USC School of Theatre to change name to School of Dramatic Arts

The University of Southern California’s School of Theatre announced Sunday it will change its name to the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Officials said the change, effective July 1 and three years in the making, reflects the school’s emphasis on a broader range of dramatic expression and programs.

“Almost all of the major schools that teach what we teach are called dramatic arts,” Madeline Puzo, the school’s dean, told Culture Monster. “Theater is our artistic home, but we know that our students want and will succeed within different platforms.”

Puzo added that offstage forms of expression for students include TV, film, webisodes and sketch comedy. “We’re catching up with who and what we are for … actors, writers and designers,” she said.


The school offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts, as well as opportunities to train for camera and voice-over work.

Alumni include Forest Whitaker, LeVar Burton, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan, John Ritter and more recent graduate “Pretty Little Liars” Troian Bellisario, as well as directors Andy Tennant (“Sweet Home Alabama”) and Jack Bender (“Lost”).

Faculty members include Tony-nominated actress Mary-Joan Negro, playwright Velina Hasu Houston and playwright, director and MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient Luis Alfaro.


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