By pursuing a degree in theatre arts at UMN Morris, you’ll develop the necessary skills to produce quality theatre, while gaining a deeper appreciation for theatrical creations . Through curricular and co-curricular activities, you’ll learn the fundamentals of theatre and build on this knowledge through advanced classes and production duties. You’ll also study theatrical literature and learn the historical and cultural significance of theatre.
As a theatre arts student, you’ll explore acting, design, and directing, with the option to take elective courses, allowing you to specialize in a given area through advanced coursework. General areas of focus include performance with acting, directing, and voice and movement; design and technical theatre with lighting, costumes, and stagecraft; and theatre history. All classes, including introductory courses, have limited enrollment to ensure maximum enrichment and participation.
UMN Morris's theatre arts discipline puts on multiple productions each year, providing opportunities for you to act, choreograph, and design. In addition, student theatre and improvisation groups produce performances each semester. The location of campus provides excellent opportunities for you to perform, direct, design, or choreograph for area community and educational theatrical organizations. You may even receive stipends or academic credit by working with faculty on play production or other forms of creative collaboration.
In recent years, the Morris campus has successfully incorporated green initiatives into performance projects, including main stage productions and the annual Fashion Trashion Show.
Student Learning Outcomes
By completing a degree in theatre arts, you will be able to
- apply the theories and skills you’ve learned to the practice of theatre, both through discipline productions and other venues;
- demonstrate the necessary physical and intellectual skills to embody a character, interpret a play, or envision the visual and aural elements of the play;
- analyze a theatrical text so that you may, in turn, conceptualize and execute its design and performance;
- collaborate with a team in the production of theatre and solve the problems that must be addressed throughout the process;
- use with proficiency the technology needed for the design and production of theatre; and
- communicate in writing and orally with competence.
General Education Requirements
The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.
Careers & Graduate School
Graduates of the UMN Morris theatre arts program have gone on to work in the following occupations:
- Arts administrator
- Box office manager
- College theatre professor
- Graphic designer
- Outreach coordinator
- Public relations coordinator
- Stand-up comedian
Theatre arts alumni have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at universities such as:
- Arizona State University
- Bemidji State University
- Bowling Green State University
- Carthage College
- Central Michigan University
- Cleveland State University
- Colorado State University
- Florida State University
- Mankato State University
- Michigan State University
- Northeast Louisiana University
- Rutgers University
- San Francisco State University
- Texas Tech University
- University of Alaska
- University of Arizona
- University of Idaho
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Wisconsin
- Western Michigan University
The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.
As a nontraditional, “older-than-average,” student, the late Shirley Stewart Skoog commuted to Morris from Ortonville where, in addition to being a full-time student, she was a teacher, wife, and mother of teenage children. Shirley particularly enjoyed writing and drama classes. She graduated from UMM in 1970 with a major in elementary education and only a few credits short of a minor in theater. Believing good teaching is itself a performing art, Shirley devoted her career to teaching and spent more than 30 years in the classroom.
All Available Scholarships
Research & Engagement
During your third year as a theatre arts major, you will undergo a portfolio review and complete a project outside the discipline. To complete this requirement, you could direct, design, or choreograph for local high schools and community theatres.
In your final year as a theatre arts major, you will do a senior project created in collaboration with a faculty member. This may include acting in a major role in a discipline production, leading design duties on a main stage production, or creating an original piece. Opportunities are limited only by your commitment and imagination.
At UMN Morris, there are many ways to engage with your theatre arts major or minor outside of class. You may be able to create a design project or write a play and then present the material at a conference, possibly earning national recognition. You can collaborate with faculty on scholarly activities leading to publication or presentation at professional conferences. You can also collaborate with faculty on artistic aspects of campus productions including acting, design, costuming, choreography, and direction.
You may also be able to contribute to local educational and community theatre productions, often writing, directing, choreographing, or acting in these productions. The campus Improv Club and Meiningen’s Student Theatre Organization—both student-run theatre organizations—produce one of the three shows put on each year by the theatre discipline. This includes an annual children's show performed for area youth. Participating in a student organization will allow you to collaborate with a group of theatre students, during which you’ll have the chance to lead, direct, act, design, and run technology.
In addition, UMN Morris offers travel programs to New York City to take in a week of Broadway shows, participate in workshops with theatre company professionals, and help line up theatre internships for summer work.
The theatre arts discipline welcomes participation by students from all majors.
Opportunities for Students
The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) offers students an opportunity to present research plus scholarly and creative work. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances.
- Creative Activity
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides University of Minnesota undergraduates from every college, major, and discipline, the opportunity to partner with a faculty member on research or creative projects.
- Creative Activity
The University of Minnesota Morris offers the Morris Academic Partnership (MAP) program, in which faculty select academically talented, qualified second-year and third-year students to assist them in scholarly and creative projects. Selected MAP students undertake assignments intended to enhance their intellectual competence and increase their interest in graduate or professional study.
- Creative Activity
- Morris Academic Partnership (MAP)
- Student Employment
From a classic proscenium theater to an experimental space for innovation and improvisation, UMN Morris provides performing spaces and technical shops to meet the artistic goals of both theatre students and faculty.
Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre
The Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre, built in 1973, was designed by Ralph Rapson, famed for his design of the original Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The Proscenium Theatre seats 346 people and features a large stage with a light and sound booth, 31-set fly system, orchestra pit, trapdoor, side stages, and a spiral staircase going up to a "Juliet balcony." It is used for both performances and classes.
Black Box Theatre
The Black Box Theatre is for more experimental and intimate theatre with flexible seating for up to 175 people. This space is used for both performances and classes.
Theatre Scene Shop
The scene shop is used to build sets for discipline productions. Features include a large paint rack, plenty of windows for natural lighting, and prop and furniture storage available for students doing scene work. The scene shop employs work study-eligible students. In addition, participants from various theatre arts classes may work in the shop to fulfill practicum requirements. This space is also used for some classes, such as scene painting.
Theatre Costume Shop
The costume shop builds costumes, often designed by students, for discipline productions. It is well-equipped and well-stocked with costumes from various historical periods, the modern era, and fantasy creations. It features large costume storage areas, dressing rooms, and a makeup area. The costume shop employs work study-eligible students as well as Morris Student Administrative Fellow (MSAF) interns.
Theatre Publicity Office
The publicity office produces materials for discipline productions. It features two computers with InDesign and Photoshop for student workers to create posters, programs, and tickets. The publicity office employs work study-eligible students as well as MSAF interns.
The Rehearsal Hall primarily functions as a classroom for both theatre arts and dance. It features a wall of mirrors, ample natural lighting, and a space specifically built to be comparable to the size of both the Proscenium and Black Box stages.
The Green Room is an open, natural-lit space located adjacent to the Proscenium Theatre. In addition to being a haven for actors waiting to go onstage, it is the office location for faculty in theatre arts, communications, media and rhetoric, and art history, making it a popular spot for meeting.