5 Amazing Theatre Programs at Historically Black Colleges & Universities

Black History Month: Did you know that some of the most well renowned black celebrities graduated from HBCU’s? Or that most HBCU’s have excellent theatre programs that concentrate on “the perpetuation and experiences of black theatre?” Check out our list of five excellent theatre programs available at HBCU’s.

If you’re looking for college programs, look no further: ClaimFame is here to break it down for you.


 Spelman College and Morehouse College

  • Ranked first (Spelman) and second (Morehouse) best HBCU’s in the United States.
  • Morehouse students achieve a BA taking classes at Spelman.
  • Degree: BA in Drama with an optional concentration in Dance
  • Famous Spelman Alums: Alice Walker, Keisha Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable The Crosby Show, Miranda Lucas-Payne Tyler Perry’s House of Payne)
  • Famous Morehouse Alums: Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction,” “Django Unchained”), Spike Lee (Director: “Malcolm X,” “Do The Right Thing”)
  • About the Curriculum: “The drama and dance curriculum is designed to offer a challenging theatre arts program that encourages discovery, creativity and scholarship for those students whose special interests and talents lead them to the Department of Drama and Dance; to impart to all majors the formal preparation necessary for advanced academic or professional study; to offer the Spelman student experiences in theatre arts, giving her broad-based exposure to the various aspects of drama and dance; and to contribute to the cultural enrichment of Spelman College, the AU Center, and the community at large.”
  • http://www.spelman.edu/academics/majors-and-programs/drama-and-dance


Howard University

  • Ranked as third best HBCU in the United States.
  • Degrees: BFA in Acting, Musical Theatre, and Dance; Theatre Arts Administration, and Theatre Technology.
  • Famous Alums: BFA in Acting, Musical Theatre, and Dance; Theatre Arts Administration, and Theatre Technology. Taraji P. Henderson (Academy Award Winner for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Dianne Houston (Oscar-nominated Director), Phylicia Rashad (“The Crosby Show,” Won Best Performance by a Leading Actress Tony for “Raisin in the Sun”), Lynn Whitfield (Emmy winning actress for playing Josephine Baker in “The Josephine Baker Story”), Marlon Wayans, Anthony Anderson (“Kangaroo Jack,” “Hustle & Flow,” “Law and Order”).
  • About the Curriculum: “The Department of Theatre Arts is committed to the training of knowledgeable theatre artists, theorists, historians, and teachers in the theatre arts. The Department is dedicated to the principle of developing the highest quality of theatre art, and to the serious investigation and perpetuation of the experiences and aesthetics of Black theatre.”
  • http://coas.howard.edu/theatrearts/

 Hampton University

  • In the top 20 HBCUs.
  • Degrees: BA in Theater Performance Emphasis or Theater Technical Emphasis.
  • Famous Alums: Wanda Sykes (Comedian, “Pootie Tang,” won the Emmy for best writing team on “The Chris Rock Show”), Brandon Fobbs (Fruit on “The Wire,” “Pride”), Ruth Carter (Two time Oscar nominee for costuming: “Malcolm X,” “Amistad”)
  • About the Curriculum: “The Theatre program offers students an opportunity for extensive and individualized instruction. Students obtain personalized instruction on state-of-the-art equipment.In the department’s production organization, the Hampton Players and Company, students gain experience in every aspect of theatre, from box office operations to set construction. The faculty and students in the theatre program hold memberships in, and attend meetings at the Southeastern Theatre Conference, the National Association for Dramatics and Speech Arts, the Virginia Theatre Association, the American Theatre in Higher Education, and the United States Institute for Technical Theatre.”
  • http://libarts.hamptonu.edu/fine_arts/


Tennessee State University

  • Ranked in the top 20 HBCUs. 
  • Degrees: BA in Mass Communication, Theatre, or Communication Studies
  • Famous Alums: OPRAH (What else do you need?)
  • About the Curriculum: “The Tennessee State University Theatre presents a varied repertoire of theatrical productions featuring TSU students in all aspects of the performance. These productions provide students with basic fundamental skill sets and experiences in acting and theater production.”
  • http://www.tnstate.edu/Communications/

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2 Responses to “5 Amazing Theatre Programs at Historically Black Colleges & Universities”

  1. Raina Martin

    Seeking scholarship information as I am interesting in sharing my portfolio of plays and musicals for a potential scholarship in Theatre and Drama.

    • Matthew Hughes

      Sorry, Raina! We only work with posting casting calls at ClaimFame!


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