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Chair's Welcome

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ODU Theatre and Core Theatre Ensemble in Brave New World

Welcome to the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts

Welcome to the Department of Communications & Theatre Arts! We are a community of performing artists, filmmakers, and scholars who believe in the power of storytelling as a communication practice for both fostering social interactions and bringing about social change; as a tool for sustaining resiliency and as a means of inspiring innovation.

Our stories are shared in many ways, whether face-to-face, in small groups, in families, among communities, within and by organizations, via mass and social media, on stage, on screens, in press releases, through dance, as fiction and as fact. We are all storytellers and we are all recipients of stories, though only some of us are trained communicators. This is where our department can help you. We train students to be effective and inventive storytellers in a range of professional communication and creative outlets, from broadcasting and filmmaking to public relations and strategic communications, through digital platforms, theatre, and dance. We also train students to hone their critical thinking, oral and written communication, and digital literacy skills so that they can be both analysts and actuators of meaningful and impactful stories.

We recognize that access to storytelling tools and platforms is uneven and that the storytelling strategies often valorized in our society privilege certain groups over others, presenting some peoples' stories as universal while others' as particular (and still others don't get to tell or have their stories told). As such, we are committed to working with diverse communities to ensure more equitable access to communication devices and storytelling outlets and to foreground a wider range of communication practices, styles, and techniques. It is our hope that we can help create a more engaged society that utilizes their communication and storytelling abilities to inspire curiosity and foster collaboration. We understand that communication is a human right that needs to be both defended and fought for.

At the same time, we know we can prepare you for a career in the communications and storytelling fields. Our graduates have gone on to work in public relations, marketing, and strategic communications divisions in health care, public administration, the private sector and non-profit sector. They have gone on to have careers in broadcast journalism and as ESPN hosts. Others have gone on to careers on stage as professional actors and dancers working with national and international theater and dance companies. Still others work behind the camera and the curtain in a range of creative and technical positions in film, TV, and the performing arts from screenwriters, directors, technical designers to producers and arts administrators. Our unique Masters' degree program focuses on the intersections of interpersonal and digital communications across the lifespan, with particular interests in children and senior citizens. Several of our graduates have moved on to PhD programs at prestigious institutions.

Whatever way you plan to tell stories - yours or others - we want you to be a part of ours. (unless you plan on writing poetry and novels - then you ought to consider English) 😉

-Avi Santo, Ph.D, Chair, Department of Communications & Theatre Arts