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.

4-year plan

Meet the faculty

See all events


CAN WE BRAG A LITTLE?

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

Graphic of two white masquerade masks on a blue background.

Stage five major productions each school year

White graphic of a stage light on a green background.

Attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival annually

Graphic of two white masquerade masks on an orange background.

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

Two masquerade masks with a musical note.

Professional actors, dancers and musicians

White graphic of an instructor at a board on a purple background.

Theatre educators

White graphic of a paint brush and hammer on a teal background.

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 and Dance degree?

262-472-1566 | thtrdnce@uww.edu | Facebook icon   Instagram logo

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:

Minors:

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

22/23 Productions

Perfect Wedding by Robin Hawdon
directed by Sara J. Griffin
October 11 – 14 at 7:30 p.m.
October 15 – 16 at 2:00 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

On the morning of his wedding, Bill wakes up in his honeymoon suite with a dreadful hangover and an unknown woman in his bed. It’s a race against time as he has to either get her out or make up a plausible story before his fiancée and future mother-in law arrive. Desperate times call for desperate measures in this hysterical romp of a love story gone wrong!

 

Grounded by George Brant
directed by Bruce Cohen
November 29 – December 2 at 7:30 p.m.
December 3 – 4 at 2:00 p.m.
Hicklin Studio Theatre

An unexpected pregnancy ends an ace fighter pilot’s career in the sky. Reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas, she hunts terrorists by day and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. WARNING: Adult Language & Themes.

 

Pirates of Penzance by W.S Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
directed by Sara J. Griffin
February 15 – 18 at 7:30 p.m.
February 18 – 19 at 2:00 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

Mistakenly apprenticed to a raucous band of pirates, Frederic is caught up between a marauding crew that lacks killer instinct, a squad of overly empathetic policemen, and a modern major-general’s bevy of daughters. Hilarious and hopeful, you’ll find plenty of wit, charm and an abundance of musical hits. Set sail in Barnett Theatre with this classic whimsical comedy.

 

DanceScapes ‘23
Artistic Director: Barbara Grubel
March 4 – 5 at 2:00 p.m.
March 7 – 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

DanceScapes ’23 features works from UW-Whitewater student choreographers, faculty members and international dance artist Dr. Jin-Wen Yu who has created, performed, directed and produced over 100 works internationally and nationally. A showcase of unique talent crafted in our studios, we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the shared experience of live performance.

 

Macbeth by William Shakespeare
directed by Bruce Cohen
April 25 – 29 at 7:30 p.m.
April 30 at 1:00 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

“Something wicked this way comes…”
Returned home and celebrated for victory in battle, the triumphant warlord, Macbeth believes that becoming King might be possible. Driven by mystical and sinister prophecies, he and his Lady set out on a path of butchery to slake their lust for power. A story of lost humanity and deadly ambition, Shakespeare’s tragic play is a murderous thriller.

 


Auditions

MACBETH

By: William Shakespeare
Directed by: Bruce Cohen
Performance Dates: April 25-30, 2023, Barnett Theatre
Rehearsal Period: March 10-April 24, 2023
Rehearsal Times: 7–10 p.m. Mondays–Saturdays (until tech week), TBD, Sundays

In-Person Auditions: Jan. 28, 3-6 p.m. in the Barnett Theatre

Auditions will take place in person and/or through video submission. If you choose to submit video, please record and send to the production director, Bruce Cohen, CohenBe@UWW.edu. A callback audition is also possible and, if needed, you will be notified. Otherwise, casting will be announced.

This is an open call and the entire campus and Whitewater community is invited. You do not have to be a Theatre/Dance major or UW Whitewater student to audition.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL admitted BFA-Performance students and ALL pre-BFA-Performance students are expected to audition for all productions and perform as-cast. Please be aware that non-participation in a department mainstage audition and refusal to accept a role as-cast will constitute a breach of the BFA degree track expectations and may damage and/or prevent progress toward achieving the BFA-Performance. Please refer questions about this policy to Prof. Eric Appleton (Chair) or Lect. Sara Griffin (Head of Acting).

Play Overview:

Macbeth: A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.

Available Roles:

Note: Some roles will be doubled/combined/eliminated. All roles will be cast exclusive of conventional- identification.

  • Three Witches, the Weïrd Sisters
  • DUNCAN, king of Scotland
  • MALCOLM, his elder son
  • DONALBAIN, Duncan’s younger son
  • MACBETH, thane of Glamis
  • LADY MACBETH
  • SEYTON, attendant to Macbeth
  • Three Murderers in Macbeth’s service
  • A Doctor
  • A Gentlewoman
  • A Porter
  • BANQUO, commander, with Macbeth, of Duncan’s army
  • FLEANCE, his son
  • MACDUFF, a Scottish noble
  • LADY MACDUFF
  • Their son
  • LENNOX
  • ROSS
  • ANGUS
  • MENTEITH
  • CAITHNESS
  • SIWARD, commander of the English forces
  • YOUNG SIWARD, Siward’s son
  • A Captain in Duncan’s army
  • An Old Man
  • A Doctor at the English court
  • Apparitions: an Armed Head, a Bloody Child, a Crowned Child, and eight nonspeaking kings
  • Three Messengers, Three Servants, a Lord, a Soldier
  • Attendants, a Sewer, Servants, Lords, Thanes, Soldiers (all nonspeaking)

Audition Information:

Auditions will take place in person on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 3-6 p.m. in the Barnett Theater (Greenhill Center of the Arts, 950 W. Main Street). Please check in with Stage Management when you arrive (there will be signs to direct you). You will be asked to fill out an Audition Questionnaire and schedule of conflicts/availability before you audition. Please be sure to elaborate any and all experience/training in stage combat and with period-style drama.

If you are unable to attend auditions in person but still wish to be considered, you may submit a self-tape (video) to Bruce Cohen at CohenBe@UWW.edu. Please include your best contact information.

  • Video will continue to be accepted until January 30. A headshot and resume are not required for consideration. Please provide detail of experience.
  • The self-tape will include your monologue and a short section of combat choreography. For the self-tape you will need to create your own section of choreography. Please include for sword: demonstrations of basic cuts/thrusts, parries and footwork (including lunges and retreats); for unarmed: demonstrations of punches/jabs/blocks and falls. It would be best if you are able to video yourself with a partner.
  • If cast from a video audition you may still be asked to learn and demonstrate live choreography prior to role assignment.

What to Prepare:

PLEASE READ THE PLAY!

Auditions will consist of a monologue and movement (stage combat) portion.

Monologue: Prepare a 2-minute portion from a play of the period (Elizabethan, Jacobean, Caroline) demonstrating heightened language. Shakespeare is appropriate, but so are Marlowe, Kyd, Webster, and Ford. Memorization is encouraged but not required.

Movement: Please come dressed appropriately (soft soled, closed-toe shoes, non-binding clothing). Please tie back long hair, remove loose jewelry, dangling earrings, large rings. If you wish to, you can wear soft gloves (garden, golf or batting gloves work well) and/or knee/elbow pads. You will be taught a section of sword and hand-2-hand choreography to perform solo and with a partner. This will require physical contact with others. Please warm-up and stretch prior to the call. You will be demonstrating basic sword cuts/thrusts, parries, and footwork (lunges, retreats). For unarmed you will demonstrate punches/jabs/blocks, grapples/throws and falls/rolls. If you have questions or concerns, please make these known to the director prior to auditioning. Some accommodations/alterations may be made. However, please understand that stage fighting is physically demanding and an important component of the show.

If you have questions relating to Macbeth, please reach out to Bruce Cohen at CohenBe@uww.edu.

Please read the play prior to auditioning and accepting a role.

 


Workshops

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.

Explore related programs at UW-Whitewater