Theatre major

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The Central College theatre program is designed to make available a broad and comprehensive exposure to the theatre arts. Intellectual and artistic developments are carefully balanced within a production-oriented atmosphere. A variety of courses are offered including acting, directing, history, literature, Arts Management, stagecraft, design and technical production. Independent study is encouraged and students have the opportunity to earn credits while working on their craft under close mentorship by faculty and staff.

Program Highlights




News about Theatre

Central College celebrates culture and the arts with Fringe Festival

Central College hosts the Fringe Festival, a four-day event produced by students and including theater acts, music, dramatic readings, comedy acts and cultural events.

The Role of a Lifetime

Robert Schanke, professor emeritus of theatre, has been in the theatre world for 40 years and recently received the Career Achievement Award for Educational Theatre from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Welcome to the Fringe

The Fringe Festival brought together students in the performing arts to showcase their talents all over campus for a week. The result was zombie plays, lip sync acts and boat races on the Pond.

Music department performs first full opera in 26 years

In February, a cast of 13 Central singers performed two showings of “Dido and Aeneas,” an opera based loosely on Virgil’s “Aeneid.”

Days with a Dinosaur

Allison Miller Schwanebeck ’06, director of exhibits at the Science Center of Iowa, draws on her experience as a theatre and art major as she builds dinosaurs, brings in mummies and explains the human exploration of Mars.


Successful Careers

Selected Theatre photos

See more theatre photos


Learn more about internships at Central.


Sample Schedule

Freshman year

Sophomore year

Junior year

Senior year

Get more details from the course catalog! (Note: this is a PDF file)


The Kruidenier Center houses two flexible space theatres with up-to-date computer-controlled lighting and sound systems. The main stage theatre seats approximately 200 audience members and has a full rigging system. The Mr. B studio theatre seats 50 and is a fully capable experimental stage utilized for both productions and acting classes. Large, well-equipped costume and scene shops, dressing rooms, a green room and a makeup alley complete the support facilities. 

The flexible facilities permit a wide variety of staging opportunities and creates a wonderful teaching space, preparing both actors and technicians for the many ways they may encounter theatre later in their careers.

The main classroom is media-savvy, with a projection system and computers for research and computer-assisted drafting for design classes. A smaller seminar room provides a cozy space for discussion classes.

Department Web site

Central’s theatre department maintains its own website with even more information about majoring in theatre.


No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group or organization that you’ll want to join including:

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.


Central offers theatre scholarships of up to $2,000 for all students (majors and non-majors) planning to continue involvement in theatre at the college level. Click here for more information!

Theatre productions

Oct. 2-5, 2013 7:30 P.M.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Jeffrey Hatcher

Directed by Dr. Mary Jo Sodd

Location: Pella Opera House

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s original novella, “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” this Jeffrey Hatcher adaptation (this is not the musical version), has been described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a smart, tense and suspenseful new take on Stevenson’s look at the evil that lurks in the heart of men. Hatcher has fashioned a play that seems truer to Stevenson but hipper, sexier and more intense.”

Ticket price: $8 adults, $6 for senior citizens and students, free with Central ID


Nov. 20-23, 2013 7:30 P.M.
Legacy of Light by Karen Zacarias

Directed by Ann Wilkinson

Location: Kruidenier Theatre

What is the Science of Love? This ingenious time-traveling piece interweaves the stories of two female physicists from different eras. The legacies of Emilie du Chatelet, an 18th-century French scientist, and Olivia Hasting Brown, an astronomer in Princeton, N.J., collide in this comedy about the search for self-discovery, love, motherhood and scientific immortality.

$Adults $5, students $3 and FREE with a Central ID.

Dec 4th, 2013 @ 7 P.M.

Location: Kruidenier Studio Theatre

Student Directed One Acts: No Admission Fee. Freewill Donation at the door to support Pella Shakespeare Company's Audio Book Project.


 Feb. 26-Mar. 1, 2014 7:30 P.M.
The Ice Fishing Play By Kevin Kling

Directed by Ann Wilkinson

Location: Kruidenier Theatre

In an icehouse on a frozen lake, all a fella longs to do is fish for the proverbial big catch in peace and quiet. No such luck. Kevin Kling is a well-known humorist, playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world.

$Adults $5, students $3 and FREE with a Central ID.

April 23-26, 2014 FRINGE Festival - theatre, music, art and more!

Connecting adventurous artists with adventurous audiences in a four-day arts extravaganza, The Fringe Festival is a showcase for all of the performing and visual arts.

Multiple locations on the Central College Campus.