Department of Theatre

Welcome From the Interim Department Chair, Emily Gill

CONNECT with your FUTURE. 

Over the past year, the world has been revisiting the idea of CONNECTION. While apart by necessity, people found creative ways to connect to friends, family, neighbors, known and new. New technologies, new ideas, and new ways to engage with the world emerged as a result, and the future holds great opportunities for merging tradition with innovation!  

Connection drives our work at UM Theatre- in production, in the classroom, in the advising appointment, and in the post-graduate experience. Last year, we held classes, produced performances, and forged friendships by revisiting the core value of connection and being open to new approaches to achieve our mission of providing a rich liberal arts learning experience for students while keeping up with the ever-changing times in live dramatic arts entertainment. The experiments yielded good things, and we are looking forward to our upcoming year and beyond! 

Through the learning laboratory of our productions, students connect with classmates from diverse backgrounds and interests to achieve a common goal of providing a quality theatre-going experience for our audiences. Students play key roles in the design, production, management, promotion, and performance of a range of scripts- from classic repertory pieces to new titles. We aim for our production activity to model best practices for students looking to go into theatre as a career, but students with broader goals benefit from learning in-demand leadership and collaborative skills.  

UM Theatre currently logs around 115 majors and 8 full time Faculty (plus artists-in-residence, guest artist instructors, and professional staff), so the class sizes are perfect for achieving a real connection with your instructors and classmates. Through rigorous individual and group work, students learn communication and collaboration skills to challenge each other to learn and grow into their goals. Students have several options for exploring individual interests through credit-bearing internships, undergraduate research course credits, and other independent study opportunities. You can review degree plans here! 

In addition to regular course work, students have access to workshops and experiences such as:  

  • An international collaborative design project through the PQ Studio wing of the Prague Quadrennial Festival 
  • Participation in annual showcases for New York- and Atlanta-based agents 
  • Custom workshops for UM Theatre students given by leading industry professionals in experience design, musical performance, acting, stage combat, and playwriting/new works development  
  • Access to national and regional hiring events such as SETC, National Outdoor Theatre Auditions, and LiNK for graduate school interviews 
  • For up-to-date news on guest artists and partnerships, see here!  

Faculty serve as academic advisors at University of Montevallo, and in the Theatre Department, we pride ourselves on our advising service to students- for academic progress and career preparation. Students are encouraged to make regular appointments with their advisor as well as all other Faculty and staff to talk about their career goals, academic options, and even just interesting art stuff. One of the greatest joys of teaching is introducing someone to an art form, author, style, or idea that is new to them, and the reverse of learning new things from our students- learning is a partnership! In addition to the departmental advising resources, in Fall of 2021, UM is launching a new initiative to target career readiness for all students- check out the Progression 2 Profession.

Speaking of advising, we joke that we are “advisors for life,” but the truth breeds humor. Alumni have been generous with their time to help students transition to professional life, and we work to maintain connections with our graduates for their success, and that of the rising graduates. UM students have access to a network of diverse and supportive predecessors prior-to and post-graduation. See our alumni stories here

The Theatre Department hosts a valuable learning and creating environment at UM for all students, and for more information on the physical part of that environment, please visit us in our new 36,000 square foot Center for the Arts facility on campus.  

We hope you will come visit in person or virtually and connect with us to see where you belong at UM!