At Montevallo, we provide first-rate theatre training within the context of a well-rounded liberal arts education.
Our mission is to train students to enter the profession while also providing a first-rate liberal arts education. However, theatre training and a UM education prepares students for life-long learning and the ability to pursue a variety of fields and change jobs fluidly in various geographical locations.
While we will nurture and support your talents and aspirations, our program is also a challenging and rigorous one aimed towards helping you to achieve your career aspirations. Our curriculum provides each student with a solid foundation in various acting techniques, play analysis, directing, stagecraft, fundamentals of design, lighting and theatre history. We also offer a range of upper-level, specialized classes in all areas including theatrical design, acting styles and musical theatre.
Faculty Engagement and Experience
If you study theatre here, you will be part of a highly personal department of more than 100 majors. You will get to know your teachers well and work closely with them both in and out of the classroom.
We are active in professional organizations around the U.S. within our respective fields, but teaching is our first priority. Experienced faculty members teach all courses instead of graduate students, and enrollment in performance classes typically ranges from 8-20 pupils. We work hard to prepare students to directly enter the profession, and the expertise of our full and part-time faculty allows us to offer a range of classes that can match the curriculum of much larger departments and universities.
The full and part-time theatre faculty bring a wide range of professional theatre experience to the classroom, having worked extensively in NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle and elsewhere on regional; Off-Off Broadway; Off-Broadway; and Broadway productions; as well as in TV and film. Faculty members have also worked professionally in Alabama as fight choreographers and stage managers for the AL Shakespeare Festival; actors and designers for City Equity Theatre; directors for Red Mountain Theatre Company; directors and designers for The Dane Theatre company and the Virginia Samford Theatre; and lighting designers and directors for Birmingham Opera.
Why Theatre at UM?
We offer the generalist B.A. and B.S. Theatre degrees, but also pre-professional B.F.A degrees in Musical Theatre, Acting, Directing, Theatre Technology/Costume Design and Technical Technology/Scenic & Lighting Design. All our majors are required to gain hands-on experience in a variety of performance and technical areas, regardless of concentration. At UM, you will receive excellent theatre training combined with a liberal arts education, and graduate prepared to compete in the profession or enter graduate school.
Studying theatre in college also prepares students for a wide variety of professions that require critical thinking skills; creativity; time management; deadline accountability; leadership; and working effectively as part of a team. In addition to working in the entertainment industry, UM theatre alumni are also working successfully in business; management; banking; retail; real estate; editing; marketing and public relations; and for the Google Corporation, among others.
Graduates of the UM Theatre program can also pursue high school teaching (certification required for a public school after graduation) or on the university level if interested in attending an M.F.A. or Ph.D. graduate program in theatre.
UM students are constantly honing their craft in classes; applied theatre technical work; scene rehearsals; lab performances; class showcases; full productions directed by the faculty; professional guest artist workshops; internships locally and around the U.S.; and community and professional theatre and film productions in the Birmingham area. B.F.A. students also have opportunities to direct and design potentially in the production season and assist faculty directors, designers and technicians.
Our faculty prepare students for professional opportunities/auditions; conferences and competitions; and post-graduation pursuits including headshot/resume and portfolio presentation as well as graduate school and internship applications.
Every year, you will work with visiting professionals from around the U.S. in theatre, dance, musical theatre, film and TV on campus. Recent guests include Broadway legend Eden Espinosa (WICKED) and NYC casting director/producer Tina Marie Casamento-Libby.
Our graduates benefit from a strong alumni network across the country, including large cities such as NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. Recent UM Theatre graduates have collaborated together on the creation of original musicals, plays, films and TV web series.
Diverse Production Season
We choose an unusually varied mix of plays and styles including provocative contemporary plays, two musicals a year, classical text and, on occasion, original student work. UM Theatre is known for staging an Alabama premiere production almost every season, as well as fresh interpretations of well-known shows.
While we are a dynamic, growing program of approximately 110 majors, students work closely with faculty and receive extensive hand-on training and advising. Faculty are available to meet with students just to talk informally or work on material outside of class throughout the school year.