The mission of the Department of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia is to sustain a nationally recognized program of liberal arts theatre studies. The theatre presents the human condition by depicting it in action. Theatrical art seeks to expand self-awareness and to foster responsibility for the welfare of others, thus increasing the potential for quality in life.

The University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Theatre focuses upon the produced play, past, present, and future. Our classes in dramatic literature and theatre history amplify our students’ theatrical awareness by examining the heritage of theatre. The research, analysis, and publication by our scholars increase the knowledge and understanding of that heritage, as do the research, analysis, and creative work of our directors and designers. Our production program presents the theatre in action, exercising our students’ theatrical skills and offering them an endeavor in human interaction, while our design and performance courses stress historical, social, and psychological research, as well as rigorous discipline and continuous artistic training. Theory and criticism courses enhance our students’ and the faculty’s resources for future productions, as do continual examination of the processes by which we create theatre.

The production program contributes examples of living theatre to the mid-Missouri community. The Rhynsburger Theatre, Studio 4, and our outreach programs thus serve as laboratories for ongoing examination of theatre in society, responsive to social issues. Our several perceptions and attitudes mirror the diversity of life and the theatre. We employ a spectrum of techniques to arrive at theatrical expressions of the human condition.

Our mission as scholars, artists, and teachers is to prepare our students for economic participation in society, harmonious coexistence with their fellow beings, the appreciation of their own lives, and the comprehension of human existence.