The study of theatre and media arts is a study of our attitudes towards ourselves through artistic expression. Since art is a mirror of human society, the specific disciplines of theatre and media arts cover our innermost attempts at comprehending our existence throughout time.
The Theatre program gives students a foundation in dramatic literature, theatre history, theory, performance skills as both actor and director, and techniques in all areas of theatre design technology and production.
The Media Arts program gives students a foundation in the film-history, critical theory, and film production.
The disciplines of Theatre and Media Arts have a rich history at Brigham Young University. Theatre has been taught here since 1901, with Miriam Nelke teaching literary interpretation, Shakespeare, and oral expression. BYU was one of the first universities to create a formal department for the production of motion pictures, which was founded in 1953. In 1974, the Theatre and Media Arts departments were merged into one, forming a union which has fostered a healthy collaboration between these two artistic disciplines. Today, the department serves more than 450 students and has 21 full-time and 54 part-time faculty members.
Theatre students from our department have performed in Broadway casts of Mama Mia!, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Thoroughly Modern Millie and 42nd Street. Additionally, students have been with the Broadway national tours of Cats, Fosse, Footloose, Titanic, Sunset Boulevard, and Annie Get Your Gun. Graduates have also worked with the Boston Ballet, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and the Sacramento Ballet.
Film students from our department have created several successful independent films, such as, Napoleon Dynamite, God’s Army, Pride and Prejudice, Saints and Soldiers, The Singles Ward, Out of Step, Brigham City, and Charly. Our students have competed in prestigious film competitions such as the Sundance Film Festival and Slamdance. They’ve also been on the crews for national television programs, such as Touched by an Angel and Everwood.
TMA graduates have gone on to pursue degrees at the Boston Conservatory; the Old Globe in San Diego; the University of California, San Diego; the University of Texas at Austin; New York University; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Iowa; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne; the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; the University of Nottingham; and many others.
In short, the Department of Theatre and Media Arts provides its students with an enriching environment in which they can pursue their creative, scholarly, and spiritual interests.