About Us

Mission Statement
The Theatre Department’s mission is drawn from the goals and purposes of a liberal arts education:

  1. To provide a comprehensive undergraduate education in Theatre and the Performing Arts. This program prepares the student for graduate school, professional theatre training programs, and the teaching of Theatre at the secondary education level. Courses in Theatrical Design and Technology, Acting, Directing, History and Criticism provide the foundation for students in Theatre. Courses in the appreciation and understanding of Theatre, the Performing Arts, and Acting enhance the general and cultural education of all students, regardless of major.
  2. To provide all Iowa State University students with educational and theatrical experiences that enhance their understanding and aesthetic appreciation of the production and study of the world’s dramatic and music-theatre literature, performance and design theory, and theatre technology.
  3. To serve as a vital force in the cultural and intellectual life of Iowa State University, the community, and throughout the state.

The activities of the Theatre area reflect Iowa State University’s commitment to excellence in teaching and creative activity. Its principle research mission is creative activity. By designing, directing, acting and writing for the Theatre both in their on-campus laboratory, Fisher Theater, and through guest residencies with other state, regional, national and international theatre companies, the Theatre faculty enhance their artistic and technological capabilities and enrich their effectiveness in the classroom.

The Theatre Area serves as a resource to primary and secondary school teachers in the State of Iowa by providing special performances, workshops and study guides for students, and consultation in the areas of theatrical production and curriculum.

The Theatre Area’s mission is in accordance with guidelines established by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Code of Ethics

  1. Theatre is a collaborative art. Collaboration implies individuals working as a unit and is predicated on mutual respect among those individuals as artists, as scholar, as people.
  2. Theatre is a living art. Because theatre is alive and exists in the present tense, it can bog down-lose its magic- if the live human beings engaged in it do not seek or embrace ways of collaborating which release individual intelligences, creative energies, spirits, and courage.
  3. Teaching theatre to the next generation of imaginers, thinkers, and doers expects integrity and accountability to our students, our profession, our colleague collaborators. And, because teaching theatre is also a collaborative living art, it is intrinsically bound up with how well its collaborators, its living beings, function

General Principles of the Code
The Faculty and Staff of the Theatre Area seek to:

  • Be Professional in attitude, approach, and dedication. Intellectual, creative, or psychic energies, time, and talent are to be treasured, not wasted. Parochialism, prejudice, and divisiveness are meaningless and, in fact, incompatible with the nature and spirit of theatre and teaching as collaborative art and work.
  • Work Hard at whatever we do. We will do our share, do it well, and do it willingly because our academic and artistic integrity and sense of self depend on it. We know that we are engaged in work that is essential to the culture and the future. We take pride in the process as we do in the product.
  • Bring Organization, Preparation, and Concentration to the process in such a way that they will permit the attainment of maximum professional and personal goals. A clock, a set of objectives, and a plan to achieve them will free us to work, to take risks, and to remember why we chose to spend our lives as educators and artists, and to enjoy doing it. We have no right to waste one moment of someone else’s life.
  • Be Open, Honest, and Positive with the collaborators about collaboration. Channels of communication must be open in such a way that everyone can, and wishes to, contribute to the collaboration creatively and intellectually, that weaknesses are not glossed over or ignored, that problems are recognized and approached without fear of exposure or ridicule, that the quality of the work remains the focus. We will remember that finally, all collaborators are on the same side.
  • Develop a Sense of Humor. It is imperative that we be able to laugh at ourselves. If we take ourselves too seriously, others will be afraid to approach, to speak truth, to disagree. They may therefore not speak what needs to be spoken for the collaboration to succeed, to make a difference. Isolation prevents collaboration in teaching and making theatre.