Concordia University Theatre has established a tradition of producing classical and contemporary works that fulfill Aristotle's greatest charge: "To teach and to entertain." We are dedicated to staging plays and musicals that provoke critical thinking, expand cultural awareness, and inspire empathy within audiences that make up our community in Austin, Central Texas, and beyond.
2022-23 Theatre Productions
by Christopher Demos-Brown
An incredibly powerful and intimate play, American Son is about an estranged bi-racial couple who must confront their feelings about race, gender, and bias after their son is detained by the police following a traffic stop incident. Their disparate histories and backgrounds inform their assumptions as they try to find out what has happened to their son. Demos-Brown is adept at presenting multiple viewpoints in conflict, giving each equal weight.
Director: Dr. Kelly Carolyn Gordon
Set Design: Hsiao-Wei Chen
Costume Design: Alyks Waring
Lighting Design: Liam Henderson
November 10-12 | 7:30 p.m. | Black Box Theater
November 13 | 2 p.m. | Black Box Theater
General Admission Per Person: $10| Tickets will go on sale in October
*Contains adult language
December 9| 7:30 pm| Black Box Theatre
The Spitfire Grill
Music and Book by James Valcq, Lyrics and Book by Fred Alley, Based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff
A feisty parolee follows her dreams, based on a page from an old travel book, to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. The Grill is for sale, but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy convinces Hannah to raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why you want the Grill wins. Soon, mail arrives by the wheelbarrow and things really start cookin’ at the Spitfire Grill.
Director: Dr. Kelly Carolyn Gordon
February 23-25 | 7:30 p.m. | Black Box Theater
February 26 | 2 p.m. | Black Box Theater
General Admission Per Person: $10| Tickets will go on sale in January
Fine Arts Showcase
Featuring performances from dance, music, and theatre by Concordia students, alums, staff, and faculty.
March 31 and April 1| 7:30 pm| Black Box Theatre
- 'Til Death Do Us Part: A Vintage Radio Special
- "An Anthology Project"
- "The Suffragist Project"
- "Murder-Ween: An Evening of Spooky, Vintage Radio Plays"
- "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- "Little Shop of Horrors," book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken
- "A Moment of Silence" by Mohammad Yaghoubi
- "Tartuffe" by Moliere
- "SEVEN," conceived by Carol Mack, written by seven award-winning playwrights: Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deavere Smith, and Susan Yankowitz
- "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, conveived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss
- "The Way of the Water" by Caridad Svich
- "An Enemy of the People" by Henrich Ibsen
- "Bocon" by Lisa Loomer
- "Permanent Collection" by Thomas Gibbons
- "Antigone" by Sophocles
- "The Exonerated" by Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen
- "The Container" by Clare Bayley
- "The Clean House" by Sarah Ruhl
- "Doubt" by John Patrick Shanley
- "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged [Revised]" by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield
Past guest artists have included costume designers Cecelia Gay and Jessi Rose; lighting designers, Yi-Tai Chung, Kristin DuBois, Erin Fleming, and Mercedes McCleary; puppeteer, Kevin Long; and set designers, Bren Coombs, Sam Gonzalez, and Michael Krauss.
2021-22 Guest Artists
Kendra S. Wiley is the adjunct professor of theatre design and technology. Kendra holds an M.F.A. in lighting design from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Theatre and minor in dance from Samford University. Kendra has been involved in theatre and dance since the age of eleven, and brings additional experience in interactive lighting design, stage management, set design, dance teaching, sound design, projection design, and costuming. Recent lighting design credits include Disney’s Newsies (Brentwood Christian School, 2022), 14 (CTX, 2021), In the Ether (ARCOS Dance, 2021), and 12 Ophelias (UT Austin, 2019). In 2020, Kendra also designed their own M.F.A. thesis performance, in which they performed a twenty-minute solo dance while controlling the lights from the stage.
Smokey Westerfeld (Lighting Designer/Technician, Spring 2019): Smokey has a love for the entertainment business that spans over 40 years. He served as Production Stage Manager for Houston Music Theatre, and The Magic Mountain Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. He has traveled as Stage Manager with national road-show tours. He was called to report to C.B.S. Network, Television City in Hollywood, and he retired from C.B.S. twenty years later. His staff credits while at C.B.S. vary from Production Lighting/Head Electrician, Property Master, and Audio Engineer. The last 15 years of his tenure were spent in the field of Audio Mixing, both Production, and Post-Production. Smokey is the recipient of six Emmy Awards for his work in Television Audio.
What Does It Look Like To Study Theatre at Concordia University Texas?
The mission of the Department of Theatre at Concordia University Texas is to elicit creativity, critical thinking, cultural awareness and empathy, within an active, collaborative learning environment, in exploration of what it means to be human. Theatre Studies prepares students with valuable skills that can be applied to many different industries.
Students learn about theatre within the context of an excellent liberal arts education. Class sizes are small enough for students to receive individualized attention and training, to work in close collaboration with faculty, guest artists, and other students, and to create opportunities based on their specific interests.
From their first year, our students get hands-on experience in the classroom and in production, leadership, collaboration, critical thinking and artistic skills.
CTX Theatre presents two main-stage productions a year, and the fall play aligns with the Service-Learning Week theme. Participation in production is open to the entire CTX community and can be taken for academic credit.
Curriculum Overview for Theatre Majors
The BA in Theatre Studies at CTX incorporates a wide breadth of subjects, preparing students for a variety of industries.
Theatre students select a tract – Performance or Design/Technology – to meet their interests. Additionally, the BA in Theatre is easily paired with another major, allowing students to further customize their education. Through individualized attention and training, students develop the necessary skills for their specific focus.
Here are some highlighted courses:
Experience of Drama: In this dynamic, experientially-based course,students attend professional theatrical productions throughout Austin to examine the play’s journey from page to stage. Play attendance is supplemented with script and production analysis, lecture, presentations, class-discussions, exclusive talkbacks and meetings with production personnel.
Theatre for Social Change/Applied Theatre: This course zeros in on theatre’s unique power as a tool for social change, and its tremendous potential for application to fields outside of traditional theatre. Students examine the theories and methods of applied theatre throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries, studying a wide array of international topics, including agit-prop theatre, radical street performance, museum theatre, theatre in prisons, and theatre and service in the church.
Acting - Scene Study and Improvisation: Students at all levels of experience develop acting skills through the disciplines of improvisation and scene study. Improvisation is employed as a means of structuring original ideas to create scenes, as a method of confronting and solving acting problems, as a way to inspire social change and as a means of theatricalizing non-dramatic sources such as folktales.
The BA in Theatre Studies provides tools required for working in the professional theatre as well as a foundation for graduate studies in theatre and film. Furthermore, students who study theatre develop and hone skills transferable to any field:
- Viewing the world from multiple perspectives
- Creative problem-solving
- Effective verbal and non-verbal communication
- Advanced presentation abilities
- Outside-the-box thinking
- Empathy and deep listening
- Efficient time management
- Close reading and analysis
- Project management and organization
- Critical thinking
- Cultural awareness
- Arts Administrator
- Casting Agent
- Drama Therapist
- Events Planner
- Literary Manager
- Project Manager
- Stage Manager
- Theatrical Designer (make-up, costumes, props, set, lighting)
Why does Concordia offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) instead of a Bachelor of Fine Arts
Concordia University Texas offers a BA in Theatre Studies instead of a BFA. A BA requires you to study a wider breadth of subjects, so you'll develop a wider array of skills that can be utilized in more industries.
Who can get involved in CTX Theatre productions?
Auditions and participation in design/tech roles are open to all members of the Concordia University Texas community. No experience is necessary; we will train you!
Students can participate in productions beginning their first semester.
What are auditions like?
Typically, students are asked to perform a memorized, one-minute monologue from the time period and style of the play for which they are auditioning.
When are rehearsals held?
Rehearsals are mainly held in the evenings, and occasionally during the daytime if actor’s schedules permit. We make our best effort to work around actors’ work, athletics and school schedules.
Are theatre internships available?
Austin, Texas, has a vibrant theatre community that is full of opportunities. Our students have interned at places such as Austin Shakespeare and Zach Theatre. Internship programs are also available farther afield in cities such as New York and London.