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About the Department

See also:
Notable Alumni

Dramatic Images:
photographic history of the Department
dating back to 1927 from the University Archives

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The MU Department of Theatre has a distinguished history that began shortly after 1900 when a small group of aspiring thespians resolved to enhance the cultural life of the campus by producing plays in an abandoned dining room in Lathrop Hall. In 1925, Professor Donovan Rhynsburger joined the MU faculty and established the Missouri Workshop Theatre. For nearly 75 years, the department has sustained a national and international reputation as a major center for theatre scholarship and dramatic art production.

A professional faculty comprises internationally recognized scholars and artists who develop the talents, skills and knowledge of students by teaching them to combine scholarship with craftsmanship. The department offers the bachelor of arts (BA) degree, a liberal arts program with strong production components, and the MA and the PhD.

MU has consistently produced fine theatre and notable alumni, including Tennessee Williams, George C. Scott, Tom Berenger and Chris Cooper. MU playwrights have won the prestigious David Library Award seven times, and departmental productions have been cited for national awards by the American College Theater Festival.

The department is proud of its legacy of artistic excellence and the enrichment it brings to the cultural life of the campus and community.