Why Choose EIU?
Actively Engaged - From the start!
From the moment you begin as a Theatre Arts Major or Minor, you will find yourself immersed in the program, with the ability to participate both onstage and behind the scenes. Our program focuses on the undergraduate student, and our philosophy is that the best way for you to master your craft is to be actively engaged from the onset – both in the classroom and in production. You’ll be engaged; you’ll be busy! And you’ll be doing what you love. And all the while, you’ll be learning and growing as a theatre artist.
The Department of Theatre Arts at EIU is also an active participant in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. Students are selected from entered productions to compete in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition at the Regional Festival in January. In addition, students have the opportunity to present and compete in the areas of design, dramaturgy, playwriting, and theatre criticism. KC/ACTF is a wonderful opportunity to participate in workshops, network with fellow students and organizations, and see shows that have been produced across our four-state region.
Greek tragedy 'Medea'
A photo slideshow from the Daily Eastern News.
A Diverse Production Season
We strive to offer our students a wide and inclusive range of theatrical styles of production during their time here at EIU. Our season selections come from such diverse genres as musicals, classical and period plays, contemporary dramas and comedies, and children’s theatre. In addition to our six-show season, each year, the Department of Theatre Arts also produces a Children’s Theatre Tour that travels to area schools. Other opportunities can be found in the performances of Hello Dali, our Improv Comedy Troupe, Lunchbox Voodoo, our Sketch Comedy Troupe, and through EIU Dancers, which is co-sponsored by the Departments of Theatre Arts and Kinesiology.
Students also have the opportunity to direct and design in our season. We routinely offer an Evening of Student Directed One Acts as part of our season. Students who have completed our course in Directing are invited to apply for this opportunity. Students with an interest in design are also invited to apply for design assignments, and are encouraged to enter their work in the Design Competition at the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.
A Christmas Carol - Behind the Scenes
In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, see how a crew of Eastern staff and students brings a Christmas favorite to the stage.
State of the Art Facilities
The EIU Department of Theatre Arts is housed in the newly renovated Doudna Fine Arts Center. Our home since 2008, the Lumpkin Theatre Wing houses The Theatre, a 290-seat proscenium, the Black Box, a flexible space that can be configured in various arrangement from arena to thrust to proscenium, and the Movement Studio, which is a flexible performance laboratory. In addition to a traditional classroom, our instructional spaces include fully equipped scene and costume shops, a drafting lab, computer lab, and a makeup lab, which is located in the Gabbard Green Room.