Theatre Program

Earn your bachelor’s in Theatre degree and explore your passion for the stage in a well-rounded program boasting a 100% employment rate. As a Theatre major at Hardin-Simmons University, you’ll prepare for multiple roles and careers in theatre — from acting to directing to design. Whatever your personal and professional aspirations are, reach them with HSU’s Theatre program.

As one of the leading Theatre degree programs inspired by Christian faith, Hardin-Simmons University provides unique opportunities to combine your love of theatre with your faith and values. Our Theatre degree graduates are always in high demand both on and off the stage. We focus on skills like accurate communication, building a strong work ethic, and adaptability — traits that are desired in every industry, not just theatre.

A Theatre Degree That’s Uniquely You

Theatre is an incredibly diverse career field. That’s why we’ve designed a Theatre program with multiple educational tracks to prepare you for the career of your dreams. Choose between the following tracks:

  • Acting
  • Musical theatre
  • Stage management
  • Theatre design

We also offer a Theatre minor to complement your major with skills in performing, managing, and design. If you’re interested in teaching theatre to students from elementary to high school, you should explore our Theatre Education degree.

Purchase Theatre Tickets

Program Contact

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

Victoria Spangler

Associate Professor of Theatre

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Why Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Hardin-Simmons?

HSU Students acting in a play.

A Well-Rounded Theatre Degree

Regardless of which track you choose for your theatre degree, you’ll receive experience in every facet of production — from acting to producing to technical design. Our theatre department produces six to eight shows a year, giving you many opportunities to practice new roles and see which ones are right for you.

Victoria Spangler directing a theatre practice.

Caring and Experienced Faculty

With smaller class sizes, our theatre program lets you receive the attention and support of our highly skilled faculty mentors. Faculty members specialize in design, dance/choreography, technical theatre, direction, and acting. From your first day to well beyond graduation, you’ll benefit from their expertise and assistance finding the most rewarding jobs for theatre majors like you.

Two HSU Theatre graduates.

Exceptional Career Preparation

We take great pride in our theatre degree program graduates and their many successes. On top of our 100% employment rate, many of our students find satisfying jobs for theatre majors within six months of graduation. Thanks to our diverse curriculum and focus on practical experience, our alumni are in high demand in graduate programs and professional organizations around the country.

Dani performing in a theatre show.

What Can You Do With a Theatre Degree?

Theatre majors work in many different settings: film, television, the stage, writing, and education. Many of our theatre program graduates are accepted into prestigious graduate programs to continue their theatre education. The fundamental skills and knowledge you’ll accrue as you earn your degree in theatre will translate to many other careers outside of acting and directing, including managing, writing, and design.

Many jobs for theatre majors also offer excellent job security. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for actors is predicted to grow 32% over the next decade, more than triple that of most occupational fields. The BLS also predicts that employment for producers and directors will grow 24%, adding about 16,000 new jobs each year.

Jobs for Theatre Majors

What can you do with a theatre degree? These are just a few of your options.

  • Actor
  • Writer
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Teacher
  • Theatre manager
  • Costume and makeup artist
  • Dance choreographer
  • Voice actor and singer
  • Instrumental musician
  • Lighting specialist
  • Prop creator and manager
  • Set and stage designer
  • Stage manager
  • Costume designer
  • Box Office manager
  • Social Media promotions

Travel the World With Your Degree in Theatre

HSU’s theatre degree program gives you several exciting opportunities to travel the world with other theatre majors to see performances and gain real-world experience performing for others. Trips you’ll be able to take include:

  • New York City: This trip is filled with Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, workshops, and conversations with professionals. You’ll also have extra time to explore the city on your own.
  • Edinburgh, Scotland: Spend two weeks in Scotland at the International Fringe Festival — the world’s largest theatre festival. You’ll get to tour, perform, and see as many shows as you can as you travel up and down the Royal Mile.

In addition to these yearly trips, you’ll also have campus-wide opportunities for study abroad, including Summer I/II courses in Spain, an entire Spring semester in London, and more.

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. Auditions dates are:

  • November 4 & 5, 2022
  • February 17 & 18, 2023
  • March 31 & April 1, 2023

Application for BFA Entrance Audition and/or Theatre Scholarship

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.

Our theatre program offers several scholarships that students can audition for. If you have any questions about the scholarship application process, please contact Victoria Spangler at (325) 670-1404. You may also be eligible for general university scholarships. Learn more about scholarships at Hardin-Simmons University.

Purchase Theatre Tickets

Pops at the Pond,  Sept. 16, 5:30 p.m., no admission charge
Anderson Lawn

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

A Divine Kerfuffle, Oct. 6-9 (7:30 p.m. on Oct.6-8; 2 p.m. on Oct. 9
Van Ellis Theatre
By H. Russ Brown. The year is 1895 and Sarah Bernhardt is the greatest actress to ever grace the Victorian stage!  The “Divine Sarah” fears, however, her once bright star may be fading with all the attention suddenly being lavished on a talented, younger rival. The stage is set for the ultimate showdown as the two dueling divas cross wits and blades in this farce! Directed by Dr. Victoria Spangler.  Fight Chorography by H. Russ Brown. Appropriate for all audiences.

Director’s Cut, Nov. 5, 6 (7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5; 2 p.m. on Nov. 6)
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.

Silent Sky, Nov. 17-20 (7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17-19; 2 p.m. on Nov. 20)
Van Ellis Theatre
By Lauren Gunderson. When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. As Henrietta attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. Directed by Katie Hahn.  Appropriate for all audiences.

Starlight Extravaganza, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Van Ellis Theatre
The Van Ellis stage will be turned into an elegant dinner theatre featuring unique show-themed table decorations, a superb meal, and exceptional entertainment as vocal performance and musical theatre majors present STARLIGHT EXTRAVAGNAZA. Proceeds will benefit the HSU Theatre Travel Fund.  Appropriate for all.

  • Tables of 6: $350 ; Tables of 4: $220; Individual tickets: $65.
  • Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the HSU Theatre Box Office: 325-670-1405.
  • Reservations must be made by Nov. 29.  Doors open at 6 p.m.; Dinner served at 6:30 p.m.

Director’s Cut, Feb. 4, 5 (7:30 on Feb. 4; 2 p.m. on Feb. 5)
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.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Feb. 16-19 (7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16-18; 2 p.m. on Feb. 19)
Down Centre Stage, Lab Theatre
By Sarah Ruhl. An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends. A work about how we memorialize the dead – and how remembering changes us – it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world. Directed by Dr. Victoria Spangler  Best suited for audience members over 12.

The Spitfire Grill, March 30, 31, April 1, 2 (7:30 p.m. on March 30, 31, April 1; 2 p.m. on the April 2)
Van Ellis Theatre
By Fred Alley and James Valcq. A feisty parolee follows her dreams to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill, where things really start cookin’! Directed by Dr. Stace Gaddy. Appropriate for all audiences.

24 Hour Shakespeare, April 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. This performance will be a fundraiser for our HSU Theatre Travel Fund. Appropriate for all ages.

DirectFest Spring ’23, April 28-29 (7:30 p.m. each evening)
Van Ellis Theatre
The Spring Directing I class has the opportunity to produce and direct their own 15- minute shows.

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, HSU Aulms, Seniors, Outside Students – $5
  • HSU Faculty, staff and students – free

For musicals (The Spitfire Grill)

  • General Admission – $15
  • Military, HSU Alums, Seniors and Outside 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 HSU Theatre webpage.

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
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. vspangler@hsutx.edu
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 Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre and Communications, teaching Voice and Diction, Audition Techniques, and Directing II. Stace.gaddy@hsutx.edu
Samantha SpielerSamantha Spieler is our adjunct instructor of Dance. She is also Head Coach for the HSU athletics dance team and manages the Spirit Program. Samantha.spieler@hsutx.edu
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. James.spivey@hsutx.edu
Emilia Richardson Emilia Richardson is our adjunct instructor of Costuming. Emilia.richardson@hsutx.edu

Bridget Mistrot

HSU graduates are working in their field. From Washington to Florida to Las Angles, Dallas, and New York, our theatre grads are in demand. They are teaching, acting, 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.

If you’re considering a bachelor’s degree in theatre, you may also be interested in learning more about similar programs available at Hardin-Simmons University:

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Music, Worship Leadership Concentration