College of Arts and Communication

Theatre and Dance

Bachelor's Degree Programs

In the UW-Whitewater Theatre and Dance program, everyone has a chance to learn everything from the front of the house to behind the scenes. We’re a highly hands-on, collaborative program offering an array of major, minor and degree options.

Meet the faculty

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Why study Theatre and Dance at UW-Whitewater?

At UW-Whitewater’s Theatre and Dance program, we’re:

  • Large enough to offer a five-production season while being small enough to offer hands-on learning-by-doing experience.
  • Inclusive: Anyone can declare a major or minor in our programs, and anyone can audition for a show.
  • Active in the local community: for example, we offer matinee performances for area high school students and an annual Arts Immersion Day for area talented and gifted middle school students.
  • Experienced: Our faculty members come from near and far, and many are well-situated in our regional theatre community.

We also offer about $40,000 of scholarships to Theatre majors and Dance minors each year.

Scholarship includes Incoming Freshman Scholarships.

What our Theatre and Dance students do

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Stage five major productions each school year

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Attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival annually

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Earn credit for roles in productions

Theatre and Dance: Major areas

Theatre and dance majors backstage during a performance at UW-Whitewater.

Whether you’re looking to major in theatre arts to pursue a career in a performance, education, production or a related area, you’ll be able to choose a path of study that fits your goals at UW-Whitewater. Here’s a brief overview of our degrees in theatre:

Theatre major: Get a broad education
Designed to give you a broad theatre education, the Bachelor of Arts option also allows you the flexibility to add a minor or even declare a second major.

BFA Theatre programs: Specialize your studies
Our BFAs are professional theatre programs that allow you to specialize in one of three areas:

  • performance
  • design/technology
  • stage management

These programs are in-depth, interdisciplinary and highly customizable based on your interests. For example, the management and promotion program offers courses from marketing, communications and business; and the performance major includes electives from broadcast journalism, English and dance.

Theatre Education major: Teach future teachers
UW-Whitewater provides a broad-based theatre education program that prepares our future high school theatre educators, often with a minor in English.

Dance minor: Add some movement to your major
This liberal arts program will expose you to several areas of dance, including ballet, contemporary dance, dance composition, choreography and dance history/criticism. "“As an actor, I always recommend dance classes to colleagues. It provides a person with a strong sense of spacial awareness and a strong understanding of blocking for the stage. I rarely need to be told how to block scenes and I attribute that to my involvement in the dance program.” - Alumnus Tyler King

Learn more about our majors, minors and degree requirements, below.

Student productions and practicum credit

Performance in the Young Auditorium on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus.

With five productions each year, Theatre and Dance majors will have plenty of behind-the-scenes and performance opportunities. Our season line-ups might include:

  • Musical theatre
  • Plays
  • Dance concerts
  • Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) performances

You’ll also have the chance to earn official course credit when you participate in various roles in student productions: acting, make-up, directing, sound, costuming, stagecraft, scenery, management/publicity, lighting and more.

Additional hands-on experiences

Regional festivals and beyond
We actively participate regionally in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the American College Dance Association Festival. In fact, when we compete in dance competitions, other schools are always surprised to learn UW-Whitewater has “only” a minor.

On-campus employment
We offer work-study positions in our scene shop, our costume shop and our department office. This gives our students a chance to learn more about various aspects of theatre production and programming while working part-time and earning money.

Student organizations
Theatre, dance and other performance-related groups on campus include:

  • Theta Alpha Phi
  • Forensics Team

Setting the scene: Our facilities

UW-Whitewater’s Theatre and Dance program uses a variety of learning, rehearsal and performance spaces; most are located in the Greenhill Center of the Arts, a place always bustling with music, theatre and dance majors. Here’s a look at a few spaces:

Young Auditorium: This 1,300-seat venue holds dozens of national and university events each year, from concerts and comedy to theater and dance.

Barnett Theatre: With a fully trapped stage — including an orchestra pit — this 380-seat theatre hosts many of our major productions.

The final scene of a play by performers on the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus.

Hicklin Studio Theatre: Our versatile black box theatre can be reconfigured to fit a variety of productions, and it is also used as a classroom and rehearsal space.

Kachel Studio: This multipurpose space is home to tap and other dance classes.

Dance Studio: This 4,000-square-foot facility has a sprung Marley floor, warm-up spaces, locker rooms; and it is home to most of our dance classes.

Dance majors at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater learn a new routine in pairs.

Design Lab: Also a classroom space for our theatre tech students, the lab features drafting tables, a lighting lab and workstations with the latest production and design software.

Scene Shop:In this fully equipped woodshop , you’ll find a paint room, a tool room and a storage area with a large collection of props and furniture.

Theatre professor at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater showcases a set design.

Costume Shop: The shop is home to an extensive costume collection plus all the tools you’d need to costume a show: sewing machines, sergers, cutting tables, a spray booth, and dye facilities.

What our graduates do

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Professional actors, dancers and musicians

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Theatre educators

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Stage designers and creative crew professionals

Dance and Theatre jobs: Career success

Our Theatre majors and Dance minors are well-rounded, well-prepared practitioners who find work across the country, from New York to California, in theatre, entertainment and education.

You’ll find our graduates in regional theatres, national touring companies, various Shakespeare festivals, dance studios and production companies -- as well as teaching at schools and colleges. Here are just a few organizations:

  • American Players Theatre (Spring Green)
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theatre (or Milwaukee Rep)
  • Asolo Repertory Theatre (Sarasota, Florida)
  • Fireside Theatre (Fort Atkinson)
  • Goodman Theatre (Chicago)
  • Melk Music (New Berlin)
  • Universal Studios (University City, California)
  • Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida)
  • Kenosha Unified School District

Many Theatre majors and Dance minors also pursue MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs after graduation.

Our Theatre and Dance faculty

Performers. Directors. Stage Designers. Choreographers. Our Theatre and Dance faculty is cast with an array of professionals, many of whom are still active in the non-academic theatre world.

Meet all of our Theatre and Dance faculty »

Want to learn more about earning a Theatre degree at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater? Contact us »

In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, Theatre and Dance students take a set of core courses and electives that will vary greatly depending upon major or emphasis. Select a program below to download the individual requirements. There are scholarships for Incoming Freshman - learn more here.

UW-Whitewater offers the following degrees:


To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater application for admission and indicate your interest in theatre and dance. Don't forget that there are scholarship funds for Incoming Freshman, learn more here.

Apply Now

Support our Programs



“The Harpies” & “Signor Deluso” one-act operas
directed by Bruce Cohen and musical director Robert Gehrenbeck
February 20 and 26 at 2:00 pm
February 22 and 24 at 7:30 pm
Barnett Theatre  |  Program

Two one-act operas in one evening of musical enjoyment. Blitzstein’s “The Harpies” focuses on Phineus, a sightless oracle, whose attempts to enjoy his dinner are thwarted by the Harpies. An operatic spoof of Greek mythology, this opera will have you laughing and wondering who will win this battle of wills. “Signor Deluso” is a comedy of layered misunderstandings. Signor Deluso rushes to revive Célie after she faints in the town square leading his wife to think they are lovers. Célie is being forced to marry wealthy Valère, but she is in love with another. Just when everything appears to be hopelessly embroiled, the maid enters in the nick of time and clears up the whole mess.

DanceScapes ‘22
Artistic Director: Barbara Grubel
March 12 - 13 at 2:00 pm
March 14 - 15 at 7:30 pm
Barnett Theatre  |  Program

DanceScapes ’22 returns to live audiences in Barnett Theatre. An annual audience favorite, this concert features works from UW-Whitewater faculty members, award-winning guest artist Li Chiao Ping, student choreographers Kayley Stoner and Teresa Krogmann, and for the very first time, a piece choreographed and performed by alumni. A showcase of unique talent crafted in our studios, we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the shared experience of live performance.

The Busybody
by Susanna Centlivre, directed by Sara J. Griffin
April 26 – 29 at 7:30 pm
May 1 at 2:00 pm
Barnett Theatre  |  Program

Parents just don't understand! In a time when arranged marriages were the social expectation, a young woman, her handsome lover, and their friends plot to escape the lousy marriages their controlling guardians have set up. Will a nosey nobleman ruin their plans or save the day? Join us for this hilarious Restoration comedy full of adventure, love and wit.

**An additional performance will be held on April 30 at 2:00 pm at the outdoor city of Whitewater Amphitheatre. Tickets are not required for the outdoor performance, but donations are suggested in a ‘Pay What You Can’ format.


Audition information for "The Busybody" coming soon.

Incoming Freshmen - learn more about how to apply for scholarships here.



The UW-Whitewater Department of Theatre/Dance is offering FREE virtual workshops for high school groups and students.
For a full list of available workshops, click here.
To schedule your workshop, click here.

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