About Us

We make theatre. 

We make theatre diverse, collaborative, and personal. 

We make theatre the meeting place of all the arts. 

We make unconventional and unexpected theatre. 

We make theatre to guide us toward artful living. 

We make theatre the next step to a meaningful career. 

At CSULB, we make theatre. 

The mission of the CSULB Department of Theatre Arts is to embody and promote theatre arts as a diverse, collaborative, and deeply personal art form that is essential, transformational, and translatable across the arts, leadership, and innovation in the 21st century. We are committed to creating a dynamic environment where theatre serves as the confluence of the arts, fostering innovation through diverse approaches in our art making. Our focus is to nurture artful living through the transformative power of theatre, guiding students in their artistic endeavors and toward personal growth. We aim to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to propel them into meaningful careers in the arts, and in a broad range of careers for which experiences in theatre arts provides a vibrant foundation. At CSULB, we make theatre. 

Since 1954, the Theatre Arts Department has offered an atmosphere where students are encouraged to explore theatre arts and related fields; and it is also a place where community members can gather to enjoy the art of theatre. The Theatre Arts Department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). The department is also a member in good standing with the Theatre Communications Group, the United States Institute of Theatre Technology, the University/Resident Theatre Association, and the International Theatre Institute of the United States. The Department operates two producing entities, in addition to offering a wide variety of innovative undergraduate and graduate courses, workshops and guest artist lectures: California Repertory Company is a professionally modeled theatre company, founded in 1989, which presents our mainstage season and includes frequent collaborations with prestigious guest artists. Theatre Threshold, operating for more than twenty years, is a student-run production company. This company produces new performances each week of the semester, which are presented as part of our showcase class. Both of these educational producing entities are operated and maintained through the CSULB Theatre Arts Department. Each year, the department hosts over 2,000 community members and trains approximately 300 BA and MFA students in acting, design, directing, playwriting, and theatre management. The department also exposes over 2,800 new general-education students to the art of theatre each year. Since its first production in 1954, the department has served over 60,000 community members and trained more than 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students.  

Since 1989, California Repertory Company (Cal Rep) has been among the foremost educational theatre companies in Southern California. The company is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff from the Theatre Arts Department at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in addition to nationally and internationally acclaimed guest artists. Cal Rep is dedicated to nurturing artists and challenging audiences by developing exciting, relevant, and thought-provoking work.

Cal Rep’s alumni are dispersed throughout the United States and abroad, working as professional theatre and entertainment artists, technicians, managers college deans, chairs of theatre departments, heads of acting and design programs, and theatre faculty. Those working in the field have been hired at institutions including South Coast Repertory Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, Center Theatre Group, The Old Globe Theatre, LA Opera, Disney, Universal Studios, and many more. Those working in academia have found homes at such prestigious schools as Tulane University, Vanguard University, California State University Fullerton, Chapman University, St Louis University, Point Park University, University of the Pacific, Eckerd College, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Montreal College, Irvine Valley College,Case Western, and Orange County High School of the Arts. Our alumni are also actively working in the TV and Film Industry.

In 1998, the University, in partnership with Edison International and community members, raised over $500,000 to transform a vacant storefront in downtown Long Beach into a 99-seat theatre for use as Cal Rep’s performance space. During its tenure in the venue, Cal Rep won several major Los Angeles theatre awards, including four Ovation Awards, numerous Drama-Logue Awards, six LADCC Award nominations and the prestigious Polly Warfield Award for an outstanding season for a small repertory theatre.

In the fall of 2006, CSULB entered negotiations with the City of Long Beach to purchase the Edison Theatre. In order to satisfy the University’s stringent standards, several studies were conducted, and a seismic study indicated that the space was not in compliance with newly issued CSU safety standards. Cal Rep was compelled to vacate the Edison mid-season and relocate to an on-campus theatre. One year later, assisted by a dedicated alumna, Cal Rep soldiered on and found a home in the National Guard Armory in the Long Beach East Village. After a two-year residency, Cal Rep moved again, this time to the Royal Theatre aboard the Queen Mary. From 2009 – 2015, Cal Rep produced evocative and exciting work in the unique venue located in downtown Long Beach. In Fall 2015, Cal Rep moved back to campus producing in our three theatre facilities.

The academic degrees offered by CSULB Theatre Arts are accredited by NAST.

The National Association of Schools of Theatre was established in 1965 to improve educational practices and maintain high professional standards in theatre education.
A general statement of aims and objectives follows:

  • To establish a national forum to stimulate the understanding and acceptance of the educational disciplines inherent in the creative arts in higher education in the United States.
  • To establish reasonable standards centered on the knowledge and skills necessary to develop academic and professional competence at various program levels.
  • To foster the development of instruction of the highest quality while simultaneously encouraging varied and experimental approaches to the teaching of theatre.
  • To evaluate, through the processes of voluntary accreditation, schools of theatre and programs of theatre instruction in terms of their quality and the results they achieve, as judged by experienced examiners.
  • To assure students and parents that accredited theatre programs provide competent teachers, adequate plant and equipment, and sound curricula, and that they are capable of attaining their stated objectives.
  • To counsel and assist institutions in developing their programs, and to encourage self-evaluation and continuing studies toward improvement.
  • To invite and encourage the cooperation of professional theatre groups and individuals of reputation in the field of theatre in the formulation of curricular and operational standards.
  • To establish a national voice to be heard in matters pertaining to theatre, particularly as they would affect member schools and their stated objectives.

More information about NAST at https://nast.arts-accredit.org/about/purposes/