Dr. Monica Anderson, chair

Dale Prey, theatre manager/technical director

Prof. John Walker


The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes art as a revealer of truth, “a form of practical wisdom, uniting knowledge and skill, to give form to the truth of reality in a language accessible to sight and hearing.” The mission of Franciscan University’s Department of Fine Arts, is to enable students to appreciate, understand, and communicate profound truths expressed in theatre, music, and the visual arts. Students are encouraged to embrace the “practical wisdom” and the love of beauty and knowledge to which the arts inspire. The department seeks to help students develop intelligent standards by which to astutely judge works of art, and to come to appreciate and to understand the arts not as mere adornments to civilized life, but as integral and vital to civilization’s very being. As students engage in the study of theatre, music and the visual arts, they learn both as appreciators and practitioners the arts, of the immense amount of study and work that is necessary for artists to perfect their work, and they learn, as St. John Paul II writes, how “art give[s] expression to the greatness and wonder of the mystery of human life.”


The Theatre Major aims at providing the theatre student with a well-rounded theatre experience that fully shares in the liberal arts mission of the University. Four major areas of the theatre (literature, history, directing, and stagecraft/design) are represented by at least two semesters of class work. Though only one semester of acting is required, ample practical opportunity is provided for the students to hone their performance skills through participation in the major productions, orientation plays, performing in scenes for the directing students, student-directed one-acts, various theatre workshops and projects, and upper division performance electives. The major is completed by two capstone courses, Production (the student designs and directs a one-act play which is produced for the campus community) and Theory of Theatre (a seminar course focusing on the role theatre plays in enhancing culture).

Assessment Learning Goals

  1. Analyze a text from the point of view of an actor, a designer, and a director and identify the dramatic action and parts of a play.
  2. Design and direct a one-act play
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic elements of acting.
  4. Articulate an understanding of the culture and social conditions that gave birth to the theatre of each major period of theatre history and demonstrate a basic knowledge of the plays, artists, productions and production practices of these cultures.
  5. Articulate a philosophy of theatre that is grounded in a Catholic perspective.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to research thoroughly and utilize the research in an effective and appropriate way.

 Theatre Course Descriptions