Theatre and Speech Arts

The theatre and speech arts program at The College of Idaho offers numerous opportunities for students to express their creativity and rhetorical skills. Learning about acting, directing, theatrical design, playwriting, musical theatre, theatre management and speech arts takes place in the classroom, as well as through the College’s active schedule of theatrical productions and renowned speech and debate program.

Why study theatre or speech arts at The College of Idaho?

Students are actively involved in making theatre at The College of Idaho by participating in mainstage productions ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary plays to musical theatre. Scarlet Masque, a student theatre organization on campus, provides additional opportunities to hone your theatrical skills. All the while, you’ll receive individual mentoring from professors who work professionally as actors, directors and theatrical designers. The College of Idaho speech and debate team has won 13 Northwest Conference Division II Championships in the past 15 years and finished in the top 10 nationally on five occasions.

Our comprehensive curriculum includes classes in acting, stagecraft, directing, theatre history, stage makeup, stage combat and applied theatre (lighting, costuming and scenery practicum) as well as in public speaking, debate and oral argumentation. Campus facilities include a 145-seat black box theatre that serves as the primary playing space for mainstage productions and classroom work, a 200-seat recital hall where musicals and operas are staged, an 850-seat proscenium house, a smaller student-stage and an outdoor amphitheatre.   

College of Idaho theatre graduates participate annually in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, and our graduates have gone on to perform with the Blue Man Group, serve as stage managers on Broadway and work as professional actors, directors, scenic artists and costumers in numerous theatres across the country. The College also offers a speech rhetoric minor that focuses on developing oral communication skills, with opportunities for students to apply these skills through the C of I’s Speech and Debate team and Model United Nations program.

Career opportunities for theatre and speech arts majors/minors

A major or minor in theatre or speech arts prepares students for graduate study, a variety of professional theatre and performing arts occupations, or work in the many other fields that use the strong communication skills developed by study in these disciplines. Theatre and speech arts also help develop:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Strong leadership ability
  • Creative, independent and informed choices regarding one’s approach to the performing arts
  • An understanding of one’s own individuality as a human being while recognizing responsibility to a wider community