University of South Florida

School of Theatre & Dance

College of the Arts

Theatre Programs Overview

The stage is a venue for you to engage and enchant audiences with stories that matter. It’s a place where teamwork, creativity, and hard work thrive. The stage is opportunity, and it’s yours for the taking at TheatreUSF. 

The University of South Florida’s theatre program prepares and inspires students for a career in theatre. For over 50 years, our exclusively undergraduate program has developed critically aware and skilled theatre practitioners. Our mission is to educate students in the art of theatre, to conduct original research, and to engage the university and Tampa Bay communities through interesting and challenging productions.

TheatreUSF offers intensive studies and practical experience in the areas of performance, design, and theatre arts. Students acquire knowledge of and produce a vast variety of theatre, from the classics to contemporary works, involving both text-based and physical theatre approaches. You will form close working relationships with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty, broaden your view of theatre by exploring other cultures and ideas of performance. Want to write for theatre? We encourage you to join the Lily Dishman Playwriting Program, where you will learn the techniques and have the opportunity to share your original work.

A strong guest artist program further enriches students’ education. Supported by over 3.8 million dollars in endowments from the British International Theatre Program and Holloway Endowed Chair Fund, the school has brought in accomplished directors, actors, playwrights, designers, and more to augment our academic offerings through workshops and numerous productions. Additional endowment support for programming and scholarship is made available through the Theatre Honors Program and the rotating Macy's Distinguished Guest Artist Fund.

The theatre program has been certified as a Global Pathway program. Global Pathway programs have significant global content and align with the goals of USF’s Quality Enhancement Plan, the Global Citizens Project. Students in Global Pathway programs are well positioned to earn the Global Citizen Award and become eligible to apply for a study abroad scholarship offered by the Global Citizens Project.

TheatreUSF offers the following degree programs:

Special Programs

The endowed British International Theatre Program brings three or more professional artists from the United Kingdom to work with students for six to eight weeks each spring semester.

Students work with internationally renowned artists through the John W. Holloway Endowed Chair in Dance and Theatre. The program provides annual funds for guest artist residencies, and has brought experts in design, directing, acting, writing, and musical theatre.

Comprising a one-year sequence of courses, the Theatre Honors Program admits exceptional upper-level theatre majors. Students complete a reading seminar, a guest artist practicum, and a student thesis project. Thesis projects have included original student pieces and student-directed/designed productions.

The Lily Dishman Playwriting Program provides focused study and professional opportunities in playwriting. Emerging student playwrights present public and free staged readings of their original work every semester.

  • William Leavengood teaching students playwriting in a live reading of their works.

    Theatre Arts

    Students in the theatre arts concentration build their own degree program from a broad spectrum of theatre courses, including performance, design, technical theatre, playwriting, and more

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    Theatre Design

    Students pursuing the theatre design concentration can specialize in costume, lighting, or set design. Upper-level design students acquire practical experience designing for mainstage productions.

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  • Students dance in unison during a performance of the play "Hairspray."

    Theatre Performance

    Students in the theatre performance concentration hone their skills in class and various productions. Auditions are required to be admitted into the upper-level acting sequence.

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