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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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  • Assoc. Director of Academics: Dan Robinson


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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

    "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

    News from A&A

    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.

    Crystal Dahm, of Boalsburg, Pa., has been named spring 2021 student marshal for the College of Arts and Architecture. She will receive a B.F.A. in Theatre and B.S. in French


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    Alum brings together theatre and film communities with award-winning production company

    Theatre alum Sarah Ellis' award-winning production company, MT Shorts, brings together film and theatre communities.
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    School of Theatre honors Shakespeare safely with radio production of “Romeo and Juliet”

    The School of Theatre presented "Romeo and Juliet" as a radio play, available for listening at sites.psu.edu/pscsvirtual.
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