Performance at Cal State is an important aspect of the department's undergraduate curriculum. The program leading to the Bachelor or Arts in Theatre degree provides comprehensive instruction in the theatre arts. Formal classes are offered in theatre history and literature, script analysis, voice and speech, oral interpretation, acting, theatre organization and management, creative dramatics, children's literature, directing, scenery and costume design, lighting and stage make-up.
Built in 1971, the theatre building houses two theatres - the 480-seat University Theatre and the flexible Studio Theatre, which can seat between 150 to 250. Both theatres are equipped with sophisticated electrical light and sound systems. In addition, there are a fully equipped scene shop and costume shop. The theatre building houses, in addition to the performance spaces and shops, a twelve-station drafting room, acting studio, green room, make-up room, and dressing rooms. Occasionally, the Theatre Department stages productions in the terraced courtyard outside the main lobby or in the large outdoor amphitheatre.
Alumni from Cal State East Bay's Theatre Department have distinguished themselves in professional, community and academic theatres throughout the country. Many graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate schools and conservatory programs, including UCLA, SMU, Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Chicago's Goodman School, University of California, San Diego, USC, The University of Arizona, and the National Shakespeare Conservatory of New York City. Our graduates work in New York (Broadway and off-Broadway) as well as in regional and local companies. These companies include American Conservatory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Beach Blanket Babylon, San Francisco Opera, Denver Theatre Center and the Mark Taper Forum Los Angeles. Lucas Productions and Fantasy Productions are among the Bay Area movie companies where graduates have worked. Many Theatre Arts graduates have gone on to careers in management, business, and teaching, as well as careers in performing and directing in community theatres across the country.