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About Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama

court scene during performance of To Kill A Mockingbird

The University of Oklahoma Helmerich School of Drama, the second oldest in the nation, offers performance-centered, professional programs designed to prepare students to successfully move forward to the next level of their career development. All School of Drama undergraduate programs lead toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) in Drama. Degree tracks include: Acting, Design (Scenic, Lighting, or Costume), Dramaturgy (History, Dramaturgy, Directing, and Playwriting), Stage Management, and Scenic Technology. All Drama students must declare the 1007F Theatre degree as their major.

Scholarships are available to qualified students and are awarded on a competitive basis. OU's general scholarship application - including the FAFSA - should be submitted prior to March 1. All students planning to attend The University of Oklahoma are eligible to apply. The School of Drama awards its own scholarships ranging from $500.00 to $6,000.00. These scholarships are merit based and are awarded after on-campus audition/interview upon acceptance into the program.

Our theatre season consists of eight main stage productions each academic year including drama, musicals, opera, and dance. In addition, we produce six to eight productions in our Lab Theatre and E. Frank Gilson Studio located in the Beatrice Carr Wallace Old Science Hall.

Admission to the Helmerich School of Drama is by audition, portfolio review, or interview, and conditional upon formal application and admission to The University of Oklahoma. Students are encouraged to complete and submit admission materials and audition or interview as early as possible during their senior year. The School of Drama admits a total of 48 freshmen and transfer students in Acting, Design, Dramaturgy, Stage Management, and Scenic Technology each year.

Undergraduate students in the Helmerich School of Drama, regardless of track area, are required to take a broad range of core classes their first year. The purpose of this is to provide each student with a strong background in all areas of theatre before entering their specific degree track. Having a diverse theatrical education equips School of Drama graduates for employment in professional environments or further academic study.

All freshmen Drama majors will be immediately involved in the production process. All undergraduate drama majors, including freshmen, are cast regularly and given their own dramaturgy, design, technology, and management assignments.Undergraduate students will be formally admitted into one of five tracks at the end of their freshmen year.

The areas offered by the Helmerich School of Drama are:

  • Acting
  • Design
  • Dramaturgy
  • Stage Management
  • Technical Production