USC Upstate Theatre has 450 seats for main stage productions

Theatre Program

Collaborate. Create. Contribute

Mission Statement

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.

Diversity Statement

USC Upstate Theatre embraces the core values of wellness, equity and civility of our university. We will continue its legacy of inclusiveness and support of people of color on and off the stage. We are also committed to maintaining critical awareness of racial and social injustice in our country, community and around the world. We will strive to amplify the voices of all marginalized peoples in the classroom, in production and performance. We stand firmly against racism and all forms of discrimination. Upstate Theatre proudly celebrates the vibrant colors of our country's beautiful tapestry of cultures.

Give to the Upstate Theatre Fund Today!

  • Program Concentrations

    The B.A. in Theatre with concentrations in Performance and Production combines rigorous classroom/studio work with valuable experiential learning opportunities in lead roles and/or production leadership positions for mainstage and studio theatre productions.

    Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance

    Offering 4 mainstage productions of various genres, a staged reading series, children’s theatre productions, student director productions in our black box studio, and the opportunity to travel to London to perform, our theatre performance track offers a wealth of opportunity for students to integrate performance experience with studio training in performance. Performance students will combine solid preparation in technique with experiences in discovery of character identity and psychological revelation.  Students take performance courses that hone their skills so that they are confident entering the professional arena and/or continuing their education in graduate school.  Students can perform as early as their first semester at USC UPSTATE.

    Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Production

    Students focusing on design, technology, and stage management have many opportunities to hone their craft and develop confident leadership abilities.  Using computer technology as the basis for the production concentration allows us to prepare students for the evolution of theatre design and production.  Students can work on all mainstage productions, student directed productions, and internationally in London.  Students build portfolios, prompt scripts, and interview for the positions they wish to fill on productions team.  Students can work on a mainstage production as early as their first semester at USC UPSTATE.


    Minor in Theatre

    A Theatre minor may be particularly attractive if you seek to augment your major field of study with a basic knowledge of theatre.  Minors are also prioritized in giving opportunities to perform and be a part of the program production teams.

    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.

    For a complete list of course requirements, click here.

  • 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:

  • Scholarship Auditions & Technical Assistantships

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

    Audition Information:

    Performance Scholarship: If you are interested in auditioning for a Performance Scholarship, please contact Lee Neibert, Director of Theatre, at or (864) 503-5987 to schedule an audition.

    Technical Assistantship: If you are interested in a Technical Assistantship, please contact Barry Whitfield, Technical Director, at or (864) 503-5880 to schedule an interview.

  •  Study Abroad
    • Foreign Study in London (Kingston University)

    Professional Affiliations

    • SCSTA (South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association)
      • The South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association is a professional organization that promotes the study of all areas of performance and oral communication: acting, oral interpretation/performance studies, theatre, broadcasting, public speaking, discussion and debate, and speech/theatre education. SCSTA serves both the public and private schools and the colleges and universities in South Carolina through three spring festival competitions, and through recognition of outstanding contributors to our efforts.
    • KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival)
      • The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theatre program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theatre in the United States. Focused on the celebration of diverse and exciting theatre, KCACTF involves students from more than 600 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
    • SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference)
      • Southeastern Theatre Conference is the strongest and broadest network of theatre practitioners in the United States. We provide extensive resources and year-round opportunities for our constituents. Our services, publications, and products contribute significantly to the careers of emerging artists, seasoned professionals and academicians. SETC energizes the practical, intellectual and creative profile of theatre in America.
    • SCTA (South Carolina Theatre Association)
      • South Carolina Theatre Association, a subset of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, was founded to create, cultivate, and connect theatre professionals, educators, participants, students, and patrons across the state of South Carolina.
    • USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology)
      • The United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc. (USITT) connects performing arts design and technology communities to ensure a vibrant dialog among practitioners, educators, and students.
    • Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ)
      • Alpha Psi Omega is a National Theatre Honor Society for participants in collegiate theatre. It began in the early 20th century as result of the growing interest in dramatic arts among colleges and universities throughout America, with the aim of encouraging dramatic production at every step in a person’s academic career.

    Master Classes

Social Media

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Performing Arts Center Box Office
USC Upstate Performing Arts Center, 138
170 Gramling Drive Spartanburg, SC 29303 Map pin icon
Hours: Monday-Friday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.*

*Note: The box office will open 1-hour prior to performances