Speech and Theatre

Historic Highlights

1963 - Department of Speech and Theatre founded; it later moves into the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building, named for founding chair, Lane Boutwell. The department remains in this location.

Chairs have included Larry Lowe (1968-1981), Jim Brooks (1981-1998), Russell Church (1998-2006), and Rebecca Fischer (2006-2010); Jeff Gibson currently serves as Chair. 

Original majors offered by the department were Public Address (with an emphasis in Broadcasting), Theatre, and Communication Disorders. After the Public Address major moved to the new Department of Mass Communication, majors were combined into a single major with concentrations in Communication Studies, Theatre, and Communication Disorders.

1999 - the department adds the interdisciplinary major in Organizational Communication. 

* MTSU Forensics/Debate Team has won over 500 awards in national competition, including three berths in the National Debate Tournament. 

* MTSU hosted the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 1997 and 2010. Theatre students have won over a dozen regional awards in playwriting, and one national award. Two students have also won the National Critic's Institute Award (aligned with O'Neill Playwrights Festival in Connecticut). 

2000 - the department has its first study abroad course, to London. Communication Studies has offered classes in France, Italy, and Great Britain; Theatre continues an annual London Winter program through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA), and has taken performance tours to Russia, Finland, Latvia, Honduras, and Ireland. 

2000 - the department adds Dance to its Theatre concentration. 

2010 - the Communication Disorders program moves to the Health and Human Performance Department. 

2010 - Tucker Theatre is rededicated after extensive remodeling and renovation. 

The department currently consists of Communication Studies, Organizational Communication, Theatre, and Dance. It has 41 full-time faculty, 11 adjunct faculty, 2 full-time administrators, 2 full-time staff, and one part-time staff. There are approximately 300 students majoring in its various degree programs.