The Acting degree is for the undergraduate student interested in pursuing a career as a performer in professional theatre, television, or film. An undergraduate actor at the OU School of Drama may take up to ten acting classes throughout their tenure in the program, some of which focus on Character and Scene Study, Shakespeare and Classical Works, Departures from Realism, Performing New Plays, and the Audition Process.
Each year the program offers students multiple opportunities to work and design for realized productions within the Schools of Drama, Musical Theatre, Dance and Music. Typically students will begin designing for a theatrical production in their second year of the program and future design assignments will mirror the student’s progression within the design program. Production is viewed as a laboratory extension of the curriculum taught in the design courses. Each Design and Production student will be hired into a production shop as an Undergraduate Assistant with increasing responsibilities during their four years in the program.
The cornerstone of the Design and Production program is a low student to faculty ratio, which allows for individualized training and attention during their time in the program. Design and Production students also learn basic skills in acting and directing as well as play structure, script analysis and theatre history. These are necessary for a complete education in theatre. The University of Oklahoma is a recognized four-star research institution that provides a thorough liberal arts education, which enables the student to develop an understanding of the world at large.
Above all, the design program prepares students for creative and meaningful professional lives in a broad range of jobs in professional theatre, dance, opera, film and industrial and theme park venues
The Design Faculty, who may assist you in finding opportunities, encourages summer internship/professional work. Students have enjoyed working during their summer for institutions such as: Cirque Du Soleil, Ohio Light Opera, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, Bay Street Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, PCPA, Music Theatre Wichita, The Santa Fe Opera, Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Stagecraft institute of Las Vegas, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Recent alumni have been employed On Broadway: The Band’s Visit, Disaster, Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Casa Valentina, The Little Foxes, The Lion King and Present Laughter; by Regional Theatres such as: The Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Theatre Center, Dallas Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Arena Stage, PCPA, Signature Theatre, Disney Live, Walt Disney World, Feld Entertainment, Folger Theatre, The Muny, Arden Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, Rounabout Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth, Onley Theatre, Ogunquit Playhouse, The Public Theatre, and The Paper Mill Playhouse. Some graduates have also chosen to pursue TV and Film careers and worked on productions such as August Osage County, Bringing Up Bobby, Rudderless, Monster Tails, BlindSpot, Giotti, and Yellow
The Dramaturgy degree at the Helmerich School of Drama is an excellent foundation for the undergraduate student interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in dramaturgy, theatre history, directing, or playwriting. Professional dramaturges work with playwrights on the development of new plays, and can also work alongside directors during the production process of an established play. The School of Drama prides itself on recognizing this burgeoning field and being one of the few universities around the country to offer this degree to Bachelor of Fine Arts students. Learn more from Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas: lmda.org.
The Stage Management program at OU offers in-depth, rigorous training in both the classroom and the theatre in order to prepare students for graduate studies or work in the professional world. The program aims to develop individualized, creative artists with personal approaches to their work. The School of Drama creates a supportive and stimulating environment that allows each student to develop the confidence and flexibility necessary to meet the challenges of production.
All stage management students take OU General Education Requirements, the School of Drama core, and a Stage Management track, consisting of Stage Management, Advanced Stage Management, Theatre Management, four semesters of Stage Management Studio and eight semesters of Stage Management Seminar, supplemented by design & technology courses. There is also flexibility in the curriculum's advised electives to focus a student's interests.
Stage management students should expect to assistant stage manage and/or stage manage at least one production per semester, with opportunities in all performance genres: straight plays, ballet, modern dance, opera, and musical theatre. All production assignments are graded and receive credit, either on their own or as a laboratory section of another course. It is imperative that stage management students bring strong organizational & time management skills, otherwise production assignments will be affected by poor academic performance.
Summer internship/professional work is encouraged by the stage management faculty, who may assist you in finding such opportunities. Stage management students have enjoyed working during their summers between academic years for institutions such as the Barrington Stage Company, Alley Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Second Stage (NYC), Great River Shakespeare Festival, Music Theater of Wichita, Santa Fe Opera, Trinity Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Recent alumni have been employed by Cirque du Soleil, Santa Fe Opera, Manhattan Theatre Club, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Tinc Productions, LLC (NYC), Aurora Productions (NYC), Dallas Theatre Center, Arena Stage, PCPA, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Stage West Theatre (Ft. Worth, TX), playbill.com, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Paper Mill Playhouse. Some graduates have also chosen to pursue advanced & professional degrees in stage management, library & information studies, and nursing.
The Scenic Technology degree serves undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in technical direction and related positions. The entertainment industry is broad and growing, and alumni have opportunities to work in commercial and nonprofit theatre, festivals, theme and amusement parks, stadiums, concert venues, nightclubs, and trade and conference centers. Students who graduate with this emphasis go on to pursue careers as production managers, technical directors, shop managers, facilities managers, crafts persons, stage hands, and technicians.