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Theatre Program Overview

Donate NowThe 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 degrees in communication with a concentration in theatre. A minor is also available in theatre.

Opportunities and Experiences Await
An 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 Players
The 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 Descriptions
The 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 Collaboration
In 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 Await
Theatre at USC Upstate

International Internships Collaboration
The Rose Theatre

Thursday Afternoon Acting Group (TAAG)
TAAG, the after school drama group for children ages 8- 18, starts on Thursday, January 29. 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,  which will produce the play, Seth’s Anxiety, a comedy with 15 roles. For questions or information, contact Rich Robinson at 864-503-5621 or rrobinson@uscupstate.edu.


Shoestring Players BW 

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Lee Neibert                                                            
October 1 - 4, 2015

The Cripple of Inishmaan
By Martin McDonagh
Directed by Jimm Cox          
November 12 - 15, 2015

Little Women 
Adaptation by Thomas Hischak
Book by Louisa May Alcott
Directed by Jordyn Chelf
December 10 - 12, 2015 

The Children's Hour
by Lillian Hellman
Directed by Jimm Cox
February 25 - 28, 2016

Dogfight: The Musical
written by Peter Duchan
Music and Lyrics by Benji Pasek & Justin Paul
April 7 - 10, 2016

The Golden Shoe Awards Show
April 24, 2016 

Contact Us
USC Upstate
Department of Fine Arts and Communication Studies
Humanities & Performing Arts Center, 125
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5844
Fax: 864-503-5814
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