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Located within one of America’s most celebrated theater hubs, Concordia University Chicago’s Theater Department offers students unique access to professional training that focuses on the Chicago storefront method of theater. Our ensemble-based model requires participants to be comprehensive practitioners that are conversant in all aspects of theater. All theater students work as part of an intimate company that produces off campus at Madison Street Theatre in neighboring Oak Park.

Our comprehensive training provides classes in all aspects of production (acting, directing, playwriting and design), as well as those courses necessary to provide a foundation for the advanced study of theater (including History of Theater, Contemporary Drama, Scene Analysis and Shakespeare). We create artists who are ready to work in the theater the moment they graduate from CUC.

We are firmly committed to immersing our students in the most recent developments in the professional theater, as well as providing a firm grounding in the classics. We get our students working off-campus as soon as possible to prepare them for the unique challenges facing theater today.

Concordia-Chicago Theater Degree Overview

At Concordia University Chicago, you learn by doing. You will be required to take entry level acting, directing and stagecraft. From there, you select areas of focus that allow you to take leadership roles in our acclaimed The Collective, where students lead one of eight departments.

Our students have the opportunity to take internships in the greater Chicagoland area. Your learning experience will be greatly enhanced by nationally recognized faculty who consistently work in Chicago’s professional theater community and abroad.

At CUC, our classes are small and encourage hands-on learning. Our faculty members get to know you and will help you directly, whether with class assignments or career decisions. You are treated as a junior colleague and collaborator, not as just another face in the crowd.

Theater Course Information

Our liberal arts courses allow you to study the many aspects of theater to really determine your areas of interest. If you major in theater at Concordia-Chicago, you will take required courses in theater production, acting, directing, technical theater and theater history, among others. 

You may choose elective courses focusing on Shakespeare, directing, script analysis, stage combat, scenic design, and costume design. These courses will allow you to pursue topics of personal interest and broaden your theater experience.

For details about required courses and course descriptions, please visit our online catalog

Theater Major Opportunities

On-campus opportunities allow students to act and/or assist with all levels of theatrical production. Majors are expected to be involved in the mainstage season produced by The Collective. Besides the mainstage season, The Collective produces musicals, student-directed one acts, student-directed new works and cabarets performed both at Madison Street Theatre and Bergmann Theatre. Another on-campus Theater opportunity is Decapolis Theatre Ministry, a drama ministry team that performs at CUC and at area churches.

Located near Chicagoland’s professional theater scene, many of our classes require students to attend productions in and around Chicago. The wealth of award-winning theater companies provides ample opportunity to students during and after their studies at CUC. Our students have gained internships and employment with many Chicago theater companies including:

  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Lookingglass Theatre Company
  • Kokandy Productions
  • Illinois Shakespeare Festival
  • Stage Left Theatre
  • Stage 773
  • Chicago Dramatists
  • Theatre Y
  • The Second City