School of Theatre and Dance
John Kenneth DeBoer, Director
Heidi Jones Eggert, Associate Director
The School of Theatre & Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and is a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). The school is housed in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center, which includes three theatre/dance performance spaces. The program is production-oriented with approximately ten major productions presented each year including contemporary, historical, period, musical, and experimental plays, as well as dance showcases and concerts. Montana Repertory Theatre and the CoMotion Dance Project, professional touring companies based at UM, often involve students both on and off stage. The faculty is strong, possessing a diversity of educational and professional theatre and dance backgrounds.
The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Dance allows the student who plans to enter a dance career to select another major to complement that objective. The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre provides the student with a broad liberal arts education and a general focus in theatre. The degree allows the student to complete an additional major and may form the basis for further training on the graduate level. The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre and an area of specialization in Education Endorsement Preparation is designed for the student seeking teaching endorsement in the field of theatre. The Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Dance or Theatre is a professionally oriented degree designed for the student who plans to pursue a career in theatre, dance, or a related field. Students are invited into the BFA after an audition/interview process. Areas of BFA specialization are: Acting, Design & Technology, Choreography & Performance, Musical Theatre Performance and Teaching. Graduate programs lead to the Master of Arts in Theatre with a focus on either performance theory/criticism or teaching or the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with areas of specialization in Acting, Design & Technology, Directing, or Music Directing.
For more information on the academic programs and to learn about Theatre & Dance productions, please visit our website.
Each Theatre & Dance major or minor must have a faculty advisor who is assigned by the School and who is usually from the student's area. The School, through its advisement program, often recommends non-theatre and non-dance electives and specific General Education courses to the student depending on the student's area. Majors may not take core or area-required courses on a credit/no credit basis.
Auditions and Portfolio Reviews
Actors, dancers, designers and technicians undergo periodic review in the form of auditions or portfolio presentations. These ongoing evaluations provide each student with the opportunity and challenge of individualized critiques from faculty and professional staff.
A senior project is required of all students. The senior project is usually production-related and has both practical and written components. Requirements for the project vary and are outlined in the School of Theatre & Dance Student Handbook.