Theatre Program

Our Mission

To elicit creativity, critical thinking, cultural awareness, and empathy within an active, collaborative learning environment, in exploration of what it means to be human.

Our 2018-2019 Season

November 8-11, 2018 • A Moment of Silence, by Mohammad Yaghoubi

Translated By: Torange Yeghiazarian and Mohammed Yahoubi
Directed By: Dr. Kelly Carolyn Gordon
Location: The Black Box Theatre (Building B)

Shiva wakes up to find she has been asleep for three years. In that time, the world around her has changed drastically. Her friends and family seem different. Strangers act oddly. It’s Iran in 1980 and she has just slept through the Islamic Revolution. For the next ten years, Shiva continues to fall asleep for years at a time. Each time she wakes up there’s a new change she has to try to grasp: the war with Iraq, a series of murders of dissident artists as well as transformations in her own family. Meanwhile, the playwright creating Shiva’s story begins to receive phone calls threatening her life.

A Moment of Silence, by Mohammad Yaghoubi — one of the most beloved Iranian plays of the last 30 years — is a surreal, poetic, and surprisingly comic meditation on Iran’s turbulent history.

Winner of The Toronto Fringe Festival’s 2015 New Play Contest and The Playwrights’ Society of Iran’s 2012, Award for Outstanding Play prize The New Play Contest, Toronto Fringe Festival, 2016.

“The play’s meta-theatrical qualities and life-like characterization present a surreal, poetic, and surprisingly comic meditation on Iran’s turbulent history and Iranians’ experience of unexpected “change” and its aftermath. “ --The Theatre Times

March 7-10, 2019 • Tartuffe, by Moliere

Directed By: Dr. Kelly Carolyn Gordon
Location: The Black Box Theatre (Building B)

The religious fraud Tartuffe has wormed his way into the affections and household of rich merchant, Orgon, with pantomime piety and counterfeit zeal. So comprehensively has he hoodwinked Orgon that he looks set to succeed in driving away the son, marrying the daughter, seducing the wife and imprisoning Orgon. Moliere's classic satire was denounced on its first performance as a sacrilegious outrage and banned from further public view. Only after petition to Louis XIV was the ban lifted, and the play's trenchant mockery of human frailties has ensured its popularity ever since.

This hilarious and irreverent whirlwind of lies, religious hypocrisy and family feuds features one of theatre's most perfect comedy creations, the beguiling Tartuffe.

“Few finer studies of hypocrisy and zeal have been penned; and, as Goethe famously said, the play is symbolic in that each bit of the action points to something more important behind it.” –The Guardian

What Does it Look Like to Study Theatre at Concordia University Texas?

Student artists in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University Texas 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 their own opportunities based on their specific interests.

Program Overview

From their first year, our students get hands-on experience in the classroom and in production, developing leadership, collaboration, critical thinking, and artistic skills.

We present two main stage productions a year, the fall play aligned with the Service Learning Week theme. Participation in production is open to the entire Concordia Texas community and can be taken for academic credit.

Curriculum Overview for a Theatre Minor

The Theatre Minor (18 credits)
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, and class-discussion, as well as exclusive talk-backs and meetings with production personnel.  

Theatre for Social Change/Applied Theatre: This course zeroes in on theatre’s unique power as a tool for social change, as well as it’s 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 in order 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.   

Program Benefits

The theatre minor 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 such as:

  • Viewing the world from multiple perspectives
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Effective verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Collaboration
  • 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

Success Stories

– Alumni –

Xzavier “Wolfie” Beacham (Class of 2015): Training at Portland Actor’s Conservatory. Recently, he played the role of the Prince in Romeo and Juliet at Portland Actor’s Ensemble, the part of Tony in She wrote: “The Outside” and “Woman’s Honor’ by Susan Glaspell at the Public Citizen Theatre, and also was a part of two staged readings at The Cascade African Film Festival and Fertile Grounds.

– Current Students –

Cooper Kelm: Assistant sound operator for Austin Shakepeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, production manager for the Young Shakespeare production of Hamlet.

Matthew Smith: Sound operator for Austin Shakepeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, sound operator for Austin Summer Musical’s production of HONK!

Career Outcomes

  • Professional acting
  • Costume
  • Makeup
  • Lighting and scenic design
  • Technical production
  • Stage management
  • Directing
  • Dramaturgy
  • Playwriting
  • Education and outreach
  • Theatre administration
  • Advertising
  • Drama therapy
  • Event planning


Who can get involved in CTX theatre productions?

Auditions and participation in design/tech are open to all members of the Concordia Texas community.  No experience is necessary. We will train you!

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, athletic and school schedules.

Are theatre internships available?

Austin has a vibrant theatre community that is full of opportunities.  Our students have interned at Austin Shakespeare and The Zach, to name a couple of companies.  Internship programs are also available further afield, in cities such as New York and London.

  Meet our Fine Arts Faculty and Staff

2018-2019 Guest Artists

Cecelia Gay (Costumer) is a costume designer currently working in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas. Hailing from Florida, she began her work with the Florida Grand Opera before she eventually relocated to Texas. With over a decade of work in her field, she has done costume work for stage, film, television, and live events with a number of her designs traveling with shows. She is extremely happy to join the Concordia Community for this year’s productions.

Sam Gonzalez (Scenic Designer/Technical Director) is a scenic artist and designer located in Austin, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology from Texas State University, focusing on Scenic Art & Design. She's worked locally in Film & Television as a Production Assistant for The Long Road Home.  This past year she has worked as Scenic Artist, Prop Master and Set Designer at TexARTS in Lakeway, Texas. 

Mercedes McCleary (Lighting Designer/Technician, Fall 2018) recently earned her Master's degree from The University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on lighting design for live performances.  She has worked in the theatre industry professionally for over 8 years and has experience in various areas along with lighting, including scenic design and carpentry, sound design, and prop making. Previous design credits include UT's graduate playwriting showcase UTNT 2018, The Crucible, and Cosi Fan Tutte.  This fall Mercedes will be working on various productions in Austin, including Jarrott Production's Significant Other, Salvage Vanguard Theatre's Tryouts, and TexArt's The Unexpected Guest.

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.

Past guest artists have included costume designer, Jesse Rose; lighting designers, Yi-Tai Chung, Kristin DuBois, and Erin Fleming; puppeteer, Kevin Long; and set designers, Bren Coombs and Michael Krauss.

Our past productions

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.

Take a look back through the main-stage productions of the past few years.