Department of Theatre and Film

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The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film offers undergraduate degrees (Bachelor of Arts and minors) in theatre and film and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), the primary accrediting bodies for university programs in Theatre and Film. As an undergraduate liberal arts department, we actively engage students in creative practice, critical thinking and cross cultural/global exchange through the study and practice of live productions and cinema. We empower students to be thoughtful and productive scholars, artists, professionals and individuals, helping to expand their social, cultural and artistic understanding throughout the public realm.

Our students participate in all aspects of live theatre productions, create their own films and videos, travel for arts programs in Study Abroad (Costa Rica, Hungary, Wales to name a few), participate in special master classes with guest artists, land internships with organizations such as Disney, Viacom and others. In addition guest artists from all over the world work with students as designers, directors, filmmakers and performers through our international connections.

The Department of Theatre and Film strongly endorses a policy of individual and collective respect for each member of our diverse community. Our department strives to provide a safe and supportive educational environment that both nurtures all components of human experience and functions as a crucible for creative expression.

UToledo faculty members' hiv documentary-in-progress to screen on dec. 1 - world aids day

HIV in the Rustbelt, a work-in-progress documentary film directed and produced by UToledo faculty members Holly Hey, professor of film, and co-produced by Dr. Ally Day, associate professor of disability studies, will be screened as part of an event recognizing World AIDS Day, December 1 on the Health Science Campus.

HIV in the Rust Belt focuses on long-term HIV survivors in the rust belt region of Toledo, Ohio and their connections to a small but mighty grassroots care facility called David's House Compassion. The film follows four participants who share stories of their lives before HIV, after contracting HIV, and what it's like now living a U=U life (undetectable = non-transmittable). 

Photo of Tishina Jackson who was featured in the documentary HIV in the RustbeltThe December 1st, 2021 screening features Tishina Jackson's story, an African American woman living with HIV since the mid-1990's. Tishina shares her past as a high school all-star, discusses how contracting HIV changed her future, and what it meant for her Savage Park (City Park) community when David's House Compassion closed its doors. 
In addition to Ms. Jackson's story, this year's screening will present a newly edited version about Isaac "Chico" Calderon. Chico recently passed away from issues unrelated to HIV.

UToledo Film Faculty Holly Hey, students and alumni produce documentary on recidivismImage combining photos of scenes from the documentary Reentry Realities

Reentry Realities, Hope Deferred

UToledo Film Professor Holly Hey led an internship initiative for six UToledo Film/Video majors who helped develop and shoot the film during summer 2019. The students’ pre-professional, work-based experience at UToledo has now led to showcasing their work to a national audience as the film has broadcast in several states around the country, including a fall 2021 appearance on local public television station, WGTE-TV 30. Ali Moussa, a 2020 UToledo Film/Video graduate says, “working on this project was a real eye-opening experience, as a filmmaker, as storyteller, and as a person questioning the purpose and goal of incarceration: Is it to punish or to rehabilitate?"

The 30-minute documentary centers on the relationship between Larry Thompson, an Ohio inmate, and his reentry mentor Joe Hoeflinger of Sylvania, Ohio. Larry and Joe met over a decade ago after Larry returned to prison to serve his fourth prison sentence. Brought together by a Christmas card, the two men describe their journey to develop, teach, and publish a reentry curriculum that helps those released stay out of prison. Hey says, “The film reveals how Larry came to be incarcerated for more than half of his adult life, Joe’s commitment to loving the unlovable, and the ways in which our judicial system fails to recognize reform beyond time served.”

See the discussion held after the WGTE screening of the film on Facebook.

UToledo Theatre and Film Students and Faculty Create great theatre - Even in the Middle of a Pandemic

UToledo virtual theatre production is a featured performance in the 2021 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region III. Click here to watch 

Scene from the UToledo virtual production of 20K Leagues Under the Sea

"In the summer leading up to the new academic year, [Carlos] Washington and fellow UT student Alexandria Rayford-West have been anything but idle. Instead, they worked on creating a streaming production of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea — writing the script from the Jules Verne novel to create a show that explores the issues of oppression and the morality of fighting for social justice using peaceful or violent means...Read More

UTOLEDO Faculty and students win professional theatre awards in chicago at 2020 jeff awards

Battle scene from the Chicago production of Matt Foss's adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front

The Chicago production of a play written and directed by Dr. Matt Foss and designed by Stephen Sakowski, both associate professors of theatre at The University of Toledo, has won six out of the seven nominations it received for the prestigious 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Awards. Similar to the Tony Awards in New York, the Jeff Awards recognize Chicago’s top theatre each year.

“This is the first time a production that began in this department has ever gone on to a professional version and several professional awards,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, professor and chair of UToledo’s Department of Theatre and Film. “We are extremely proud of Matt Foss and his team.”

Dr Matt Foss associate professor of theatre at the University of Toledo
“All Quiet on the Western Front” won for Best Production of a Play and for Best Ensemble — two of the top awards in Chicago theatre each year. Two UToledo alumni, Austin Rambo (Theatre 2019) and Bianca Caniglia (Environmental Science and Women’s Studies 2018), were part of the Chicago production’s ensemble cast. 
Stephen Sakowski associate professor of lighting and sound design at the University of Toledo

The production also won awards for Best Choreography (Leah Urzendowski) and Sound Design (Dan Poppen). Foss was awarded the prize for Best New Work and Sakowski won for Best Lighting Design of the year. Read more...

UToledo Alumni Achieve their dreams

Scene from the film Dream Runner by James Aponte shows Jeffrey Burden II as Julian The film DREAM RUNNER (2020) by University of Toledo alumnus James Aponte (Film/Video '16) is now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. The film’s debut on Amazon is a major step forward in Aponte’s effort to take his film to mainstream audiences.  (See trailer)

Photo of James Aponte, film director and UToledo film video alumni 2016In announcing the film’s release, Aponte said on Facebook, “It's been two years of navigating distribution, but I am so happy to say that as of today my feature film 'Dream Runner' is now streaming on Amazon Prime!”

The film’s subject matter leans toward sci-fi, as the film’s beginning makes clear, “Humans no longer dream. Now man-made, dreams are sold in supermarkets, drug stores, and fueling stations. Certain dreams are declared illegal by world governments and organizations. Patrons turn to Dream Runners to attain these illicit fantasies.”

A host of UToledo grads star in and helped create this film:


  • “Dana” – Olivia Pierce (Theatre '16)
  • “Phil Donahue” – Jamal Knight (actor)
  • “Drake” – Ian Davis (2014)
  • “Robbie” – Nolan Thomaswick (Theatre '16)
  • “Julian” – Jeffrey Burden II (Theatre '16)
  • “Rene” – Christina Pinciotti (Theatre '17)
  • “Victoria Kingsley” – Samantha Campbell (Theatre '17)


  • Executive Producer/Director - James Aponte (Film/Video ’16)
  • Producer – Nick Kostelnak (Film/Video '15)
  • Producer – John Eidemiller (Communication, faculty)
  • Music – Stephen Mariasy (Film/Video ’15)
  • Cinematography - Andrew Lewis (Film/Video '18)
  • Production Management/Assistant Director – Marcus Jordan (Film/Video '17)
  • Guitar – Ryan Dalton (Music, Jazz Performance ’17)


Matt Foss, assistant professor of film at the University of Toledo, directs the cast of his adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front

Dr. Matt Foss, directing the cast of his adaptation of "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Dr. Matt Foss, assistant professor in The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, has won a national playwriting award. His adaptation of “All Quiet on the Western Front” is the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award. The play was performed at the University last November.

Developed by the Playwriting Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the National Playwriting Program of Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, the Cohen award is intended to provide incentive to college and university theatre production departments to foster the growth and development of playwrights through the public presentations of unpublished full-length plays or a collection of shorter works for the stage that have not received a professional production. Read more...

Contact the UToledo Department of Theatre and Film

Main Campus
Center for Performing Arts

1910 West Rocket Drive
Toledo, OH 43606

Department Office - PA 1030
Phone: 419.530.2202
Fax: 419.530.8439
Box Office: 419.530.ARTS

Interim Department Chair
Edmund Lingan

Department Secretary
David Grajczyk

Last Updated: 6/21/22