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Bradley’s Department of Theatre Arts offers an undergraduate curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre Arts with opportunities for concentrated studies in production. The mission of the Department of Theatre Arts is to educate theatre artists and their audiences in the intellectual foundations, global traditions, and creative processes of the art of theatre. Founded on the best traditions of comprehensive education, and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Department of Theatre Arts is committed to being a prominent educational theatre program nationally recognized for our global perspective, our commitment to excellence in creative expression and scholarship, and for providing a multifaceted educational experience within a nurturing, student-focused environment. The academic program is enhanced by an active, diverse, and challenging production program that offers Bradley students and the Central Illinois region theatrical experiences from across the spectrum of world dramatic literature.
Bradley offers two performance venues in the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts. There are five main stage productions a year in the 280 seat Meyer Jacobs Theatre, which produces an extremely diverse season of shows for the subscription audience. There is also a 70 seat Lab Theatre, which serves as the venue for a wide range of exciting student-directed works including new plays, original pieces and class projects.
Bradley University is a program of inclusion, dedicated to presenting culturally diverse theatre. In addition, Bradley is deeply committed to the concept of non-traditional casting, with many productions using ethnic-blind, cross-gender, or gender-neutral casting.
Theatre Production majors engage in courses such as:
- Makeup for the stage
- Stage lighting
- Special materials for costume design
- Theatre for children and creative dramatics
- Theatrical management
- Theatre arts expedition
The Iben Lectureship was created by Gretchen and Richard Iben to bring highly visible artists to campus. Every year, nationally and internationally recognized actors, directors, designers, and scholars augment the program with workshops, lectures, seminars, and performances. Recent Iben Lecturers include:
- Tony-Award winning director Mary Zimmerman
- Producing Artistic Director for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ed Stern
- Award winning choreographer and founder of the African-American Dance Ensemble; Chuck Davis
- Internationally acclaimed Dell’Arte Players founder; Joan Shirle
Each year, Bradley students present the University and the community with a full theatre season of plays, musicals, classics, children’s performances, and experimental offerings. In addition to these five annual productions, each fall the department also produces New Faces, a showcase performance highlighting the talents of the newest majors and other Bradley students interested in theatre. Students also have the opportunity to become involved with five dynamic student organizations sponsored by the theatre program:
- Improv and Sketch Comedy with Barbeque Kitten
- MET in the Lab Theatre
- Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Fraternity/Sorority