School of Theatre
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.
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.
You’ve gotta work hard to play hard. Sure, some people can skirt by without working as hard as others, but that will only take them so far.
Brinie WallaceB.F.A. in Musical Theatre 2016
Brinie Wallace is currently an ensemble member in the North American tour of The Book of Mormon after premiering the musical in Australia. She says her Penn State education reinforced in her the need to be “present and persistent” in the musical theatre profession, so you are ready to take on whatever challenges come your way.
Studios, Labs and Venues
Theatre Arts Production Studio (TAPS)
Penn State Downtown Theatre
Theatre Lighting Lab
Head of Musical Theatre
John Simpkins is head of Musical Theatre and the Nagle Family Endowed Chair at Penn State. He is also a professional director who recently directed the world premiere of Tony-nominated Joe Iconis’ Love in Hate Nation, which was commissioned by Penn State Musical Theatre as part of its New Musicals Initiative.
His recent new musical credits include the World Premiere of Legendale (music by Andrea Daly, words by Jeff Bienstock) at Fredericia Teater in Denmark and the subsequent American Premiere at Human Race Theatre Company. Recent new plays include the World Premieres of Raging Skillet (by Jacques Lamarre) at Theaterworks Hartford, The Bus (by Jim Lantz) at 59E59 Theaters and For Better, For Worse (by Reed Arnold). Regionally, he has directed at Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre Oklahoma, North Carolina Theatre, the Engeman Theatre, and Sharon Playhouse (where he also served as Artistic Director).
News from A&A
Despite pandemic challenges the show goes on in the School of Theatre
When preparing for theatre education in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, School of Theatre administration, faculty and staff knew that the 2020-2021 academic year presented unprecedented challenges. But the