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Department of Theatre Arts records

 Record Group
Identifier: 002-006-003-007

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of correspondence, minutes, reports, programs, announcements, and other material related to the governance and events created by the Department of Theatre Arts.


  • Creation: 1964-2002

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.

Biographical / Historical

The development of the Department of Theatre Arts was spurred not only by academic changes, but also student interest. Begun as an outgrowth of Speech classes, which were in turn by-products of English classes, dramatic readings and oratory skills were part of Towson University’s history from the beginning.

Inspired by the Little Theatre Movement, students began the Thespian Club at the Maryland State Normal School in 1924. This dramatic club would go through various name changes until becoming The Glen Players in 1949, when the school was the State Teachers College at Towson [STC]. These students used the Glen during warm weather months to stage productions and otherwise used Stephens Hall auditorium, as previous clubs had done. And within 5 years, Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society, was on campus.

In the meantime, STC was developing classes such as “Play Production”, “Modern Drama”, and “The Elements of Dramatics and Stagecraft”. These classes continued to expand and progress as STC moved towards a liberal arts college in the 1960s and would soon include acting and directing classes.

In 1962, STC offered the first major and minor in Speech and Drama. Ten years later, Theatre Arts split off from the Speech Department, just as the new Center for the Arts building was constructed. This is the first time that a building on campus was formall constructed for the Theatre program.

In 2014 three programs were available under the Theatre Arts degree – Acting, Design and Production, and Theatre studies. A Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts was established in 1994.


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Language of Materials



First offered as a Speech and Drama major in 1962, the Department of Theatre Arts had its beginning almost at the start of Towson University’s history, as dramatic readings were part of teacher’s education. The department would move to the Center for the Arts in 1973, splintering off from Speech at that time. It has expanded and now offers three areas of concentration as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts. This collection is composed of correspondence, proposals, and programs for events offered by the department.

Related Materials

UA23000 – Records of the College of Fine Arts and Communication UA23040 – Records of the Department of Mass Communication

Guide to the Department of Theatre Arts records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Towson University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Albert S. Cook Library
8000 York Rd
Towson MD 21252 United States