The Drama Department of the University of Pretoria was established in 1965 under the direction of Prof. Cronjè. The department set out to train theatre practitioners that can 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 industry and fields related to theatre, as well as the contributions of staff and students in the academic arena stood, and still stands, 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 the demands of a changing society. The department's commitment to excellence has remained unchanged. Current training embraces the contemporary notion of the artist-scholar: Through both experiential learning and academic inquiry, students explore an artistic, creative as well as an analytical and practical approach to theatre, film and related fields such as new media. 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.