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About

Theatre stage production

Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

 

Overview

 

At TCU, you’ll gain the highest quality artistic and academic theatre education with our BFA professional training program in a liberal arts environment.

 

You’ll get a broad-based education that builds on your theatre expertise and develops your analytical thinking, clarity in written and spoken expression, collaboration and creativity to adapt to whatever the future might bring.

Choose from BFA specializations in acting, musical theatre, all areas of design, technical production and theatre studies. We also offer a broad-based BA degree in theatre, open to all TCU students.

You’ll study theatre in a major metropolitan area that is a vibrant center for the arts. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex boasts outstanding professional theatre companies—many of which offer internships to Theatre TCU students—as well as superior museums and performances in music and dance.

You’ll gain valuable experience on stage or behind the scenes in professional-level productions such as:

  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • Three Sisters
  • The Elephant Man
  • Pippin
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Oklahoma!
  • Spring Awakening

When you graduate, you’ll join an impressive network of Theatre TCU alumni who work across the nation in professional and academic theatre, including graduates who have garnered roles as actors and choreographers on Broadway, major regional theatres, and national tours; as stage managers; as voiceover actors for animated series; as designers and production technicians for cruise line productions; and as theatre educators.

Career Preparation

 

Since its founding in 1873, Texas Christian University has embraced performances in the fine arts as essential to studies in the liberal arts. In the earlier years, play performances were extra-curricular activities, not courses of study, presented by students group such as the Dramatic Club.

When the university moved to Waco, Texas, in 1895, performances by the Dramatic Club took on greater importance with more frequent presentations, usually under the direction of a faculty member in oratory or public speaking.

Theatrical activities came to a halt for a short time in 1909-1910 when a massive fire leveled Old Main on the Waco campus, and TCU moved to its present site on the near southwest side of Fort Worth. Four buildings were constructed facing University Drive – three dormitories and an administration building, now known as Dan Reed Hall. The administration building housed classrooms and an auditorium in which regular stage productions by the Dramatic Club resumed.

Professor Lew D. Fallis joined the faculty of oratory and public speaking in 1925 and took over the direction of most plays presented by the Dramatic Club. He quickly became such a favorite with the students that they renamed their organization the Fallis Players. The Fallis Players became known outside Fort Worth when Professor Fallis began taking productions annually to the Regional Little Theatre Tournament organized by the Dallas Little Theatre (1920-1943).

When TCU established the School of Fine Arts in 1943, we organized a regular curriculum in theatrical studies. In 1946, Dr. Walther R. Volbach joined our staff as the first director of theatre in the newly reorganized Speech and Drama Department. He brought many years of experience as both an actor and director working in Max Reinhardt’s theatres in Germany.

When the Fine Arts Building, now known as Ed Landreth Hall, opened its doors in 1949, it housed a large auditorium for major university functions and a small theatre called the Little Theatre (later University Theatre) that presented four to eight annual theatre productions.

In 1958 the Division of Theatre separated from the Speech Department, became the Department of Theatre Arts and offered five academic degrees: BFA in theatre, BFA in theatre education, BA in theatre, MFA in theatre, and MA in theatre. In 2008, we revised the curriculum to include five different emphases for the BFA in theatre.

In 1997, TCU added the Mary F. and Thomas D. Walsh Performing Arts Complex to the south and west sides of Ed Landreth Hall, creating space for a Scenic Studio and the Marlene and Spencer Hays Theatre.

In 2005, TCU renovated University Theatre and renamed it the Jerita Foley Buschman Theatre, creating the new LaLonnie Lehman Lobby, a new box office for the Buschman Theatre, four new faculty offices, a new acting/dance studio and a rehearsal room. In 2010, TCU updated the Hays Theatre with a new control booth, a tension grid, a new sound system and improved seating. – adapted from  Henry E. Hammack (1928-2013) (TCU Theatre faculty 1957-1994)