Western Michigan University's Department of Theatre is dedicated to the advancement of theatre arts through traditional study and performance, and to the development of new theatrical ventures. We prepare students for successful careers in professional theatre and film or for continued study at the graduate level. The combination of gifted students—selected through a competitive entry process—and deeply committed faculty creates an exceptional learning environment. We are empowering a new generation of theatre artists to shape a vibrant, relevant and innovative future for the theatre.

WMU’s nationally award-winning Department of Theatre offers extensive onstage, offstage and behind the curtain training. The range of experiences to which you will be exposed is vast so that you can become the talented, vibrant, flexible theatre artist necessary in today’s field. Opportunities for participation in the production program begin during the freshman year. The department presents nine faculty-directed productions each season in three different theatres, which feature student designs in set, costumes, lighting and sound. Additional plays are presented in the laboratory theatre program and in the directing classes, allowing even more opportunities for onstage experience and student directing through our Footlight productions.

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Here, you’re more than a student ID number. You are an individual—with talents and goals that we are eager to help you develop and explore. 

Why WMU?

  • Conservatory-style training at a public university price.
  • 8-10 main stage productions.
  • Career building travel and study abroad opportunities.
  • Direct engagement with theatre, film and television professionals from around the world.

University Theatre productions are often recognized for their excellence. We have received top honors at the prestigious American College Theater Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Alumni are regularly featured on Broadway, television, film and in regional theatres, and have received numerous Tony nominations.

The WMU Department of Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. This association sets standards for curriculum and production programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for institutions of higher learning and is considered a prestigious accolade of the Department of Theatre.