Theatre Arts

Francis Marion University offers a B.A. degree in Theatre Arts in a program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

The Theatre Arts Program provides students with sound training in all areas of theatre, which can serve as an end in itself, as undergraduate preparation for graduate study, or as a program leading directly to a career in theatre.

The purpose of the Theatre Arts program is to develop a well-rounded understanding of theatre and the related arts. Although some graduates have entered the profession immediately, most seek further training in either graduate or professional schools.


The Theatre Arts Mission Statement

The Department of Fine Arts offers a major in Theatre Arts with specialties in performance (acting and directing) or design/technology (scenery, lighting, costuming, and stagecraft). The department seeks to prepare students for graduate studies in the major, for entering professional training programs, or for entering professions that require creative thinking and artistic expression. Students may also earn either a minor or a collateral in theatre.

The education students participate in develops life skills of self-discipline, personal responsibility, and organization; and the ability to communicate effectively and work cooperatively is fostered in the program. The program educates the student body at large and serves the community through quality performances that exhibit student and faculty artistic work and function as a laboratory for applying skills learned in the classroom and studio.

Click here or on the button below to view the Theatre Arts Student Handbook.

Theatre Arts Student Handbook  


The Theatre Arts Curriculum

In addition to the general education courses central to the traditional liberal arts degree, Theatre Arts majors take core courses providing a solid theatre background for either of the advanced specialty areas: Design or Performance.

The core curriculum represents the basic body of knowledge that all theatre artists should have. These include basic courses in Acting, Directing, Stagecraft, Makeup, Costume Crafts, Theatre History and Dramatic Literature, as well as practical experience actually working on various aspects of mainstage productions.

The specialty courses afford each student advanced training in his or her selected career area:

  • Design Specialty majors continue on with more advanced courses in Theatre Management as well as Scenic, Lighting, Sound and Costume Design.
  • Performance Specialty majors concentrate on upper level courses in Acting and Directing.


Theatre Arts Facilities

Francis Marion’s Fine Arts Theatre space, the scene shop, and other facilities serve as a laboratory for the study of Theatre Arts. A number of additional perforation venues can also be found on campus. Learn more about FMU’s Theatre Arts Facilities.


Beyond the Classroom

Theatre faculty encourage majors to accompany them to regional theatre conferences where they meet theatre professionals, are exposed to new technologies, and learn invaluable interview and audition skills.

Faculty lead student groups to New York for experiential learning, attending performances at the very center of America’s theatrical heart.

Over 125 members have been inducted into the Psi Sigma Cast of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society, since it was established at Francis Marion College in August of 1976.

Theatre Arts Alumni have gone on to successful graduate study and careers, including the following: Actor, Director, Producer, Technical Director, Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Film Maker, Scenic Designer, Theatre Manager, Secondary School Educator, College Professor, and Minister.


Contact Information

To arrange a visit to campus and the Department of Fine Arts, call the Francis Marion University Admissions Office at 843-661-1231. For more specific information about studies in Theatre Arts at Francis Marion University, call (843) 661-1385, or contact:

Mr. A. Glen Gourley
Director of Theatre
Theatre Program Coordinator