The Theatre School is the Midwest’s oldest theatre conservatory. Founded as the Goodman School of Drama in 1925, the school carries on an 87-year history as a leading drama school in the United States. The conservatory format provides for an intensive, highly disciplined training program. The central core of the program is an extensive production-oriented approach. The School produces more than 150 public performances each season for an audience of more than 50,000 people, featuring students in every aspect of the production. Programs of study are offered in acting, scene design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, theatre technology, costume technology, stage management, playwriting, dramaturgy/criticism, theatre management, and theatre arts. Graduate programs are offered in acting, directing and arts leadership. The objectives of the professional curricula are to prepare the student for creative participation in any form of theatre requiring a high level of technical competence, to provide the student with the aesthetic and cultural background requisite to an understanding of his/her art and of the world in which he/she works, and to develop the specific skills and disciplines necessary for competence in the student’s area of specialization. Theatre School students are not eligible for the Theatre Studies Minor.
Each Theatre School course builds and expands upon its predecessor. When the program is complete, the student will have been exposed to the necessary artistic tools and shown their proper usage in order to realize his or her goals. In addition, liberal education requirements are incorporated into all of the school’s programs so that the student may practice his/her craft with an awareness of history, literature, philosophy, and current and past cultural and social events.
Advanced students in the Theatre Studies and Design and Technical programs enhance their training experience by completing internships at local and national organizations. Internships have been conducted at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Arena Stage, Playwrights Horizons, the David Letterman Show, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Disney Theatricals, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Fox Theatricals, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Second City, and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, among numerous others.