About Theatre & Film

The School of Theatre & Film at Portland State University strives to ensure a learning environment that instills the highest artistic standards required to commence careers in professional or educational theatre, film, and dance.

Our faculty represent a blend of professional achievement and academic excellence in performance, design and production, writing and criticism, and guest artists are a regular part of our program. The curriculum includes collaboration with our teaching partners in the Schools of Art+Design and Music, and the Department of World Languages and Literature.

We promote artistic achievement through participation in production activities that are an extension of the classroom. In addition to stage productions in our venues, there are dedicated rehearsal and design studios, screening rooms, production offices, the television studio, scenic and costume facilities and computer labs. College of the Arts Media Labs and the surrounding city provide additional sites for the realization of student and faculty creative work. Student production clubs include "TASO", PSU Film Crew, and PSU-TV, and the PSU Film Committee hosts 35MM and digital film screenings year-round in PSU's own Fifth Avenue Cinema. We recently celebrated our 50th anniversary and Lincoln Hall's 100th birthday. We welcome your interest and comments.

Contact us: theatre-film@pdx.edu or 503-725-4612 or PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207. Our street address is Lincoln Hall 127, 1620 SW Park, 97201

The School of Theatre and Film is an accredited institutional member of the
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS OF THEATRE

Our Mission

The School of Theatre and Film is committed to providing liberal arts based professional training that imaginatively balances theory and practice. Through classroom study, studio/laboratory preparation, field studies, and stage productions, students are challenged to pursue a commitment to individual excellence and collaboration, discover a passion for their discipline, and develop a firm grounding in the core components of live and mediated performance. Students seeking professional careers, preparing for advanced degree programs, training to be educators, or pursuing interdisciplinary studies in the arts participate in contemporary production and critical studies practices encompassing new, modern, and classic works interpreted to confront and illuminate the diverse concerns of contemporary life.

Our History

The performing arts are deeply rooted in the history of PSU, and theater productions began when PSU moved into Lincon Hall in 1954. Theater Arts became a department soon thereafter, and the Bachelors degrees in Theater Arts were established in May 1961 under the leadership of the first department Chair, Dr. Asher B. Wilson. In the ensuing two decades, Dr. Wilson's efforts resulted in the establishment of Master degree programs, the founding of the American Theatre Company (the first equity theatre company in Oregon, Tom Hill, Artistic Director) and the creation of the summer stock program at the Coaster Theater, Cannon Beach. He also led the department to national prominence, including producing two American College Theater Festival award-winning productions directed by Jack Featheringill and performed at the Kennedy Center. Under the leadership of Jack Featheringill, the summer stock program performed as the PSU Players at the Coaster Theater, and later as PSU Summer Performance Festival in Lincoln Hall, for almost two decades, and Featheringill also produced and directed his third production at the Kennedy Center. Under Chair William Tate, enrollments in Theater Arts increased dramatically in the 1990's, and although PSU's Center for the Moving Image was discontinued in 1980, the program's film studies curriculum, nurtured by Tate since the 1970's, enabled the establishment of the Minor in Film Studies (2002). From 2002, Chair Sarah Andrews-Collier continued expansion of the Film program, resulting in the establishment of the Bachelor degrees in Film in 2007. Andrews-Collier also reintroduced Dance curriculum, including addition of the Minor in Dance (2008). She led the school to achieve disciplinary accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Theatre for Theater Arts (2005) and Film (2010), and the school was re-named Department of Theatre and Film before later becoming the School of Theatre & Film in 2013. At present, there are over 450 majors and 50 minors in the combined programs in film, dance, and theater arts in the School of Theatre and Film.

The historic Lincoln Hall is the oldest structure on the PSU campus (c.1911), and the School of Theatre and Film has resided in Lincoln Hall since it became the first campus building in 1954. In the mid-1970's, production facilities underwent significant renovations, including construction of the Lincoln Studio Theatre in 1972, the new costume studio in 1973, and  the new scenic studio and the re-conceived Lincoln Performance Hall in 1975. In 2007 the Oregon Legislature appropriated over $30 Million to fund a major renovation of Lincoln Hall, and that work was completed in September 2010. With enhancements to that fund from the federal economic stimulus package and from our generous donors, we have undergone a major transformation  of our learning and creative environments, including improvements to our theatres and labs, the addition of Film production and screening facilities, enlargement of our mainstage rehearsal hall and computer lab, technology advances, and the debut of the long-awaited Boiler Room 3/4 thrust theatre. We are excited to be back home in Lincoln Hall, and are looking forward to our next 50 years!