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.

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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

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 14 – 17 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.
Hicklin Studio 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.




By: Gilbert and Sullivan

Directed by: Sara J. Griffin

Music Director: Dr. Bob Gehrenbeck

Choreographer: Bryce Giammo

Choreographer Faculty Mentor: Barbara Grubel

Performance Dates: (Barnett Theater)

February 14, 2023, 10:00 AM

February 14- 17, 2023, 7:30 PM

February 18-19, 2023, 2:00 PM

Rehearsal Schedule:

October 24, 2022- November 5, 2022 (fall semester)

            Monday- Friday, 6:00- 9:00 PM

            Saturdays, 11:00- 4:00 PM
*scheduling accommodations will be made for students participating in Grounded, as well as those with evening classes/rehearsals


January 16- 20, 2023 (the week before Spring classes begin)

            Monday- Friday, 10:00- 1:00, (break), 2:00- 6:00


January 23, 2023- February 13, 2023 (Spring semester)

            Monday- Friday, 6:00 - 9:00

            Saturday, 11:00- 4:00

* required dress rehearsal on Sunday, February 12

Play Overview:

Mistakenly apprenticed to a raucous band of pirates by the well-intentioned Ruth, Frederic is thrust into the world of a Pirate King and his marauding crew that lack killer instincts, a squad of overly empathetic policemen, and a modern major-general’s bevy of daughters. Chaos, comedy and charm ensue.

Production Notes:

All performers will be required to sing and dance (to varying degrees). The show takes place in England, around 1880. Text will be spoken with a British RP (Received Pronunciation) dialect, unless otherwise noted.


Auditions will take place Saturday, October 1, from 2:00- 6:00 in the Greenhill Center for the Arts. Performers should check in with Stage Management upon arrival at 2:00 (sharp). Performers will be placed into groups and given instructions as to which room they will be in first. Some will audition with choreography first while others audition vocally first, and then the groups will switch locations. You will be given time to change and prepare for the next portion of the audition. Once all initial auditions have been completed, performers will be notified if they are needed for callback auditions. The callback auditions will take place Sunday, October 2, from 1:00- 3:00. Again, report to Stage Management upon arrival at 1:00, and await instructions.

Audition Requirements:

  • Bring a color headshot (8x10) with a theatrical resume stapled to the back
  • Prepare 32 bars of a song from a Gilbert & Sullivan show, or something of a similar style
  • Bring sheet music for the accompanist
  • Prepare one of the provided sides from the show, or a short monologue, approximately 45 seconds to one minute in length, that requires the British RP dialect (Received Pronunciation). Suggested authors are Oscar Wilde, Richard Sheridan, George Bernard Shaw, and Noel Coward.
  • Clothing that allows for movement
  • Flat shoes for dancing (no character shoes/heels)


Available Roles:


MABEL (F)- daughter to General Stanley

EDITH (F)- daughter to General Stanley

KATE (F)- daughter to General Stanley

ISABEL (F)- daughter to General Stanley


SAMUEL (M)- Lieutenant to Pirate King

RUTH (F)- a Pirate Maid of all work

FREDERIC (M)- the Pirate Apprentice


Chorus of Pirates, Police, and General Stanley’s Daughters.



Fred:Pirate King:Sam
Major General:Pirate King


If you have any questions about auditions, auditioning process, or the production, please reach out to the directors at or



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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