Why study Theatre at MC?

Theatre is an interdisciplinary art, making it a perfect field of study at a liberal arts college. As a theatre major at Maryville College, you will hone your skills in every area of theatre production, including acting, directing, stagecraft, play analysis and arts management. The size of the program means ample opportunities for students both on stage and behind the scenes; moreover, it allows for one-on-one interaction with faculty, staff and students. Graduates of the program go into a wide variety of fields after finishing their studies. Theatre majors learn and develop skills that all employers are looking for: leading and collaborating with diverse groups of people, staying on budget, working on a tight timeline and working under pressure.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.


MC Theatre Department

For more information about Theatre at Maryville College, please visit the Theatre department webpage.

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

Photo of Riley HamantRiley Hamant ’21
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Riley chose Maryville College because the theatre program allows her to become a well-rounded thespian. “From playing amazing roles like Gretchen in ‘Boeing Boeing’ and Helena in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to learning how to hang lights for ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ and building a pool on stage for ‘Metamorphoses,’ I am learning things from every aspect of theatre and expanding my knowledge past my comfort zone, which is a good thing in this line of work,” she said. After college, she plans to continue her studies in graduate school and pursue a career in collegiate theatre teaching and directing youth community theatre.

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduates

Photo of Walker Harrison

Walker Harrison ’13
Currently: Adjunct Professor of Theatre and Guest
Director at Maryville College

The size of Maryville College’s theatre program allowed Walker a lot of stage time, which was beneficial when he applied to graduate school at Savannah College of Art and Design. He earned an M.F.A. there in 2016, and has since
landed roles on TV and in off-off Broadway and regional theatre. In addition to directing the College’s fall 2019 production of William Shakespeare’s “Much
Ado About Nothing,” Walker is currently teaching “Acting in the Twenty First Century.” The course covers topics such as auditioning for plays, determining a person’s “brand” as an actor and acting for the camera. The overall goal of the course is to improve students’ acting skills and prepare them for a full-time career in acting.

Currently: Executive Artistic Director of State Theatre Company

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.

Rachel Jarnagin ’14
Currently: Assistant Production Manager/ Rentals Coordinator at the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, TN

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 before accepting a position as stage manager for Boston-based Chamber Theatre Productions. She joined ArtsPower in 2017.  “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.”