Department of Music and Theatre

About Theatre

Think critically, Imagine vividly, Communicate effectively


Please browse this Web site to learn more about what makes the Department of Theatre at Chico State a distinctive artistic home for our students and for the northern Sacramento Valley community. For example:

  • We offer majors leading to the BA degree in theatre and musical theatre as well as minors in theatre arts and musical theatre dance.
  • We are accredited and are an institutional member of NAST (National Association of Schools of Theatre).
  • We present our annual productions in three very different theatre spaces: the 450 seat "traditional proscenium" Harlen Adams Theatre, the intimate 200-seat "black box" Larry Wismer Theatre, and the classic 1200 seat Laxson Auditorium.
  • We believe in focused, pre-professional training within the context of broad, liberal arts study.
  • Our faculty are committed academics with strong professional backgrounds and on-going involvement in their fields regionally, nationally, and internationally. The faculty includes PhDs, MFAs, and MAs, plus several are members of Actor’s Equity Association.
  • The department's professional technical staff provide production and design support and additional "hand-on" mentoring of students and includes a student-run costume rental program. Please contact sbarton@csuchico for additional information..
  • We are active in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and offer many opportunities to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
  • Our alumni routinely earn places at prestigious graduate schools and training programs throughout the country and abroad.
  • Many work professionally as actors, designers, technicians, and stage managers in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, on national tours, in various regional theatres, theme parks/cruise lines, and in film and television. We offer several scholarships just for theatre arts and musical theatre majors.
  • Alongside faculty mentors, students assume the bulk of production responsibilities: acting, stage managing, most technical construction and crew positions, and as directing, design, and choreography assistants.
  • Our students direct a full evening of one-act plays every other year, and choreograph a full evening of original dances every other year, as part of our program.
  • Qualified students may work as paid shop and clerical assistants in the School of the Arts and as technicians and stage managers for touring shows that use the university facilities.
  • We are large enough to be competitive, but small enough to know our students' names. 
  • More than 100 majors are split between THEATRE majors and MUSICAL THEATRE majors.
  • With an average student/faculty ratio in upper division classes of 18/1, students receive plenty of individual instruction and advising.