Theater Arts at PSU

The PSU Theater Program is committed to providing pre-professional training that balances theory and practice within a liberal-arts education. Through classroom study, studio/laboratory practice, field studies or mainstage productions, students are encouraged to pursue educational excellence and collaboration.

Students who seek professional careers, who are preparing for advanced degree programs or teacher education, or who are pursuing non-major study or the arts, flourish within a production program that encompasses new, modern, and classic works that confront and illuminate what it means to be fully human in this place and time. 

A student performing in PSU Theater's production of Elektra

The Bachelor of Arts/Science in Theater Arts

The Bachelor of Arts/Science in Theater Arts provides students with a broad foundation in acting, directing, scholarship, or design and technical production to prepare you for graduate study, or or to pursue a career as a working professional in theater arts.

PSU Theater Productions

The PSU Theater program mounts three productions per year on the stages of two unique theaters in our home, Lincoln Hall. Directed by our world-class faculty, these shows provide hands-on experience for students of every focus within the program, from acting to dramaturgy to technical theater. 
 
In the selection of dramatic and other works, the school seeks to reflect vital contemporary issues, personal and public, in varied and challenging forms, both new and classic, thereby creating a forum for cultural and social concerns. The program actively pursues the development of new works, collaborations with urban arts and educational institutions, and the expansion of cultural exchange.
 

Karin Magaldi headshot

Karin Magaldi - Theater Program Director

Karin Magaldi holds an MFA in Playwriting from UCLA and is a member of Playwrights West and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.  Her writing credits include The Spectacles, Wilde Tales, Verge Warnings, Jack and the Bones, Consider the Ant, and Air.

The Acting Program

Taught by working theater professionals, our Acting Program offers classes in Voice, Movement, Improvisation, Acting for the Camera, Devising, and Beginning and Advanced Acting. Our highly skilled, in-depth actor training coupled with liberal arts studies forges actors who know how to interpret and develop a role, who are bold and rigorous in practice and who know history, philosophy, and literature.

Learn from the Pros

Taught by working theater professionals, our Acting Program offers classes in Voice, Movement, Improvisation, Acting for the Camera, Devising, and Beginning and Advanced Acting. Our highly-skilled, in-depth actor training coupled with liberal arts studies forges actors who know how to interpret and develop a role, who are bold and rigorous in practice and who know history, philosophy, and literature. Our actors are ready to respond to and reflect the world in which we live.

A Practical Approach

Rooted in Stanislavsky and Uta Hagen's actor philosophy, our actor training provides a smorgasbord table of experiences, from the improvisation work of Keith Johnstone to Catherine Fitzmaurice Voicework to the moment-to-moment work of Meisner.

Intensive Training

Unique to our School is an Advanced Acting Sequence. Students are admitted by audition only. Taught over the course of an entire school year by a master teacher of acting, students dive deeper into process, interpretation, classical, audition, and style work. Production work puts it all into practice and students have many opportunities at PSU and in Portland to hone their craft.

Our Alumni

Our graduates have earned placement at Bristol Old Vic, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Harvard/ART, American Conservatory Theater, The National Theater Institute/O'Neill Center, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Mabou Mines, The Wooster Group, and many more renowned companies.

Our alumni are living and working in Chicago, Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles, Flagstaff, Portland, and London, pursuing their dreams and goals as actors. Come and explore what we have to offer as you step into the thrilling craft and art of acting.

Stage photograph of theater students performing Shakespeare's Othello

Devon Allen - Acting Program Head

For specific questions about the Acting Program or to arrange to sit in on an acting class, please contact Devon Allen, head of the Acting Program.