Theatre Major

School of Arts and Sciences

The craft of acting, the art of design, and the nuance of directing are pursuits for students who care deeply about story and recognize the impact theatre, television, and video can have on shaping our world view.

Building on a well-rounded foundation of core courses, you can choose from two areas of specialization to focus your Theatre degree:

Collaborating closely with instructors, Concordia’s Theatre department is a tight-knit community that will nurture your individual growth in performance or production and allow you to learn by doing. Theatre majors have the opportunity to be a part of five full productions per season. With a legacy for bold, artistic productions, CUI students are frequently recognized for their work at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, as well as within the community, and gain invaluable experience to pursue graduate school or immediate work in the performing arts.

Theatre Curriculum

Here at Concordia, you will benefit from a diverse set of core courses in a liberal arts context that allow you to pursue your vocation. You can choose to focus your degree in a specialized area of emphasis. CUI’s Theatre program is supported by ancillary classes as well, such as dance classes and private voice lessons from our Music department.

  • Theatre Sample Courses
  • THR 251: Introduction to Theatre
  • 3
This course will provide an overview of the various conventions, forms, styles, and genres of the theatre, including principles of play analysis and exploration of theatre criticism from dramaturgical, literary, and cultural perspectives through the thematic discussions of representative contemporary plays. Field trips required.
  • THR 261: Acting 1
  • 3
As an introduction to basic acting techniques, students will examine ways to construct the interior, physical, and vocal life of a character, learn warm-up procedures, and staging principles, including experiences in scene analysis, performance of monologues, and improvisations. Field trips may be included. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 311: Introduction to Technical Production
  • 3
Through hands-on experiences, this course will introduce the practical application of theatrical design principles including techniques and practices of technical organization, set construction, lighting preparation, costume construction, makeup application, and sound preparation. Field trips and participation in on-campus production work required. A lab fee of $50 is required for this course. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 321: Introduction to Theatrical Design
  • 3
As an introduction to the theories and principles of theatrical design, this course will emphasize the holistic and scenographic approach, while exploring set, lighting, costume, makeup, and sound design with director/designer collaboration. Field trips and participation in on-campus production work required. A lab fee of $50 is required. Prerequisite: THR 251 or consent of instructor.
  • THR 351: Play Direction 1
  • 3
This course will introduce students to the following techniques: play selection and analysis, auditioning, scene design and staging, actor coaching, rehearsal strategies, and production management, including both the principles for proscenium and the open stage. Workshop scenes are presented and evaluated. Prerequisites: THR 251, 261 and 262, or consent of instructor.
  • THR 390: Practicum: Theatre
  • 2
A practical, hands-on learning experience where students will work on one or more theatre department productions. Earned in one-unit increments.

Where our Alumni are Working

Our Theatre graduates are working in the industry. Here are some additional highlights.

  • Disneyland
  • Universal Studios
  • Disney World
  • Utah Shakespeare Festival
  • Pfinix Creative Studios
  • GoButton Productions
  • Disney HD Channel
  • Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Ned Show
  • Theatricum Botanicum
  • Two Rivers Theatre
  • North Coast Repertory Theatre
  • New Village Arts
  • San Diego Fringe Festival
  • Hollywood Fringe Festival
  • Chance Theater
  • South Coast Repertory Theater
  • The Imagination Machine
  • Phoenix Theatre
  • Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts
  • Downey Civic Theatre
  • Netflix
  • CollegeHumor
  • Los Angeles Opera
  • Long Beach Opera
  • Opera Pacific
  • Culture Project (NY)
  • KCRA/KQCA TV
  • Briggs Opera House
  • Missoula Children’s Theatre
  • Theophany Films

Opportunities for Theatre Majors

The Theatre department wants to provide a myriad of opportunities for our students to gain experience in the performing arts. Our University, Theatre Department, and relationships within our surrounding community afford you the chance to practice the performing arts outside the classroom.

Academic Opportunities

As a Theatre major, you can combine your degree with a related minor, or double major. Expand your worldview by studying abroad, or transition to graduate school.

Graduate Schools Attended

  • NYU - Tisch School of the Arts
  • NYU - Steinhardt School for Education in the Arts
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Film Production)
  • Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University
  • Southern Utah University - Utah Shakespeare Festival
  • Northern Illinois University School of Theatre & Dance
  • Cal State San Bernardino
  • Cal State Fullerton - Department of Cinema & Television Arts
  • Sarah Lawrence College MFA Theatre Program

Extracurricular Activities

Theatre offers many opportunities for you to become involved with on-campus events, clubs, and organizations. Our students also regularly participate (and excel) in national competitions with performing arts students from other universities.

Internships

Theatre majors can apply to do a senior project. Concordia enjoys good working relationships with a large number of organizations in Southern California. Below are just a few examples of where our students have interned.

  • The Chance Theatre
  • Actors Theatre of Louisville
  • La Jolla Playhouse
  • Disney Corporation

Scholarships

Scholarships for majors AND non-majors participating in theatre range from $1000 up to half of the price of tuition.

Learn More

Past Productions

The Foolish Proposal actors preparing for a performance

The Foolish Proposal

Video

The Fantasticks opening scene of a sheet with silhouette shadows through a sheet

The Fantasticks

Video

Two actors performing a scene on stage

A Year with Frog and Toad

Video

2019-20 Productions

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tony Vezner

September 14, 15, 21, 22, at 4:30pm
Nelson Amphitheatre

Free Admission; Suitable for all ages

Shakespeare’s splashiest comedy comes to life in Concordia’s beautiful outdoor amphitheater. The fun and fantasy of this tale of love are made richer by professional actors working alongside our student performers. Come see the craziness of lovers, fairies, and amateur actors all thrown together for one magical night in the woods!

Co-Produced by Looseleaf Theatre Co.

No tickets necessary for this Free Admission event! Join us in the Nelson Amphitheatre on Concordia University Irvine's campus. Bring snacks or a picnic dinner to enjoy during this outdoor event you won't want to miss!

 

Xanadu

Book by Douglas Carter Beane, Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne & John Farrar
Based on the Universal Pictures film, screenplay by Richard Danus & Marc Rubel
Originally produced on Broadway by Robert Ahrens, Dan Vickery, Tara Smith/B. Swibel, Dale Smith & Cari Smulyan
Directed by Lori C. Siekmann

November 8, 9, 15, 16 at 7:30 pm
November 10 & 16 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$18 general admission | $15 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff

This delightful roller disco musical is a hilarious spin on the original Olivia Newton-John movie. Full of fun ‘80s pop music, this sensational musical will have you tapping your toes and believing in the inspiring power of love!

Xanadu Is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

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The Christians

by Lucas Hnath
Directed by Tony Vezner

January 17, 18, 24, 25 at 7:30 pm
CU Center

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff; Suitable for all ages

At a big successful megachurch, the senior pastor has come to a surprising new idea about Christianity— there is no hell. When he reveals his new belief to his congregants, all hell breaks out. His idea has an impact on the congregation, his friends, and his marriage. Will the church survive the impact of this new idea? Following each performance, a panel of theologians from Christ College will discuss issues in the play.

“The Christians is Mr. Hnath’s most penetrating work, but what you take away is the play’s ruminative gravity, and how each character is given an authentic voice and a complexity of feeling.” — NY Times

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

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Girls Like That

March 14, 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 pm
March 15, 22 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff; Suitable for ages 14+

A tight-knit group of teens at an exclusive British boarding school have known each other since they were five. Scandal rips through the population when— Snap! Pop! Flash!—a nude photo of one of the girls gets sent to the whole student body. Will the young women pull together or will rumors and lies pull their friendships apart? The end will leave you breathless.

Post-show discussion will be held after select performances on the topics of social media and bullying.

Warning: This play contains mature language and a brief mention of suicide.

Licensed by arrangement with The Agency, 24 Potter Ln., Holland Park, London, W11 4LZ, info@theagency.co.uk

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New Works Festival

Directed by Lori C. Siekmann and Tony Vezner

April 23, 24, 25 at 7:30 pm
April 26 at 2:00 pm
Studio Theatre

$15 general admission | $12 seniors/students
Free for CUI students, faculty, & staff; Suitable for ages 12+

In a new effort, two of CUI’s theatre professors will share an evening of new works from a variety of writers covering everything from comedy to politics to drama.

Produced by special arrangement with Brett Adams, Ltd

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Meet your Professors

Professors in the Theatre Department are active participants in mentoring students and nurturing individual artistic growth. Our curriculum is developed and delivered by faculty who integrate classroom techniques with hands-on experience.

Lori Siekman

Lori Siekman

Theatre Chair

Professor Siekmann is the 2015 recipient of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival's Gold Medallion of Excellence - the highest award the Kennedy Center gives to educators. Three of her productions have been invited to appear at the regional festival of KC/ACTF.

Tony Vezner

Tony Vezner

Theatre Professor

A recipient of the KC/ACTF Award for Excellence in Education, Professor Vezner collaborated with Prof. Lee from English to lead the 2016 Around-the-World Semester® which took a team of students to 10 countries over 20 weeks - studying and serving in each country. His previous work includes 14 years as a professional stage director in Chicago.

Andrew Sierszyn

Andrew Sierszyn

Theatre Professor

Professor Sierszyn brings a wealth of experience and education to his work at Concordia. Andrew has served as a technical director for productions at Sunset Playhouse, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Illinois State University, as well as being a prolific designer for Wisconsin Lutheran College and Illinois State University. Additionally, his work as a scenic designer and charge artist includes professional summer stock at the Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, Massachusetts.

Get in Touch

For more information about the Theatre major at Concordia University Irvine, we invite you to contact us directly.

Professor Tony Vezner
Theatre Department
949) 214-3425
tony.vezner@cui.edu

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