Knox College students perform The Clean House, by Sarah Ruhl, in Studio Theatre. #

Academics > Majors & Minors



Elizabeth Carlin-Metz

Smith V. Brand Endowed Chair of Theatre

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Spindles of thread inside the Knox Costume Shop.

Theatre Major
Dramatic Literature & History Minor
Performance Minor
Directing Minor
Design & Technology Minor
Playwriting Minor

How We Work

  1. We give you the freedom to choose your own path. We want you to explore your interests and hone your skills inside and outside the classroom. When Maddie Mondeaux '15 decided to adapt Samuel Richardson's Pamela for the stage, she was able to pursue an honors project to write and direct her own version of the 18th century novel. We celebrate your independence, but we're always nearby to offer guidance and support.
  2. We value practical experience. In our black box space, Studio Theatre, several plays each term are directed, designed, and brought to life by students. One example is Dakota Stipp '17, who has not only designed sound and created original effects for mainstage shows, but also composed the score for a student directed full-length production.
  3. We don't make you wait. Get involved right away. You'll have plenty of shows to choose from with one faculty directed mainstage, two student directed productions, and a few bare-stages every term. You won't find many places with the number of opportunities our students have to do hands-on work in the theatre, where they're the ones making the creative decisions.
  4. We work hard. We're the only undergraduate program in the country to offer Repertory Theatre Term, an intensive immersion experience during which a company of students devote all three credits to studying theatre by collaborating with faculty to produce two full-length plays.
  5. We develop new plays. Student playwrights workshop their scripts once a term through Playground. Every three years, the New Plays Festival presents staged readings and workshops of new plays by the Knox community. In Studio Theatre, several student-written one acts and full-length plays are produced each year, and Harbach Theatre was home to recent world premieres of At Night's End by Motti Lerner and Mosque Alert by Jamil Khoury.
  6. We think beyond the stage. Through the liberal arts study of theatre, our students cultivate valuable skills such as communication, aesthetic understanding, intuitive and analytical thinking, and creative problem solving. We use theatre as a way to investigate the world and our place in it. For example, Alyssa Gill '14 used theatre to examine the nature of evil in her honors project, "Performing Evil: A Look at Meaning and Creation through Devising the Play The Devil is Bored."

Where we work

Housed in the Ford Center for Fine Arts, our facilities are a labyrinth of spaces. In addition to our theatres and shops, it's not uncommon to find students making and performing art in stairwells, lobbies, lawns, and just about anywhere else.

Harbach Theatre seats up to 500 people in a modified apron thrust or proscenium stage. Exceptional acoustics and sight lines highlight performances on the 72 foot stage with full white and black cycloramas. The three faculty productions each year are drawn from a wide range of styles and genres.

Studio Theatre, a 40' x 60' black-box venue, is a laboratory for the experimental work of Knox students. With an overhead suspension grid, fully equipped sound and lighting systems, moveable audience risers, and five entrance/exit locations, Studio allows students to create in a space with endless possibilities.

The Costume Shop boasts a collection of more than 40,000 hanging pieces spanning numerous styles and historical periods. Producing nearly 250 complete costumes each year, this shop is equipped with 10 sewing units, draping mannequins, cutting tables, laundry and pressing facilities, and an exclusive area for textile manipulation.

The Scene Shop is a fully functional carpentry and painting studio that covers more than 1200 square feet. Equipped with a full range of hand, power, and pneumatic tools, it is located adjacent to both the Harbach and Studio Theatres. With a 24 foot high ceiling, large items are transferred with ease into either venue.

Recent Productions

Neil Gaiman's NeverwhereA stage adaptation by Rob Kauzlaric of the much loved fantasy novel. Produced by the company of Rep Term XVII, and featuring the largest set we've ever constructed in Harbach Theatre.

The Secret in the Wings—Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of several fairy tales was the first ever Rep Term production in our blackbox Studio Theatre, performed by an ensemble of thirteen actors each playing multiple roles.

The Island of Slaves—French playwright Pierre Marivaux's 1725 comedy was translated by the faculty director, and developed by the company of student actors, in keeping with the commedia dell'arte roots of the original.

Rapture, Blister, BurnThis penetrating examination of contemporary feminism was directed by Professor Jeff Grace in the same term he taught a popular course on Women Playwrights.

Mosque AlertKnox presented the college world premiere of this play by Jamil Khoury, who was appointed playwright-in-residence and visited campus several times for workshops with students as he developed the script.

The Caffe Cino Project—Four short plays originally staged in the Caffe Cino—the Greenwich Village coffeehouse-turned-theatre that initiated New York's Off-Off-Broadway movement in the late 1950s. For this production, we built a detailed replica of the Caffe Cino inside Studio Theatre.

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Printed on Wednesday, March 21, 2018