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Theatre Arts Majors and Minors

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.

Contact Info:
Kelly Olson, Music and Theatre Arts
Haas Fine Arts Center 156
121 Water Street

Department Website


  • Theatre Arts - Liberal Arts
  • Theatre Arts - Teaching
Comprehensive majors (no minor required)
  • Theatre Arts - Liberal Arts
  • Theatre Arts - Musical Theatre


  • Theatre Arts - Teaching, Middle Childhood / Early Adolescence
  • Theatre Arts - Teaching


  • Dance Activities
  • Fine Arts Administration

Where you'll find our grads

  • Executive Director of the Confluence Arts Center; Eau Claire, WI
  • Actor, Showtime's "Homeland"
  • Actors, The Guthrie Theatre; Minneapolis, MN
  • Headling Performer; Las Vegas, NV
  • Actor, National Touring Production of Jersey Boys
  • Actor, Yale Repertory Theatre

The composition department at UW-Eau Claire has exposed me to a side of music I hadn’t known before attending the school. The composition department and contemporary ensemble have been a cornerstone of my education at the institution.

Austin Williams | composition major

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 the DanceWorks Ensemble and student choreography showcase — 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 departments 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 will 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; or stage manager.

Why UW-Eau Claire

Hands-On Experience

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.

Innovative Facilities

Students have access to outstanding theatre facilities including the Confluence Arts Center, 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.


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