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Bachelor of Arts

Not to toot our own horn, but Clarke University is known as THE university for the arts. We offer the only drama degree in the region. And here, you’ll be embraced by a family that operates like a real-world small professional theater company – allowing for individual instruction/attention for each member and working as a community toward the final product. We are dedicated to providing the highest-quality artistic training for our undergraduate students through an intensive studio classroom program, varied course offerings, and thrilling main stage productions. From your first semester, you are involved hands-on in every production, from stage lighting to directing to movement, all while gaining well-rounded, foundational experience. Graduates of the drama program are prepared for a lifetime of appreciation, participation, and further study in the theatre arts as well as preparation for professional theatre careers


Program Details

You’ll act, you’ll take the spotlight, you’ll direct, you’ll help with costumes, you’ll work on lighting. You will also have individual performance and design instruction. The drama program is designed to provide you with a well-rounded experience in drama through a curriculum that includes a core of introductory courses in acting, directing, technical theatre, dramatic literature, and theatre history. This degree is flexible and each BA drama student pursues a unique course of study, focusing on developing their skills and voice as an artist.

Classes You'll Take

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

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Meet Our Faculty

When our graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Ellen Gabrielleschi, MFA

Ellen Gabrielleschi, MFA

Chair and Professor of Drama

My teaching philosophy is simple … we are all life-long learners. Learning is the fabric that binds us together as human beings.

Joe Klinebriel, MFA

I believe in cultivating a classroom in which students embrace risk and feel the freedom to create, fail, and create again!

Nicholas Halder, MFA

Nicholas Halder, MFA

Assistant Professor of Drama

My goal is to help students find their way through this part of their life and discover the potential that is within them as they look to the future.

There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Brigid Anderson-Kelley

Brigid Anderson-Kelley

Drama '08

Clarke gave me the foundation and discipline I needed to explore a character. I was given tools to find what a character wants, what they need, and I was given the support to follow my heart and express it.

Holly Blomquist

Holly Blomquist

Drama '97

I feel privileged to have worked with such wonderful faculty who are on par with national theatre professionals with whom I’ve worked.

Colin Muenster

Colin Muenster

Drama '08

My Clarke theatre education continues to play an important role in all aspects of my life.

Productions each year

The number of drama department major productions each year.

one-on-one with faculty

Drama students work one-on-one with faculty in intense performance situations with individual performance and design instruction.


Drama students choose a concentration in design/technical theatre, dramatic literature, or performance.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Drama for Yourself

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