College of Arts and Communication


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

Season productions


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
Icon of a body moving in a circle. Attend the American College Dance Association Conference

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 involvement 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 our faculty

Want to learn more about earning a Theatre and Dance degree?

262-472-1566 | | Facebook icon   Instagram icon

To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater application for admission and indicate your interest in theatre and dance.
View additional information regarding scholarship funds for Incoming Freshman [PDF] »

Apply Now

Support our Programs

24/25 Productions

Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Bruce Cohen
Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5, 6 at 2 p.m.
Oct. 10, 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.
Hicklin Studio Theatre

Experience the wit and wisdom of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan" live on stage, an intriguing comedy of manners that explores the complexities of love, trust, and social expectations. Set in the Victorian world of London’s high society, this timeless play captivates with its sharp dialogue, intriguing characters, and unexpected twists. Watch as the innocent Lady Windermere struggles with her jealous feelings toward her husband’s new interest in the older, mysterious Mrs. Erlynne, and witness the unfolding of Mrs. Erlynne’s dark past through lies, gossip, and assumptions. Perfect for lovers of classic theater, "Lady Windermere's Fan" is a must-see performance that continues to enchant audiences with its brilliant humor and profound insights.

Sylvia by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Robyn Accetta
Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 16, 17 at 2 p.m.
Nov. 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.
Hicklin Studio Theatre

Step into Greg and Kate’s world as they are balancing their new lives in the vibrant city of Manhattan after twenty-two years in the suburbs. Discover how Sylvia, a lab and poodle mixture, becomes an escape from the stress of work for one and an opponent for affection for the other. A.R Gurney paints a humorous picture as Sylvia turns the lives of Greg and Kate upside down. The hilarious play depicts the relationship of a man and his best friend and the importance of his marriage through complications and revelations. Don't miss the significant lessons that a street-smart dog like Sylvia will teach the couple.

This play contains language that might not be suitable for a younger audience.

The Maid Turned Mistress
by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi / Dido and Aeneas music composed by Henry Purcell, libretto by Nahum Tate
Directed by Bruce Cohen
Musical Director Robert Gehrenbeck
Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23 at 2 p.m.
Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
March 1 at 2 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

Join us for an enchanting evening of opera with a captivating back-to-back performance of Pergolesi's comedy "The Maid Turned Mistress" and Purcell's poignant tragedy "Dido and Aeneas." Delight in the witty and charming tale of love and deception, followed by an emotional journey through ancient Carthage's timeless romance. Witness two masterpieces in one night, showcasing the incredible range of human emotion through exquisite music and unforgettable performances. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the beauty and drama of these operatic gems—reserve your seats today!

The Maid Turned Mistress
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “The Maid Turned Mistress” puts us in the life of Uberto, an old rich bachelor living with his servant, Serpina, who has become the dictator of the house. Annoyed with Serpina, Uberto begins to search for a suitable woman to marry and finally take revenge on Serpina’s increasingly dominating character. Follow as Serpina, eager to become the mistress of the house, will stop at nothing to become Uberto’s chosen wife. You won’t want to miss the whirlwind of jealously, love, and sneaky plots.

Dido and Aeneas
Experience the timeless tale of love and betrayal in Henry Purcell's masterpiece, "Dido and Aeneas." Let the hauntingly beautiful arias and powerful choruses transport you to the ancient world of Carthage. Immerse yourself in the tragic romance of Queen Dido and the Trojan hero Aeneas, brought to life by a stunning cast and mesmerizing orchestration. Don't miss this unforgettable evening of passion, drama, and music that has captivated audiences for over three centuries.

DanceScapes ‘25
Artistic Director: Barbara Grubel
April 2, 3 at 7:30 p.m.
April 5, 6 at 2 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

Get ready to be thrilled by "DanceScapes ’25." This production, under the artistic direction of Barbara Grubel, includes a variety of original dance pieces choreographed by students, faculty, and guest artist Joseph Ravens, a UW-Whitewater alumnus with an MFA from Chicago's School of the Art Institute. Ravens brings his extensive experience and vision as a performance artist to create a piece with students that is truly unique. You don’t want to miss this captivating performance!

No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre, adapted from the French by Paul Bowles
Directed by Robyn Accetta
April 25, 26 at 7:30 p.m.
April 27 at 2 p.m.
May 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m.
May 3 at 2 p.m.
Hicklin Studio Theatre

Cradeau, Inez, and Estelle are sent to Hell, but it is not what they expect. Instead of torture devices and punishment, they find themselves stuck together in a plain room, none of them wanting to admit their reason for damnation. Sartre’s "No Exit" explores a unique depiction of hell where the real torture is other people, from whom they cannot escape. You won’t want to miss this captivating adventure of three souls as they discover each other's crimes and their eternal destiny in hell.

This play contains themes that might not be suitable for a younger audience.

“No Exit” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Scene and Costume Shops

Jobs are available in our scene and costume shops for all students regardless of major. Contact our faculty for more information.

Ruth Conrad-Proulx
Technical Director | 262-472-1561

Tracey Lyons
Costume Shop Supervisor | 262-472-1605


Sylvia by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Robyn Accetta
Audition information is coming soon.

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