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Helmerich School of Drama

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Welcome to OU Drama! The mission of the University of Oklahoma Helmerich School of Drama is to educate theatre artists, scholars, and teachers, preparing them to enter their professions with a knowledge of evolving industry standards; to perpetuate theatrical art by encouraging and nurturing the development of new artistic endeavors; and to provide a variety of theatrical productions and programs of excellence to Oklahoma audiences. 

The Helmerich School of Drama is committed to a policy of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in all its classes and productions.
We are committed to creating an equitable experience for all our students, faculty, and staff. 

We believe in the uniqueness of each member of our community. We are fueled by their diversity and strive to increase that diversity. 

We believe that the greatest art comes from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds, and experiences. 

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February 12, 2021

University of Oklahoma Drama Student Earns National Performing Arts Design Award

NORMAN, OKLA.— Clíona Smith, a senior design major in the Peggy V. Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma, won the Richard Hay Undergraduate Scene Design Award at a recent competition hosted by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. 

As winner of this award, Smith, from Atlanta, will exhibit her portfolio at the upcoming USITT Conference and Stage Exposition in March and receive a cash award. 

Smith submitted her scenic design portfolio on OU University Theatre’s productions of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Così fan tutte, and Cabaret, along with model building and artwork. Her additional design work while a student at OU includes Helmerich School of Drama Lab Theatre’s Men on Boats. 

“The entire School of Drama is so proud of Clíona,” stated Seth Gordon, Director, Helmerich School of Drama. “This award is among the most prestigious and competitive a design student can receive in this country. USITT is the main service organization in the design and technology field, and so for Clíona to receive this just as she enters the profession is a wonderful affirmation of her talent, hard work, and skill.” 

The USITT Scene Design Award honors a college student who displays a strong sense of design aesthetics and competency in a wide variety of scenic design-related skills. Candidates must demonstrate a strong execution of artistic and technical ability and display competency in the design process and the realized production. 

Jon Young, Helmerich School of Drama professor of scenic design, stated, “Clíona is a gifted student who has an insatiable work ethic. She is truly deserving of this national USITT award and the Design and Production faculty and staff are immensely proud of her.”  

USITT is the leader in life-long learning opportunities for the entertainment design and technology industry. Since 1960, USITT connects performing arts design and technology communities to ensure a vibrant dialogue among practitioners, educators, and students. Today, the Institute boasts thousands of members at all levels of their careers and has embraced the new technologies being used in entertainment. USITT is now the leader in life-long learning opportunities for the entertainment design and technology industry. 


Long before the University of Oklahoma was established, the land on which the University now resides was the traditional home of the “Hasinais” Caddo Nation and “Kirikirʔi:s” Wichita & Affiliated Tribes.

We acknowledge this territory once also served as a hunting ground, trade exchange point, and migration route for the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa and Osage nations. 

Today, 39 tribal nations dwell in the state of Oklahoma as a result of settler and colonial policies that were designed to assimilate Native people.

The University of Oklahoma recognizes the historical connection our university has with its indigenous community. We acknowledge, honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this land. We fully recognize, support and advocate for the sovereign rights of all of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations. This acknowledgement is aligned with our university’s core value of creating a diverse and inclusive community. It is an institutional responsibility to recognize and acknowledge the people, culture and history that make up our entire OU Community.