Dr. Bethany Larson

  • Professor of Theatre

B.F.A, Texas Tech University
M.A., University of Arkansas
Ph.D., University of Kansas

Dr. Bethany Larson, Professor of Theatre, has been a part of the Buena Vista University community since 1996, first as the arts presenter for the Academic and Cultural Events Series and, beginning in 2003, as Assistant Professor of Theatre. Dr. Larson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Texas Tech University, a Master of Arts degree in Drama from the University of Arkansas, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theatre and Film from the University of Kansas. Her expertise is in performance, specifically acting and directing, and her previous employment as an arts presenter informs her teaching in arts management. 

As an actor, director and teacher of acting, Larson has a depth of experience using physical approaches for the creation of character and theatrical performance. These include mask work, Viewpoints, and Devising.  To advance her research and performance interest, Larson was invited to attend a symposium on Masks and Physical Theatre at the Accademia del Arte in Arezzo, Italy, and in 2016 she was a member of the Summer Intensive cohort at Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake, California. In 2017 Larson directed an original play, Woman Wonder, that was written through a collaborative process by her and six other colleagues from various disciplines including Digital Media, Psychology, English, Literacy Education, and Graphic Design. 
Dr. Larson teaches a variety of courses, including Fundamentals of Acting, Fundamentals of Directing, Voice and Camera Acting, History of Theatre, Dramatic Literature, and Shakespeare. As an actor and director, Larson’s approach to these subjects is focused on the embodied nature of theatre: actors in action, and audience and their contribution to to the performance through their response. Examination of dramatic texts is focused on how analysis aids in understanding the performance text and the intended effect on the audience. 

Theatre is a collaborative art form, and it is this central focus that fuels Dr. Larson’s passion for this art form. She can be reached at 712-749-2129 or at larsonb@bvu.edu.


Fundamentals of Acting, Advanced Acting, Audition Techniques, Acting for Media, Basic Vocal Production, Fundamentals of Directing, Advanced Directing, Gender and Performance, Theatre Intensive: Viewpoints, Fundamentals of Arts Management, Introduction to Theatre, University Seminar, Risky Business: Improvisation and Life, Musical Theatre.