Academic Programs

Dance photo

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a well-rounded liberal arts approach in its curriculum. Theatre courses cover all the basic areas of theatrical endeavor, including acting, movement for the actor, directing, stagecraft, scene design, lighting, costuming, makeup, dramatic literature, theatre history, dramatic theory and criticism, and play writing. The dance program offers courses in dance techniques, choreography, improvisation, dance history and dance research methods. Selected topics offered from time to time range from a diverse menu of performance and technical offerings such as practical applications in theatrical control systems, sound engineering, arts in education, touring youth theatre productions, and movement-violence and the text. Dance offers hip-hop, Capoeira, dance for musical theatre as well as other contemporary styles.

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers two program options: Occupatoional Endorsement Certificate in Event Production and Minor in Dance


Theatre is the art of giving life in performance to dramatic literature. Production is at the very center of our award-winning theatre and dance program. Each season the department produces four plays and two dance concerts on its “modified thrust” Mainstage and in the Jerry Harper Studio Theatre, a fully-equipped black-box space. Student-directed scenes, one-acts and full-length plays are also presented yearly in the Harper. Department plays are cast at open auditions and on average more than 100 majors, non-majors and members of the community are involved in our productions each year. All theatre and dance majors are required to participate in Mainstage productions and/or related departmental activities.

Dance as performance and as theoretical discourse from a multidisciplinary and multicultural perspective is primary in the dance program. As in theatre, production is also at the heart of the program, with the UAA Dance Ensemble as the core performing group. Each year, we feature two dance productions either on Mainstage and/or at the Harper Theatre, and guest artist residencies are a staple of the program. All dance minors or theatre majors choosing the dance option are required to participate in Dance Ensemble performances and/or related departmental activities.