David Mays and Harry Smith, Directors of the FTU Theatre, felt confident that their professional training had prepared them for any theatrical emergency, but sandstorms in the dimmers and a resident snake backstage was a little outside their experience. These were only two obstacles to be faced when one is committed to produce plays in a 124-foot, yellow-and-blue tent (pictured at right) that sounded and acted distressingly like a clipper ship whenever the wind picked up.
Despite this, such obstacles were either overcome or conveniently ignored, and the FTU Theatre was ready for its first production. Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus," in November of 1969. Obligingly, the Central Florida weather dropped into the thirties for the opening night, and the pentameters of Shakespeare were punctuated by the staccato of teeth, chattering in the cold.
In 1972, The tent was packed away for good as productions were moved indoors into the Science Auditorium (pictured at left). The occasion was celebrated with a well-received production of "The Cherry Orchard."
With the formation of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1981/82, Theatre became a separate program with its own director and, in 1983, following major renovations, the old Science building was renamed the University Theatre.
Since its early origins, the Department has offered the BA degree. The Theatre curriculum and programs were extensively revised in 1992 and beginning with the fall term of 1993, in addition to the BA degree, a professional BFA degree was offered with specializations in performance and technical theatre/design. In addition, the season of plays for 1993/94 was expanded to six main-stage productions and six student directed one-act, studio productions.
During the summer of 1994, Theatre UCF initiated its first summer theatre program with a summer season of four productions. Summer productions are produced by a company of theatre students, faculty, staff, and visiting guest artists.
A BFA track in Musical Theatre was implemented during the Fall term of 1998 and a Certificate Program in Arts Administration was implemented in the Spring of 2001.
During the 2000/2001 academic year, the Department entered into a partnership with the Civic Theatre. This partnership resulted in the creation of The Orlando Repertory Theatre, housed in the theatre facilities located in Loch Haven Park. This enabled the Department of Theatre to become involved in youth programming.
The MA degree in General Theatre and the MFA degree in Acting and in Design were approved by the Board of Regents in the Spring of 2001 and implemented in the Fall of 2001. A partnership with the News-Journal Lively Arts Center and Seaside Music Theatre enabled us to start an MFA in Musical Theatre in 2002. We added our MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences in 2004.
The School of Performing Arts produces outstanding practitioners, educators and scholars in Music and Theatre , while fostering a strong relationship between the community and the artists . The School enhances all of the programs at UCF with access to high-level performances and emphasis on the critical importance of creating art while encouraging creativity and innovation across all disciplines. We serve our campus and community with research and creative activities that innovate, inspire, entertain and enlighten. While the sciences explain what makes us live, the arts make life worth living.
Theatre UCF provides a competitive edge to undergraduate and graduate students seeking to achieve excellence as professional theatre practitioners, scholars and creative intellectual leaders while inspiring them to be aware and enlightened human beings. We enhance the life and culture of the University and community through the arts and collaborate with professional partners to build a stronger community.
Theatre UCF will continue to expand our national and international presence as a performing arts program, and become recognized for our intellectual, cultural, technological and professional environment with nationally and internationally recognized faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and professionally successful alumni.
We believe in process, inclusivity, integrity, versatility, discipline, collaboration, creativity, respect, passion, diversity and responsible use of resources in the pursuit of excellence.
The University of Central Florida School of Performing Arts considers the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff to be a strength and critical to its educational mission. UCF expects every member of the university community to contribute to an inclusive and respectful culture for all in its classrooms, work environments, and at campus events. Dimensions of diversity can include but are not limited to sex, race, age, size, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, income, faith and non-faith perspectives, socio-economic class, political ideology, education, primary language, family status, military experience, cognitive style, and communication style. The individual intersection of these experiences and characteristics must be valued in our community.
Members of the UCF School of Performing Arts are committed to actively listening to perspectives that are different than their own, and actively affirming and including different perspectives in the creative process, including but not limited to sex, race, age, size, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, income, faith and non-faith perspectives, socio-economic class, political ideology, education, primary language, family status, military experience, cognitive style, and communication style. We aim to demonstrate our commitment to diversity through selection of content to be performed, course content, recruitment, leadership, faculty makeup, and a constantly evolving conversation with students, faculty, patrons, and the UCF community.
We, as members or the School of Performing Arts,