Eastern Michigan University program in Theatre Arts ranks among nation’s finest

Internationally renowned blog lists EMU as top program of its kind in Michigan

A group of EMU Theatre students hold hands and take a bow in a view from behind them on stage.

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University B.A. theatre arts program has been ranked among the top 25 such programs in the country, the only program in Michigan to make the national rankings.

Eastern was ranked 15th in country by the OnStage Blog, which covers theatre internationally, offering news, features and observations on the world of stage performance.

In its ranking of Eastern, the blog noted that EMU Theatre produces six large-scale faculty or guest-artist directed and designed Mainstage productions annually and two small-scale experimental Second Stage productions that are directed by faculty or graduate students. 

"The school of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts is pleased to have the hard work of our students, faculty and staff recognized by OnStage Blog,” said Pamela Cardell Cato, assistant managing director of the EMU Theatre program. “We encourage the campus and surrounding community to join us for one of our EMU Theatre productions this season. Come see in person the standard of excellence we work towards in all aspects of theatre."

Professor Lee Stille, director of the Theatre Arts program, said, "We at EMU Theatre have long been devoted to providing students abundant, high quality and enriching educational experiences in all facets of our program. Our faculty, staff, and students appreciate the acknowledgment of our program."

The department offers three annual touring companies: Applied Drama/Theatre for the Young, 6 Figures Playback Theatre, and Encore Musical Theatre as well as other programs that connect EMU faculty and students with the community at large, the OnStage blog noted.

In the Eastern program, students receive academic training and hands-on experience in the foundational areas of theatre arts, including script analysis, acting, technical theatre, play production, directing, theatre history and dramaturgy. Advanced course work provides specialization in single or multiple areas of interest.

Students pursuing the degree have opportunities to engage in extensive annual mainstage, second-stage, laboratory theatre season, community-based programing including touring productions, as well as various student organizations.

Graduates have had successful careers in the professional theatre, the field of education, and have gone on to advanced study in graduate and professional training programs.  

OnStage Editor-in-Chief Chris Peterson founded the OnStage Blog in 2014 with the intention of blogging about theatre in his hometown of New York. Since then the site has expanded to cover theatre on a worldwide level and has been cited in numerous national and international publications.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

September 18, 2018

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom