Program Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Theater Department!

Performing artists are amazing people. At the University of Portland, we teach performing artists who are highly educated, highly creative, highly passionate and highly driven human beings. We teach performing artists who are thrilled to work as a team, create to their greatest ability and capacity, take criticism boldly and graciously, and grow with confidence and grace everyday. We teach performing artists to be excellent creators, communicators, and thinkers. We teach artists.

The theater program is a strong liberal arts training program with an emphasis in comprehensive learning. We are committed to our small class sizes and individual training for each student. We are known for the excellence of our productions and students in both regional and national American College Theatre Festival competitions sponsored by the Kennedy Center. Several of our undergraduate actors, designers and stage managers have won in our region and in Washington, DC in the last 8 years.

A student who enrolls as a theater major has the opportunity to focus in one or more of three emphases: performance, design/technical, or production management. We begin training with a general core curriculum that is the basis for our comprehensive learning. Introduction to Theatre Design and Communication and Acting I immediately immerse students to building common critical language and tools to build their path of learning. Theater History and Production Practicums round the core and build critical thinkers and creators. From there, emphases combine a generalist's degree with elements of conservatory training. They also allow the broadening of the liberal arts experience without the narrow focus of the conservatory approach. We offer our students the best of both ideas. The strength of our approach and program is backed up by our membership in NAST. We were the first theater program to achieve national accreditation in Oregon in 2000, which means we met a high level of standard in our production program, curriculum, and degree programs.

The theater program produces four mainstage productions a year in the Mago Hunt Theater, a 300-seat thrust/proscenium combination theater space. It boasts a fully operational computer lighting and sound system and partial stage elevator. The Hunt Center also contains a student-employed costume and scene shop where our majors and minors learn the production skills and crafts necessary to create theatrical productions. Majors are also called to lighting calls and strikes that shape the students' sense of teamwork and commitment to the craft. We also work closely with our music colleagues and encourage our students to take private lessons in voice, piano, and other instruments. The faculty deeply believes that the more opportunities our students have on and off stage, the more qualified they become for a lifelong association with theater on all levels.

Our Blair Studio Theater further expands the style and flexibility of producing and creating theatre. It is a 99-seat black box performance space that hosts student productions and undergraduate senior capstone projects. This space is also used for readings and performances of our beginning playwrights with The New Play Series every spring. 

We are committed to teaching the best students and the most dynamic and creative theater artists and human beings. I hope you can join us for an exciting, emergent, and inspired four years. We would love the opportunity to teach you. Please contact any of our faculty if you want to know how to become a part of this exceptional program.

Gregory Pulver, Director of Theater


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