Applied Theatre

Applied theatre extends the traditional skills, tools and values of the theatre arts into civic engagement, community service, activism and wellness. Students who major or minor in applied theatre build a strong foundation in the liberal arts, study traditional theatre, and gain experience in applied work in the community.

Program Highlights

  • Participate in the only undergraduate program in applied theatre in the United States
  • Apply traditional theatre skills within service professions
  • Go off-campus for community learning opportunities during a winter-term travel course
  • Intern with senior centers, youth centers, arts administration organizations or other nonprofits
  • Complement your studies in anthropology, education, political science, psychology, social work or sociology
  • Potentially earn talent scholarships for prospective students in theatre. Students who qualify receive $1,000 to $4,000 each year.


Applied theatre students participate in many of the same foundational courses as traditional theatre students. These include courses such as technical theatre, acting, playwriting, and directing. Applied theatre students also study the history of theatre in a social context, exploring the roots of how theatre and drama have played a role in religion, politics and community service. Students can connect their theatre skills with other disciplines in courses such as "Theatre in Education," “Theatre for Gender Equity,” and “Eco-Theatre: Community & Performance.”


Students with an applied theatre major or minor develop marketable skills they can put to work in education, recreation and applied performance companies. Students go on to share their talents by using theatre and drama to work with at-risk youth in schools and after-school programs, with senior centers, or in other health, education and community settings.

Department of Theatre & Dance

Applied theatre is part of the Department of Theatre & Dance, which also offers majors and minors in theatre and dance.

Professor; Theatre & Dance Department Chair