Message from the Chair

Welcome, and thank you for exploring the website of Northeastern University’s unique Department of Theatre.

During these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic and of tremendous civil unrest in our country, brought forth by centuries of systemic oppression and racism, one might wonder about the purpose of studying Theatre. It’s a great and complex question, which we answer with decisive vigor: Theatre is where we rehearse for the unexpected. It is where we learn to live with uncertainty and to engage in difficult conversations. Theatre teaches us to listen actively; it allows us to slow down and find depth. Theatre is where we are able to make sense of what we witness around us.

Theatre seeks to explain what is unexplainable about our experience through the telling of stories. Playwrights, actors, directors, designers, composers, production managers—we all collaborate in order to tell these stories in the most compelling ways to an audience, which is the most essential element in Theatre. We explore humanity through the practice of communication and collaboration. It is my firm belief that this exchange deepens our understanding and leads to a richer experience of life for all of us. We are doing it right now, as we face the current challenges in our country and in our world.

Our department is designed as a hub for Creative Practice Research rather than functioning as a theatre company. We make theatre to generate new knowledge and new understanding: we develop and hone the basic human literacies of creativity, collaboration and communication through critical creative practice. We have significant interactions across disciplines in order to contribute to a fuller education for our students; by teaching them the foundation of art as ethical responsibility we offer them a more promising future, with deeply developed tools to be employable upon graduation in demanding and exciting fields.

We are a thriving community dedicated to creativity, collaboration, and excellence in the pursuit of innovative ways to see, to investigate, and to make theatre for a new generation. We offer students a transformative theatre education by aligning performance and production with academic inquiry and professional experiential learning. We embrace diverse methods, philosophies, and measures of success. Through values of generosity, integrity, respect, and rigor, we explore theatre as a living art that engages with our global society and the moment in which we live.

We strive to be a welcoming community to all. We acknowledge the mistakes we made in the past by our actions as well as by our inactions. We will continue to hold each other accountable to be more thoughtful, careful and considerate of all in our future. As a community, we welcome those who are:

  • Intellectually curious, self-motivated, ambitious, fearless, and generous
  • Multi-dimensional—passionate about performance, and also interested in discovering design, directing, playwriting, or arts administration
  • Interested in studying and making an array of theatre productions
  • Eager to see great theatre and engage with professional actors, directors, and designers while studying in Boston
  • Ready to work with our faculty and staff to develop their own professional identity and outlook.

If this describes you, come join the Department of Theatre! As part of the College of Arts, Media & Design—a radically relevant hub for creativity and collaboration that blends rigorous academic excellence with a vibrant spirit of innovation—you will be in the midst of a progressive urban campus and one of the world’s most vibrant theatre cities.

Antonio Ocampo-Guzman

Associate Professor & Chair

October 2020