The Department of Performing Arts at St. Edward's University is a combination of theater, dance and music courses, offering two majors, two minors, and ample opportunity to explore creative development and expression.
The Department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts and minors in Theater Arts and Musical Theater. We are home to the award winning Mary Moody Northen Theatre that houses our professional productions plus a broad array of many other performance opportunities. The Department of Performing Arts provides students with the training, education, and experience they need to pursue careers in the field or further study.
St. Edward's University is home to one of the finest theater arts programs in the region. Our award-winning theater training program identifies and nurtures outstanding creative talent through a curriculum that includes a well-rounded liberal arts education, artistic exploration, rigorous training, intellectual challenge and practical application in a professional environment.
Students participate in multiple opportunities through the Mary Moody Northen Theatre (MMNT), which stands at the core of the theater training program and operates on a professional model. The theater serves as a laboratory where students apply and expand upon the skills they have gained in the classroom in a professional performance setting. MMNT is a member of Theatre Communications Group and is affiliated with the Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
St. Edward's University is one of the nation's few undergraduate-only programs incorporating a full season under the Actors’ Equity Association University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) agreement. This agreement provides the unique opportunity for theater students to work alongside seasoned professionals and earn points toward AEA membership. Through MMNT, students study with, assist and perform with professional actors, directors and designers as they expand their networks and grow as artists. Through MMNT, students may participate in a variety of theatrical genres, including classical and contemporary plays as well as musicals. Design and technology students not only work with MMNT and local professional companies, but also present and exhibit annually with the United States Institute for Theater Technology (USITT).
Guest artists from the world of professional theater, opera, film and television teach and work with students in lecture, workshop and production settings. Take an audition workshop with a Los Angeles acting coach; attend a lecture by a world-class opera director; have your costume renderings critiqued by a regional designer; work onstage alongside an actor fresh from a London performance or currently appearing in American Horror Story; assist a Broadway stage manager in production. At St Edward's University you will have the unique opportunity to work closely with artists who have established careers and can share their wisdom and experience.
What serves to further distinguish this program is the unparalleled access you have to one of the most robust, thriving cities for music and creative industries. Our location in Austin, the "Live Music Capital of the World," provides students with the perfect opportunity to learn in a practical setting, and many students work outside of the university in the music and creative sectors. Austin boasts major events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest Film, Interactive and Music Festivals. The city is home to more than 200 live music venues, multiple professional theaters, world class ballet, symphony and opera companies, myriad arts and classical music festivals and bustling creative activity year-round.
The incredible diversity of music across Austin’s many venues parallels Austin’s cultural diversity, providing endless opportunity for artistic experimentation genre exploration. There are also a whopping 1,650 music-related businesses in Austin, ranging from guitar makers to recording studios. You’ll find nearly endless opportunity for artistic expression through St. Edward’s University and the surrounding community.
Every April at the St. Edward's Honors Night, faculty select a student from each class plus a transfer student in the program to receive the Outstanding Theater Arts award.
This is a one-year award from the Theater Society for tuition/fees made by the faculty and staff at the end of spring semester. It's given to a student who has exceeded expectations in assuming duties in support of productions and their classmates.
A one-year award endowed in the memory of Blakely Thompson, a Theater Arts major. The faculty and staff give this award to a student who is most often a transfer focusing on administration and management who has distinguished herself/himself in class and in support of productions.
A one-year award endowed in the memory of Jeffery Loren Belker, who distinguished himself in the area of directing, awarded to a student who has exhibited ability and passion for direction.
This is a one-year award from the Theater Society in memory of a beloved teacher/designer awarded by the faculty and staff to a student who has made significant achievements in a design area during the school year.