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Northwestern School of Communication

theatre

Theatre and dance mirror the nature of life in all its rich variety. To work effectively within the theatre arts requires a broad knowledge upon which to draw. To that end, the Department of Theatre believes in giving students a full range of instruction and experience in the theatre arts—practice, history, and theory—along with the full benefits of a liberal arts education.

Students profit from the real-world experiences of more than thirty department faculty members as they develop their own innovative practice and scholarly pursuits upon our stages and in our classrooms. The faculty’s expertise encompasses acting, dancing, voice, directing, choreography, stage management, playwriting, storytelling, music theatre, children’s theatre, devised theatre, theatre history and criticism, and costume, set, and light design. 

The department’s award-winning alumni and faculty make up the extensive fabric of the vibrant, groundbreaking theatre and dance communities in cities across the country. Our proximity to Chicago gives students the opportunity to witness and discuss current productions with the minds that are shaping theatre arts practices today.

On a dark stage three female dancers in midair jumps wearing colorful outfits of red, blue and orange and orange
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Two adult actors fill the frame in intricate costumes constructed to make them seem made of stone

What can you do with a degree in Theatre?

Our graduates go on to careers in stage and screen acting, choreography, playwriting, management, education, directing, and producing—but also careers well beyond the stage. Our collaborative, practice-based learning style yields leaders, creators, and collaborators who are reimagining performing arts theory and methodology.  

Explore Career Paths

Student Experience

Students profit from the real-world experiences of more than thirty department faculty members as they develop their own innovative practice and scholarly pursuits upon our stages and in our classrooms. Robust cocurricular opportunities allow students to apply what they’ve learned in coursework to their own creative vision, often taking leadership roles that transform their approach to the craft. 

Why Northwestern? Ryan Foreman

Ryan Foreman, who pursued a Theatre major and Musical Theatre certificate, chose Northwestern over conservatory programs because it provides room to explore all aspects of the dramatic arts, from acting to singing and dancing. 

Theatre Faculty

Students profit from the real-world experiences of more than thirty department faculty members as they develop their own innovative practice and scholarly pursuits upon our stages and in our classrooms. The faculty’s expertise encompasses acting, dancing, voice, directing, choreography, stage management, playwriting, storytelling, music theatre, children’s theatre, devised theatre, theatre history and criticism, and costume, set and light design.

Theatre students ground their studies in Northwestern’s liberal arts model and apply knowledge gained in this coursework to their creative practice on and off stage.

Ample course offerings in acting, management, playwriting, directing, design, history, theory, dance, and choreography ensure students pursue the theatrical direction that best suits their personal and professional goals.