Theatre Arts

Back to SBCC

TA banner

Welcome to Theatre Arts

The Theatre Arts Department at Santa Barbara City College offers a variety of programs of study and experience suited to the needs of the serious theatre student, as well as those students who wish to include theatre arts as part of their liberal arts education. With curricula in Acting/Directing, Design/Lighting, Costuming and Technical Production, the program provides an intensive two-year course of study that prepares Theatre Arts majors for transfer to a four-year college or university—ready to do advanced, upper division work. SBCC actors from The Good Kids

Hands-on practical experience is stressed through a wide-ranging production program. Students have the opportunity of working in all phases of production and performance and are encouraged to take on increasing levels of responsibility. By the time they complete their Associate in Arts degrees, many of our students have appeared in principal roles in student showcase and/or Santa Barbara City College Theatre Group productions, served as crew heads and stage managers on specific productions, and designed or directed showcase performances. These experiences, combined with intensive classes in the various theatre arts disciplines, have contributed greatly to the success of those who have chosen to continue in theatre or related pursuits beyond City College—either through further study or by entering the job market directly.

For the liberal arts student, ample opportunities to participate in productions, either by performing or working behind-the-scenes, combined with the freedom to select courses in areas of interest, provide an exciting and enriching addition to their other studies.

The unique combination of state-of-the-art facilities, professional faculty and staff, and an active, respected production program make theatre studies at Santa Barbara City College worthy of any student’s consideration.  

The department offers an AA-T Degree in Theatre Arts for Transfer. This degree provides the foundational knowledge in Theatre Arts to students who want to earn a Baccalaureate Degree in Theatre Arts. This degree is in compliance with the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act {Senate Bill 1440, now codified in California Education Code Sections 66746-66749} and guarantees admission to a California State University (CSU) campus for any community college student who completes an “associate degree for transfer,” a newly established variation of the associate degrees traditionally offered at a California community college. Upon completion of the transfer associate degree, the student is eligible for transfer with junior standing into the California State University (CSU) system. Students will be given priority consideration when applying to a particular program that is similar to the student’s community college area of emphasis. For more information on transfer degrees, visit

The Theatre Group
Santa Barbara City College is also home to the critically acclaimed The Theatre Group at SBCC, the oldest producing theatre organization in Santa Barbara County. Since 1977, The Theatre Group has been located in the Garvin Theatre Complex on SBCC's beautiful West Campus. 

2 characters from The Beard of Avon
By combining professional and community actors and designers with SBCC's very best student actors and technicians, The Theatre Group creates an exciting and rewarding program that both teaches and entertains. It is recognized as one of the outstanding theatre companies in Santa Barbara, both in terms of production quality and audience size having won more Santa Barbara Independent Theatre Awards than any other company in the county.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Theater Arts: General Emphasis
1. Analyze a play text in terms of dramatic structure, production and performance.
2. Knowledgeably critique a theatrical performance in terms of relevant techniques applied and
aesthetic choices made.3. Articulate the evolution of theatre and its
various styles and genres and relate them to contemporary issues, values and concerns.

Theatre Arts: Technical Emphasis
1. Analyze a play text in terms of dramatic structure, production and performance.
2. Demonstrate the proper application of theatre crafts’ terminology pertaining to production challenges.
3. Demonstrate proficient use of theatre crafts’ tools and technology in the creation of theatrical productions.

Theatre Arts: Acting and Directing Emphasis
1. Analyze a play text in terms of dramatic structure, production and performance.
2. Effectively use vocabulary, techniques and processes to act in or direct an affective public performance of a play.
3. Effectively use basic technical theatre vocabulary and apply foundational theatre craft skills.

For information on the The Theatre Group at SBCC call the box office at 805-965-5935 or visit the website

The mission of the SBCC Theatre Arts department is:

-To provide a rigorous academic program that prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university and offers three AA degrees:  General theatre studies, Acting and directing or Technical theatre.
-To prepare students for immediate entry into the professional theatre workplace, through completion of a certificate program in individual areas of focus including acting, theatre make-up, stage management, lighting and set construction.
-To provide a hands-on laboratory experience working in a state-of-the-art facilities with professional faculty, staff and Equity Guest Artists in conjunction with the critically acclaimed Theatre Group at SBCC.

Department Offices

Production Office - Christina Frank (DM151B, ext. 2376)
Theatre Box Office, (805) 965-5935
Katie Laris, Associate Professor (DM-122, ext. 2497)
Patricia L. Frank, Co-Chair, Director of Design and Technology (DM-114A, ext. 2369)
Pam Lasker, Theatre Manager (Box Office, ext. 2375)
Alice Perez, Dean (A-118, ext. 2354)

Theatre Arts Scene Studio
Ben Crop, Technical Director/Adjunct Lecturer (DM-145, ext. 4006)
Jason Flynn, Theatre Technician (DM-145, ext. 2370)
Christopher Turner, Scene Shop Foreman (DM-145, ext. 2370)

Theatre Arts Costume Studio
Clarice Hillebrand, Costume Supervisor (DM-126, ext. 2424)

Faculty and Offices
R. Michael Gros, Co-Chair (DM-123, ext. 4049)
Patricia L. Frank, Co-Chair, Dir. of Design and Technology (DM-114A, ext. 2369)
Katie Laris, Associate Professor (DM-122, ext. 2497)
Pamela Shaw, Director of Costume and Make-up (DM-114D, ext. 4036)
Dr. Maggie Mixsell, Adjunct Faculty (DM124)
Matthew Talbott, Adjunct Faculty (DM124)
Michael Bernard, Adjunct Faculty (DM124)
Camille Thornton-Alston, Adjunct Faculty (DM124)


721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2018 Santa Barbara City College