The Central College theatre program exposes students to artistic development through a broad and comprehensive curriculum including courses in:
Independent study is encouraged, and students have the opportunity to work on their craft under close mentorship by faculty and staff.
The production-oriented department presents a wide range of classical and contemporary theatre. In recent years, students have worked with playwrights in residence to develop and write exciting new works for the stage. Four main-stage productions and multiple student productions occur each year, including the student-run Fringe Festival. Each term an informal trip open to the entire student body is organized to see professional productions and visit artistic venues in Minneapolis, Kansas City or Des Moines.
Central College theatre majors are employed in a diversity of fields—from teachers to arts administrators, and in the fields of finance, publishing and health care.
No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.
An art major, Ashton Mayer moonlights in hair and makeup for Theatre Central while creating mixed-media masterpieces in class.
Students are encouraged to find internships or employment in theatre through sources such as ArtSearch, and the department partners with the Pella Shakespeare Company to provide summer experience in acting, directing and stagecraft. The study abroad locations all offer internships, as do the Chicago and Washington, D.C., programs. Find more information on internships.
Theatre majors complete required courses in acting, directing, design, stagecraft and theatre history/literature, any of which can become the starting place for further exploration and study. Students also have the opportunity to earn practicum credit through acting or design/technology and pursue independent study projects in any of the areas of study.
Practical experience in theatre complements the classroom experience, so each theatre major is required to complete a two-credit practicum. The practicum is designed so a student can demonstrate leadership skills as a crew head, in a major role on stage, or as a designer or stage manager.
Learn more about theatre in the course catalog.
Central students participate in multiple productions each year. Recent shows include "The Ice Fishing Play," "Legacy of Light" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Read more about recent productions.
Each spring, theatre students help to put on the Fringe Festival, a four-day arts extravaganza that connects adventurous artists with adventurous audiences and functions as a showcase for all of the performing and visual arts.
Central offers theatre awards of up to $2,000 for all students (majors and non-majors) who have a passion for theatre. The awards are renewable for four years. Click here for more information on portfolio, audition and interviews.
The Kruidenier Center houses two flexible 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, which seats 50, is an experimental stage utilized for both productions and acting classes. These flexible facilities permit a wide variety of staging opportunities and an excellent teaching space. 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. Large, well-equipped costume and scene shops, dressing rooms, a green room and a makeup alley complete the support facilities.
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.
The Theater of Public Policy will use improv theater to tackle sustainability issues Nov. 12.