Studying Theatre at California State University, Los Angeles offers students the opportunity to discover and develop their own unique voices in a collaborative, diverse, inclusive, community-centered, and enriching learning environment.
Cal State LA resides in the center of the entertainment industry. Students engage with Los Angeles’ rich artistic community as well as across disciplines within the University. Innovative and wide-ranging production and performance opportunities promote student learning within the creative process. Through coursework and performances, our students have the opportunity to explore the theatrical world from every perspective.
HIGHLIGHTED INTEGRATED PROGRAMS:
This coming academic year is the 20th anniversary of The John Lion New Plays Festival. Every other year, under the leadership and mentorship of Cal State LA Professor and renowned playwright, José Cruz González, student-written original plays are developed and then directed by invited professional directors for full main-stage premieres. Since 1997, we have premiered 73 new plays written by our undergraduate and graduate students. Past Festival highlights include recognition by the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and publishing opportunities. Each play is developed through tutorials, workshop readings, and culminating in fully mounted productions biennially for 3-5 plays/playwrights. Student playwrights have collaborated with professional and faculty directors, designers, actors and dramaturgs.
Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). All department productions register with KC/ACTF to allow perforers to meet with respondents, receive feedback on their work, and are eligible for nomination in the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competitions. Playwrights, designers, and stage managers also enter to participate in the Regional festival, bringing their work to festival for feedback and critiques.
Production Participation. Students in all options are required to participate in Production activities as they work towards their degree program. As actors, directors, playwrights, stage managers, designers, technicians, shop and running crew, our students get an experience that prepares them for work in the industry. Auditions for all actors are mandatory and come with follow-up discussion with faculty directors. Portfolio and resume review for Design & Production option students provides preparation for interviews and presentations. New programs are being created to assist students in web-site creation, providing opportunity for networking as they move towards graduation and entry into the profession.
Observation and Networking opportunities. Students regularly have the opportunity to not only attend performances in the Los Angeles theatre community, but also to observe rehearsals, technical activities and participate in backstage observation. Our community partners include: Los Angeles Opera, Center Theatre Group (Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglass Theatre), LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, Pasadena Playhouse, The Theatre @ Boston Court, Deaf West Theatre, LA Stage Alliance, Circle X Theatre, Actors’ Co-op, PRG, and more.
The Department regularly brings artists and industry professionals to campus. Most recently we have hosted events including: The American College Dance Asssociation’s Baja Regional Festival, The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 8 festival, the Southern California section of the United States Institute for Theatre Technlogy (USITT)’s Career Expo, and LA Stage Alliance’s LA Stage Day.
Students are encouraged to participate and collaborate on projects in the Department of Television, Film and Media (TVFM) as well as in projects in the new MFA in Television, Film and Theatre, to expand their skills developed in theatre and live performance to that of on-camera, new media and web applications.
Department Past Production Brochures