The Theater program is designed for students who intend to continue theater studies and transfer to another institution, for students who want to broaden their general education with theater electives and for community members and students who want to participate in college theatrical performances.
Theater courses are available in acting, improvisation, directing, voice and diction, theater appreciation, stage movement, stagecraft, stage management, stage make-up, technical production, combat and audition.
A rich and diverse community of students, faculty and staff work together to create a cohesive learning experience. Students can prepare for a career as a working artist, enrich their experience as both an audience member and artist and explore the arts under the guidance of active professional faculty and staff who are committed to the growth and development of their students.
In addition to the professional theater in residence, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the theater department has an active production schedule using three theaters in the McAninch Arts Center, summer touring components, auditioned, rehearsed, staged and recorded productions.
Among the program's graduates are theater founders, actors in TV shows and movies and performers at Chicago's Orchestra Hall and the Lyric Opera.
Determine Your Path
Theater practitioners work in many different careers: the theater itself, in other performance industries such as film and dance and in diverse roles in business, education or other related professions.
Whether you are taking theater courses for fun or planning to transfer with an Associate in Arts degree in theater to another institution, COD offers:
- Dedicated instructors with years of professional experience.
- Instruction utilizing top-notch facilities, equipment and resources.
- Affordable programs to help students achieve success without creating overwhelming debt or draining a savings account.
- Small class sizes that ensure students receive personalized attention from instructors.
- Articulated transfer programs.
- Exceptional stages including the Belushi Performance Center in the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage.
- Opportunities to study and/or work with the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the professional company in residence at the MAC.
Theater Transfer Pathway
College of DuPage offers two theater transfer pathways for students interested in completing their general education requirements and transferring to another institution.
"It not only taught me the skills needed to become a successful actor, but it also taught me proper acting etiquette, such as how to prepare for a scene and how to rehearse. I still hold all of those things with me to this day.” - Lamorne MorrisLamorne's COD Story
"I learned how to be a professional actor very early on so by the time I got to Columbia, it was clear I had been training among some of the best actors and teachers out there. I grew in every way possible – professionally, artistically and personally." - Robyn CoffinRobyn's COD Story
"When I hit the stage at Southern Illinois University, I had so much experience that I was cast in the leads. If I had gone to SIU as a freshman, I never would have got my feet on the boards like I did at COD.” - Jim BelushiJim's COD Story
“COD is a great place to learn. I worked with amazing people and received a quality education that was the best education of my life. COD allowed me the space to explore who I was and what I wanted to do.” - Marisol NicholsMarisol's COD Story
“Being able to work and be taught by professional actors was instrumental in establishing my work ethic. College of DuPage provides excellent resources to learn how to be a professional. If you decide to enroll at COD, be open and prepared to learn.” - Lindsay SmilingLindsay's COD Story
Get Started Today
The first step to getting started in theater is to apply for admission.
Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.
Students who complete courses in Theater Arts will:
- Develop a broadened understanding of the art of theater, awareness of its wide range of disciplines, realizing the importance of each to the whole, and its relationship with the other liberal arts.
- Demonstrate the ability to seek advanced study and/or achieve an entry-level position in theatrical venues and/or transfer into another field of study, integrating the collaborative and highly disciplined practices derived from the study of theater.
- Integrate critical thinking skills, applying theater techniques and experiences, to explain themselves more articulately in oral and/or written discussion.
- Integrate or demonstrate through observation, imagination, collaboration, preparation and communication the ability to use the tools and equipment basic to the realization of a unified theatrical approach.
- Develop and defend informed judgments about performance and production.
College of DuPage has several theater transfer opportunities in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.
Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.
Theater Venues on the College of DuPage Campus
The McAninch Arts Center contains a variety of specialized studio, exhibition and performance spaces.
The nearly 800-seat Belushi Performance Hall features state of the art lighting and sound.
The intimate 186-seat Playhouse Theatre includes a "soft thrust" stage.
Studio Theatre is a versatile, black-box performance space and holds up to 70 audience members.
Many outdoor events and concerts take place in the 1,200-seat Lakeside Pavilion performance stage.