Theatre and Performing Arts Major

You love theatre — the complexities of a new script, the feedback of the audience, the comradery of the cast and crew — and you want to make that passion your life’s work while making a difference in your world. Our Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts will give you the skills, tools and opportunities you need to turn your love of theatre into a lifelong career. Fontbonne’s program is dedicated to developing teaching artists, designers, stage managers, certified educators, actors and directors — working professionals who can impact their communities through theatre.

Our program, recently redeveloped, prepares our students to be employable and satisfied artists of the future. We understand what jobs are available in the market, and we’ve developed curriculum and training that will help our students successfully fill those roles. You’ll work with Fontbonne’s experienced performing arts faculty, as well as Mustard Seed Theatre, an award-winning professional company-in-residence on Fontbonne’s campus. From day one, you’ll learn from these professionals who work — and get paid! — in your field of interest.

Program Highlights

  • Your major has meaning. Our program focuses on ways theatre can help the community.
  • Many major theatre companies in the nation have education departments that employ full-time teaching artists, providing stability and fullfillment. Continue to do theatre — and work in the field that you love!
  • We have courses that focus on collaboratively creating theatre with a variety of communities. Our courses will prepare you to make theatre where you are, with what you have, instead of waiting for permission to create. We encourage our students to be Artivists: activists using art for positive social change.
  • CAEP Accreditation Badge 2016Work with Mustard Seed Theatre, the professional theatre company in-residence at Fontbonne.
  • You have the option to become a certified teacher and earn secondary teaching certification in speech and theatre.
  • You could be eligible for a performing arts talent scholarship.
  • You’ll receive early and varied professional experience.















  • Recent Student Projects

    Recent Student Projects
    • Students managed, directed and performed alongside national artists in “The Every 28 Hour Plays,” a theatre movement started in St. Louis in response to unrest in Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
    • Tunnel of Oppression: This all-campus interactive event was created by theatre students to shine light on varied types of oppression.
    • Bosnian-American Project (pictured): An ongoing partnership with the Bosnian American community of St. Louis, Mustard Seed Theatre and Fontbonne University that includes an original production and education outreach.
  • 2018-2019 Productions

    2018-2019 Productions
    • “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” – Oct. 10 – 28, 2018
    • “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914” – Nov. 15 – Dec. 16, 2018
    • “Edges – a Song Cycle” – Jan. 31 – Feb. 3, 2019
    • “Well” – March 1-17, 2019
    • “The Real Inspector Hound” – April 11-14, 2019
    • “Death Tax” – May 9 – 19, 2019


  • Alumni in the Workforce

    Alumni in the Workforce

    Graduates like Kareem Deanes ’03, ’09 are working as teachers, production managers, actors, designers, stage managers and technicians. Deanes is the speech and drama teacher at Parkway West Middle School.

    “Fontbonne is the very best at preparing teachers for the workforce,” he said. “They do a wonderful job of making sure each lesson is real-world applicable and that the students are ahead of the curve when it comes to the newest technologies and methods.”


Career Opportunities

  • Teaching Artist
  • Designer
  • Stage Manager
  • Certified Educator
  • Actor
  • Director

Alumni in the Workforce

  • Production managers (Traci Clapper, Morgan Fisher)
  • High school and middle school teachers (Kareem Deanes, Daniel Lanier, Kate Watkins, Aubrey Burke, Michael Orman, Craig Hinders)
  • Designers
  • Stage managers and technicians (Traci Clapper)
  • Professional actors (Rory Lipede, Charlie Barron)
  • Teaching artists (Adam Flores)

Performing Arts Course Samples

  • PER 389

    Teaching Through Theatre

    3 credits
    Students will use theatre skills to engage in a variety of communities in artistic problem-solving exercises. By facilitating playbuilding exercises and collaboration, students will learn to manage time, resources, expectations and outcomes.  Prerequisite: PER 214 Read the syllabus.
  • PER 419

    Co-Intentional Directing

    3 credits
    Students will practice balancing service to the art and to the artist by identifying need and  appropriate theatrical responses in specific situations. Students will identify artistic engagements that will serve the needs of rehabilitation, citizenship and/or the amplification of marginalized voices. Prerequisites: PER 214 and PER 318
  • PER 214


    3 credits
    Students will learn to identify the uniqueness of each collection of artists and make appropriate choices in engagement techniques. Artistic choices will reflect an understanding of story structure, multicultural factors and the uniqueness of theatrical stories.
  • PER 226

    Basic Design

    3 credits
    Students will learn how design elements tell stories and that good design does require big money. Introduction to all forms of design: lighting, sets, costumes, props and sound.
  • PER 326

    Technical Production

    3 credits

    Builds on the fundamentals introduced in the Stagecraft class. A study of the methods of assembling lighting, sound, scenery, and properties for a live production. A hands-on course where students learn how various equipment systems go together and how to run the systems. Prerequisite: PER 121.

  • PER 496


    3 credits
    Members of this class will devise and produce a public piece of theatre. This capstone experience  will synthesize skills in communication, collaboration, and storytelling, using all of the theatrical elements. Prerequisites: PER 121, PER 214, and either PER 226, PER 318 or PER 464.

Theatre and Performing Arts Career Opportunities

  • Upcoming Performances

    Upcoming Performances

    Save the date for 2017-2018 shows in Fontbonne University’s Fine Arts Theatre. Learn more.

  • Mustard Seed Theatre

    Mustard Seed Theatre

    Mustard Seed Theatre, a professional theatre company headed by Artistic Director and Fontbonne Professor Deanna Jent, began producing plays in the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theatre in the fall of 2007. Learn more.

  • In-Field Learning Experiences

    In-Field Learning Experiences

    Theatre majors worked professionally with award-winning ensembles and productions and education students incorporate their professional experience in their classrooms.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact our Office of Admission: 314-889-1400 or 1-800-205-5862 |