The Drama Department at the the University of Pretoria will teach students the necessary skills to be successful in a competitive artistic world. The Drama Department stages about 17 productions per annum, some of which are larger than others. Amongst others, the department also annually stages a production at the Grahamstown Arts Festival. These productions exclude the compulsory directing work of the honours students and the annual Kopanong Arts Festival ̶ a highlight on the University of Pretoria's calendar as students get the opportunity to stage the performances that they have conceived, written and directed.
Studying Drama at the University of Pretoria presents students with the opportunity to develop their academic and artistic skills.
The Drama Department of the University of Pretoria was established in 1965 under the direction of Prof. Geoff Cronje. The department set out to train theatre practitioners who could make a contribution to the rapidly developing theatre industry of the time. The department further aimed to promote Afrikaans theatre as was necessitated by the socio-historical milieu and the demands of the industry. The alumni of the department, their work in the theatre and theatre-related industries, as well as the contributions of staff and students in the academic arena, stood ̶ and still stand ̶ as testimony to the department’s commitment to excellence.
Through the years, the department kept in touch with both the demands of the industry and those of a changing society. The department’s commitment to excellence has remained unchanged. Current training embraces the contemporary notion of the artist-scholar. Students explore an artistic, creative as well as an analytical and practical approach to theatre, film and related fields such as new media, through both experiential learning and academic inquiry. Today the department boasts a multi-cultural environment where South Africa’s rich and culturally diverse artistic heritage is acknowledged and celebrated. International outreach takes place on a regular basis by attending conferences, symposia and creating opportunities for practical application of new developments.