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Chair’s Letter

Welcome to the Department of Theatre Arts at Stony Brook University.  We are a vibrant, thriving, and energetic department that focuses on the creative energies of our students.  Our main stage season provides opportunities for you to act, learn about all aspects of design, and explore the skills required by technical theatre.  Located sixty miles east of New York City, we provide opportunities for students to enjoy the rich cultural offerings of the Big Apple, from Broadway to Off-Off-Broadway.  There are numerous opportunities to develop internships with some of the most exciting and creative people in the profession.

Recent studies show that a theatre education prepares you not only for a career in the arts, but also many other professions that are currently hiring.  Employers are looking for leaders, who are creative, know how to collaborate, solve problems, and communicate effectively.  Our project-based curriculum gives you ample opportunity to develop these skills in a safe and nurturing environment.

From the very beginning of your education you will be given the chance to work with a stellar faculty who have won Obie Awards, performed at Carnegie Hall, and had plays produced at the O’Neill Theatre Center.  Our integrated program allows you to explore the rich history of the theatre and engage with cutting edge thinkers who explore the relationship between cognitive science and performance.  We are all dedicated to preparing you for the next steps in your life after you graduate from Stony Brook. 

Our graduates go on to professional careers in the theatre as actors, designers, stage managers, playwrights, and producers.  One alum won an Oscar for costume design; another was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Thirty Under Thirty for her work in improving the quality of communication between patients and doctors.  One recent graduate of the program is working with a composer on a musical, while another is helping playwrights as a Business Affairs Supervisor for Samuel French.

In addition to a main stage season, we support a number of theatre groups.  Pocket Theatre is a student club that produces theatre across the campus.  Swallow This explores the dangers of substance and sexual abuse.  You will have the opportunity to pledge Alpha Psi Omega, an honorary theatre fraternity/sorority, dedicated to promoting the theatre as a vital cultural form across campus.

We are a department rich with opportunity for you to explore your creativity, and discover who you are along the way, and where your talents lead you.  Come and visit us, talk with our faculty, and see a production.  We believe you will find a home here where you can become the artist you want to be.

We look forward to seeing you on the stages of the Department of Theatre Arts at Stony Brook!






Fall 2015 Theatre Arts Workshops:


Staller off Center workshop Jupiter


Julian Sands workshop flyer


Work shop flyer



RETHINKING THEATRE - We are dedicated to mentoring the individual student to achieve his/her full potential. We strive for academic and artistic excellence and foster critical thinking, creativity, originality and scholarship. A respect for past traditions, a commitment to innovative work that embraces new forms and technology, and an exploration of what is unique to the live theatre experience are at the core of our training.



Photo Credit: Brian Rogers @ the Chocolate Factory (Long Island City, Queens)
from the Obie Award-winning production This Was the End, dir. Mallory Catlett


Programs and Opportunities

The Department of Theatre Arts offers a BA Theatre Arts, a minor in Media Arts and an MA in Theatre. With a railroad stop right here on campus connecting us with Manhattan, students have the opportunity to see professional theatre in New York City and take advantage of course offerings at our Manhattan campus. Graduate students also take advantage of courses at our Southampton campus, which offers a Writer’s Conferences during the summer that includes the participation of renowned playwrights and theatre artists from the New York area.

The Department produces a wide range of material on our main stage and in lab productions, from classical work to the newest voices in the American theatre. We also operate two smaller black box theatres, including the graduate experimental ‘cabaret’ called The Underground. Both spaces house several classes a day as well as provide a home for many theatre productions. 

Several programs have grown to supplement our main stage productions and graduate and undergraduate theatres. Since 1995, we have produced an award- winning prevention through the arts program. The students earn upper division theatre credit while writing, directing, and performing an original work based on real stories about experiences with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 

In 2003, we honored the centennial of the birth of American dramaturg John Gassner by instituting the first annual John Gassner New Play Festival. The festival includes a national new play contest managed by our literary office and staffed by advanced graduate student dramaturgs. Readings take place in Manhattan and involve the participation of professional actors, dramaturgs and playwrights from the New York theatre scene.

We also have the Staller Center for the Arts, a state-of-the-art performing arts facility that presents professional theatre, dance and music groups from around the world, and produces the acclaimed annual Stony Brook Film Festival. 

The Charles B. Wang Center, celebrating Asian and American cultures, houses a restaurant, gardens, art galleries, and serves as a conference facility and presenting venue for numerous cultural events. 

We are committed to providing rigorous academic courses and to creating opportunities for our students to experience, critique and create performance that exploits theatrical potential in a rapidly expanding art form. 



Ken Weitzman

selected for
The Lark Play Development Center's
"Meeting of the Minds"
annually serves six New York writers
over a ten-month residency

Ken Weitzman's

Play Halftime with Don
selected for
PlayLabs at the Playwrights' Center
one of the nation's most in-depth
play development programs
 National Playwrights Festival
 Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center

210 Amlent Avenue
Karl Hinze
& Becky Goldberg

New Musical co-created by
SBU Musical Comp. alumnus
& SBU Theatre MFA alumna
 received its first production:
New York
Musical Theatre Festival
July 9th, 2015

Margarita Espada

honored to receive the 
Human Rights
Community Award

for the work of her company,
Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja,
as a tool for social change

Steve Marsh

chosen to serve on the
Drama Desk Awards
nominating committee
2015 Drama Desk Awards

Nominations: April 23
Ceremony: May 31

Izumi Ashizawa

Best of 2014
"Best Directors of a Play
in Professional Theatres"
See images of
Izumi's show Kwaiden

Mallory Catlett

named as recipient of the
Foundation for
Contemporary Arts

2015 Grants to Artists
"Performance Art/Theatre"


Sophie Vanier '05

Best Actress
for her performance in
 UnChained Theatre Festival



Department of Theatre Arts • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5450
Undergraduate Office: 631-632-7300 • Graduate Office: 631-632-7270 • Fax: 631-632-7261
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