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Theatre and Performance Studies

Storefront Theatre
Storefront Theatre

North Park University’s theatre and performance studies program is developed around a storefront model of production. Utilizing small venues—like converted storefronts—companies create intimate spaces that require innovation and creativity to put on a show. Like small production company members, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the full spectrum of what it takes to put on a production: building sets, writing scripts, stage managing, operating sound and light boards, designing props, and more. Professor Chad Eric Bergman emphasizes that these skills are what budding theatre professionals need as they start work in the "real world."

Theatre shows

Students at North Park have been staging plays and musicals that we know of since the 1955-56 academic year, when The Curious Savage was produced in the spring semester. Typically, a season’s schedule has included a fall play, winter one-acts (written, directed, and produced by students), and a spring performance. In recent years, the Theatre Company has staged shows like Urinetown, Lilith, Legitimate Geniuses, and King Lear. Take a look back at the history of theatre at North Park, and a peek at what’s coming up this season and in the near future.

Theatre Studies
Why Study Theatre and Performance?

Explore the wide reaches of human experience and culture through storytelling and production. You’ll take risks, create, innovate, and challenge yourself and your audiences as you discover your own passion for communicating from the stage. Theatre and performance majors are actors, writers, directors, and technicians alike. You’ll engage your critical thinking and active problem solving skills while creating a piece of art that invites the world into your conversation.
Why Choose North Park University

Why North Park?

Coming from professional theatre backgrounds and a commitment to social justice and peace performance, North Park’s theatre and performance studies faculty invites students into a broad conversation about life and relationships with others. Through acting, production, and storytelling courses, you’ll learn from Chicago’s vibrant theatre world, wrestle with questions of faith and justice, and be mentored by faculty who are also actively writing, directing, and producing shows. You’ll learn the skills you need to dive into the world of theatre and production after you graduate.

Careers In Theatre and Performance
  • Actor
  • Playwright
  • Company manager
  • Acting instructor
  • Storefront theatre owner
  • Casting director
  • Digital storyteller

Explore more career options with our Office of Career Development and Internships.

Where Our Alumni Work

North Park’s theatre alumni are active in both stage and film productions all over the country, including at Chicago’s Barrel of Monkeys and Bartleby Productions, at Basher Films/Prehistoric Digital in Los Angeles, and in various theatre roles in St. Louis, Mo., Chicago, Los Angeles, and Europe.

Internships

Chicago’s vibrant theatre scene offers many opportunities for you to gain valuable experience and learn the ins and outs of the theatre business. Students have recently interned at places that include LookingGlass Theatre Company, the American Theater Company, and Barrel of Monkeys, among others.

Learn more about North Park’s internship and career development programs.

North Park Theatre Company

Our on-campus company is made up of dedicated students, both theatre majors and non-majors, who love to put on a show. Students are the stage managers, marketers, actors, props masters, designers, writers, producers, directors, and technicians. With faculty guidance, the company stages at least three shows each year, inviting the North Park community to take a seat and enjoy the show.

Meet the Faculty

Chad Eric Bergman has created a new curriculum for North Park’s theatre program, using Chicago’s storefront theatre model as a way to teach students the full spectrum of work involved in staging a show, a practice he calls “making magic with very little resources.”

Learn more about Chad Eric and the theatre and performance studies faculty.

Chad Eric Bergman, Communication Arts professor
Interesting Classes

Be prepared for a career in theatre and production by taking a wide range of courses, including:

  • Theatre Design
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Dramatic Writing
  • World Theater and Drama

Explore the coursework and requirements for the theatre and performance studies major.

This Season at North Park Theatre

The 2013–2014 season is just getting underway. The company's fall production, Book of Days by Lanford Wilson, will hit the stage October 31 through November 9.

Read more about the 2013–2014 theatre season.