Theatre & Dance
The School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University offers comprehensive programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts.
The School of Theatre and Dance encourages students to discover potential, make bold choices and define success on their terms. Dedicated to creative excellence, the school provides opportunities that challenge students to develop your meaningful purpose. Comprehensive programs are rooted in an environment where passion and opportunity meet, inspiring students to train for the dynamic disciplines of theatre and dance. The school is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and the National Association of Schools of Dance.
undergraduate degree Programs
Bachelor of Arts
The B.A. in Dance Studies allows dance students to craft a personalized program by combining dance technique and dance academics with studies in other subject areas. Students are encouraged to pair their degree with other disciplines such as business, education, or exercise science to maximize career potential. An audition is required for admission into the Dance Studies program.
The B.A. in Theatre Studies allows students to pair their interest in theatre with a traditional liberal arts education. Students may concentrate in one of four areas: Performance, Production, Theatre Management, or Theatre and Society.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
The B.F.A in Dance Performance facilitates comprehensive training in dance technique, choreography and performance. Students pursue a curriculum in modern dance, strongly supported by training in ballet and jazz, and also study movement science, dance history, production, dance education, acting, technology and music. An audition is required for admission into the Dance Performance program.
Design and Technology
The B.F.A. in Design and Technology prepares students for careers as professional theatre designers, technicians, and artisans. Students train in traditional and new methods of theatrical design and technology, graduating as dynamic and creative theatre practitioners. Students planning to pursue the design/technology program may apply and be admitted directly into the BFA program. Progress toward the degree is closely monitored by the faculty through end-of-year reviews, and continuation in each successive year is based both on artistic and academic criteria.
The B.F.A. in Musical Theatre prepares students for life as working artists in the musical theatre field with fully developed skills in music, acting and dance. Practical training and creative experiences are coupled with an interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum and a foundation in theatre theory and history. Students have the opportunity to participate in the Musical Theatre Showcase. An audition is required for admission into the Musical Theatre program.
Theatre and dance majors are eligible for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance from a variety of sources:
• Creative Artist Awards offered by the Honors College
• Talent based scholarships for incoming freshmen
• Theatre and Dance Awards for outstanding continuing students in the areas of academic excellence and creative activity
Twenty-seven full-time faculty members along with a professional staff and dedicated part-time instructors teach and guide students within the School of Theatre and Dance. The faculty includes nationally recognized educators, performers, choreographers, designers, producers, directors, researchers, and technologists. In addition to having an academic advisor, each student develops a relationship with a faculty advisor in the area of expertise.
The Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance
New and renovated classrooms and laboratories include three dance studios, a lighting laboratory with intelligent lighting, dance rehabilitation studio, acting studios, props and crafts studio and welding laboratory.
E. Turner Stump Theatre
The 518-seat, continental-style theatre has a large trapped stage measuring 100 feet by 45 feet with a gridiron height of 65 feet. Movable draperies accommodate both intimate and spectacular production. The Stump complex also includes costume construction and stage areas, production dressing rooms with makeup stations, light and sound control booth and a lobby with a box office.
The 225-seat theatre utilizes movable seating, flexible traps and a catwalk system. The theatre provides multiple vertical levels and acting areas in arena and thrust configurations.
Erdmann Zucchero Black Box Theatre
The flexible seating theatre seats up to 200 and serves as a multipurpose performance venue for student creative works, housing the School’s annual Black Box Series of student productions.
Located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center, Porthouse Theatre is Kent State University’s summer professional theatre. Operated by the School of Theatre and Dance, Porthouse Theatre offers unique training opportunities for student actors, designers, technicians and theatre managers to work alongside professionals. Porthouse Theatre presents three productions every summer in its 512-seat covered pavilion thrust theatre. Porthouse Theatre comprises the Kent/Blossom Theatre component of the Kent/Blossom Arts partnership between Kent State University and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Theatre and Dance Productions
The School of Theatre and Dance produces more than a dozen main stage and student-coordinated productions every academic year. Productions are coordinated with formal coursework in theatre and are directed and designed by students, faculty and guest artists. Student directors, designers, and choreographers are selected by the faculty on the basis of demonstrated ability. Weekly production meetings coordinate the efforts of personnel and ensure adherence to the highest standards. Students in academic good standing in any major can participate in theatre productions. Students majoring or minoring in dance are encouraged to audition for the annual faculty dance concert, as well as choreograph and perform in the student concerts.
Kent Dance Ensemble
The Kent Dance Ensemble offers students a pre-professional dance company experience. Dancers are selected through an audition process. The Kent Dance Ensemble performs regionally and in concert on the Kent Campus each year.
Black Box Series
The School of Theatre and Dance’s Black Box Series is an entirely student produced, student directed, student designed and student performed series of productions held throughout the academic year, mentored by faculty.
Summer and Study Away Opportunities
The School of Theatre and Dance provides opportunities for a variety of summer and study away opportunities.
Recent opportunities include:
• Porthouse Theatre College Academy
• Limón Dance Summer Intensive
• East Meets West: Kent State Dance in Thailand
• Kent Dance Ensemble Study Trip to Florence, Italy
• Dionysian Study in Athens, Greece
• Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Roe Green Visiting Director Series
Made possible by the generosity of Roe Green, the School of Theatre and Dance hosts a different visiting professional director each year to work with students on a theatre production.
Armstrong Family Visiting Artist Series
The school invites a different professional choreographer each year to work with dance students, setting choreography and providing workshops.