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.

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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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. 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.

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