Department of Theatre

Department Head

Larry Wheeler


HSU Box 14864


F. Larry Wheeler, M.A.B.S., Associate Professor, Technical Director

Victoria Spangler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Artistic Director


-The Department of Theatre serves to prepare students for teaching at the secondary level or for graduate level study in theatre. It provides undergraduates with the opportunity to examine various theories and styles of the theatre offering opportunities to experience creatively and critically the artistic skills of this discipline.

It is the mission of the Department of Theatre to provide the serious student of theatre a Christian environment in which to reflect the ideas, dreams, and conflicts of humanity and to provide perspectives from which understanding and insight might be gained for a more meaningful life through the art of the theatre. It is the purpose of the department to lead students to achieve originality, creativity, imagination, and perception with practicality to enable them to perform all tasks in the theatre and life with more self-confidence.

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 and arts management; (3) to help the student realize his/her potential in becoming an intelligent, responsible citizen as well as a creative, responsive adult.

In addition to the required coursework, a Theatre Diagnostic Examination is required of all theatre majors during the final semester of their senior year. The graduating theatre major will take an examination administered by the department to measure overall intellectual proficiency on all facets of his/her theatre education.

Students are encouraged to present a final project during their senior year. This capstone experience will be in the form of a performance, directing project, or demonstration of skills acquired in light, scenic or costume design depending on a student’s area of expertise. This public performance/demonstration project will be developed independently, and is not intended to satisfy requirements for any required course, but may be applied to an elective course if desired.

Theatre majors and minors are expected to participate in the Department of Theatre productions in Van Ellis Theatre (Refer to the Departmental Handbook).


The Theatre department offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Arts, and the Bachelor of Behavioral Science degrees. The B.F.A. is considered a professional degree and an industry/academic standard. It is superior to the B.A. or B.B.S. in Theatre for those theatre majors who wish to pursue graduate school (the M.F.A.) and also provides more courses and in-depth preparation for those going into the work force. The B.F.A. in Theatre requires the student to choose one of five tracks: Musical Theatre, Acting, Stage Management, Theatre Education, or Design/Technology. B.F.A. degrees in Acting, and Design/Technology require a senior showcase. For specific requirements leading to all five tracks, please refer to the degree plans following this portion of the catalog. For BFA Musical Theatre Majors: The Sophomore Barrier in voice will be assessed at the end of the second semester of Voice 2121. The BFA Musical Theatre voice student must be able to demonstrate the following: good breath management and support techniques; the ability to sing with musical accuracy in a tone and style appropriate to the repertoire; the ability to establish and maintain character with strong, active objectives; and an effective delivery of physical expression in performance inclusive of focus, gesture, posture, and movement. Students pursuing voice studies for a BFA degree must demonstrate the ability to sing in belt, mix, and legit (classical) styles. The Sophomore Barrier may be attempted no more than three times. After the third attempt the student will no longer be able to continue in the BFA Musical Theatre track.


A minor in Theatre is offered to students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree. Requirements for this minor are listed at the end of this section.

The Department of Theatre is a member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association, Texas Non-Profit Theatre Association, Kennedy Center American Collegiate Theatre Festival, International Collegiate Theatre Festival, Festival of New American Musicals and has a student chapter of the Alpha Psi Omega National Dramatic Fraternity.

Teacher Preparation Program

Students seeking teacher certification in theatre should refer to the Irvin School of Education section of this Catalog for Texas certification requirements. Required courses for a Grade 8-12 standard certificate include the following: 43 semester credits consisting of THEA 1333, 2303, 2334, 2335, 3337, 3338, 3339, 4303, 4337, 4341, 4345, 4346, 4372 (BFA only) and four semester credits from 1131, 1132, 1133, 1134. A student who is seeking certification must meet with the HSU Certification Officer in Abilene Hall as soon as he/she declares theatre as a teaching field. All students seeking certification must be formally admitted to the HSU Teacher Preparation Program, preferably during the sophomore year. Admission requirements can be obtained in the office of the Dean of the College of Human Sciences and Educational Studies located in Abilene Hall.