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.
"I pursued a degree in Theatre Performance because I love to entertain and to be a part of storytelling. The challenge of creatively problem solving on the fly was something I found exhilarating. I now work regularly as a Performance/Motion Capture actor and stuntman for video games including providing the in-game and cinematic movements for Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, and most of the enemies in the video game Marvel's Avengers."
"If I had to give one piece of advice to an incoming student it would be to not let fear or nerves make you wait until 'the next opportunity'."
100% of Theatre majors were employed in their field or in graduate school after graduation. (2018-2019)
Interested in auditioning for a production or learning more about getting involved backstage? Upcoming Fall '21 productions include "A Place With The Pigs" by Athol Fugard and "She Kills Monsters" by Qui Nguyen.
"My favorite part about UW-Whitewater was the ability to work on productions in a hands-on evironment that included leadership positions. Following graduation I worked as a stage manager for four years, most of which was with the Milwaukee Ballet. I then switched to an operations role at a live event production company and I've now moved into an operations position with a finance company."
"My advice to potential and incoming students is to try different things, and learn all that you can from each experience. You don't know which skills will end up leading to a new opportunity down the road."
“This summer I worked as the Assistant Technical Director for the not-for-profit organization of Kids From Wisconsin. Each year, they create a multi-week theatre tour that employs 22 singer/dancers and a full 14-piece band of 15-20 year old performers from around the state. I had an amazing time and I loved bringing performances to life through sound production and technical work. In a time of confusion, frustration and lack of arts experiences due to COVID, it was a beautiful change of pace to spread joy and music safely to audiences around the state."
At UW-Whitewater’s Theatre and Dance program, we’re:
We also offer about $40,000 of scholarships to Theatre majors and Dance minors each year.
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:
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.
Learn more about our majors, minors and degree requirements, below.
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:
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.
The Emerging Choreographer’s Concert
An annual event produced by the UW-Whitewater Dance Company
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.
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.
Theatre, dance and other performance-related groups on campus include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Many Theatre majors and Dance minors also pursue MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs after graduation.
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.
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.
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.
A Place With The Pigs
by Athol Fugard
directed by Bruce Cohen
October 5-8 at 7:30 pm | October 9 at 2:00 pm in Barnett Theatre
Based on an absurd but true story, this poignant and sometimes hilarious tale is about a Russian soldier who deserted during World War II and spent ten years hiding in his pigsty. As the play begins, Pavel Ivanovitch is preparing to rejoin the world and throw himself on the mercy of his countrymen… Will Pavel Ivanovitch ever be able to leave the pigsty, or is it his only safe haven?
*All performances will have social distanced seating.
She Kills Monsters
by Qui Nguyen
directed by Sara J. Griffin
November 15 - 19 at 7:30 pm | November 20 - 21 at 2:00 pm in Hicklin Studio Theatre
Meet Agnes, an average girl who wished her life had more adventure. After a family tragedy, she finds herself skeptically discovering the world of Dungeons & Dragons through her little sister’s eyes, getting much more than she bargained for on a journey of self-discovery and understanding. Combat, comedy, and love are at the heart of this fantastic campaign. Directed by Sara J. Griffin, Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
*Performances on 11/18 and 11/20 will have social distanced seating.
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.