Kristina Taylor acting on the set in Rice Auditorium

Department of Theatre & Music

Student Experience 

Baker theatre students have ample opportunity for involvement in and out of the classroom. Small class sizes allow maximum interaction with classmates and professors. As part of the theatre curriculum and the entire academic experience, students have access to many activities beyond the classroom.

Trilla Lyerla

Chair

Department of Music and Theatre

Department Office: Owens Musical Arts Building 201

Small classes. Big Possibilities.

THEATRE PRODUCTIONS

Each year, the Department of Music and Theatre hosts a series of productions. Each season features at least two main-stage productions per semester, directed by a guest director or member of the theatre faculty. Student-directed and student-produced shows are held throughout the year. Campus productions are diverse, ranging from ancient Greek and Shakespearean plays to modern works. The genres often include tragedies, comedies, musicals, melodramas, mysteries and farces. Musicals are staged in collaboration with the Department of Music department every other year.

THEATRE FACILITIES

The Baker Department of Music and Theatre boasts two unique spaces in which students receive a premium theatre education. The first is Rice Auditorium, a large performance space that seats nearly 1,000. Rice Auditorium houses primarily main-stage, faculty-directed shows. The second performance space on campus is Darby-Hope Theatre, a much smaller black-box theatre. In a small space with an audience capacity of about 50, Darby-Hope provides a unique opportunity for the student-actor and technical designer. A space alterable to the traditional proscenium, thrust, or in-the-round stage, Darby-Hope provides actors an intimate performer-audience experience.
Behind the scenes of the theater set being built by a stage hand

Kennedy Center American CollegeTheatre Festival

Each year, Baker enters at least one campus production for consideration to the American College Theatre Festival. Professionals from around the region judge each show and select actors and designers to compete at the regional festival. The show can also be selected to travel to the festival. At the festival, students compete for a spot in the national festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The festivals also allow students to attend workshops and audition for summer stock and internship opportunities and to interact with fellow theatre scholars from around the nation.

Baker has a long-standing tradition of excelling at Festival. Baker Students have brought home the Spirit Award, the Stage Crew Showdown Award, and numerous acting nominations.  Baker students were in one of eight scenes selected to perform at the 2019 festival.

Stage Management & Theatrical Administration

Students interested in the behind-the-scenes areas of theatre have opportunities to work on theatrical productions and to organize and promote the theatre season on campus. Student stage managers gain practical experience working with faculty in organizing and executing the logistics of a theatrical production. Students are also instrumental in scheduling, planning and promoting theatrical productions.

Internships & Summer Stock

Baker students gain real-world experience by pursuing internships at area theatres and by acting or working in technical theatre at summer stock theatres around the region and nation. Past students have had these experiences at the following theatres:

  • Kansas City Repertory Theatre
  • Coterie Theatre
  • Unicorn Theatre
  • New Theatre Restaurant
  • Disney World
  • Theatre in the Park
  • Quixotic
  • American Heartland Theatre
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • Brownville Summer Theatre
  • Starlight Theatre
  • Topeka Civic Theatre