The Western Michigan University Department of Theatre is dedicated to the advancement of theatre arts through traditional study and performance, and to the development of new theatrical ventures. We prepare students for further study at the graduate level and for a career in the ever-changing professional theatre. The combination of gifted students – selected through a competitive entry process – and deeply committed faculty creates an exceptional creative environment. We are empowering a new generation of theatre artists to shape a vibrant, relevant and innovative future for the theatre.
Read national praise for our programs and students here.
The award-winning Department of Theatre offers a course of study that emphasizes the inter-dependency of academic and production experiences. With BFA degrees in Performance, Design and Technical Theatre, Stage Management and Music Theatre Performance, we are committed to providing a broad theatre background and the mastery of theatre fundamentals. Following their time at WMU, our students move on to graduate schools, internship/apprentice programs or head straight into the professional theatre.
The Western theatre experience includes master classes with nationally recognized guest artists and one-on-one training with faculty. We offer national and international travel opportunities and participation in conferences and regional competitions. All of these experiences are designed to complement the core program by taking academics far beyond the classroom.
University Theatre productions are often recognized for their excellence. We have received top honors at the prestigious American College Theater Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Alumni are regularly featured on Broadway, television, film and in regional theatres, and have received numerous Tony nominations.
The WMU Department of Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). This association sets standards for curriculum and production programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for institutions of higher learning and is considered a prestigious accolade of the Department of Theatre.
The Department also holds organizational memberships in the Association for Theatre in Higher Education; American College Theater Festival; Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo; Theatre Alliance of Michigan; Black Theatre Network; Theta Alpha Phi (Michigan Eta Chapter of the National Honorary Dramatic Fraternity); the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT); and Theatre Kalamazoo, a consortium of theatres in the Kalamazoo area.