USC Upstate Theatre has 450 seats for main stage productions

Theatre Program

Collaborate. Create. Contribute

Recognized both nationally and internationally, 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.

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  • Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

    1. The Student will communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

    1.1 The student will be able to clearly express ideas and prove an effective thesis in well organized and well documented formal writings.

    1.2 The student will be able to articulate ideas, clearly explain artistic goals and choices using proper vocal production, correct grammar, and effective delivery in oral presentations.

     2. The student will comprehend the dynamics of effective creative collaboration and will be an effective team member.

    2.1 The student will be able to successfully contribute to a performance ensemble or a production team during main stage theatre productions through effective listening, professional decorum, and clear commitment to a collective goal.

    2.2 The student will be able to successfully execute a major project as part of a team displaying commitment to a collective goal, the ability to share responsibility, and the capacity to exchange ideas coherently, respecting the views of other team members.


    3. The student will utilize research and analysis as a fundamental and necessary part of the artistic process in order to unlock the text for performance or production design.

    3.1 The student will be able to appraise, select, examine, and effectively utilize research sources in preparation for a major performance or production project.

    3.2 The student will be able to execute and organize a thorough analysis of dramatic text in preparation for a major performance or production project.

    4. The student will be prepared to enter the theatre profession through the development of aesthetics, techniques, and skills in the areas of performance or production design.

    4.1 Students in the performance track will demonstrate an understanding of the aesthetics for effective performance, and comprehension of techniques used in the creative process, and the skills required to effectively compose a dramatic performance.

    4.2 Students in the production track will demonstrate an understanding of the aesthetics for effective production elements, a comprehension of techniques used in the creative process, and the skills required to effectively compose the production elements of a dramatic performance.

  • Students have been employed at Disney, Universal Studios, Jenny Wiley Music Theatre, theatres in New York and Los Angeles, Santa Fe Opera Company, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Greenville Little Theatre, The Spartanburg Little Theatre, Palmetto Light and Sound, and professional regional theatres, among others.

  • The Upstate of South Carolina has many venues for theatre majors and internship possibilities. They include:

    • The Rose Theatre in London, England
    • The Warehouse Theatre and Centrestage in Greenville
    • The Chapman Cultural Center
    • The Spartanburg Little Theatre


  • Financial Assistance

    • $25,000 in acting scholarships and technical assistantships awarded annually  

    Study Abroad

    • Foreign Study in London (Kingston University)

    Professional Affiliations

    • SCSTA (South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association
    • KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival)
    • SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference)
    • SCTA (South Carolina Theatre Association)
    • USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology)
    • Alpha Psi Omega


    • 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. 

    Master Classes

    • Taught by Stephen Unwin, world renowned director, thespian and author