Welcome to the Department of Theatre and Dance

Theatre and Dance, as studied at The College of Wooster, emphasizes the relationship between scholarship, artistry, and advocacy through an investigation of the range and depth of the human experience in our coursework and stage productions. In this world, the artist/scholar must be an advocate for the arts, as well as contribute to a movement for social justice and activism through artistic expression. Similarly, the department’s productions reflect a commitment to sustainability.

A traditional production season in Theatre and Dance involves two faculty directed, mainstage productions in each semester—one in theatre and a concert in dance. Theatre productions vary according to genre, style, and social/cultural circumstances, as well as casting, technical, and financial possibilities. Every effort is made to provide each student with a broad range of performance experiences over their four years at the College. Dance Concerts shift in style from fall to spring—fall concerts are more intimate performances in-the-round choreographed by students at varying levels, while the spring concert is performed in the proscenium with choreography by experienced students, faculty, and a guest artist. In addition, each semester typically includes a weekend for Senior Independent Study productions, as well as guest artists when possible.

The Theatre and Dance Major and Minor curricula offer a broad range of knowledge designed to examine acting, directing, dance, design, technology, management, history, literature, playwriting, theory, and artistic activism and social justice focusing in each area on the importance of analyzing texts in their various modes: written, visual, and physical.

Student Perspective: Gracie Shreve ’23

Visit the Theatre & Dance YouTube Channel

Spring 2024 Productions
Festival of New Works
February 23-25 and March 1-3 | 7:30 pm
Shoolroy Theatre

Spring Dance Concert
Directed by Emily Baird
April 11-13 | 7:30 pm
Freedlander Theatre
Learn More About The Arts at Wooster

Faculty & Staff

Emily Baird

Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance


Jennifer Bowen

Jennifer Bowen

Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement, Professor of Mathematics; Department Chair of Theatre and Dance


Shirley Huston-Findley

Shirley Huston-Findley

Professor of Theatre and Dance; South Asian Studies


Suwatana Rockland

Suwatana Rockland

Costume Designer/Costume Shop Supervisor/Adjunct Faculty – Theatre and Dance


Michael Schafer

Technical Director/Designer and Scene Shop Manager/ Adjunct Faculty - Theatre and Dance


Head shot of Scott Schwarzwalder

Scott Schwarzwalder

Wishart Administrative Coordinator


Naoko Skala

Naoko Skala

Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance; South Asian Studies (On leave Spring 2024)


Kerstin Vaughn head shot

Kerstin Vaughn

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance


Latest Theatre and Dance News

Naoka Skala, assistant professor of theatre and dance at The College of Wooster, received the Herbert D. Greggs Merit Award of Outstanding Article from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

Naoko Skala honored for outstanding article in Theatre Design & Technology journal

Naok0 Skala, assistant professor of theatre and dance at The College of Wooster, received the Herbert D. Greggs Merit Award of Outstanding Article from […]

Featured image: Gracie Shreve ’24 worked with mentor Suwatana “Pla” Rockland, costume designer and costume shop supervisor for theatre & dance, to design the award-winning costumes.

Gracie Shreve receives Costume Design Excellence award at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Gracie Shreve ’24, who is completing her degree in theatre & dance as well as music  at The College of Wooster, earned the top […]

Suwatana “Pla” Rockland, costume designer and costume shop supervisor, recently completed the colorful costumes and folk art for the Sarasota, Florida, production of Once on This Island by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.

Suwatana Rockland inspires students and costume creations

The College of Wooster’s costume designer and costume shop supervisor draws much of her creative inspiration from nature before transforming the vision into magnificent […]

Wooster Dance Company 2023

The College of Wooster presents Fall Dance Concert

The College of Wooster Department of Theatre and Dance will present its annual Fall Dance Concert, titled Stage Door: Fall Dance Concert, Thursday, Nov. […]

More Theatre and Dance Articles


The Theatre and Dance major consists of a minimum of 12-course credits: three 100-level foundational courses focusing on the understanding of text from a variety of perspectives; one 200 level course focused on artisan and tradecraft skills; three 200-level history/literature/theory/criticism courses; three 300-level Topics courses; and two semesters of Senior Independent Study. The Topics courses and Senior Independent Study allow students to establish an area of emphasis in Theatre and Dance, including directing, design, technology, acting, choreography, playwriting, history, and theory.

100 Level foundational courses: (Three (3) for Majors & Minors)

THTD 101 Introduction to Theatre Research and Writing (Spring 2024) [W, AH]

THTD 102 Foundations of Theatrical Design [AH]

THTD 103 Fundamentals for the Performer [AH]


200 Level artisan and tradecraft skills course: (One(1) for Majors)

THTD 200 Stagecraft

THTD 201 Costume Construction

THTD 202 Makeup for Performance [AH] (Spring 2024)

THTD 203 Stage Management


200 Level history/literature/theory/criticism courses. (Three (3) for Majors, One (1) for Minors)

Theatre history courses for theatre focused students

THTD 252 Origins of Drama

THTD 253 Dramatic Theory and Criticism


Dance history courses for dance focused students

THTD 250 Contemporary Dance History

THTD 251 Dance in World Cultures


History/Literature/Theory/Criticism course.

THTD 261 Feminism and Theatre [C, AH]

THTD 263 Asian Theatre: From South to East [GE, AH]

THTD 260 Latina/o Drama and Performance [C, AH]

THTD 262 Latin American Theatre and Performance [C, AH]


300 Level topics courses: (Three (3) for Majors, Two (2) for Minors)

THTD 30103 Playwriting [W] (Spring 2024)

THTD 30201 Scenic and Properties Design

THTD 30203 Costume Design

THTD 30209 Lighting Design

THTD 31000 Digital Media Design for Performing Arts

THTD 39909 Puppetry and Mask Design

THTD 30302 Styles of Modern Dance

THTD-30306 Choreography [AH] (Spring 2024)

THTD-30307 Directing

THTD-30309 Introduction to Ballet

THTD-30311 Modern and Ballet Fusion (Spring 2024)

THTD-39906 Dance-Based Body Awareness


Senior Independent Study (I.S.): (Two (2) for Majors

THTD 451 Senior Independent Study

THTD 452 Senior Independent Study (Spring 2024)


Students choosing to include a Production component in their Senior IS must also take Four (4) sections of Practicum Courses:

Three (3) sections of either

THTD 12101 – Performance Practicum (.25 credit to .50 credit each) (Spring 2024)

THTD 12102 – Production Practicum (.25 credit to .50 credit each) (Spring 2024)

THTD 12103 – Design Practicum (.25 credit to .50 credit each) (Spring 2024)


One (1) section of

THTD 12104 – Stage Management Practicum (.25 credit to .50 credit each) (Spring 2024)


Special Courses for Spring 2024:

THTD 19904 Acting for Non-Majors [AH]

THTD 29908 Black American Theatre and Performance [PPRE, AH]

THTD 39911 Professional Voice: Voice and Speech Technique [AH]

View Courses


A minor in Theatre & Dance consists of six (6) courses from a list that includes classes focused on acting, directing, dance, design and technology, history, literature, playwriting, theory, and artistic activism and social justice. Within each area, students analyze texts in their various modes: written, visual, and physical.

100 Level foundational courses: (Three (3) for Minors)

THTD 101 Introduction to Theatre Research and Writing (Spring 2024) [W, AH]

THTD 102 Foundations of Theatrical Design [AH]

THTD 103 Fundamentals for the Performer [AH]


200 Level history/literature/theory/criticism courses. (One (1) for Minors)

Theatre history courses for theatre focused students

THTD 252 Origins of Drama

THTD 253 Dramatic Theory and Criticism


Dance history courses for dance focused students

THTD 250 Contemporary Dance History

THTD 251 Dance in World Cultures


History/Literature/Theory/Criticism course.

THTD 261 Feminism and Theatre [C, AH]

THTD 263 Asian Theatre: From South to East [GE, AH]

THTD 260 Latina/o Drama and Performance [C, AH]

THTD 262 Latin American Theatre and Performance [C, AH]


300 Level topics courses: (Two (2) for Minors)

THTD 30103 Playwriting [W] (Spring 2024)

THTD 30201 Scenic and Properties Design

THTD 30203 Costume Design

THTD 30209 Lighting Design

THTD 31000 Digital Media Design for Performing Arts

THTD 39909 Puppetry and Mask Design

THTD 30302 Styles of Modern Dance

THTD-30306 Choreography [AH] (Spring 2024)

THTD-30307 Directing

THTD-30309 Introduction to Ballet

THTD-30311 Modern and Ballet Fusion (Spring 2024)

THTD-39906 Dance-Based Body Awareness


Special Courses for Spring 2024:

THTD 19904 Acting for Non-Majors [AH]

THTD 29908 Black American Theatre and Performance [PPRE, AH]

THTD 39911 Professional Voice: Voice and Speech Technique [AH]

View Courses

Independent Study

Independent Study (I.S.) at The College of Wooster began over 60 years ago and remains the cornerstone of our curriculum today. Each senior and each discipline experiences I.S. somewhat differently, but the common elements include a year-long research project culminating in a significant piece of scholarship emerging out of a topic generated by the student and guided through one-on-one weekly meetings with an advisor. I.S. at Wooster has been recognized for its success as part of a liberal arts education.

In the Department of Theatre and Dance students develop a critical question in their Junior year, which goes through an approval process conducted by the faculty. In addition, some students request a production component that combines their research with a practical experience in choreography, acting, directing, playwriting, design, or devising theatre. The project might include choreographing for the Spring Dance Concert, performing an acting recital, directing a one-act play, conducting a staged-reading of their original drama, designing for a faculty-directed main stage production, or developing a devised performance piece.

Search the I.S. Database

Student Year I.S. Title Major 1 Major 2 Advisor
Please search to view results

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Wooster Theatre and Dance majors choose diverse career paths. Some pursue advanced study at schools such as Yale, Rutgers, Ball State, Columbia, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon, Purdue, Ohio State, Florida State, Texas Tech, The University of Illinois, and New York University. Some work for professional theatre or dance companies, while others join arts organizations.

The broad liberal arts background offered at Wooster and the research skills gained through I.S. prepare students for a wide variety of careers.

Stephen Quandt (’85) (MFA NYU) is a professional lighting designer located in New York city and also teaches at Queens College.

Sarah McGraw (’85) is an actor, director, instructor at Wexford Acting Studio.

Jonathan Becker (’86) is master mask maker and owner/director of The North American Laboratory for the Performing Arts. Assistant Prof Ball State University; graduate of Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq.

Martin McDougall (’86) is a London based film actor (Saving Private Ryan, Batman Begins, FDR, The Fifth Element).

Prester Pickett (’87) became the first African American to acquire an M.F.A. in Acting from CWRU.  He’s written several social dramas and is best known for his play Eighth Day of the Week:  An African American Family’s Journey with Alzheimer’s.  He’s also known for his presentation of speeches by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and has toured Italy with his wife who enhances his recitations with songs by Mahalia Jackson.  He’s served as the Coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center for the past 25 years.

Claude Engle (’88) (MFA NYU) is an architectural lighting designer based in Washington DC.

Caty DeWalt (’88) is an English teacher at Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh.

Raymond Inkel (’88) has been a production manager and Director of Production in many regional theaters from the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts (CA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alley Theatre (TX) and most recently Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL.

Ellen Muse (’89) is Executive Director of the Kennedy Heights Arts Center in Cincinnati, OH.

Cathy Taylor (’92) (MA in Arts Administration, Indiana University-Bloomington) is the President of Cathy Taylor Public Relations, Inc., a media relations firm in Chicago specializing in theater and entertainment.

Beth (Moran) Reiten (’92) received her Master of Library and Information Science (MLS) from UW-Madison and over the course of her career has gained considerable experience with all aspects of the library profession. Trading backstage for center stage, she was a professional belly dancer for over 20 years. In addition to solo performances, she choreographed and staged shows for two dance troupes

Liz Staruch (’95) coordinates the musical theatre concentration and works with both the dance and musical theatre programs as Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University. She also serves on the American College Dance Association (ACDA) Board of Directors as Regional Director Mid-Atlantic North and is past chair of the national Fundraising committee.

Ali Booher Evans (’95) (Professional internship Program -The Juilliard School ’96) (MA Puppetry Arts UCONN ’98): Currently the Theatre Education Director of Weathervane Theatre Academy at Weathervane Playhouse in Newark, Ohio.

Meredith Rucker Spitzmiller (’96) works as an author and screenwriter and independently published a thriller, THE FAIR OAKS FOUR in August 2022. I will have two books released in 2024/2025.

Rachel Jackson (’97) worked as an arts administrator for Pittsburgh Public Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Peter Paul & Mary, London’s Bridewell Theatre, and the ISPA Foundation. As an actor, she appeared on The Other Two, The Last O.G., many indie films, and five years of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl.

Gregg Licht (’98) is the Owner and Director of Elmwood Day Camp in White Plains, NY.  He also is a partner in Camp Southwoods, a resident camp in The Adirondacks.

Ilana Brownstein (’98) (MFA Yale) became a literary manager and director of new play development and commissions at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston.

Dan Hatt, LC (‘99), began his career in technical theater with stints at several theater and entertainment companies, including Walt Disney World, the Huntington Theater Company, and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. For the past 20+ years, he has been a consulting electrical engineer and lighting designer in Syracuse, NY, designing electrical and architectural lighting systems for higher Ed institutions and similar clients. He was a recipient of a 2022 International Illumination Engineering Society’s Illumination awards for his lighting design at the Schine Student Center at Syracuse University.

Craig Dorer-Abadia (’00) worked at Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Opera Idaho, and Boise Contemporary Theatre before leaving the industry to take a position at Synteract, a mid-sized Contract Research Organizations the Associate Director of Program Strategy in Dermatology.

Adam Howarth (00′) received his MFA from CalArts (05′) and is currently the chair of the arts department and technical director at BB&N in Cambridge, MA.  He is also a freelance sound designer with Ovation Awards in L.A., Motif Awards in New England, Suzi Bass Awards in Atlanta, consultation for Disney and Universal theme parks, and themed sound installations worldwide.  Formerly, he served as faculty at Emerson College and Product Manager at Eastern Acoustic Works.

Chris Matsos (’00) received his MFA in acting from the University of Florida and his PhD in theatre history from Ohio State University. Though continuing to work as an actor and director, his main focus is as department chair and Associate Professor of Theatre at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Jim Beaudry (’01) (MFA Mills College) served as Executive Director/Producer at Timber Lake Playhouse, the longest-running, professional summer theatre in Illinois, then returned to NYC where he serves as Company Manager for New York Stage and Film.

Sarah Hamilton (’01), since graduating from Wooster, has fulfilled her arts habit by working at 4myBenefits, which builds and maintains websites structured for corporate benefit enrollment. Her habit has included work with Theatre IV, Cincinnati Black Theatre Company, Cleveland Opera on tour, Cincinnati May Festival/Symphony/Pops (singing with the symphonic choir), and a number of other choirs and choruses.

Jack Pitney (‘01) has worked at the Massachusetts State House as a Legislative Aid, as a Locations PA for the Motion Picture Industry, and is a Location/Propmaker with IATSE 481.

Clayton Drinko (’02) (PhD in Drama and Theatre Studies from Tufts, MA in Performance Studies from NYU, MS.Ed from LIU) Clay has published two books: Play Your Way Sane (Simon & Schuster) and Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition (Springer). He writes for Psychology Today and teaches at High Meadow School.

Anne Medlock-Ely (’03) received an MFA from Kent State and is now a Professor of Costume design at West Texas A&M University as well as the Department head for the departments of Art, Theater and Dance, and Communication.

Katie Hammond (’03), a member of the actors equity, tours the country with musical improv group Broadway’s Next Hit Musical and is on a musical house team at The Pit in NYC. She co-wrote a musical, Season, that was produced in London summer 2013.

Rachel Kirley (’03) serves as the Deputy Director, Development and Individual Giving for the San Francisco Symphony. After graduating from Wooster, she earned her MA in Arts Administration and has spent 17 years working in performing arts fundraising. Her current focus is on board giving, strategic planning, and the growth of all areas of giving, including future capital needs.

Aaron Schwartzbord (’03) pursued a career in theatre marketing and management, receiving an MFA in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College/CUNY. He’s held jobs with The Arca Group (Urinetown, Wicked), The Pearl Theatre Company, Daryl Roth Productions (August: Osage County, Kinky Boots), Seattle Repertory Theatre, and The New Victory Theatre. Currently he is Marketing Manager at Patron Technology in NY.

Kevin McFillen (’03) is a playwright and teacher based in Columbia, Missouri. Kevin completed an MA in Theatre at Miami University before beginning his PhD in Theatre at the University of Missouri. He now serves as a UMLD at the University.

Erin Koster (’04) completed her MFA in Stage Management from Columbia University in 2007 and went on to become an Off Broadway stage manager in New York. She is currently a show caller for large events, corporate meetings, galas, fundraisers, etc., a stage management cover at The Play That Goes Wrong, and a member of Caborca Theatre. In 2017, Erin was elected as a Councilor at Actors’ Equity Association–the union of theatrical stage managers, actors, and performers in the United States–and in 2022, she was elected the National 3rd Vice President at Equity, the Stage Manager Vice President.

Corrine (Brush) Gosling (’04) is currently a Masters Candidate in Publishing at George Washington University. In September 2018 she published a children’s book entitled Sherlock and the Baskerville Beast.

Whitney (Huss) Sherman (’05) studied Theatre for Development at Boston University, receiving a master’s in education and working for an arts for social change NGO in Niamey, Niger, West Africa. She received her Doctorate in Education at the University of Southern California where she researched intercultural communication and assessment. Whitney now works as an intercultural trainer and learning and development facilitator for various organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development and CEA CAPA: Education Abroad.

Ada Smith (’05) received her MFA in Scenic Design from Boston University, worked with Glimmerglass Opera, and in NYC developed a career in Film as an Art Director and Production Designer.

Andrea Hiebler (’05) is the Literary and Artistic Coordinator at the Lark Play Development Center in New York where she leads the organization’s writer selection processes and facilitates artistic programming.

Kate Anderson-Hall (’05) received an MA in English at Case Western Reserve before completing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia (UK) where she is currently a researcher, as well as at King’s College London.

Yining Lin (’06) completed her PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and now serves as a Teaching Artist and Wraparound Services Assistant at Cleveland Playhouse.

Kristen Cooperkline (’07) earned her MA in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University and her MFA in Stage Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked as stage manager for Bebe Miller Company and an event coordinator for the first ever American College Dance Festival Association’s South Regional Conference. After working for 7.5 years at Otterbein University as Production Manager for the Department of Theatre and Dance, she now works as the Systems and Communication Supervisor at Instructional ABA Consultants.

Patrick Midgley (’07) (MFA Purdue University) spent several years as an actor with the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia before completing a PhD at Texas Tech University.

Kellee Roston Edusei (’07) is Dance USA Executive Director.

Stefanie Genda (’08), completed her MFA in Costume Design at Rutgers and now works as a Freelance Costume Designer out of New York.

Amanda Barker (’10) is the Director of Account Management at Rise Interactive, a Digital Advertising agency based in Chicago, IL.

Alex Paolino-Gibson (’10) serves as Sr. Director of Client Services at The Trade Desk (within the advertising industry) in Chicago.

Laura Vandever (’10) is a professional voice actor in NYC. She currently works with The New York Times as the voice of their podcast advertising. Her work can also be heard in national commercial campaigns, documentaries, short films, and video games.

George Myatt (’11) is currently the Project Coordinator at Charles Schwab in Austin, TX

Jacqueline Komos (‘11) serves as Education & Engagement Manager and Teaching Artist at Nashville Children’s Theatre.

Kait Yankello (’11) is the Executive Assistant to the President and Head of Research & Development at Tango Therapeutics, a biotech in Boston, Massachusetts.

Annie Woller (’13) is an arts administrator in NYC. She is currently working at the New York Philharmonic as their Assistant Operations Manager.

Ben Pfister (’14) attended Yale School of Drama receiving an MFA in Stage Management. He is currently working in stage management throughout NYC.

Chelsea Gillespie (’14) is the Production Assistant for Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre in New York and tours internationally with Alvin Ailey II.

Kent Sprague (’14) worked as an Assistant Lighting Designer and Electrician for Florida Repertory Theatre before becoming a Freelance Designer in NYC. Kent also started a production design firm in NYC, Sovereign Candle Collective. As part of the collective, he has been designing and programming all manner of plays, night clubs, experiential installations, corporate events, and even architectural specification.

Amanda O’Donnell (’14) got her MFA in Theatre Education from Emerson College (Thesis: “A Girl Worth Fighting For: Stage Combat and the Adolescent Female Sense of Self”) and currently works as a performer, educator, and fight choreographer in the Boston area.

Colin Martin (’15) went to Second City and completed levels 1 & 2 of conservatory training. Since then, he has been doing comedic and dramatic improv in Chicago as well as working odd jobs to continue his passion for travel.

Emily Baird (’16) is the tenure-track Assistant Professor of Dance at The College of Wooster!

Emily Donato (’16) is the Career Development Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, as well as a registered yoga instructor teaching anti-racist raja yoga.

Shannan Burrows (’17) currently works for High Output, a rental house for film, theatre, and event equipment/services based out of Boston.

Becca Snedeker-Meier (’17) is in charge of Development Operations and Events Manager for the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL.

Maria Witt (’17) received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Walsh University, and currently works as a pelvic floor physical therapist at Summa Health in Akron, Ohio.

H Rooker (’18) spent 2021-2023 as Northern Stage’s Production Manager, but as of the beginning of 2023 they are Store Manager at an independent bookstore in NH. On the side they’re working calls for IATSE local 919 and touring with a few small production houses as an SM/PM as opportunities arise. They think it’s likely they’ll go back to regional theatre in a few years but took some time off while the industry figures out its pandemic recovery.

George Marn (’18) is a Milwaukee based actor, producer, and teaching artist. Previously George has performed with Milwaukee Rep, Skylight Music Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Summit Players Theatre, the Ohio Light Opera, and the College Light Opera Company.

Cleo Potter (’20) is currently working at Encore Stage and Studio, a children’s education and theatre non-profit in the DC metro, as their Production Coordinator helping them produce shows and being a mentor to the children.  Prior to that she was a theatre technician for NOVA Community College.  She also does freelance lighting work in the DC area.

Juliet Merillat (’20) served as a Lighting Intern with Kalamazoo Theatre from Summer 2020-Spring 2022.  While there she did Lighting Design work, head electrician, helping their live streams and digital content as part of their pandemic limited season work.  Since then, she’s been freelancing in the Kalamazoo area.

Gabby Sullivan (’22) works as a case manager for disabled adults in the Twin Cities metro area while pursuing a masters in social work beginning in 2024.

Ivan Akiri (’22) was accepted to the School of the Art Institute’s MFA Performance program for the 23-24 academic year.

Jaz Nappier (’22) accepted a Fellowship with The Wexner Center for the Arts at OSU, in the department of Learning and Public Practice.

Cat Moreschi (’22) was a stage manager apprentice at Olney Theatre from end of Summer 2022 to Summer 2023 and now has a job working box office at Ford Theatre and an ASM post at Chesapeake Shakespeare Center. They will be freelancing in the DC area for a while.

Patrick Wellman (’22) was at Cortland Repertory Theatre in Cortland, NY as a Carpenter Summer 2022, then working at Wagner College, Staten Island, NY as a Master Carpenter for the 2022-2023 Academic Year.  This past summer he did overhire work at Signature Theatre in Manhattan and just started a job at George Street Playhouse in New Jersey as a scenic carpenter.

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Prizes & Scholarships

Incoming Student Scholarship

Awarded to first-year students (transfers not eligible) on the basis of acting, dance, directing, playwriting, design and technology, or stage management. Students can receive $2,000 to $8,000 per year.

Applicants should apply in the area in which they wish to focus their time and skills on while at Wooster. Scholarship recipients are not required to major or minor in Theatre and Dance at Wooster.

Audition Weekends

  • November 11, 2023 (Available for Wednesday, November 1, 2023, deadline applicants only)
  • February 10, 2024 (Available for Monday, January 15, 2024, deadline applicants only)
Learn more about Theatre & Dance Scholarships

Current Student Scholarships & Prizes

Allardice-Wise Scholarship for Seniors
Auditions and Interviews will be held every Spring semester.
Eligibility: Theatre and Dance Major, Junior Student

Actors will present one monologue from a contemporary play and one from a pre-twentieth-century play; one should be serious, the other comic.  If desired, the auditionee may prepare a third piece to showcase a specific talent such as singing or dancing.  The committee may ask for an improvisation and/or a cold reading.

Playwrights will submit an original one-act play at least one week before the interview date. They should be prepared to answer questions pertaining to the script during the interview.

Designers will submit a digital portfolio and/or website link of their artwork that may include realized and class projects, production photos, as well as examples of some process work, paperwork, and photo of the final product. Realized work should include production photo(s). A resume of their production experience is also required.

Stage Managers will submit a digital portfolio and/or website link of their works, which clearly tell the story of the process, evolution, rehearsal, and realization of the project. Please select elements that best articulate and document the conceptual approach, process, and the productions. Realized work should include production photo(s). A resume of their production experience is also required.

Other Prizes & Scholarships (Awarded by the Department)

The Edward McCreight Prize in Dramatics is awarded to the senior in the department who has contributed the most in dramatics.

The Cummings-Rumbaugh Speech and Dramatics Prize is an award shared with the Department of Communication which honors the senior with the highest academic standing.

The William C. Craig Theatre Prize is awarded to the graduating senior who has made the greatest contribution to all areas of the theatre program.

Earline F. Brown Scholarship in Performing Arts is awarded in the Fall to a black student who has contributed significantly to the performing arts at Wooster.

The Gladene “Deanie” Collins Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a student for their senior year, with first preference given to a student with financial need who is involved in The College of Wooster dance program.

Unique Opportunities

Theatre & Dance students have the unique opportunity to work closely with departmental faculty and staff on professional projects. Mentorship and hands-on experience are central to the functioning of our program, and we are always eager to share our expertise! Members of our department work frequently with professional theaters such as the Cleveland Playhouse and the Porthouse Theatre, as well as with local dance companies and studios. Summer opportunities include the chance to audition and/or work for Wooster’s resident summer professional company, The Ohio Light Opera. Wooster also offers theatre and dance students off-campus opportunities such as internships with professional theaters and study abroad at renowned schools of dance and drama.

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF)

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national theater program that provides opportunities to college theater students to have their work critiqued, improve their dramatic skills, and receive national recognition for excellence.

The Department of Theatre and Dance has participated in the festival numerous times, and we have been invited twice to the Kennedy Center to perform shows. Moreover, students, faculty, and staff have garnered awards and recognition for their artistic work.

There are regional competitions of acting, design, technology, management, directing, playwriting, dramaturg, musical theatre, and theatre critics. If a student wins the regional competition, they will go to the National festival at Kenndy Center, DC.

We are in Region 2, along with colleges and universities from Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Western New York, Northern Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

This year, the 56th Annual Regional Festival is from Wednesday-Saturday, January 24-27, 2024, in Pittsburgh, Penn., Doubletree by Hilton.

The KCACTF Acting Scholarship Auditions (Formerly Irene Ryans)

The Acting Scholarship Auditions provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. The KCACTF awards sixteen regional and two national scholarships annually.

One nominee and partner from every region will be invited to the national festival, and the nominee will receive a $500 scholarship. The runner-up in each region will receive a $500 scholarship, but will not attend the national festival to audition for the national scholarship.

The Deadline for Preliminary Submissions is December 15th, 2023.

Dance OH5 Conference
The annual Dance OH5 Conference brings together dance students and faculty from the Five Colleges of Ohio (The College of Wooster, Oberlin College, Kenyon College, Denison University, and Ohio Wesleyan University) for a day of workshops and performances. The inaugural one-day dance gathering was held at Oberlin College in February 2014, and subsequent years have been hosted by each of the five colleges in rotation. The annual conference provides opportunities for students and faculty to share work, exchange ideas, and become acquainted as colleagues. Students are able to dance together in workshops offered by faculty and guest artists, socialize, perform for each other, and engage in student-led discussions. This year, the conference is on Saturday, February 24th at Denison University. Watch their highlight recap of the 2023 OH5 Dance Conference events.

Ohio Light Opera
As a resident professional company of the College of Wooster, the Ohio Light Opera seeks to preserve the tradition of operetta and musical theater with engaging and accessible productions that uplift, educate, and entertain a diverse present-day audience. Current Wooster students are eligible to apply for various positions for the summer season including box office, run crew, scenic construction, costume design and construction, and performance.

American Dance Festival (ADF)
Since 1934, the American Dance Festival has been a recognized leader in modern dance presenting dance performances, and offering educational opportunities and community programs, while maintaining an international reach. ADF ensures that modern dance remains a powerful and universal form of human expression and that this art form is accessible to all, now and for generations to come. Past Wooster students have been involved with the American Dance Festival via the Summer Dance Intensive (formerly the Six Week School at ADF). Talk to your advisor if you are interested in learning more.

Professional Conferences
Current Wooster students are encouraged to submit their work to professional conferences, especially those with which our faculty and staff have connections. See below for a list of popular conferences for our department:

  • USITT The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (performing arts design and technology)
  • SETC Southeastern Theatre Conference (design, technology, performance, auditions)
  • NDEO National Dance Education Organization (dance, choreography, education)
  • IAMDS International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (dance science,kinesiology)

Off-campus study
Many of our students pursue a semester of off-campus study during one semester of their junior year. As a result students receive a more expansive perspective on the practical and intellectual applications of theatre and dance.If you are planning to study off-campus, please consult with your adviser and the Global Engagement Office (GEO) or APEX Experiential Learning Office. Together, they can help you identify programs and courses that match your interests and needs.

Some of the programs that our students have attended include the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Gaiety School of Acting, and The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Students have also pursued a variety of summer programs, including the Kyoto Art Center Traditional Theatre Training program, the Open Jar Institute Summer Broadway Intensive, and USF Dance in Paris.


Theatre and dance is an art form which mirrors the human spirit through history, literature, criticism, theory, production, and performance.  The study of theatre and dance involves not only the development and practice of various expressive skills but also historical and theoretical issues. It can be studied in the classroom, the studio, on the stage, or behind the stage.

View Upcoming Events and Learn More About The Arts at Wooster
Spring 2024 Productions
Festival of New Works
February 23-25 and March 1-3 | 7:30 pm
Shoolroy Theatre

Spring Dance Concert
Directed by Emily Baird
April 11-13 | 7:30 pm
Freedlander Theatre

Past Performances

Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2023
Stop Kiss – Fall 2023
I.S. Production, Give Us Our Stars: a trans play – Fall 2023
Spring Dance Concert – Spring 2023
Alicia From the Real in Wonderland – Spring 2023
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2022
I.S. Production, Third World – Fall 2022
Trifles – Fall 2022
CAGED – Fall 2022
Senior I.S. Productions – Spring 2022
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark – Spring 2022
Far Away – Fall 2021
The Day the Music Came Back – Fall 2021
I.S. Production – Fall 2021
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2021
Blind Date – Spring 2021
Spring Dance Concert- Spring 2021
Theatre of Urgency: Creative Responses to 2020 – Fall 2020
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2020
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2019
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Fall 2019
Spring Dance Concert – Spring 2019
The Normal Heart – Spring 2019
Senior I.S. Production – Spring 2019
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2018
The Tempest – Fall 2018
Spring Dance Concert – Spring 2018
Eurydice – Spring 2018
Medea – Fall 2017
Fall Senior Weekend – Fall 2017
Spring Dance Concert – Spring 2017
Almost, Maine – Spring 2017
Senior I.S. Performance – Spring 2017
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2016
The Crucible – Fall 2016
Sangreal: An Electronic Opera – Spring 2016
Festival of New Works – Spring 2016
Latins in La-La Land – Fall 2015
Spring Dance Concert – Spring 2015
Water by the Spoonful – Spring 2015
Senior I.S. Performance – Spring 2015
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2014
Scapin – Fall 2014
Spring Dance Concert – Spring 2014
Senior I.S. Performances – Spring 2014
Fall Dance Concert – Fall 2013
The Golden Age – Fall 2013
Life is a Dream – Spring 2013
Equus – Fall 2012
Fall Dance Concert – 2012
Las Meninas – Spring 2012
Festival of New Plays – Spring 2012
The Glass Menagerie – Spring 2011
Spring Dance Concert – 2010
Songs for a New World – Spring 2010
Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off – Spring 2010
Comedy of Errors – Fall 2009
Fall Dance Concert– 2009
Fall Dance Concert – 2008
A Flea in Her Ear – Fall 2008
All My Sons – Spring 2006
Nocturne – Fall 2006
Getting Out – Spring 2005
Tartuffe – Fall 2004

Theatre Production Handbook