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Department of Theatre

Welcome From the Department Chair

Our program of roughly 115 BA/BS and BFA majors is large enough to challenge you, but no student is a number at UM.

Our program of over 115 BA/BS and BFA majors is large enough to challenge you, but no student is a number at UM.

You will be mentored by full-time faculty members with extensive professional experience, but committed to teaching as their first priority.

Noted film actor Val Kilmer once defined his craft as, “setting impossible goals and then trying to achieve them.” At UM, students are encouraged to pursue the “impossible” and continually challenge themselves to grow artistically and personally during their time in our program.

Please explore the information on this site in detail, which will give you a sense of the classes, productions guest artist workshops and on and off-campus experiences that await you as a UM theatre major.  We offer the B.A. and B.S. degree, which allows you to explore all areas of theatre as well as electives in another discipline, but also the more concentrated pre-professional B.F.A. degree with concentrations available in Musical Theatre, Design/Technology and Acting.

As with other departments, we have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, but our recent move into the new 36,000 square foot Center for the Arts has allowed us to offer acting, dance, directing and applied lab classes in person (with other Theatre courses meeting in a Hybrid or mixed format of in person and online instruction).  We have brought in several guest artists this fall including Broadway performers Desi Oakley and Krystina Alabado, and are planning to present two “reduced staging” productions of a play and the musical COMPANY in the spring semester.  These will involve very limited audiences and students and spectators both wearing masks and observing social distance safety protocols.

While we have emphasized safety first this year, our students have continued to grow and learn, including learning acting and singing techniques while wearing masks, as well as ‘self-tape” audition skills which are now an essential aspect of work in the Theatre and entertainment industry.

Broadway World Article – UM Center for the Arts

Our regular production seasons are designed to expose you to a wide range of styles, including classics and 2 musicals every year. We are also committed to staging challenging plays by the best contemporary authors and have continually produced an “Alabama premiere” of a play or musical in recent seasons!  Our students enjoy an active guest artist program (typically 4-6 per year) with professional guest artists from around the U.S.

Musical theatre students have participated in invited workshops with industry professionals in NYC through the Amy Murphy Studio, as well as a Senior Unified Showcase for agents and casting directors with The Growing Studio in NYC the past two years (we are currently exploring alternative plans for a showcase in spring 2021).

With their immersive theatre training, all of our majors also receive an outstanding liberal arts education that prepares them for lifelong learning and career opportunities. We think it’s a combination that can’t be beat and please e-mail me at with any questions.

For 2020-2021, we will be accepting performance auditions and design/technology portfolios ONLINE and click the following link to see guidelines on our AUDITION/INTERVIEW page.

**Please note we also attend auditions at CAP in Atlanta: Florida Unifieds; and the Trumbauer College Auditions through the AL Conference of Theatre.  Please contact me with any questions or Kristi Carter at

Best Regards,

David Callaghan, MFA, Ph.D.
Professor of Theatre and Chair
(205) 665-6210