Dorothee Ostmeier, Department Head
216 Villard Hall
1231 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1231
The Department of Theater Arts offers major curricula leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Fine arts (MFA) with a specialization in design and technology, and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The Master of Science (MS) degree program is currently inactive.
Courses in Theater Arts are available for all students who want to develop their communication skills, explore lighting, scenic design and costume technology, practice leadership in collaborative teamwork, or study diverse Histories of Theater (including Middle Eastern American and Arab American Theater, Native and Latinx Theatre, Eco Dramaturgy, Ethnic and Communal Engagements). Students can also gain practical theater experience through involvement with our University Theater productions as actors, designers, technicians, dramaturgs and stage managers.
The Department offers a cross-disciplinary and liberal-arts education. Upper division courses provide vocational competence in many aspects of commercial theater. Students seek careers in professional, educational, and community theaters as designers, actors, technicians, stage managers, or theater managers, or continue specialized training in MFA degree programs or non-degree professional training schools. Other students use the Theater Arts’ background to pursue vocational opportunities that require advanced skills in communication and organization.
At the graduate level, the department offers intensive study and practical work toward the MFA degree focus areas of costume design, scenic design, lighting design, and technical theater, with opportunities to also emphasize projection design, sound design, or both. The MFA also provides training and experience in teaching theatre. The MA and PhD programs offer an in-depth study of theater and performance through contemporary critical and cultural theories as well as historiography and performance praxis.
The James F. Miller Theatre Complex includes the renovated Robinson Theatre, a proscenium theater seating 300, and the Hope Theatre, a flexible venue that can seat 100–150. The complex includes a large lobby and costume and scene shops. The Pocket Playhouse, in Villard Hall, is a small proscenium stage and seats 75 people.
The scene shop is well equipped with power tools for wood and metal fabrication. Lighting equipment includes computerized controls and up-to-date instruments. The costume shop has power sewing and serging machines and a laundry and crafts area. Students are encouraged to sign up for production workshop classes or to practice their crafts as volunteers. Those who qualify for work-study financial aid are hired to assist in the shops. The shops are open every day.
Pocket Playhouse is the site for a series of productions presented by an elected student board.
The department’s season is composed of productions in two venues: the Robinson Theatre and the Hope Theatre. Faculty members and graduate students direct and design as many as six shows a year. Auditions are open to UO students, and admission for UO students is free.
Bradley Branam, associate professor (technical direction, media design). BA, 2000, Luther College; MFA, 2009, Missouri, Kansas City. (2012)
Bair, Heather, instructor, (costume shop). BFA, 1995, Southwest Missouri State University; MFA, 1999 Temple University. (2021)
Jeanette De Jong, associate professor. BA, 1982, Puget Sound; MFA, 1984, Oregon. (2015)
Jerry Hooker, associate professor (scene designer). BA, 1978, Puget Sound; MFA, 1985, Utah State. (2001)
Theresa May, professor (acting, embodiment, Native American theater); director, graduate studies. BA, 1980, California, Irvine; MFA, 1983, Southern California; PhD, 2000, Washington (Seattle). (2007)
Michael Malek Najjar, associate professor (Arab American theater and performance, playwriting, performance theory). BA, 1993, New Mexico; MFA, 1999, York; PhD, 2011, California, Los Angeles. (2011)
Tricia Rodley, instructor (acting, voice and dialect) BA, 1992, Oregon; MA, 2005, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London); PhD, 2014, Oregon. (2015)
Janet Rose, senior instructor (technical director, lighting designer). BFA, 1977, Florida Atlantic; MFA, 1979, Ohio. (1987)
John Schmor, associate professor (theory, history, acting). BA, 1984, Willamette; MA, 1989, PhD, 1991, Oregon. (1999)
Alexandra Bonds, professor emerita. BS, 1972, Syracuse; MA, 1974, Denver. (1979)
Robert Barton, professor emeritus. BA, 1967, Western Michigan; MA, 1968, PhD, 1977, Bowling Green State. (1980)
Jerry R. Williams, professor emeritus. BFA, 1964, Carnegie-Mellon; MA, 1965, Washington (Seattle). (1973)
The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.