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.
100% of Theatre majors were employed in their field or in graduate school after graduation. (2018-2019)
"The UW-Whitewater Department of Theatre performed two one-act operas — "The Harpies” and “Signor Deluso” — in the Barnett Theatre. In the run-up to the performances, theatre faculty and students talk about what it takes to stage a musical production and the goings-on behind the scenes before the curtain finally rises on opening night.
Interested in auditioning for a production or learning more about getting involved backstage?
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.
Scholarship includes Incoming Freshman Scholarships.
Bryce Giammo is pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance with a minor in Dance. The moment the curtain closed on his high school musical experience, he knew this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
Dyamond Jackson is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree with a major in Theatre Education and a minor in English Education. Fun fact - Dyamond created her own majorette hip hop dance organization, the first in the entire UW System, named The Warlettes. Her experience is a prime example of how individualized the student experience can be 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:
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.
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.
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.
Rasell Holt graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and an emphasis in Performance. Originally from Milwaukee, WI he is very proud to be a working actor. In the Summer of 2022 you can catch him in the American Players Theatre line up in “Raisin in the Sun” and “The Brothers Size.”
Grace Rusch graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Technology and Design with an emphasis in Costumes, but originally wanted to be onstage. She now is working as a Wig Assistant on Tina: The Tina Turner Musical on Broadway.
Tyler King graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and an emphasis in performance and a minor in dance. He now works regularly as a Performance/Motion Capture actor and stuntman in video games and movies. "Don't stop learning" is the advice he would give his future self.
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.
Nala Meikle, from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, earned a BFA in theatre and was hired as a wig technician/dresser with STAGES St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri, and was accepted to graduate school at UCLA pursuing an MFA in Costume Design on Los Angeles, California.
"Tracey Lyons pushed me to be my very best and believed that I can accomplish anything with a little bit of grit. Thank you for letting me sit in on your independent study for rendering, and helping me to discover the joy and beauty in costume design."
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.
Eric Appleton is the associate professor of scenic and lighting design in the Theatre/Dance Department and typically designs the scenery for three to four department productions each year. He mentors student lighting and scenic designers on departmental productions, and oversees student props managers (as well as acting as prop manager on occasion).
Originally from Land O’Lakes, WI, Barbara has an extensive professional career dancing choreographing and teaching on four continents. During her 16 years in NYC she danced in the companies of Ralph Lemon, Douglas Dunn, Dan Wagoner, Bill Young, and David Dorfman.
Sara received her BFA in Performance at UW-Whitewater in 2007, before going on to get her MFA and pursuing her dream of professional acting. Teaching affords Sara the opportunity to facilitate her favorite thing about learning, the "lightbulb moment". It's a wonderful thing to see a student gain understanding of and excitement about something that was previously beyond them.
Professor Cohen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from Adelphi University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Directing for the Stage from The University of Alabama. His scholarly research interests are focused on the techniques and theories of immersive theater performance.
Ruth Conrad-Proulx has been a professional theatre production manager and technical director producing in theatrical venues and in classrooms teachings for the past 20 year. She has worked alongside professionals and students alike meeting the ever-present challenges each production presents, finding new learning experiences along the way.
Tracey Lyons is a Costume Designer, Instructor, and Director. She has designed costumes and/or makeup for the Canadian Broadcast Company, Lincoln Theatre Guild, The Huron Playhouse, Madison Ballet, Madison Theatre Guild, American Folklore Theatre, and many other theatres. She toured internationally with Sesame Street Live.
Piper Morgan Hayes-Werner has taught at several colleges throughout Wisconsin. Choreographically, her work is seen in the annual DanceScapes production, on campus Theatre/Dance Musical productions and local performances. In addition, she performs as a company member with Li Chiao-Ping Dance Company in Madison.
Amy Slater is a dance lecturer at UW-Whitewater. Amy previously taught in Texas at El Paso Community College Dance Department. Prior to teaching, she performed for seven years with the Christopher Watson Dance Company in Minneapolis.
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.
Don't forget that there are scholarship funds for Incoming Freshman, learn more here.
Wreckage by Sally Stubbs
Directed by Bruce Cohen
Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7, 8 at 2 p.m.
Oct. 12, 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.
Hicklin Studio Theatre
Step into the shadowy underbelly of Vancouver with "Wreckage" by Sally Stubbs, directed by Bruce Cohen. Twenty-five years after Rose disappears from a horrible train wreck, her red suitcase mysteriously ends up in the hands of her daughter, Violet. With the aid of her mother's diary, Violet embarks on a search for the truth that reveals sordid and bizarre secrets from the past. With a host of dark, yet humorous characters including gangster chefs and a Puccini-singing ghost, "Wreckage" will have you eagerly awaiting each new revelation.
This play contains themes and theatricalized depictions that some may find troubling. It is intended for adult audiences and mature sensibilities. This play is not appropriate for children.
Wreckage is a hard-boiled, gangster play in the style of American Film Noir. The world of this style is dark and ominous, concerning itself with tales of crime and retribution in a gritty underworld. Potential content triggers include depictions of:
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Directed by Sara J. Griffin
Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 11, 12 at 2 p.m.
Nov. 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.
In this enchanting adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing directed by Sara J. Griffin, step into the captivating world of 1935 New Orleans, where love, laughter, and deception intertwine against the backdrop of the Garden District and French Quarter. Set to the vibrant rhythms of jazz, this dazzling production will transport you to a bygone era of elegance and passion, and onto a journey where wit battles wit, villainy battles honesty, and love turns the most sensible into fools.
This show contains a momentary suggestion of sex. Acceptable for children under 13, with parental guidance.
In order to suggest the characters will be physically intimate off-stage, the actors will kiss while embracing, then exit together. This physicality may adjust slightly depending on the actors’ comfort with the actions.
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Book by John O’Hara
Directed by Bruce Cohen
Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24, 25 at 2 p.m.
Feb. 29, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
March 2 at 2 p.m.
Set in the vibrant nightlife of 1940s Chicago, "Pal Joey" follows the captivating journey of Joey Evans, a charismatic yet flawed nightclub performer who is determined to make it big. With a dream in his heart and a knack for seduction, Joey embarks on a whirlwind adventure, navigating a treacherous web of romance, power struggles, and the pursuit of his own dreams.
This play contains themes and theatricalized depictions that some may find troubling. It is intended for adult audiences and mature sensibilities.
Pal Joey is a classic of American musical theatre’s Golden-Age. The story revolves around anti-heroes, femme fatales and villain protagonists populating the seamy, showbiz world of Chicago in the late 30s. This groundbreaking show consciously pushed the social boundaries of its time with a comic depiction of unscrupulous behavior at both ends of the social spectrum. Potential content triggers include depictions of:
Artistic Director: Barbara Grubel
March 16, 17 at 2 p.m.
March 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Get ready to be thrilled by "DanceScapes ’24." This production, under the artistic direction of Barbara Grubel, includes a variety of original dance pieces choreographed by students, faculty, and guest artist Pate Nassalang. Nassalang is a professional Afro-Jazz and Lindy Hop dance instructor and choreographer originally from Senegal, West Africa who has danced with some of the largest African Dance Companies in the world outside of Africa. You don’t want to miss this captivating student performance!
Sweet Science of Bruising by Joy Wilkinson
Directed by Sara J. Griffin
April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
April 20, 21 at 2 p.m.
April 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Hicklin Studio Theatre
"The Sweet Science of Bruising" by Joy Wilkinson, directed by Sara J. Griffin, brings you into the world of women’s underground boxing in London, 1865. Follow the lives of four courageous women as they step into the ring to fight for their independence, dignity, and empowerment. With heart-pounding action, compelling characters, and a thrilling blend of athleticism and drama, this extraordinary production puts the fight for equality center stage. Don't miss your chance to witness the raw power of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit in this knockout theatrical event!
Written by: Joy Wilkinson
Directed by: Sara J. Griffin
Stage Manager: Samantha Ness
Rehearsal Dates: March 8-April 18, 2024
Rehearsal Times: Mondays-Fridays, 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Friday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20, 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, April 24 10 a.m. (student matinee)
Thursday, April 25 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 26 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 7:30 p.m.
The play requires large amounts of stage combat, specifically boxing, and will require training above and beyond the established choreography. The required cast will work with a professional actor trained in boxing and martial arts to learn correct form and assimilate the necessary physicality into their bodies. External cardio training and yoga are recommended.
The show centers around women’s rights, and the treatment of women in the Victorian Era. The practices of this period and topics that occur in the play which may be challenging for some individuals are domestic violence, sex work, and female genital mutilation. There will be romantic partner on romantic partner violence, as well as kissing and sexually suggestive language. The roles required to perform these actions have been noted in the character descriptions below. If you are unwilling to be considered for these roles, please indicate so on the Audition Form. Auditioners are responsible for understanding and being familiar with the content they are auditioning for, and should read the play in its entirety before auditioning.
The show takes place in 1869, at various locations throughout London, specifically Islington and Southwark areas. Actors will be required to perform in a dialect as specified in the character descriptions. Dialect coaching will be part of the rehearsal process, but actors must be prepared to work on their own. For auditions, actors are asked to give their best effort for the specified dialects.
READ THE PLAY! As stated above, auditioners are responsible for understanding and being familiar with the content they are auditioning for, and should read the play in its entirety before auditioning.
Auditions will take place Sunday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., in person at The Hicklin Studio Theatre
Greenhill Center for the Arts
950 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
Actors should arrive by 11:00, and be available to stay as long as needed. If this does not work for your schedule, please email director Sara J. Griffin, email@example.com to make special arrangements. Actors need to bring a recent 8x10 headshot, and an acting resume stapled to the back of your headshot. You will be asked to complete an Audition Form upon arrival. The completed form should be given to the director with the headshot and resume.
Please prepare a monologue that is age appropriate, gender appropriate, and race appropriate, and familiarize yourself with the sides provided for callbacks. Hard copies will be available for you at the audition. You can indicate which characters you are interested in playing on the Audition Form. BFA Performance Students: Your headshots must be in color, with a matte finish, and your resume cut down to 8x10, stapled to the back of the headshot. Monologues must also be from a play, written by a British author, and require an RP (Received Pronunciation) or Cockney dialect.
Callbacks will take place immediately after initial monologue auditions. Actors should be prepared to move if called back, and stay through the end of callbacks. Actors may bring a change of clothes for the movement portion of callbacks.
Character Breakdowns and Available Roles:
POLLY STOKES (F, early 20’s) Cockney; poor, abandoned as a child but taken in by Stokes family. Paul is her adoptive brother and their closeness suggests they are or could be more than siblings. Role requires boxing, domestic violence choreography, and pregnancy.
VIOLET HUNTER (F, mid- late 20’s)
RP; well-bred and raised by her wealthy Aunt George. A nurse, but wants to be one of the first women doctors of the world, and fiercely passionate about progress for women. Role requires boxing, fencing, and discussion of genital mutilation.
ANNA LAMB (F, late 20’s)
RP; lady of society, married to Gabriel and has two daughters. Cares deeply about her children, her maid and friend Nancy, and suffers her husband’s ill treatment in silence. Role requires boxing, and domestic violence language and choreography.
MATILDA (MATTY) BLACKWELL (F, early 20’s)
Irish; woman of many trades, including sex work, a hustler. Bored with her routine, seeks out life and adventure, relying often on her feminine wiles to get by. Role requires boxing, sexually suggestive dialogue and physicality.
PROFESSOR CHARLIE SHARP (M, 60’s)
RP; a devotee to the “science” and “art” of boxing, but could never participate due to his poor health. A promoter and trainer, owns the Angel Amphitheater, closeted homosexual. Role requires shadowboxing.
GABRIEL LAMB (M, early 30’s)
RP; gentleman of society, married to Anna. Firmly believes women must be kept in check, physically and socially, even wielding his children as weapons. Participates in extra marital affair with Matty, and forces his wife to undergo genital mutilation surgery. Actor also plays LORD CAVENDISH in the play within the play scene. Role requires domestic violence choreography and language.
PAUL STOKES (M, mid 20’s)
Cockney; poor, adoptive brother of Polly. Makes his living as a boxer, desperately trying to become a champion. Actor also plays CAPTAIN DANBY in the play within the play scene. Role requires boxing and domestic violence choreography.
AUNT GEORGE (F, late 50’s)
RP; well-bred, wealthy lady, older sister to Emily and aunt to Violet. Has raised Violet and paid her way, and has promised to Violet leave a large inheritance. Role requires fencing.
NANCY (F, mid 20’s)
RP; lady’s maid to Anna, close friend and confidant, afraid of Gabriel. Actor also plays EMILY.
EMILY (F, late 30’s- early 40’s)
RP; well-bred, younger sister to Aunt George, wealthy, but doesn’t have access to her own money. Member of the women’s suffrage movement, and feels writing a tragic novel is the best way to change minds and affect change. Actor also plays NANCY.
DR. JAMES BELL (M, late 30’s)
RP; Violet’s boss and mentor, supports her desire for medical knowledge and expertise. Performs genital operation on Anna (off stage). Actor also plays DR. FORSTER and REFEREE.
Email the director at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.