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Theatre Arts & Drama


We welcome all to join in creating theatre! During the 2020 self-quarantine we took the opportunity to look at who  we are and what we stand for as a theatre program. We renew our commitment and vigorously pursue inclusion and representation. We have provided our shows as pay-what-you-decide fundraisers for years, but we can do better. We have made a conscious effort to provide opportunities for all students onstage and backstage by selecting plays with diversity of all types in mind, but we can do better.


We select our plays in the hopes of increasing diversity so that everyone can see themselves in someone onstage, but we can do better. Our plays will be presented for free; no strings attached. Our shows will be open to all that want to audition.


Due to the impact of COVID-19, the EC Theatre department will continue to offer programming with virtual events that allow the community to interact with the bright young talent developing on campus.


Prospective Students

Whether you are a prospective Theatre major or would like to learn about opportunities for non-majors, we encourage you to observe classes, rehearsals, and productions. For the latest information visit us on Facebook!

Schedule a visit today to see what makes us so unique!


Why Study Theatre at Eureka College?


  • Individualized attention: Low Faculty-Student ratios and a supportive, yet rigorous environment with faculty who are committed to helping you reach your professional goals

  • Performance opportunities: Unlike at bigger programs where seniority rules, at Eureka, you will have multiple performance opportunities as soon as you are performance ready, perhaps even in your first semester!

  • Internships: We tailor specific experiences to each individual. Do you want to learn more about theatre life as an actor in Chicago? We can set you up with an internship at Shattered Globe

  • Unique programs and courses: The theatre major is designed to couple with another major at Eureka. You can graduate in 4 years with 2 majors! Use skills in one to help advance your career in the performing arts!


Alumni Satisfaction: When asked “Would you recommend Eureka College to

someone considering studying theatre?” 94% of our alumni responded YES!



Theatre and Drama Fine Arts Program at Eureka College



Mission and Program Goals

Our mission is to create theatre artists of the highest caliber who use their theatrical skills to serve their art, their communities, and their lives. Our graduates, who are members of many academic disciplines, will take their broad knowledge of theatre and apply it in their professional work. The Theatre Faculty are cultivating a lifelong commitment to the arts. Our goals are to:

  • Prepare all Eureka College students for a lifetime of involvement in and appreciation of theatre of all styles and eras

  • Highlight every student’s creative potential through performance, playwrighting, technical theatre, and artistic expression

  • Provide performance and leadership opportunities for any interested Eureka students

  • Educate and provide theatr enrichment for the community

The Theatre Program is part of Eureka’s integrated learning experience, offering both academically rigorous courses and opportunities for co-curriculars. Theatre is inherently interdisciplinary, and we provide courses that fit into the 10 Essentials, with particular strengths in Communication and Aesthetic Sensibility. We are a part of the Uniquely Eureka Experience.


The Theatre Major prepares students for the increasingly multi-faceted professional world of the 21st century. The collaborative nature of theatre allows the student critical thinking skills, keen powers of observation and a true liberal arts preparation for advanced and graduate study in all areas of theatre as well as law, communications and ministerial work. The major also stresses overseas study and internships with major theatre groups, including our exclusive arrangement with major movie, television, and theatre producers. A liberal arts education prepares musicians who are able to thrive in this environment and enhances their employability.



We offer the Theatre Major in 3 concentrations: Performance, Production, and History/Theory. We also offer a Theatre minor. Each major and minor is tailored to the individual student to strengthen their skills.


Production Calendar

In 2020/21, the Eureka College Theatre Department will continue to offer programming with virtual events that allow the community to interact with the bright young talent developing on campus.


Eureka College's 8th Annual Illinois High School Ten Minute Play Festival will be held March 26 and 27, 2021. All submissions must be received by midnight, October 31, 2020. For entry information click here.


Mainstage Series

The hallmark of our theatre program is the faculty-directed productions we offer every year. This fall we will present one play streaming online, and another in the spring, either via streaming or in Pritchard with the necessary health and safety protocols to protect our students, artists, and audiences.


Professor Holly Rocke will direct The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt and translated by Mauirce Valency, this fall in a timely rendition of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s masterpiece. The Visit is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. In the spring Professor Marty Lynch will direct The Boy At the Edge of Everything by cherished playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer.


Reader’s Theatre

Reader’s Theatre is nothing new, but the current climate has allowed us to take a fresh look at a classic form of performance. Eureka College Theatre will present a series of script readings from a wide variety of authors. With the freedom to read anything on the page, we are committed to readings of plays that will be Eureka College Theatre premieres. Whether online or in person, audiences will enjoy a rich variety of plays by playwrights from around the world and across our long rich history.


Ten Minute Play Festival

Eureka College Theatre has a proud tradition of producing the plays of young Illinois authors. We had to postpone the 2019 Illinois High School 10-Minute Play Festival in March, but we are thrilled to announce that we will be streaming staged readings of new plays by six young Illinois authors in the fall. We will also produce the 2020 Illinois High School 10-Minute Play Festival, be it online or in person, this spring.  If you are interested in submitting your work for consideration contact Prof. Marty Lynch


Join Us this Summer for the Central Illinois Stage Combat Workshop!

From students starting out to actor/combatants getting those last few styles, from professors seeking faculty development to professional actors looking to pick up extra skills, this is the workshop for you!


This workshop is for actors of all experience levels. The small class size (20 student max with 5 Instructors: a 1 to 4 ratio!) allows for personal instruction and individual attention. The skills learned here will help you create compelling theatrical fights with a wide variety of theatrical weapons. Skills that are perfect for enhancing many plays, including Shakespeare! 


Production Ensembles

Alpha Psi Omega - Alpha Psi Omega has enjoyed continuous national growth and, with over 600 casts, is the largest national honor society in America. Colleges and universities of recognized standing, having an established theatre program or theatre club for the purpose of producing plays, will be eligible for membership. Eureka College established the Epsilon Gamma Cast in 1981 and it has been a vital organization ever since. For the latest updates follow us on Facebook @AlphaPsiOmegaEpsilonGamma


Little Red Devils Improv Troupe - This organization falls under the umbrella of Alpha Psi Omega. Students practice twice a week and work towards one performance each semester. Students gather twice a week to practice improv games. For the latest updates follow us on Facebook @littlereddevilsimprovtroupe



All Theatre courses are open to majors and non majors. For a list of full courses, contact Prof. Holly Rocke or Prof. Marty Lynch.

  • Introduction to Acting

  • Devised Theatre Workshop

  • Stagecraft

  • Movement for the Actor

  • Stage Makeup

  • Musical Theatre

  • Stage Design

  • Stage Lighting

  • Playwriting

  • Shakespeare

  • Stage Combat

  • Direction

  • World Theatre History 


Student and Alumni Testimonials

Instead of choosing this program, this program chose me. Theatre is the one thing that makes me feel confident that I have some skill in, so I went for it. Eureka College's Theatre department gives me a chance to make bold choices in a safe place and therefore, makes me a stronger actress, student, and individual. - Kendall Katz, 2017


Hands on attention and education. Multiple opportunities right away rather than just to upperclassmen. Do your research and prepare for work outside of theatre or acting and directing. The industry is a business like anything else, so prepare yourself for the business as well as the art. - Tim Jenkins, 2014


EC equipped me to pursue many different career choices, and I don't think that's the norm or common at other institutions that enforce a strict specialization. - Jordan Varden, 2005


Theatre teaches how to work well with others, take leadership roles, take and give constructive criticism, and accept responsibility. All these qualities are helpful in all life. - Linda Schuerman, 2010


There is so much that can be gained from a small liberal arts education in Theatre at a place like Eureka College. I learned a great deal and acquired a tremendous amount of experience in my four years at EC. Decide what you want to do and devote all of your resources to it. I wrote in my senior year that I wanted to earn my Ph.D. and work as a Professor of Theatre at a small, elite, liberal arts college. I'm here. And I love it. Thanks EC! - James Brandon, 1994


Because of the size of the department, opportunities for participation with quality instruction are so much better than at most schools. High quality educators and institution.Be open to trying things you've never done. Audition, audition, audition! Send your resumes out and follow up. Work hard because this is a hard profession, but it's so rewarding! - Mary Finch, 1984


I often have - and still do recommend EC to my theatre students. It gives them opportunities that they might never get at a large university with teachers who really care about them. I also really like that a student can be active in EC theatre while not pursuing a degree in theatre. Auditioning, casting, and dealing with parents are all incredibly important - as critical as directing, designing, and teaching theatre. I also think I have developed a successful theatre program at Morton because I care about the person - I want my students to become great people, not just good actors. - Liz Rebmann, 1981


Theatre Scholarships for Returning Students

James L and John P Highlander Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a rising junior or senior who has been a leader in the college theatre program. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required. Multiple scholarships are available each academic year and announced at the Honor’s Ceremony.


Donate to Theatre

Give the gift of performance. Every bit helps EC Students realize their potential.


Meet the Faculty

Prof. Marty Lynch

Marty Lynch is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Drama. He teaches courses in technical theatre, theatre history, and playwriting. He also works as a designer and director in regional theatre. Marty was a critic for the Peoria Live Theatre League. He also travels as a respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He has presented at a number of regional theatre conferences. Marty holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Tech/Design from West Virginia University, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Tennessee.


Prof. Holly Rocke

Holly Rocke is Professor of Theatre Arts and Drama. She teaches courses in acting, movement, directing, dramatic literature, and stage makeup. She serves on the play selection committee for Heartland Theatre Company’s 10 Minute Play Festival. Holly has done extensive work in the Alexander Technique and currently serves as the national secretary for the national accreditation body American Society of Alexander Technique. She has presented on the subject at national conferences. Holly holds a Bachelor of Science (Theatre and Mathematics double major) from Eureka College, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Illinois State University. 

Theatre Arts and Drama Professor

Holly Rocke
Pritchard Theatre First Floor
300 East College Ave.
Eureka, IL 61530

Theatre Arts and Drama Professor

Marty Lynch
Pritchard Theatre First Floor
300 East College Ave.
Eureka, IL 61530