BFA Theatre Studies: Playwriting, Directing, & Dramaturgy

Image note: Assistant Teaching Professor and director, Latrelle Bright gives last minute notes to Connor Kamradt and Theo Mynka during Cabaret rehearsals.

Theatre is about relationships and collaboration: Relationships between actors, between actors and the director and between the audience and the world the playwright has created. Long before any opening night, there’s the relationship between the playwright and the words on the page, the collaboration between the playwright and the director as those words are illuminated upon the stage and between the dramaturg, playwright and director who work in unison to create a deeper understanding of the work, the ideas and the world the audience is about to encounter.  

The Theatre Studies concentration allows students to study the core cluster of playwriting, directing and dramaturgy, along with the many other facets of theatre. In consultation with your advisor and faculty mentors, students may also integrate study abroad and professional internships as part of their degree program and have the opportunity to pursue other academic minors or even secondary areas of study that can augment their work in theatre studies. The flexible curriculum in Theatre Studies allows for a high degree of individual exploration. 

This exploration may also include the areas of: 

  • Devising, Adaptation, Documentary and Immersive Theatre 
  • Social Issues and Racial Justice Theatre 
  • Theatre History and Theory & Criticism  
  • Arts Management 

Theatre Studies students have numerous opportunities to employ the practical applications of theatre by participating in: 

  • The Armory Free Theatre Season (Student Produced Productions) 
  • The Brown Theatre Collective (Plays for and by BIPOC) 
  • Impulse 24/7 (Our 24-Hour Play Festival) 
  • INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre 
  • SPOT (Student Playwright Outreach Theatre) 
  • Sunday Shorts (New Short Works) 
  • Theatre Studies New Works Festival (Creating and Sharing of New Works) 
  • Scholastic Presentations for the Undergraduate Research Symposium

As juniors and seniors, students gain further knowledge by being assigned as Assistants to the Director and Assistant Dramaturgs for main stage and studio productions. The immersion of working with resident and guest directors helps students appreciate diverse directing styles and the types of research needed from dramaturgs to help inform a production.   

Along with the education from a world-class university, graduating with a BFA in Theatre Studies has allowed our students to pursue careers as arts administrators, directors, writers, critics, casting directors, theatre company managers and theatre company founders. Other graduates have used their four years in Theatre Studies to hone their interest in order to pursue advanced degrees in theatre and many other areas. With its broad-based approach, Theatre Studies prepares students for their entry into the world of theatre.



For more information, please contact Thom Miller at

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre addresses complex, timely and often difficult social issues that connect deeply to the university community(ies) and beyond, through performances followed by post-performance audience dialogues.

Recognizing the event of live theatre as a rare and non-trivial dynamic juncture in a social space occupied not only by people but also by possibility, INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre commits itself to the cultivation of this social space for rich civic dialogue vital to the wellness of community.

We insist that theatre ask radically effective questions.

With an eye on civic engagement and social justice, we concern ourselves with where and how change might be made.

The program provides an opportunity for students to be actively engaged in creating, originating and performing social issues theatre through the student driven INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre ensemble and through other courses which students may take for academic credit.

All of our classes are taught by practitioners in the field and we often host international guest artists as part of our programming.

We value culture production and with an eye on, and challenge to, unquestioned cultural consumption.

INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre is sponsored by the Counseling Center and Illinois Theatre at the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign.

Learn more: 

Contact: Lisa Fay  | Program Coordinator and Ensemble Director |INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre program

*IMAGE CREDITS: INNER VOICES Social Issues Theatre, from MANFESTO; foreground Deja Harrell; background Natasha Kalafatis*