Photo by Isabel Le
Photo by Isabel Le

The University of Washington School of Drama develops innovative and courageous artists and scholars poised to be the creative leaders of tomorrow.



  • In 2016, the Andrew A. Mellon Foundation awarded the UW a three-year, $750,000 grant to pilot a new Creative Fellowships Initiative which will fund research-directed creative residences by leading artists. The project is a collaboration between Meany Center, the School of Drama, the School of Music, the Dance Program, and the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.
  • Recent and upcoming guest artists include directors Kelly Kitchens, Ken Rus Schmoll, and Allison Narver, playwright Mia Chung of New York’s Ma-Yi Writers Lab, producer/ curator Meiyin Wang, writer P.Carl, and designer Shannon Scrofano.


Undergraduate majors


Bachelor of Arts: With classes in theatre history, theory and criticism, performance, design, and production, we offer a range of educational opportunities that teach critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and artistic excellence based on a thorough and rigorous study of theatre arts. Bachelor of Arts degree options include Drama, Drama Performance, and Drama Design.

Master of Fine Arts: We offer three-year intensive, conservatory programs in acting, directing, and design that prepare artists for successful professional careers. Our MFA programs produce creative leaders — skilled, rigorous, and entrepreneurial — who have learned how to foster their own creativity and chart their own course in today’s ever-changing performing arts landscape. Master of Fine Arts options include Acting (Professional Actor Training Program), Costume Design, Directing, Lighting Design, and Scenic Design.

Doctor of Philosophy: Our four-year PhD program trains scholars of performance and theatre history for the academy. We provide comprehensive training in theatre and performance scholarship, encompassing a wide definition of performance while maintaining rigorous training within a discipline core.

Actors in production


Autumn 2018

  • 57 Undergraduate majors
  • 38 Master of Fine Arts students
  • 15 PhD students

Degrees Awarded

Summer 2017 - Spring 2018

  • 27 Bachelor of Arts degrees
  • 12 Master of Fine Arts degrees in Acting and Design


  • 5 Professors
  • 3 Associate Professors
  • 1 Assistant Professor
  • 1 Principal Lecturer
  • 5 Senior Lecturers
  • 3 Lecturers
  • 1 Senior Artist-in-Residence
  • 1 Affiliate Faculty

School of Drama faculty are dedicated scholars and working theatre professionals. Their pursuits outside of the University keep their teaching highly relevant and ensure that the school remains deeply imbedded in the national theatre community. Our students benefit tremendously from our faculty’s strong professional connections and real world expertise. Additionally, the School of Drama attracts distinguished guest faculty who are working at the highest levels of the industry.

Recent faculty awards include the Peterson Endowed Fellowship and the Distinguished Teaching Legacy Award, both from UW, and the Artist Trust Innovator Award. Recent faculty publications include Teaching the Alexander Technique: Active Pathways to Integrative Practice by Cathy Madden, Ruins: Classical Theater and Broken Memory by Odai Johnson, and “Statements Before and After Arrests: Performing at Law’s Edge in Apartheid South Africa,” in Law and Performance, by Catherine Cole.

New and guest faculty include:

  • Tim Bond, Professor of Acting and Directing and Head of Professional Actor Training Program Professor Bond is an alumnus of the UW School of Drama MFA Directing program who most recently served nine seasons as Producing Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage and the Syracuse University Department of Drama, following long tenures in artistic leadership at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle’s own Group Theatre.
  • Jane Nichols, actor, director, and internationally renowned teacher of Clown, is teaching Clown, play, and games to our graduate directors and actors, and directing Molière’s The Learned Ladies on the School of Drama mainstage.
  • Scott Kaiser, UW Drama alumnus and longtime member of the artistic staff at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is teaching Shakespeare’s wordcraft to our graduate directors and actors.


  • Kyle MacLachlan, actor known for Twin Peaks (2 Emmy nominations), Dune, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, and Portlandia.
  • Lois Smith, actor known for East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath (Steppenwolf Theatre to Broadway, Tony nomination), Buried Child (Steppenwolf Theatre to Broadway, Tony nomination), and The Trip to Bountiful (off-Broadway), for which she received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, and Lucille Lortel awards.
  • Ken Cerniligia, Dramaturg and Literary Manager for Disney Theatrical Group and recently appointed president of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
  • Allison Leach, Emmy Award-winning costume designer known for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Mad Men, and Glee.
  • Lynn Shelton, filmmaker known for HumpdayYour Sister’s Sister, Touchy Feely, and Laggies, as well as episodes of Glow, Mad Men, Fresh Off the Boat, and New Girl.
  • Ron Simons, four-time Tony Awardwinning producer known for Broadway productions of Porgy and Bess, Jitney, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
  • Chris Brown, scenic designer nominated for 5 Emmy awards for his work as Art Director on the TV series Mad Men.


Student Performance
Photo by Logan Guerrero

The School of Drama’s mainstage season features six shows fully-produced in three state-of-the-art spaces on campus, and featuring the work of our exceptional MFA acting, design, and directing students, as well as our undergraduate majors. Students execute these rigorous productions with the guidance of our faculty and the support of a full staff of theatre technicians and artisans. Over 8,000 patrons attend these performances annually. Our UW Drama Labs projects provide additional opportunities for experimentation and exploration, often alongside prominent, internationally known artists.

Our Undergraduate Theatre Society (UTS) produces a five-play season of undergraduate work in our Cabaret Theatre as well as regular cabarets, a new works play reading festival, and quarterly workshops with guest artists.

Performance Venues

  • The Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse (210 seat thrust stage)
  • The Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre (160 seat arena stage)
  • Meany Studio Theatre (250 seat end stage)
  • The Cabaret (60 seat black box)
  • Hutchinson Hall (The School’s main building contains 3 black box performance spaces, 4 acting/movement studios, 4 classrooms, 2 design studios, light lab, drama library, and costume shop. A scene shop is located across campus.)


School of Drama
Box 353950
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-5140


last update: December 2018