Theatre Program

The Theatre Department at Hardin-Simmons University provides our students with the opportunity to examine the various theories and styles of the theatre and offers them opportunities to experience creatively and critically the artistic skills of this discipline.

It is the mission of the Department of Theatre to provide the serious student of the theatre a Christian environment which will reflect the ideas, dreams, and conflicts of humanity and to provide perspectives from which understanding and insight might be gained for a more meaningful life through the art of theatre.

It is the purpose of the department to lead students to achieve originality, creativity, imagination, and perspective with practicality that will enable them to perform all their tasks in the theatre and live with more self-confidence.

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.

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Larry Wheeler-Department Head of Theatre, Associate Professor of Theatre

Larry Wheeler

Department Head of Theatre, 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.)
  • Theatre Education EC-12 (B.F.A)

Minors

  • Theatre Minor (B.A., B.B.S.)

WHY STUDY THEATRE AT HSU?

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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.

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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.

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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 (Theatre Education, Stage Management, and 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 – Theatre Education, Stage Management, and 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.

Photo of an HSU theatre graduate attending grad school at Brooklyn College.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.
A black and white photo of a theatre cast gathered together.
Acting head shot of HSU theatre graduate Michael Fosha.

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 for BFA Program and Theatre Scholarships

  • Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 (9 a.m.–12 p.m.)
  • Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 (1–5 p.m.)
  • Friday, Feb.21, 2020 (1–5 p.m.)
  • Friday, April 3, 2020 (1–5 p.m.)
  • Saturday, April 4, 2020 (9 a.m.–12 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 or F. Larry Wheeler at (325) 670-1511.


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.

THEA 1333 Intro. To Theatre 3
THEA 2303 Voice and Diction 3
THEA 2334 Acting I 3
THEA 2335 Stagecraft 3
THEA 3337 Theatre Lighting 3
THEA 3338 Costume Design 3
THEA 3339 Scene Design 3
THEA 4303 Modern Drama 3
THEA 4345 Theatre History: Greeks to 18th Century 3
THEA 4346 Theatre History: 18th Century to Present 3
THEA 4337 Directing 3
THEA 4341 Theatre Management 3
THEA 1131,1132,1133,1134 Workshop 4
Minor (Minimum 18 Credits) 18
Major 40
Foundational Curriculum 55
Electives 11
Total 124
THEA 1333 Intro. To Theatre 3
THEA 2303 Voice and Diction 3
THEA 2334 Acting I 3
THEA 2335 Stagecraft 3
THEA 3337 Theatre Lighting 3
THEA 3338 Costume Design 3
THEA 3339 Scene Design 3
THEA 4303 Modern Drama 3
THEA 4345 Theatre History: Greeks to 18th Century 3
THEA 4346 Theatre History: 18th Century to Present 3
THEA 4337 Directing 3
THEA 4341 Theatre Management 3
THEA 1131,1132,1133,1134 Workshop 4
Minor (Minimum 18 Credits) 18
Major 40
Foundational Curriculum 55
Electives 11
Total 124

Sept. 27: 5:30 p.m
We start our performance year with – Pops at the Pond! A musical picnic event at the duck pond.

October 2—5 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.
WORKING,  musical by Stephen Schwartz, based on a book by Studs Terkel.  Chronicles the lives of working Americans in a 24 hour period.   It was updated in 2012 for a modern age, featuring new songs by Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as favorites by Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia and James Taylor. Directed by Victoria Spangler

November 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
This Random World by Stephen Dietz, who teaches playwriting and directing at the University of Texas.   What if, in life, “there are only accidents”—leaving all of us to make the best with the random materials we’re given?  Directed by adjunct instructor Teri Wilkerson.  This will be the play that we take to Scotland for the Fringe Festival in August 2020.

November 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. 
The Night of January 16th , by Russian-American author Ayn Rand. Set in a courtroom during a murder trial, an unusual feature of the play is that members of the audience are chosen to play the jury. Co-directed by Ben Burke and Hanna Hayes

February 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.
Director’s Cut—Bridgett Mistrot’s selection will be determined this summer.

February 5-8 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 8-9 matinees at 2 p.m.
THE SECRET GARDEN by Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman.  Enchanting musical about love and reawakening. Directed by Dr. Chris Hollingsworth.

March 2-4
HSU will host the Christian University Theatre Festival.  The Secret Garden will perform.

March 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Starlight Extravaganza, a dinner-cabaret event; musical fundraiser for Scotland travel.

April 1-4 at 7:30 p.m. and April 5 at 2 p.m.
A Comedy of Errors by Williams Shakespeare. Slapstick, mistaken identity and iambic pentameter! Adjunct Instructor Jenni Harbour will be the guest director.

April 29, 30, and May 1, 2, at 7:30 p.m.
DirectFest 2020, a slate of plays directed and produced by the students of Directing I.

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
  • Festival of New American Musicals
  • Student chapter of the Alpha Psi Omega National Dramatic Fraternity