School of Theatre & Music

Contact Information: 
Campus Location: L017 Education, Theatre, Music, and Social Work Building (ETMSW) 
(312) 996-2977

Director, Christine Mary Dunford
Head of Theatre, Yasen Peyankov
Head of Music, Louis Bergonzi

The School of Theatre & Music provides innovative, rigorous, and comprehensive academic and performance programs as part of its diverse, urban context. These programs develop practical knowledge, cultural sensitivity, intellectual resourcefulness, and imaginative daring in emerging artists and scholars. They connect students to Chicago’s abundant, vibrant theatre culture and to the city’s dynamic jazz and classical music networks.

The School of Theatre & Music offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Music; the Bachelor of Arts in Music Business; the Bachelor of Music in Performance; the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies; the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance; the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Design, Production, and Technology; and the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting.

Department of Music

BA in Music; BA in Music Business; BMus in Performance; and BMus in Jazz Studies

The Music program curricula emphasize skills and knowledge that are fundamental to the diverse music discipline: music theory, music history, performance, aural and keyboard training, orchestration, composition, conducting, private study on a principal instrument, and ensemble participation. Core course requirements for all majors include two years of work in theory and aural skills. All programs also include course work in piano, music history and literature, analysis, digital music, and ethnomusicology. Beyond these, each of the four majors adds requirements particular to its focus.

For all students, the program offers opportunities for private study in piano, voice, and orchestral and band instruments with some of Chicago's most outstanding artist-teachers. For students in Jazz Studies, the program provides private study, big band, and combo work with leading Chicago jazz artists.

An audition is required for admission to the BA in Music, BA in Music Business, BMus in Performance, and BMus in Jazz Studies majors. A minimum of 120 semester hours is required for graduation.

Many of the program’s graduates pursue advanced degrees in music. Others find employment as performers, teachers, composers, and arts managers in a wide variety of settings.

Department of Theatre

BA in Theatre and Performance; BA in Theatre Design, Production, and Technology; and BFA in Acting

The Theatre program curricula emphasize a balance between history, theory and practice, and integrate traditional performance theories and forms with contemporary interdisciplinary performance practices. With a commitment to ensemble-based learning, the program fosters student exploration from originating impulse or idea to realization in course work, performance, and production. All majors take courses in acting, voice, movement, directing, and/or playwriting, history, and design in order to develop a broad understanding of the field. BA in Theatre and Performance majors have the opportunity to take full advantage of a wide range of courses across the discipline. Likewise, BA in Theatre Design, Production, and Technology majors take courses across the discipline with a particular focus on theatre design or technology. BFA in Acting majors pursue a structured course of study that focuses on developing the actor for professional work and training.

All majors are required to actively participate in the department’s productions in conjunction with their ongoing class work. Majors participate in the UIC’s Mainstage Season performances and student-generated projects under the direction and coaching of the theatre faculty and guest artists, all of whom are highly regarded professional artists in their respective fields.

An audition, interview, or portfolio review is required for all majors. A total of 120 semester hours is required for graduation. Some Theatre courses require grades of C or higher in courses listed as prerequisites. Please check the Course Descriptions for more information.