Loyola University Chicago


Department of Fine and Performing Arts

About Us

Hello, there! My name is Lee Keenan, and I'm a Senior Lecturer and Director of Theatre in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. As you can see from the adjacent pages, we offer a wide variety of academic programs and the public programming to accompany them. Our approach to theatre is based in the Liberal Arts; by offering a BA rather than a BFA, we emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary study in the formation of adaptable, well rounded theatre artists. Collaboration, a sharp voice for expressing social truths, and the ability to foster empathy in a diverse audience are powerful skills we learn in the theatre that prepare students for the many paths life make take them. By nurturing and educating actors, directors, administrators, playwrights, designers, technicians, dramaturgs, and teaching artists we prepare theatre artists to enter any aspect of the industry.

From the moment you enter our doors as a theatre major, you'll take classes in three basic areas: 1. Performance; 2. History, Literature and Criticism of the Theatre; and 3. Theatre Design and Technology. The major concludes with a capstone course in Directing. This approach allows theatre majors to cover topics beyond their usual areas of interest and fosters a theatre community unique to our program by increasing collaboration and cooperation among students of all disciplines. The scope of our program can be extended even further with the opportunity to minor in Theatre, Musical Theatre, Teaching Artist, and Shakespeare Studies.

Production of plays is integral to all of our academic work, and we offer many opportunities for students to participate in our active production program as actors, directors, designers, dramaturges, and playwrights. We produce a season of faculty-directed plays and musicals, which often reflects the curricular and educational goals and mission of the department. The season is complimented by a diverse collection of student-generated and led laboratory productions with a focus on experimental projects, writing and readings of new work, and interdisciplinary research. In addition to these opportunities, we also feature showcases for new students, musical theatre minors, playwrights, and directors. Our students are able to work immediately and consistently in production.

We also take full advantage of our location right in the heart of Chicago's thriving theatre community. Our full-time faculty of eight is comprised of professional actors, directors, dramaturges, and designers and is augmented by Adjunct specialists and teaching staff at the top of their fields. Students are afforded chances to dabble in the professional world prior to graduation with the guidance and mentorship of their professors, as well as the multitude of internship and apprenticeship opportunities available at professional theatres around the city. Loyola University Chicago is one of eight NAST- accredited institutions in Illinois (and the only one in the Chicago metropolitan area), as well as a member of the League of Chicago Theatres.

If you're not completely sure what kind of theatre artist you might become, our program offers you the chance to explore, create, and thrive in all aspects of the art. If you are already sure where you fit in the theatre world, our program can make you a stronger, more informed actor, director, designer, or manager. We welcome you to join us in our exciting creative endeavors.


Lee Keenan, MFA

Senior Lecturer, Director of Theatre