Department of Theatre and Dance

KU Theatre and Dance: Educating the Changemakers of Tomorrow, Today

The Department of Theatre and Dance is a creative, diverse and inclusive educational environment that serves as an inspirational learning incubator for the next generation of scholars, performers, dancers, designers and technicians in theatre, performance, and dance. Our faculty and professional staff support our students to identify and cultivate their unique contributions to an increasingly global world.  All of our undergraduate and graduate programs are grounded in the philosophy that artists are critically thinking, self-starting and entrepreneurially engaged artist-scholars. Our students work intensively on acquiring analytical, creative, and technical skills in our classrooms, theatre labs, and dance studios. Our holistic academic training of our students helps them to make the intellectual and practical connections between theory and practice needed to be competitive professionals in academic and professional theater environments. Our outstanding faculty and professional staff offer individualized attention to each student in a safe environment that inspires students to take risks and to explore the vast array of academic and creative choices available at a top-tier research university. Our phenomenal alumni have gone on to practice, teach, and create at the highest level of the profession in professional and academic settings.

University Theatre and the University Dance Companies

The classroom meets the stage in the University Theatre and the University Dance Companies. KU Theatre and Dance students, faculty and professional staff work together to create ten fully produced shows each year, from dramas and concert dance to musicals and operas in alternating years. In our fully-equipped facilities, students are required to engage in all aspects of production onstage and backstage. Students have opportunities to continue study year-round working with union actors, choreographers, directors, and designers with our critically acclaimed Kansas Repertory Theatre (KRT) and the Summer Dance Intensive, in partnership with the Lawrence Arts Center.

Internationally Recognized Faculty Scholars and Artists

The faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance is creative artists and researchers working in the areas of theatre stagecraft, choreography, performance, design, dramatic literature, dramaturgy, and pedagogy, as well as the historical, literary, and cultural study of theatre, dance, and performance. Our faculty includes award-winning teachers, scholars, and artists working in professional theatre and dance, authoring books and establishing nationally and internationally recognized research and outreach programs.

Support for Students

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers students financial aid in the form of dozens of scholarships, awards, and teaching assistantships each year to graduate and undergraduate students. Friends of the Theatre (FROTH), a community group dedicated to supporting the mission of the University Theatre, provides a fantastic support network for our student shows and curricular enrichment opportunities. Donors to the Dance Division endow support for guest choreographer residencies each semester and special opportunity funds. Once students graduate our program, they join an extensive network of theatre and dance alumni and Professional Advisory Board members that work in all aspects of academe, the entertainment industry, and non-profit organizations.