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 2019-2020 Season

November 7-10, 2019 • Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Directed By: Dr. Kelly Carolyn Gordon
Set Design By: Samantha Gonzalez
Lighting Design By: Smokey Westerfeld
Costume Design By: Jessi Rose
Location: The Black Box Theatre (Building B)

Tickets will go on sale in October.

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) takes us from a dusty office in Canada’s Queen’s University, into the fraught and furious worlds of two of Shakespeare’s best-known tragedies, and turns them upside-down. Constance Ledbelly is the beleaguered “spinster” academic, and unlikely heroine who embarks on a quest for Shakespearean origins and, ultimately, her own identity. When she deciphers an ancient and neglected manuscript, Constance is propelled through a very modern rabbit hole and lands smack in the middle of the tragic turning points of each play in turn. Her attempts to save first Desdemona, then Juliet, from their harrowing fates, result in a wild unpredictable ride through comedy and near-tragedy, as mild-mannered Constance learns to love, sword-fight, dance Renaissance-style, and master a series of disguises… Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) a big-hearted and crazily intelligent romp, where irony and anger sing in perfect harmony with innocence and poignancy.

March 5-8, 2020 • Little Shop of Horrors, Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken

Directed By: Dr. Kelly Carolyn Gordon
Musical Direction By: Shelley Schneider
Set Design By: Samantha Gonzales
Lighting Design By: Smokey Westerfeld
Costume Design By: Jessi Rose
Location: The Black Box Theatre (Building B)

Tickets will go on sale in February.

The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" - after his coworker crush. This unruly, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!

A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

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 zeros 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

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.

Jessi Rose (Costumer) received her MFA in Costume Design from The University of Texas at Austin, Certificates in Costume Stitching, Cutting and Draping, Wardrobe, and Assistant Costume Design from Fullerton College, and a BA in Anthropology from Cal State Fullerton. Her recent credits include The Merchant of Venice (UT Austin), The 2018 UTNT Festival (UT Austin), June (RTF Thesis Film, winner of the 2018 HBO APA Visionaries Award), Seven, A Documentary Play (Concordia University), and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Concordia University). She recently served as Costume Assistant for Central City Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly, and is beginning her career in the film and television industry.

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 Cecelia Gay; lighting designers, Yi-Tai Chung, Kristin DuBois, Erin Fleming, and Mercedes McCleary; 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.