting, pulse-racing scores ever written.

Lovers Queenie and Burrs decide to throw the party-to-end-all-parties in their Manhattan apartment. After the colorful arrival of a slew of guests living life on the edge, Queenie’s wandering eyes land on a striking man named Black. As the decadence is reaching a climax, so is Burrs’ jealousy, which erupts and sends him into a violent rage. Gun in hand and inhibitions abandoned, Burrs turns on Queenie and Black. The gun gets fired, but who’s been shot?


Tickets on sale now!

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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.

Teaching and Learning during COVID

Performance classes – on campus, on Zoom – always flexible, creative, and engaged!
Design Technology and Management is dedicated to achieving even deeper learning and higher levels of productivity and technique during the pandemic.

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.
See All Studios, Labs and Venues

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

Current and former students meeting together in the Penn State Theatre Convergence Lab.
Current and former students meeting together in the Penn State Theatre Convergence Lab.

Curtis Craig

Head, Sound Design

Curtis Craig (Sound Designer, Composer, Projection Designer) Recent work: Pipeline (Cleveland Playhouse, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Detroit Public Theatre), Indecent (Denver Center Theatre Company), world premier – Dominique Morriseau’s Mud Row (People’s Light & Theatre Company), world premier – The Great Leap (Denver Center Theatre Company, Seattle Rep), The Bacchae (Classical Theatre of Harlem), How to Catch Creation (Baltimore Center Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company). In 2017, his sound design and composition from the Denver Center production of All The Way was awarded the Silver Medal in Sound Design at the World Stage Design exposition in Taipei, Taiwan. He previously won the Gold Medal in Sound Design for Pentecost in 2009 in Seoul, South Korea. His work can be heard at www.curtiscraig.com.

Curtis Craig working at sound board.
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Nov 2 - 4

Preview - Wild Party

Playhouse Theatre
A steamy prohibition tale, steamrolling and roaring its way across the stage, Andrew Lippa's Wild Party was an Off-Broadway gem that garnered an array of industry accolades,

Events

Go. Explore.

Performance - Wild Party

Playhouse Theatre
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Nov 6 - 12

A steamy prohibition tale, steamrolling and roaring its way across the stage, Andrew Lippa's Wild Party was an Off-Broadway gem that garnered an array of industry accolades,


Matinee - Wild Party

Playhouse Theatre
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Nov 6 - 14

A steamy prohibition tale, steamrolling and roaring its way across the stage, Andrew Lippa's Wild Party was an Off-Broadway gem that garnered an array of industry accolades,


Preview - Midsummer Night's Dream

Pavilion Theatre
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Nov 30 - Dec 2

Four Athenians run away to the forest only to have Puck the fairy make both of the boys fall in love with the same girl.


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News from A&A

Penn State Centre Stage offers first-ever sensory-friendly performances

Two sensory friendly showings of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” are scheduled for Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Playhouse Theatre.

Penn State Centre Stage is presenting the University’s first-ever sensory-friendly performances as part of its production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” They are scheduled for


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Higgins receives Association for Theatre in Higher Education outstanding teacher award

Jeanmarie Higgins, associate professor of theatre, is the 2021 recipient of the prestigious ATHE Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher Award.
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Arts and Architecture names college, academic unit marshals

We are proud to announce our student marshals for spring 2021. Crystal Dahm, who will receive dual degrees in Theatre and French/Francophone Studies, is the college marshal.
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