At Rollins, you’ll learn more than how to play a part on stage—you’ll learn to become an active participant in the world. Recently ranked among the nation’s top BA theatre programs, our curriculum offers rigorous and individualized theatrical training in a dynamic liberal arts environment, where your performances are strengthened with insights from psychology, English, sociology, art, music, and history.
The on-campus Annie Russell Theatre—Florida’s oldest continually operating theatre—is your main stage and primary classroom where you’ll hone your craft in front of a paying audience. You can choose to concentrate in performance, design and technical theatre, directing, musical theatre, or dramaturgy. Along the way, you’ll develop the technical know-how and life skills that will prepare you to create, shape, and share stories of substance and meaning in fields as varied as entertainment and business.
Why Study Theatre Arts at Rollins
The Rooms Where It Happens
Whether it’s on stage, backstage, in the costume studio, or the scene shop, our state-of-the-art spaces are where stories come to life.
From performing in, directing, and designing for everything from golden-age musicals to student-written pieces, you’ll have many opportunities to hone your craft in front of an audience.
Deeply Connected Learning
You’ll be invited to jump in and take risks in the classroom, on our stages, with our community partners, and on our international field studies.
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“My adventure in the theater department was a true work-study experience. On one hand I was exposed to all elements of theater: history, stagecraft, directing, acting, all helping to lay a foundation of learning. On the other, I had this unique opportunity to make theater for a paying audience. The chance to create shows and work with vibrant students and professors was an awakening about how theater is made and what it really takes to do it well.”
Rollins Theatre Arts Careers
Rollins theatre arts grads are making tomorrow happen at some of the world’s most innovative companies.
Janis Hirsch ’72
Sitcom Writer/Producer, Frasier, Will & Grace, The Nanny
Megan Borkes ’10
Actor, original cast of Tales of Beedle the Bard, Universal Studios
Isabella Ward ’15
Dancer and Actress, National Broadway Tour of Cinderella the Musical
Akin Ritchie ’11
Resident Lighting Designer, Virginia Arts Festival
Michael Schantz ’05
Actor and Director; Co-Founder, Wheelhouse Theatre Company
Kathleen Capdesuñer ’17
Directing Fellow, Roundabout Theatre Company
Real World Experience
From community engagement courses to internships, theatre arts students hone their skills in the real world.
As artists in a liberal arts environment, you’ll explore the rich variety of courses within our department, where you’ll find small classes, one-on-one advising, and a commitment to flexibility and responsiveness.
THE 225 Improvisational Theatre I: Fundamentals
Investigate the foundational concepts and principles of improvisational theater that enable collaborative, spontaneous play. Emphasis is given to narrative, scenic structure, and team-based creativity.
THE 112 Fundamentals of Theatrical Design
Learn the creative process fundamental to designing for the stage, with a focus on visual communication and critical response, through drawing, painting, collage, and research.
THE 255 Acting for Musical Theatre I
Delve into lyric analysis and the history and context of different writing styles, including classical aria, 19th-century patter song, American standard, and Broadway and West End musicals.
THE 333 Directing I: Fundamentals
Study directing terminology, formulation of ground plan, communication with actors, and concepts such as visual pause, beats, and blocking.
THE 337 Voice III-Dialects
Examine the process of speech mechanics associated with patterns of speech other than Standard American, and you’ll nail that Irish brogue by the end.
THE 336 Theatre for Social Change
Explore modern theatrical practices that utilize performance to facilitate social awareness and change, and consider a variety of performance practices, such as theater of the oppressed, psycho/sociodrama, and playback theater.
A Day in the Life of a Rollins Theatre Arts Major
“Being a theatre major at Rollins is inspiring; every day I am lucky enough to work alongside my closest friends to produce phenomenal shows in the longest-running (and most beautiful) theatre in Central Florida all the while perfecting my craft and growing as an artist.”
Virtual Tour: Annie Russell Theatre
Go behind the scenes of the Annie Russell Theatre, and find out what it’s like to perform on its iconic stage.
Beyond the Classroom
Rollins Improv Players Committed to service and entertainment through performance, this on-campus improv troupe engages the Rollins community in challenging, provocative subject matter ripe for discussion and discovery.
International Field Studies Ongoing international experiences at the Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic and Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival encourage exposure to different perspectives and approaches.
Theatre and Autism This innovative course created in partnership with OCA, a nonprofit organization for people with special needs, allows you to put your skills to the test in the real world while serving our community.
Take a deeper dive into theatre at Rollins by seeing some of our grads in action.
Experts in their field and respected members of the professional theatre community, our group of educators stand ready to make an investment in your development as an artist and a scholar.
Department of Theatre & Dance
Missy Barnes, MFA
Areas of focus: Musical theatre performance and history, psycho-physical education
David Charles, PhD
Areas of focus: Scholarly and performance work in improv and non-scripted theatre
Lisa Cody-Rapport, MFA
Costume & Scenic Design
Areas of focus: Collaborative intersections of art and theatre, particularly in set, costume, makeup, and the fundamentals of design
Hilary Cooperman, PhD
Performance Theory & Practice
Areas of focus: Performance as theory and practice, peacebuilding through theatre
Marianne DiQuattro, PhD
Theater Literature & History
Areas of focus: Intersection of dramatic literature and phenomenology, theatre and disability
Director of Dance
Areas of focus: The interconnectedness of movement with multiple disciplines, aesthetics, criticism, historical, and cross-cultural perspectives
Jennifer Jones Cavenaugh, PhD
Theatre History & Criticism
Areas of focus: Gender and performance, theater history, and script analysis
Robert Miller, MFA
Sound Design, Technical Direction
Areas of focus: Technical direction, sound design, rigging, pneumatics, and structural design for the stage
Thomas Ouellette, MFA
Areas of focus: Acting and directing philosophies and approaches
Eric Zivot, MFA
Areas of focus: Voice and speech, movement for the stage, and acting for film