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University of Central Florida Theatre Program Collection

Identifier: UA18E

Collection Scope and Content

This collection is arranged in three series by subject and then chronologically.

Series I: Conservatory Theatre, 1969-2009 contains programs, news clippings, and other materials that provide information about individual productions and overviews of the seasons.

Series II: Repertory Theatre, 1998-2009 holds programs and news clippings about individual productions and entire seasons

Series III: Department, 1970-2018 contains brochures, photographs, and news clippings about achievements and milestones in the history of the theatre department.


  • 1969-2018

Language of Materials

The materials are written in English

Copyright Statement

Unpublished records are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical Note

The FTU/UCF Theatre Program started in Fall 1968 as a one-person unit in the Department of Communications in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. David D. Mays, Associate Professor of Communications, was the first faculty member hired. The University's first established dramatics company started as a little theatre group on November 6, 1968. It was tentatively called Pegasus I (after the University emblem), but then became, "Motha", which stands for muddled orange (the color used to paint Shakespeare's theatre) and theatre (abbreviated to "tha"). Motha presented its first four major productions in the 1969/1970 school year. In 1970 the group was renamed the "Village Players."

With the formation of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1981/82, Theatre became a separate department with its own director. Since its beginning, the Department had offered the BA degree, but the curriculum and programs were extensively revised in 1992 to include a professional BFA degree with specializations in performance and technical theatre/design. MA and MFA degrees were added in the Fall of 2001, and graduate students may specialize in Acting, Musical Theatre, Design, Theatre for Young Audiences, or Theatre Studies. In addition, the season of plays for 1993/94 was expanded to six main-stage productions and six student-directed one-act studio productions. During the summer of 1994, Theatre UCF initiated its first summer theatre program with a summer season of four productions produced by a company of theatre students, faculty, staff, and visiting guest artists.

An air-blown tent was acquired in October 1968 as the theatre's first home, but it was soon replaced as it was impractical. Classes and productions largely took place in a blue and yellow striped tent until 1972/73 when they were moved into the Science Auditorium. In 1983, following major renovations, the building was renamed the University Theatre. The University of Central Florida Theatre Department now includes the Stage One (Mainstage) Theatre and the Stage Two (Black Box) Theatre. The Mainstage Theatre seats 300 and is home to Theatre UCF, as well as the Theatre UCF Summer Company. The Stage Two Theatre seats 125. Beginning with the 2003-2004 season Theatre UCF, now known as UCF Conservatory Theatre, is presenting 14 plays.

In August 2000 the UCF Theatre Program merged with the 73-year-old Civic Theatre of Central Florida to create the Orlando Repertory Theatre, which produces plays for children and families, specializing in dramatizations of children's literature and UCF student productions. It provides an opportunity for graduate students on the Theatre for Young Audiences track to gain valuable experience.


9 boxes (6 linear feet)


Brochures, posters, news clippings, and photographs document the productions and activities of the UCF Theatre program.


This collection is arranged in three series by subject and then chronologically.

Acquisition Information

This collection was originally assembled in 2003 and donated to Special Collections by Kelly Clemens, Cheryl Mahan, Ellen Anderson, Harry Smith, and Tom Begley. Heather Gibson transferred additional materials in 2014 (CFU2014_06).


Previous Collection Identifier: CFU2003_04; CFU2014_06

Related Material

For more information on university archives, please see our website. Further information about this collection may be found in the University of Central Florida Scrapbook Collection and the University of Central Florida Memorabilia Collection.

Guide to the University of Central Florida Theatre Program Collection, 1969-2018
Edited Full Draft
Rebecca Hammond and Judith Beale
#X00A9; 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the UCF University Archives Repository

Special Collections & University Archives
University of Central Florida Libraries
P.O. Box 162666
Orlando Florida 32816-2666 US
(407) 823-2576