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

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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 and Dance degree?

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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.

Apply Now

Support our Programs

23/24 Productions

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

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.
Barnett Theatre

Pal Joey
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.
Barnett Theatre

DanceScapes ‘24
Artistic Director: Barbara Grubel
March 16, 17 at 2 p.m.
March 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Barnett Theatre

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




Auditions for the 2023 fall production of Much Ado About Nothing will take place via video submission. Videos are due by noon on May 31. Please see the documents linked below for specific audition and production information.

Much Ado Audition Information »
Much Ado Audition Form »

Special note: This show will include live music. Performers with musical capabilities, especially with vocal and jazz experience, are encouraged to audition.

Email director Sara J. Griffin with questions, at

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