The Department of Drama offers conservatory-style training at a major American university, combined with a level of integration with a professional theater company that is unparalleled among undergraduate programs.

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Professional performance spaces

Shared with Syracuse Stage in one theater complex

Chair’s Welcome

On behalf of the entire faculty, I encourage you to consider the ways in which Syracuse University and the Department of Drama can help prepare you for a life in the arts, no matter what medium you choose to work in. We are committed to a learning environment that builds on a rich past and expands into a new era—encouraging excellence, imagination, artistry, and leadership as we empower our students to create the theater of the future. If you are committed to excellence in a career in theater and entertainment and want to learn in a professional environment, we welcome your application to the Department of Drama.We invite you to visit our online gallery, to explore our programs of study, and to learn more about the unique opportunities we provide.

Holly Thuma
Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Drama


Professional Experience

The Department of Drama has a unique affiliation with Syracuse Stage, Central New York’s premier professional theater. Both share more than just their physical home: they share a commitment to great storytelling and to the great things that happen when established and emerging artists join forces. Students in all programs of study have the opportunity to study with—and often to work side-by-side with—nationally renowned professionals. Over the course of four years, students also have the opportunity to participate in 160+ shows and gain hands-on, professional work experience crucial to getting started in the industry.

Become Immersed in Theater

Named for its founder, drama alumna and Tony Award-winning producer Arielle Tepper ’94, the Tepper Semester provides the opportunity to work closely with an accomplished faculty of professional artists in New York City. In addition to participating in a full semester of specialized programming, students attend workshops and master classes conducted by industry professionals, see as many as 30 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, visit a wide variety of cultural institutions, and gain an understanding of the business skills essential for a successful career in the industry. The Tepper Semester is based at Syracuse University’s Fisher Center.

Hit the Studios Running

Supported by drama alumnus and Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award-winning writer and producer Aaron Sorkin ’83, H’12, the Sorkin in LA Learning Practicum provides a select group of seniors with a week-long, “hit-the-studios-running” immersion into the heart of America’s film and television industries. Students meet and learn from alumni and industry insiders through a series of seminars workshops, master classes, and more.

For a longer-term introduction to Los Angeles, you may choose to take advantage of Summer in LA, a six-week, two-course experience that includes a professional internship, classes in on-camera acting and audition technique, and a series of workshops and master classes— all taught by leading professionals in the entertainment industry.

International Study: London, Florence, and More

Thanks to the global reach of Syracuse University, students in all programs of study the Department of Drama have a variety of long and short-term opportunities to study abroad. These range from semesters in Florence or London (where performance majors work in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe) to performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

An Engaged Community

All Star C.A.S.T. (Community Actors and Students’ Theater) provides the opportunity for students in the Department of Drama, under faculty guidance, to facilitate weekly theater workshops for members of the Syracuse community with special needs. All Star C.A.S.T. provides a safe, non-judgmental space for community actors and drama students to come together to explore their creativity, to encourage communication, and to re-awaken a sense of “play” and joy in acting.

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Recent Department of Drama News

  • A student sits with a laptop in theater seats

    Featured News

    Stage Management Major Combines Practical Knowledge with Hands-On Experiences

    Alana Barker, a senior stage management major in the Department of Drama, was recently profiled in Teen Life Magazine, where she talks about her love for theater and why stage management was the perfect choice for her interests and skills.

  • VPA new faculty members

    Faculty News

    VPA Welcomes New Full-Time Faculty

      The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) welcomed ten new full-time faculty members for the 2021-22 academic year.  Read More...

  • Featured News

    VPA Announces Spring 2021 Dean’s List

    The following undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Visual and Performing Arts were among those named to the Dean’s List for the Spring 2021 semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours and earn at least a 3.6 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) during the semester. Read More...

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