The arts of the theatre — acting, directing, playwriting, stagecraft, design, literature, costuming, makeup, and lighting — enable students to explore the human condition through theatrical study and productions. At UW-Eau Claire you will enhance your ability to present the experience of human beings to audiences through practical experimentation and practice that will entertain and enlighten.
My time at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire founded my love for opera and thoroughly developed my stagecraft. With the healthy amount of performance opportunities and the singular emphasis placed on undergraduate students, I was able to graduate with the experience of learning and performing several roles in both opera and musical theater. Through my performance experiences in the program, I learned about community outreach, character development, musical discipline, and professional standards. UW-EC is filled with high class instructors, directors, and mentors whose primary focus is developing and preparing undergraduate talent. I couldn't recommend UW-EC enough. Here, you won't just learn by studying, but by doing.
- Theatre Arts - Liberal Arts
- Theatre Arts - Liberal Arts
- Theatre Arts - Musical Theatre
- Arts Administration
- Dance Activities
Contact InfoKelly Olson, Music + Theatre Arts
Haas Fine Arts Center 156
121 Water Street
Prepared for success
As a theatre arts major you will receive training in various aspects of theatre including technical theatre, acting, directing, dance, dramatic literature, playwriting, and arts management.
The department produces an active theatre season that includes four main-stage productions, a Theatre for Young Audiences touring production, student-directed Short Play Festivals, the New Playwrights Festival, and a dance concert — all produced in facilities with state-of-the-art equipment. Our comprehensive theatre seasons expose students to a full range of styles, genres, and periods, including comedy, tragedy, and musical theatre. Opportunities for involvement in productions are open to all UW-Eau Claire students.
Every year, one of our main-stage productions is either a musical or an opera. This collaboration between areas allows music education students a chance to get some hands-on experience in a different performance setting and students with varied passions to experience top-quality musical theatre.
We offer a theatre education major and minor toward Wisconsin state certification, grades PK-12. We tour a Theatre for Young Audiences production to elementary schools throughout Western Wisconsin, serving about 3,000 children in grades 1-5. Many UW-Eau Claire grads either go into acting or continue onto graduate school to pursue their master of fine arts degree.
Typical positions held by theatre arts graduates include actor/actress in theatre, film or television; theatre teacher; scriptwriter; casting agent; costume designer; set, lighting, or prop designer; director; technical director; and stage manager.
Where are our grads?
- Actor, Showtime's "Homeland"
- Actors, The Guthrie Theatre; Minneapolis, MN
- Headline Performer; Las Vegas, NV
- Actor, National Touring Production of Jersey Boys
- Actor, Yale Repertory Theatre
Why UW-Eau Claire
In addition to course offerings, students actively participate in production work in areas such as acting, directing, designing, stage managing, playwriting, theatre promotion, and technical theatre. Practical experience is supported by a dynamic faculty who work closely with students and are active in their fields.
Student theatre technicians work in two fully equipped scene shops and a costume shop and the department maintains an extensive costume design collection.
Students have access to outstanding theatre facilities including the Pablo Center at the Confluence, with a 400-seat Black Box performing space and a 1,200-seat proscenium theatre; Riverside Theatre, a 200-seat thrust stage; and Gantner Hall, a 600-seat concert hall.
Course Work / Pre-Professional Courses
Study in the department advances the student’s development and practical application of knowledge, theory, and skills. Courses explore areas such as:
- Stagecraft and play production
- Stage lighting
- Voice and diction
- Theatre history
- Stage makeup
- Costume history and design
- Acting and directing
- Historical and modern drama and theatre
Special Admission Guidelines
Students planning to enroll in theatre programs are encouraged to complete courses in English composition and public speaking during high school. They should also be involved in school or community theatre productions — on stage or behind the scenes.
Students interested in pursuing the Theatre Arts - Musical Theatre comprehensive major are required to successfully complete a departmental audition for voice prior to enrolling. Audition information and scheduling is available on the department website.