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About the Department


The UCSC Theater Arts Department collectively embodies a process of rigorous experimentation and socially conscious analysis to create equitable, accessible, and interdisciplinary performance and scholarship. We are deeply committed to making performance that speaks to the current moment, disrupts oppressive narratives of the past and present, and re-centers historically marginalized communities through stories, structures, aesthetics, and rituals. 

We strive in our department to put our practice at the forefront of the evolving cultures and identities of our society by immersing students in production, history, theory, and craft. We integrate these aspects with intersectional feminist, decolonial, and new media strategies and principles to help shape the performance-makers of the future. UCSC Theatre Arts students defy traditional categorization: experimenting with theory on our multiple stages, learning technique in our studios and shops, and bringing activism, artistry, and agency to their work onstage and beyond.


UC Santa Cruz is an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.” (for more information on land acknowledgment please go here). We acknowledge the harm that settler colonization has caused and acknowledge ways we as a higher education institution and department have benefited from and perpetuated this harm. We are committed to performance, scholarship, and pedagogy that affirms Indigenous sovereignty and transforms the relationships between land and bodies, hearts and minds. 

The UCSC Theater Arts Department acknowledges unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We are committed to an anti-racist and decolonial educational ethos that fosters an artistic environment that is accessible to and in solidarity with communities fighting for justice. We acknowledge that the multiplicity and intersectionality of gender, race, cultural affiliation, citizenship status, disability, neurodiversity, sexuality, religion, and economic class is necessary for excellence in our field. We continue to be critical of how white supremacy, settler colonialism, ableism, transphobia, classism, and hetero-patriarchy show up in our curriculum, productions, and hiring practices, as we acknowledge that oppressive ideas and practices have resulted in past harm and that undoing these practices is vital to our students, scholarship, and performance.

Resources and Opportunities

A wealth of production opportunities is offered to students. This includes major productions directed by faculty or distinguished visiting artists each quarter, productions directed or choreographed by students, and faculty-directed workshops. Undergraduate students are also given the opportunity to see their own writing, choreography, or intermediate concepts put into production in annual festivals of student work. Opportunities to study and perform non-Western, as well as Euro-American traditions, are a significant part of the program.

Majors who wish to intensify their study of one particular theater arts area before seeking admission to MFA or Ph.D. graduate programs, or work with professional companies are encouraged to apply to the department's Masters of Arts Program.

For a listing of some of the opportunities available by specialty (design, acting, etc.) please start with the Production Opportunities page.

For further information about requirements, declaration, or the Theater Arts Department in general, please explore this website and contact us at The department office is located in room J106, Theater Arts Center. More information about our undergraduate degrees can be found in our UNDERGRADUATE HANDBOOK on our Advising page.

Program Learning Outcomes

Our program incorporates dance, design, and drama as essential disciplines in the successful practice of theater arts in the contemporary world.

Graduates from the Theater Arts B.A. program should demonstrate the following:

1. Foundations of Performance. Students should be able to identify and apply basic theatrical techniques in dance, design, and drama.

2. Theatrical histories and theories. Students should be able to recognize and analyze performance works within the general culture and historical period that produced them.

3. Performance experience. Students should be able to translate theater arts concepts into performance, participating in any theatrical endeavor with the rigor, discipline, and imagination necessary to make a meaningful contribution.

4. Research proficiency. Students should be able to formulate personal research questions that expand their knowledge of theater arts, conducting independent research into the history and theory of at least one area of concentration.

5. Creative practice. Students should be able to use theatrical practices and performance experiences to conceive, design, realize and reflect on new performance projects.

6. Appreciation of diversity. Students should be able to recognize and appreciate a wide variety of approaches, cultures, and styles in both past and contemporary performance practice.

7. Communication and critical thinking. Students should be able to use critical vocabularies to communicate clearly about theater arts in written and oral forms.

8. Collaborative skills. Students should be able to work confidently and effectively in groups on a common project.