Theatre Program

The mission of Hardin-Simmons University Theatre is to provide a broad-based education in the core areas of theatre:  Directing, Performing, Design and Technical Theatre, Theatre History, and Theatre Education while supporting and incorporating the Christian faith. The Department aims to foster dedication and passion in our theatre students and provide the intellectual and experiential resources required to excel in educational, community, regional, and professional theatre endeavors.

Departmental goals are: (1) to establish and support a viable, substantial, and well-rounded undergraduate theatre program; (2) to conscientiously encourage theatre students to explore all career options in theatre including teaching, directing, performance, design, technical theatre, stage management, and arts management; (3) to support Christian faith in the creation and pursuit of the arts; (4) to help the student realize his/her potential in becoming an intelligent, responsible citizen as well as creative, responsive adult.

In addition to our performance-focused degrees, we also have a Theatre Education program. Our three theatre facilities ensure we have the right space for all of our performances.

Purchase Theatre Tickets

Or, call the box office, 325-670-1405, to purchase tickets.

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Victoria E Spangler-Associate Professor of Theatre at the College of Fine Arts

Victoria Spangler

Associate Professor of Theatre

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Majors

  • Theatre (B.A.)
  • Theatre (B.B.S.)
  • Theatre, Acting Track (B.F.A.)
  • Theatre, Musical Theatre Track (B.F.A.)
  • Theatre, Stage Management Track (B.F.A.)
  • Theatre, Theatre Design Track (B.F.A.)

Minors

  • Theatre Minor (B.A., B.B.S.)

WHY STUDY THEATRE AT HSU?

Kathryn Darwin directing a play at HSU.

Acting, directing, producing - all in one!

Theatre students will be personally involved and trained in every aspect of production – from performance to stage management to directing to technical and design. Producing eight shows a year allow numerous and rich opportunities for all Theatre students, including the opportunity to perform on stage beginning freshman year.

HSU Theatre students on Broadway

Travel Opportunities

The HSU Theatre program offers two unique travel opportunities for students. The department alternately travels to New York City and Edinburgh, Scotland every other year. The New York trip in June is filled with Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, workshops, conversations with professionals, and enough freedom to explore the area. The two-week trip in Scotland in August centers on the International Fringe Festival – the world’s largest theatre festival. Our students tour, perform, and see as many shows as they can up and down the Royal Mile.

Excellent Faculty

HSU Theatre instructors are first-rate. A small and select full-time faculty allow the Theatre department to supplement with numerous specialized teachers and professionals. The Theatre faculty includes a resident costumer, a dance teacher/choreographer, a master professor of technical theatre, a vocal instructor, and an associate professor whose specialties include acting, directing and theatre education.

Program Details

Students seeking admission into the BFA Program (Acting and Musical Theatre tracks only) must audition for acceptance. Students seeking admission into the BFA Program (Stage Management or Design/Theatre Technology) must schedule a departmental interview.

Audition/Interview Requirements for HSU Department of Theatre BFA/Scholarship Auditions

BFA – Acting

All applicants interested in auditioning for the BFA degree in Acting must select an audition date and prepare the following audition materials in addition to the required application forms online.

Acting Audition Requirements:

  • Perform two age-appropriate, contrasting contemporary monologues
  • Perform one classical piece
  • (Have a fourth monologue of your choice prepared if so requested)
  • Each monologue should be memorized and 60-90 seconds in length
  • Applicants should have read the entire play from which the monologue comes in order to comprehend the given circumstances of the character
  • A chair will be provided for your audition should it be needed

*Note: This will also count as a theatre scholarship audition


BFA – Musical Theatre

All applicants interested in auditioning for the BFA degree in Musical Theatre must select an audition date and prepare the following audition materials in addition to the required application forms online.

Musical Theatre Audition Requirements (an accompanist will be provided):

  • Perform two contrasting Broadway songs (one Golden Age and one contemporary) – 32 bars – have a third song prepared if requested
  • Please bring your sheet music clearly marked for the pianist
  • Perform two age-appropriate, contrasting contemporary monologues – memorized and 60-90 seconds each
  • At the end of the auditions, all Musical Theatre applicants will participate in a dance call – please bring appropriate dance attire.

*Note: This will also count as a theatre scholarship audition


BFA – Stage Management or Design/Theatre Technology

All interested applicants should contact Dr. Victoria Spangler at (325) 670-1404 or vspangler@hsutx.edu to schedule an interview

*Note: This interview will fulfill the requirement for theatre scholarship consideration


BA, BBS, and Theatre Minors

All applicants interested in applying for a theatre scholarship:

  • Perform one age-appropriate, contemporary monologue
  • Perform one classical piece
  • (Have a third monologue of your choice prepared if so requested)
  • Each monologue should be memorized and 60-90 seconds in length
  • Applicants should have read the entire play from which the monologue comes in order to comprehend the given circumstances of the character
  • A chair will be provided for your audition should it be needed

Any inquiries regarding these requirements should be made to Victoria Spangler at (325) 670-1404 or vspangler@hsutx.edu.

Bridget Mistrot

HSU graduates are working in their field. From New Hampshire to Virginia to Dallas to New York, our theatre grads are in demand. They are teaching, acting, stage managing, and designing. They work at schools, independent theatres, regional theatres, and touring companies. They are being accepted into the country’s top graduate programs. Armed with the skills, training, and experience that they need to succeed, they are soaring.Jess Westman Photo of an HSU theatre graduate attending grad school at Brooklyn College.

Theatre Scholarships are available to students majoring or minoring in theatre – audition required.

Students seeking admission into the BFA Program (Acting and Musical Theatre tracks only) must audition for acceptance.

Students seeking admission into the BFA Program (Theatre Education, Stage Management, and Design/Theatre Technology) must schedule a departmental interview.

(please follow the instructions below)

Audition Dates 2021-22 for BFA Program and Theatre Scholarships

  • November 5, 3-5 p.m.
  • February 4, 3-5 p.m.
  • February 5, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • April 8, 3-5 p.m.
  • April 9, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Please view the Requirements tab above for audition/interview guidelines.

You will be notified of your audition time the week prior to your audition. An accompanist, should you need one, will be provided at no cost. Should you have any questions please contact Victoria Spangler at (325) 670-1404.


1. Apply to Hardin-Simmons University

Apply online to Hardin-Simmons University using the Online Application.

2. Complete the Departmental Application

Non-Majors Applying for Theatre Scholarships

These forms must be submitted, either online or by mail, no later than 10 days prior to your audition date.

3. Determine the Need for Financial Aid

Visit the Hardin-Simmons University Financial Aid Website for more information on other scholarship opportunities.

Pops at the Pond,  Sept. 17, 5:30 p.m., no admission charge 

Outdoor musical showcase on Anderson Lawn, featuring music and theatre students. Bring a picnic basket, a blanket or lawn chairs! Appropriate for all ages.

Blithe Spirit, Sept. 30, Oct. 1-3, Van Ellis Theatre: 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2;  2 p.m. on Oct. 3

By Noel Coward. A spiritualist medium holds a seance for a writer suffering from writer’s block but accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife, which leads to an increasingly complex love triangle with his current wife of five years. Directed by Dr. Victoria Spangler. Best suited for ages 10 and above.

Sweet Charity,  Nov. 4-7., Behrens Auditorium: 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, 5, 6; 2 p.m. on the Nov. 7

By Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, and Dorothy Fields. This classic 1960’s musical tells the story of a New York taxi dancer who is open-hearted but unlucky in love. High energy, lots of dance, and great music! Directed by Teri Wilkerson. Appropriate for all ages.

DirectFest Fall ’21, Nov. 19, 20, Van Ellis Theatre: 7:30 p.m.

Students in the Directing I class have the opportunity to produce and direct their own 15-minute shows for two evenings of unique and varied theatre.

You Can’t Take It With You, Feb. 17-20, Van Ellis Theatre: 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17-19; 2 p.m. on Feb. 20

By Kaufman and Hart. An eccentric family allows each member to pursue his own ambition in the home, but their routine is disrupted when a daughter with a regular job wants to bring her fiancé and his Wall Street family to dinner. Classic American comedy by two well-loved American writers. Directed by Dr. Stace Gaddy. Appropriate for all ages.

Christian University Theatre Festival (CUTF), March 7-9, hosted in Van Ellis Theatre   

Theatre students from McMurry, ACU, Lubbock Christian, and Howard Payne will come together for three days of performances and workshops. HSU will perform You Can’t Take It With You. Open to the public. The list of shows will be available as we get closer to the festival.

Director’s Cut, March (exact date and title TBD), Lab Theatre

The purpose of the Down Centre Stage Laboratory Theatre is to give the students an opportunity to practice and demonstrate the skills that they are learning in class. The Director’s Cut series are student driven productions that go beyond the scope and requirements of class work but are not as complex as a fully realized mainstage production. The focus of the Director’s Cut is on the process, be it directing or design or acting.

24 Hour Shakespeare, March (date TBD), Van Ellis Theatre

Students present a somewhat abbreviated version of one of Shakespeare’s plays, all prepared in 24 hours. Title will be revealed on Friday at 6 p.m.; that’s when the students begin their rehearsal process. Performance will be on a Saturday evening at 7 p.m. This performance will be a fundraiser for our HSU Theatre Travel Fund. Appropriate for all ages.

[title of show], April 7-10, Van Ellis Theatre: 7:30 p.m. on April7- 9; 2 p.m. on April 10

By Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell. Jeff and Hunter, two struggling writers, hear about a new musical theatre festival. However, the deadline for submissions is just three weeks away. The show chronicles its own creation as an entry in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and follows the struggles of the author and composer/lyricist and their two actress friends during the initial brief (three-week) creative period, along with subsequent events leading up to the show’s production. Directed by Dr. Chris Hollingsworth. Best suited for ages 13  to adult.

DirectFest Spring ’22, April 27-30, Van Ellis Theatre: 7:30 p.m. each evening

The Spring Directing I class has the opportunity to produce and direct their own 15- minute shows.

NEW YORK IN JUNE!!!  Since we didn’t get to travel to Scotland in 2020 OR 2021, we are planning a week in NYC in May 2022. Broadway is opening back up!

Ticket Prices and Showtimes

Evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m.

For all plays

  • General Admission $10
  • Military, seniors and students $5
  • HSU faculty, staff, and students free

For musicals: Sweet Charity and [title of show]

  • General Admission $15
  • Military, seniors and students $10
  • HSU Faculty, staff and students $5

Purchase tickets by calling the Van Ellis Theatre box office (325-670-1405) or online at the link at the top of this page.

Victoria E Spangler-Associate Professor of Theatre at the College of Fine ArtsVictoria Spangler holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from McMurry University, Master of Arts in Theatre from Texas A&M Commerce, and a doctorate in Theatre at Texas Tech. She serves as our Artistic Director University Theatre; Department Head, Associate Professor of Theatre.
Kelly MurpheyKelly Murphey holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Abilene Christian University and an M.F.A. in Design from Texas Tech University. He is an Assistant Professor of Design and Design, teaching Intro to Theatre, Lighting, Stagecraft and Scene Design.
Dr. Stace GaddyDr. Stace Gaddy holds a B.A. in Theatre from Texas State, an M.A. in Theory and Analysis from Texas State, and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois State in Speech Communication and Playwriting. He serves as an adjunct professor at HSU, teaching Voice and Diction, Audition Techniques, and Directing II.
Teri WilkersonTeri Wilkerson received her Dance Masters Certification in 1985 and opened her dance studio, Dance Discovery, that same year. She serves as our adjunct Instructor of Dance.
Richard TranskiRichard Transki attended Angelo State University majoring in Speech and Drama. He serves as our resident Costume Designer.
Trey SpiveyTrey Spivey received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from McMurry University. He is currently serving his second year as our Assistant Technical Director.

The Department of Theatre is a member of:

  • Texas Educational Theatre Association
  • Texas Non-Profit Theatre Association
  • Kennedy Center American Collegiate Theatre Festival
  • International Collegiate Theatre Festival
  • Student chapter of the Alpha Psi Omega National Dramatic Fraternity