Claire Trevor School of the Arts


Create. Explore. Innovate. These three words embody the Claire Trevor School of the Arts – a leader in training aspiring artists, supporting arts research, cultivating new technologies in the arts and promoting the arts in the community at large. One of the founding schools at UC Irvine, CTSA has a total enrollment of 701 undergraduate majors and 146 graduate students as of fall 2014.

CTSA programs are grounded in liberal arts, meaning students learn through critical thinking, writing skills, research, collaboration, and problem-solving. The school offers premier academic and professional programs in the departments of Dance, Drama, Music and Art at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Creativity intersects with technology in every academic department, providing students with opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations on the campus and in the business community. The Digital Arts minor attracts students throughout the university who are passionate about studying the latest in digital technology, and it provides them with an opportunity to investigate the connection between practice and analysis in the arts. Arts Outreach links students, faculty and staff to the community at large, and the Creative Connections program places arts scholars in K-12 classrooms across the county.

CTSA is at the forefront of developments in the burgeoning field of the arts and technology. The Beall Center for Art + Technology serves as an exhibition showplace and teaching center for all forms of experimental media arts.

The school’s primary exhibition and performance facilities include the Claire Trevor Theatre, Winifred Smith Hall, the Beall Center for Art + Technology and the University Art Galleries. The most recent addition to the arts campus is the Contemporary Arts Center that contains a multimedia performance space, enlarged art gallery and exhibition spaces, motion capture studio, Meyers Sound Design Studio, faculty offices, and art studios for graduate students. CTSA’s campus also includes a stage production shop and a costume design and construction studio, where graduate students can see their artistic vision come to life as they work alongside costume professionals.

UCI’s arts school is home to the New Swan Shakespeare Festival, the only Shakespeare festival in Orange County that brings whimsical, intimate productions in a moveable mini-Elizabethan theater to the campus each summer. Students enrolled in CTSA drama programs work alongside professional actors and production managers to gain one-of-a-kind career experience.

Claire Trevor School of the Arts alumni impact the world every day – from Broadway stages and Hollywood recording studios to European art galleries and international dance companies. Our alumni are reshaping art in America and throughout the world.

Stephen Barker, Interim Dean

Stephen Barker is interim dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. He holds a Ph.D. in English/Comparative Literature and Literary Theory & Criticism from the University of Arizona and M.F.A. degrees from the London Contemporary Dance School, Studio ’68 of Theatre Arts, London and the University of Arizona. He has previously served as chair for the departments of Studio Arts and Drama, and as associate dean for the school. Barker has professionally acted, directed, danced, choreographed, and taught around the world and has written extensively on philosophy and literary and aesthetic theory. His most recent works include a forthcoming book titled Thresholds: The Art of Limit-Play and translated volumes by French philosophers for Stanford University Press. Barker also is the founder of the journal Derrida Today and is on the faculty of the London Graduate School.


  • Esteemed faculty include Kei Akagi, Chancellor’s Professor of Music; David Brodbeck, Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Chair of Music; Robert Cohen, Claire Trevor Professor of Drama and founding faculty member; Mihai Maniutiu, Distinguished Professor of Drama; Hossein Omoumi, Maseeh Professor of Persian Performing Arts; Yvonne Rainer, Claire Trevor Professor of Studio Art; Bryan Reynolds, Chancellor’s Professor of Drama; and Eli Simon, Chancellor’s Professor of Drama
  • Home to the only jointly run Ph.D. drama program in the country, in partnership with UC San Diego
  • Notable alumni include Jon Lovitz, Windell Middlebrooks, Teal Wicks, Edward Patrick Alva, Glenn Kaino, Brian Thompson and Chris Burden
  • Ranked one of the best graduate schools for fine arts by U.S. News & World Report
  • New Swan Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night voted Best Theatrical Ensemble of 2014 by OC Weekly
  • NY Satellite Program, connecting undergraduates with casting directors and agents of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows
  • Named one of the Top Arts Organizations at the 2014 Coast Community Awards
  • Music Professor Nicole Mitchell named Flutist of the Year at the 18th annual Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards for Musical Achievement
  • Daniel J. Martinez, professor of art, received the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts
  • New Swan Theater awarded the 2013 Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Built Environment by Arts Orange County
  • Recipient of the Getty Foundation Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Grant
  • Beall Center for Art + Technology awarded an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grant of $100,000 for exhibition support
  • Produced the American premiere of  Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Micere Githae Mugo’s The Trial of Dedan Kimathi in partnership with UCI’s School of Law and School of Social Ecology
  • Hosted two Israeli dance professors as part of UCI’s Artist-in-Residence Program in collaboration with the Department of Dance and the Jewish Federation & Family Services’ Rose Project