About Our Department
"The best thing about my job is that I’m getting to do what I love. It’s also allowed me to see that theater is what I’m meant to be doing, because I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else! I work with great people and there’s always something new to learn, so it never gets boring."
Sally Steele, recent graduate
The biggest advantages to attending McMurry University as a Theatre major, or any small, liberal arts college, for that matter, are the personal attention you will receive due to small class sizes, the multitude of opportunities that will be afforded you in production work, and the high level of experiential education offered. All of our graduates who have sought entrance into graduate school programs in theatre have been accepted and have succeeded. We have former students working in professional theatre, community theatre, and theatre education.
During the academic year, we focus on the art of theatre, not concerning ourselves too much with the success of the box office. Certainly, we want to sell tickets, but our main goal is to provide a well rounded theatre education for our majors and minors, as well as the student body at large. We select plays based on the assumption we want to expose students to as wide a range of types and styles of theatre as is possible during any given four year period. During the summer, our concern generally shifts to box office success. We select shows based on their ability to attract an audience and often offer dinner theatre options, for those who want dinner and entertainment. Casting during the school year is open primarily to majors, minors, and other McMurry students, with preference given to majors and minors. In the summer, auditions are open to the community and we sometimes job in professional actors, as well. Our goal in the summer is to educate our students on the nature theatre as a business.
The McMurry Theatre Department has also placed an emphasis on nurturing young playwrights and staging original scripts. The playwriting class is offered in the spring of odd years and three one-act plays from the writing projects of that class are staged the following spring, each directed by one of the faculty. We have also staged two full-length, student-written plays, which were completed as Honors projects for senior Theatre students, and have had staged readings of four other student written full-length plays. A number of McMurry playwrights have been recognized with awards at the annual Texas Educational Theatre Association’s Theatrefest. During one four year period, six of the eight awards given for playwriting at the college/university level were received by McMurry students. In all, eleven of our student playwrights have received awards from TETA Playfest. Plays are the life blood of the theatre and the encouragement of young writers will provide for the future of the artform.