Why study Theatre at MC?

Two major programs in Theatre Studies are offered: the Major in Theatre Studies and the Major in Theatre Studies for Teacher Licensure. The theatre program stresses the intrinsic value of a broad study of theatre within the liberal arts tradition, affording students a sound basis in all areas of theatre production, including acting; directing; design; stagecraft; dramatic literature; and theatre history. Students combine classroom experience with hands-on learning through faculty-directed; student-directed productions; Senior Study; Internships; and Theatre Practicum.

The academic study of theatre serves the aspiring theatre professional and future graduate student, while the Major in Theatre for Teacher Licensure specifically prepares students to enter the teaching field.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

On Campus Opportunities

The College’s Chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, a national theatre honors society, produces two student-directed plays each year. Recent productions include David Ives’ “Venus in Fur” and John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine.”

The Foothills Community Players is a resident artist group of the Clayton Center for the Arts that offers the opportunity for individuals – college students and community members – to get involved in all areas of theatrical production. Recent productions include “A Few Good Men” and “Twelve Angry Jurors.”

Clayton Center for the Arts

The $47-million Clayton Center for the Arts opened in 2010. Home to the College’s Fine Arts Division and a gathering place for the community where the arts and culture of the region are celebrated, the Clayton Center gives theatre students opportunities to work on national and international tours that perform in the Center’s outstanding venues. The facility includes: the 1,200-seat Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre (proscenium theatre with continental
seating), the 200-seat Haslam Family Flexible Theatre, the 252-seat Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, state-of-the-art classrooms, costume and scene shops, and multiple dressing rooms.

Meet a current student

Lenny Lively ’18
Hometown: Pikeville, Tenn.

Following graduation, Lenny plans to work in professional theatres around the country, and he has not wasted time in building his acting resume. Among his numerous leading roles is the Cat in the Hat in the Dr. Seuss-inspired musical, “Seussical.” Last summer, he interned at the Cumberland County Playhouse, a regional professional theatre, and was the featured dancer and ensemble member in “The Little Mermaid” and “Mamma Mia.” “Maryville College thoroughly prepared me for work in a professional theatre, both in the technical and performance aspects of the internship,” he said.

Outcomes of Recent Grads

Featured Graduate


Cameron recently moved back to his hometown of Kingsport, TN, where he is working for a non-profit arts organization that is dedicated to restoring, renovating, and revitalizing the historic State Theatre as a multi-purpose performance venue in the heart of Downtown Kingsport. The project itself is still in its early stages of growth, but the past year of work and regular theatrical programming has proven to Cameron that his passion for theatre, coupled with the need of performing arts within a strong community, can only be a testament to the education, experience, and training he received while at MC.

“This program of study challenges your academic and artistic integrity; it opens your mind to the study of theatre beyond a classroom, and it gives you hands-on training and experience with professional artists, all the while developing the professional artist within you,” he said.


After she learned what a stage manager was, Rachel knew it was for her. In addition to assisting with Theatre Department productions, she rounded out her technical knowledge through the work-study program at the Clayton Center and guidance of Technical Director David Rasnake ’05. After graduating, she worked as a Clayton Center Assistant Technical Director for almost two years. Today, as stage manager for a national touring company, Rachel’s duties include making travel plans and setting up and running the show, as well as leading and organizing the company of actors and local crew. “It was through the theatre department with Heather McMahon’s coaching that I learned the basic skills necessary to build a professional stage management career,” she said. “Having the hands-on experience of working on a show, as well as in a theatrical facility, made me the professional I am today.”