From dark comedies to suspense-filled dramas, from timeless romances to tragedies, our performance program offers our students extensive onstage and offstage training. In fact, you'll have an opportunity to get involved as early as your freshman year. We stage three faculty-directed productions each year as well as a number of smaller, student-led performances.
At Furman, you'll be exposed to all aspects of theatre. Acting. Costume and set design. Lighting and sound. Stage management. And even directing. Sure, if you want to focus on one of those areas, you'll have plenty of opportunities. But by becoming a well-rounded artist, you'll be prepared for any career in the entertainment industry.
Find your next role.
Our performance program challenges our actors to expand their range and find their presence on stage. We offer six different classes dedicated to developing you as an actor. Once you have a strong foundation, you can work on the specifics of your performances, such as improving your voice and movements. Of course, you'll be able to audition for a role in any of our productions. The best part? Even our first-year students have been known to land a leading role.
Everyone knows the clothes make the character. From designing floor-length gowns to crafting period pieces, our faculty will show you how to become a visual storyteller. You'll start with the basics, learning how to use a sewing machine along with a thread and needle. From there, you'll tackle the principles of design, where you'll be given the opportunity to create an original costume for a fashion show. In all, our program features three classes in costume crafts, design, and makeup. Our most advanced students are given opportunities to design for the main stage, a rare opportunity at the undergraduate level. But if you don't want to take a course in costume design, you can still get involved. You're always welcome in the costume shop, whether you want to learn from other students or construct costumes for our next production.
It takes more than a creative mind to take the director's chair. Our directing class will teach you how to analyze a script, make casting decisions and lead rehearsals. But the best part is that your instruction won't be limited to the classroom. Once you've learned the basics of directing, you'll have an opportunity to lead your peers in both a 10-minute and one-act play. If you develop a passion for directing, your education doesn't end there. Many of our students have directed full-length plays inside The Playhouse.
Lighting and sound production
If you're interested in lighting and sound production, you've come to the right place. At Furman, you'll master this technical aspect of theatre before developing your own artistic style.
Our sound design class will introduce you to theatre sound design and production. That means you'll get a tutorial in sound recording, digital sound capturing and editing, and microphone and sound reinforcement techniques. Combine that with our technique workshops and you'll have everything you need to gain a deeper appreciation for the aesthetics of any production.
In theatrical lighting design, you'll learn how to manipulate any scene with one of the most sophisticated lighting systems in South Carolina. Our program initially focuses on the practical elements of lighting design, showing you the basics of electricity, and lighting control systems. By the end of the course, you'll be able to program 200 light cues to enhance a piece of classical music.
Stagecraft and set design
Our stagecraft and set design courses will prepare you for your role as visual storyteller. You'll gain visual communication skills and learn how to collaborate in a highly creative environment. Naturally, most of these experiences will occur inside our scene shop. First, we'll help you understand the basics, covering everything from scene painting to standard construction techniques. Then, when you need to construct a New York apartment or an old western saloon for an upcoming production, you'll learn how to use custom designed tools to create an amazing scene from scratch.
Looking for the lead role? Turns out, you'll find it backstage. Our stage managers are in charge of everything from making sure rehearsals run smoothly to calling out the lighting and sound cues. But before you take charge, you'll work as an apprentice stage manager, learning from our faculty and more advanced students.
Theatrical Criticism and Dramaturgy
Are you interested in theory or research? We offer seven classes that focus on reading, writing, and critiquing plays. These courses will give you a deeper understanding of the plays you work on. You can even travel to the United Kingdom and study theatre in Shakespeare's hometown. Want to delve deeper into a specific topic? We'll work with you to create an independent study course. Bottom line: we'll help you pursue the topics you're interested in.