Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

Launch a career in the arts with our Theatre major.

Our Theatre program develops future artists, educators, scholars and audience members who are imaginative, knowledgeable, skilled and socially responsible. Through critical research of the literature, history and theory of drama, and by developing practical skills in performance and production, working collaboratively and honing individual artistic passions, Theatre majors train to become self-sufficient actors, directors, playwrights, administrators, or theatrical technicians.

Why earn your theatre degree at Bellarmine?

Within our creative community of artist-scholars, students are encouraged to cultivate critical thinking and develop their individual artistic passion through immersion in literature, new worldviews, cultural diversity, exposure to a wide variety of performance practices and their own practical creative exploration.

Over your next four years at Bellarmine, the BU Theatre will produce classic works, international plays, a musical or two, works by and inspired by William Shakespeare and other classical works, a devised work, plays by local playwrights, plays by emerging playwrights, comedies, tragedies, and our acclaimed International 10-Minute Play Festival.

Program Highlights

If you enroll in Theatre, you will see the world from many perspectives. You’ll understand why and how theatre is created. You’ll create your own works of art, on and off stage. You’ll analyze texts, research time periods, explore your imagination all with the goal of creating an interactive, fully dimensional and powerful performance meant to entertain and educate audiences throughout time and the world. You’ll have many options for careers in which you will use your Liberal Arts education in ways you never thought possible. You’ll make lifelong friends. You’ll have a blast!

Interested in becoming a Theatre Major or Minor? Please contact Theatre Program Director Megan Burnett at mburnett@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.7480.

Next On Stage

Join us for our 2019-2020 season:

Unrehearsed Shakespeare (title is a secret until the day of the show!)
Fall 2019 - "Directed" by Dr. Zackary Ross
Actors will train in traditional Shakespeare techniques and perform one of Shakespeare's plays with little to no rehearsal, just like they did in the 1600s! Come watch this thrilling and terrifying experiment where just about anything could happen!

Festival 2020 - Women: Where Are They Now
Spring 2020 - Artistic Director Megan Burnett
The festival will feature a collection of monologues and short plays the celebrate the 19th Amendment and other issues dealing with voting rights.

Bellarmine Magazine — The Secret Life of Adjuncts: Takayla Williams

Bellarmine’s adjunct professors have some pretty incredible “secret lives.” From a swing dancer to a former chief of police and now a television star, they carry their passions from real world practice to classroom application.

Takayla Williams’ secret life is not so secret. Her passion for acting and performance touches all aspects of her life. As an adjunct professor in the Theatre department, she teaches Acting 1 to non-majors. Outside the classroom, she spends her time auditioning and performing.

Student Story

“The community that we have built within this theatre program is definitely the best thing. It really is like a family…the students that are in the program are amazing at supporting one another and making our theatre an environment where we can be dramatic and silly and get outside of our comfort zones. We’ve all got each other’s backs.”

Kelly Boyce, Senior theatre major

Student Activities

Students majoring and minoring in theatre are encouraged to join Alpha Psi Omega, a national theatre honor society and volunteer organization.

Faculty Profiles

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Megan Burnett

Megan Burnett, B.S., M.F.A., Director of Theatre Program, Associate Professor
Megan holds a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film Production from Texas Christian University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Louisville. She received graduate theatre training at Oklahoma City University, working under famed opera and music theatre director Carveth Osterhaus before moving to Louisville and receiving her MFA in 1991. Megan was an English Speaking Union Teacher Scholar, taking the “Teaching Shakespeare through Performance” course at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London in 2004. She served as a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund participant 2005, studying Kabuki, Noh and Bunraku as well as Japanese education practices in Tokyo and Hiroshima. Megan co-founded a theatre training school for adults: StageLab: Ongoing Training for Theatre Artists, and she was a co-founder and board member of The Pleiades Theatre Company. Ms Burnett received the Alice Lloyd College Campus Leadership and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012. She is a 2014 recipient of a Post-Doctoral Faculty Fellowship from the Appalachian College Association.

Megan has worked in all aspects of radio, video production, film and theatre. She produced three radio drama productions for WMMT, a division of Appalshop and WWJD, Alice Lloyd College’s radio station. She directs for Jenny Wiley Theatre and serves on their board of directors. She works as a Voice and Text coach for area Shakespeare companies. She was a Narrator at the American Printing House for the Blind for several years. She has acted for professional theatre companies in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, and she also performs in her nationally touring production of a one-woman show, Shame the Devil! An Audience with Fanny Kemble.

Megan’s research interests include women in theatre, children’s theatre, Teaching Shakespeare through Performance, Kabuki theatre, and researching women to create plays about them. Right now she is researching Mattie Griffith Browne, a Kentucky Abolitionist and Suffragist with the goal of presenting a one-woman play about her in 2016. Megan is on the Speaker’s Bureau for the Kentucky Humanities Council and has given talks about Mattie Griffith Browne, as well as the Women of the Settlement Schools of Eastern Kentucky. Megan has presented papers and panels at the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Ohio Valley History Conference: Mattie Griffith Browne, Kentucky Abolitionist, Women of the Settlement Schools of Eastern Kentucky, JFK and the Power of Speech, Kentucky Theatre Association, and the Shakespeare in Contemporary Performance Symposium at Appalachian State University: 2014 ALC’s Caudill Players: A Model for Performing Shakespeare in Appalachia.

Most recently Megan published, produced and directed the play Alice Lloyd College: A Light Unto the Mountains. This was a devised script based on oral archives at ALC. National premiere in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Performed there and in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina.

Dr. Zackary Ross

Dr. Zackary Ross
Dr. Zackary Ross has a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University, and is an honors graduate of Lewis and Clark College’s theatre department in Portland, Oregon.

In addition to his experience as an educator, Zack is an active theatre artist. As a director, his most recent productions include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Blithe Spirit, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Tony Kushner's adaptation of The Good Person of Szechwan, Tennessee Williams' short play Adam and Eve on a Ferry, John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, and Charles L. Mee's Orestes 2.0. As and actor, he has appeared most recently in Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, The Neo-futurists Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, Christopher Durang's The Actor’s Nightmare, and Wendy Kesselman's adaptation of The Dairy of Anne Frank. His dramaturgy credits include The Illusion freely adapted from Pierre Corneille’s L’Illusion Comique by Tony Kushner, Iphigenia and Other Daughters by Ellen McLaughlin, and Buried Child by Sam Shepard.

Zack's research interests include theatrical adaptation, contemporary drama, theatre and social change, early modern drama, and trauma studies. Recently, Zack published a chapter entitled “Too Much Memory: Interrogating the National Trauma of the War on Terror” in Reflecting 9/11: New Narratives of Crisis, Disaster and Change (2016).

Kathi E.B. Ellis

Kathi E.B. Ellis
Kathi E.B. Ellis is a professional theatre director, a member of the Lincoln Center and Chicago Director’s Labs, and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She directs professionally across the country, and has been nominated for the South Florida Regional Theatre Carbonell Award (West Side Story and Jekyll and Hyde). Kathi is co-Artistic Director and Resident Director of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company. She is co-producer and production director of Josephine Summerstage at Josephine Sculpture Park, a unique collaboration between visual and performing arts, for which she has directed their five annual productions. Kathi received a directing intership with Arena Stage, where she was assistant to Livui Cuilei (Ghosts). She has also served as assistant director to Dennis Krausnick of Shakespeare and Company. Kathi's primary research area is into the 19th century actress Frances Ann Drake who was headquartered in Kentucky and Cincinnati for much of her prolific career. Drake is frequently identified as the first great American tragedienne. Kathi has presented papers about this actress at the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Ohio Valley History Conference; her research has been supported by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Kathi received her MFA in Directing from the University of Louisville, and was the first recipient of the Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Award for Gender Equity, from UofL's Women's Center.

Mission Statement

The Theatre program develops future artists, educators, scholars and audience members who are imaginative, knowledgeable, skilled and socially responsible. Through critical research of the literature, history and theory of drama, and by developing practical skills in performance and production, working collaboratively and honing individual artistic passions, Theatre majors train to become self-sufficient actors, directors, playwrights, administrators, or theatrical technicians.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

Accreditation

Bellarmine University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.

Contact Information

Theatre Program
Bellarmine University 
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205
502.272.7480
mburnett@bellarmine.edu

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