Theatre Arts

Earn a Theatre Degree

Express your creative talents with a variety of fine arts opportunities

We offer a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre as well as a minor in theatre, both integrated with performance and technical concentrations. Our theatre program is established in regional expertise in Shakespearean studies, as well as new play development. Our seasoned faculty are dedicated, working closely with you to ensure a quality learning experience.

This program also prepares you to become a sophisticated communicator. While learning about performance and production, you will become more knowledgeable in the areas of human behavior, art, psychology, history, politics, and religion. While participating in theatre, you can expect to work on a variety of plays at our private university that include comedy, drama, contemporary, classical, musicals and other great works of dramatic literature.

Theatre Scholarships

Newman University also offers scholarships for qualified students interested in studying theatre. To apply for a Theatre scholarship, please apply and send official transcripts for admission to Newman University. Scholarships are limited to Theatre majors, range in value from $11,000-$16,000 and are awarded based on academic criteria and an audition. Please contact the Office of Admissions or the Theatre department for more information.

A Wichita Theatre Program on a National Stage

Many Newman University theatre graduates have gone on to professionally perform as actors, playwrights, stage managers, and others. Some of whom have received national recognition such as Kennedy award-winning playwright CL Smet.



Demattias web

This facility, opened in 2000, includes Performance Hall, the Jabara Flexible Theatre, dressing rooms and a scene shop. The center also houses music rehearsal space with studio and practice rooms, an art gallery, and studios for sculpture, ceramics, painting and drawing, and computer graphics.


Jabara Performance Hall web

Performance Hall has fixed seating for 392 with a 50-foot wide stage providing multiple lighting and sound capabilities.


jabara theatre web

This black box theatre holds a maximum of 190 people depending on setup and provides multiple lighting and sound capabilities.

About Our Faculty

Theatre Department

Our faculty and staff have the knowledge and experience to help you prepare for a career in theatre. If you need clarification on a class assignment or advice on how to approach your future, you can feel confident that our faculty is available and ready to help.

Career Outlook

While pursuing a degree in theatre, you can expect a promising future. The performing arts and theatre field is projected to grow 10% between 2014 and 2024. Our students are prepared to meet the expected demand for theatre and performing arts.


A degree in theatre will give you the opportunity to work in a variety of fields and specialties related to theatre and performance art. Here are some examples of potential careers and median salaries:

  • Director ($83,671-$123,640)
  • Producer ($71,350 a year)
  • Sound Engineering Technician ($63,340 a year)
  • Stage Actor ($44,233 - $96,772 a year)


Our theatre students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by interning in the Wichita community. This allows you to gain experience in local plays and community productions, sharpening skills in the areas of stage lighting, costume design, special effects, singing and acting.

Get Involved on Campus

One of the best ways to find success during your college career is to get involved in campus clubs and organizations. Within our theatre program, our students can join the Newman Theatre Club, Swing Dancing Club, NUTT (Newman University Theatre Troupe), and the Musical Arts Club. These organizations allow for personal growth, networking, and future career success.

Program Outcomes

Success Story — C.L. Smet

Theatre student C.L. Smet and her play, titled "Every Tuesday," advanced to a national competition from judges at the Region V conference of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in Washington, D.C. Smet began writing "Every Tuesday" when she was a freshman in the spring 2012 semester, and finished her first draft in spring 2013 in her playwriting class. C.L. said she hopes to become a playwright and act as well in her future. She plans to attend a graduate school for playwriting and hopes to work for a playwriting company as her first step in a professional career.

Success Story — Rusty Carbaugh

Rusty Carbaugh received a Special Merit for Musical Performance Mary Jane Teall Award for her performance as one-fifth of the Liebeslieders in the Guild Hall Players' production of "A Little Night Music" by Stephen Sondheim. Rusty participated in several on-campus productions during her academic career, including "Legally Blonde." She is currently performing in various shows around Wichita. She recently performed as a chorus member and a secretary in “Urinetown” at the Scottish Rite Signature Theatre.

"The Theatre Department is just like a linear graph, it keeps shooting up – from ‘Lend Me A Tenor,’ the very first play that Mark Mannette directed my freshman year where I was Maggie, all the way up to my last play where I was Ophelia in ‘Hamlet.’ It’s just incredible the differences between the two, but also the similarities, like the heart and soul of what we do, and how that manages to continue and only expand into something better."

Rusty Carbaugh

Assoc Professor and Dir of Theatre, Chair of Arts & Humanities
Division of Arts & Humanities
316-942-4291 ext. 2486
Office: DM257
Technical Director
Division of Arts & Humanities
316-942-4291 ext. 2645
Office: DeMattias Concert Hall
Instructor, Director of Music Department
Division of Arts & Humanities
316-942-4291 ext. 2196
Office: DM256