800 University WaySpartanburg, SC 293031-864-503-5000
The mission of the Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies is to enhance the intellectual, ethical, cultural, and professional development of fine arts and communications students. The faculty is committed to preparing students to become competent professionals in music, art, theatre, communication studies, journalism and mass communications. The Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies offers Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre with concentrations in performance and production as well as a minor.
Opportunities and Experiences AwaitAn assortment of opportunities and experiences are made available in the USC Upstate theatre program. Practice and learn theatre arts first hand by playing a role in a campus production, designing scenery for a play, directing, playwriting, or studying the history and literature of modern and classic theatre. Bodies, voices and the actor’s technique are developed to the maximum potential through a variety of performance classes, which train students in classical, traditional, and experimental styles of theatre. Theatre students learn production and performance skills that enrich their lives and prepare them for careers in professional, educational or community theatre.
The Shoestring PlayersThe Shoestring Players, the theatrical producing entity on the USC Upstate campus, began in 1975 as a student group with grand ambitions. Performing in a variety of venues, none of which could be called theatres, the Players worked tirelessly to expand the horizons of the newly-formed campus. As those horizons expanded, so did the Players, the support of campus and the community. Today the Shoestring Players, an organization with 30-plus years “on-the-boards” experience, reside in the Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies with three full time faculty members, a technical director, a box office manager and several adjunct instructors. Future developments are underway for the theatre program, so, not only have we come a long way, but we are also still growing! Our performance facilities include the 450-seat Proscenium Theatre, and the Studio Theatre for more intimate productions.
Theatre Course DescriptionsThe theatre course of study includes classes in History, Theory, Writing and Literature; Technical and Production; and Performance. For more details, view the curriculum below: Course Catalog
International Internships CollaborationIn 2010, a special agreement was signed allowing for students to intern at The Rose Theatre in Kingston Upon Thames, London during a five-week summer term. The current Rose Theater is based on the Elizabethan-era Rose Theatre in London, where the plays of Christopher Marlowe and early plays by Shakespeare were staged. In exchange, Stephen Unwin, renowned Rose Theatre director, thespian and author, travels to USC Upstate each fall to lead acting workshops, master classes for upper level theater students and discussions on a variety of theatre topics.
Opportunities and Experiences AwaitTheatre at USC Upstate
International Internships CollaborationThe Rose Theatre
Thursday Afternoon Acting Group (TAAG)TAAG, the after school drama group for children ages 8- 18, starts on Thursday, September 1. The group meets every Thursday from 4:00p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Now in its fifth year, the program’s director and coordinator is under the direction of Professor Rich Robinson. There is a fee to participate in the
group. For questions or information, contact Rich Robinson at 864-503-5621 or
Announcing the Shoestring Players
2016 - 2017 Season
Compleat Female Stage Beauty
By: Jeffrey Hatcher
Directed by: Jimm Cox
Dates:September 29 – October 1, 2016, 8 p.m.
October 2, 2016, 3 p.m.
Auditions: August 22, 2016, 7 – 9 p.m.
Don't Drink the Water
By: Woody Allen
Directed by: Rich Robinson
Dates: November 10 – 12, 2016, 8 p.m.
November 13, 2016, 3 p.m.
Auditions: October 3, 2016, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Bluest Eye
Adaptation by: Lydia R. Diamond
Novel by: Toni Morrison
Directed by: Lee Neibert
Dates: February 23 – 25, 2017, 8 p.m.
February 26, 2017, 3 p.m.
Auditions: January 12, 2017, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Great American Trailer Park Musical
Music and Lyrics by David Nehls
Book by Betsy Kelso
Directed by: Jimm Cox
Dates: April 6 – 8, 2017, 8 p.m.
April 9, 2017, 3 p.m.
Auditions: January 24, 2017, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Golden Shoe Awards Show Date: April 23, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Contact UsUSC UpstateDepartment of Fine Arts and Communication StudiesHumanities & Performing Arts Center, 125800 University WaySpartanburg, SC 29303Phone: 864-503-5844Fax: 864-503-5814Faculty & Staff Directory
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of USC Upstate. Comments or Complaints?