UA Little Rock theater program named best in state

The popular OnStage Blog website has included University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s theater program in the 2019 edition of The Best Undergraduate Theatre Programs in Each State.

The ranking, released May 6, lists UA Little Rock as the top choice in Arkansas and commended the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance for its multiple community partnerships that include Ballet Arkansas, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Center for Simulated Medicine, Lucky Dog Audio, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  

“Every year, OnStage Blog deep dives into college theatre programs to find what we feel are some of the best in the nation,” according to the website. “While the perfect program is the one that fits best with the student, schools can become that fit with fantastic facilities, strong faculty, multiple performance opportunities, among other things. In truth, there are some schools that do that better than others and should be recognized for it.”

UA Little Rock’s theatre and dance faculty are accomplished artists and provide one-to-one training and close student advising. Students have access to two performance spaces – a 640-seat theater and a 110-seat black box – and can participate in multiple productions each semester.

“This is an unanticipated honor for which we are grateful,” said Yslan Hicks, associate professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. “Theater and dance are fields of study and practice that require discipline, time management, and exceptional creative and collaborative skill sets. Our faculty and staff nurture and challenge each student to achieve a high level of accomplishment. We deeply value the university and community partnerships that further our ability to explore meaningful topics related to the human condition.”

UA Little Rock offers the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance degree in the state of Arkansas. Dance students have access to two dance studios in the Center for Performing Arts, and both theater and dance majors have access to professional internships and study abroad opportunities.

OnStage Blog is dedicated to Broadway and community theater show reviews as well as news about stage directors, actors, and technicians. The website’s School Edition will publish its list of the top 25 theatre program rankings at the end of summer.

UA Little Rock students perform a scene from Shakespeare’s “As you Like It.” Photo by Benjamin Krain

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