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Theater and Dance Department Overview

The Academic Department 

The Production Companies 

Professional Residencies 



The Academic Department

Created in 1977, IUP’s Department of Theater and Dance began with three faculty members and twenty majors and has grown to a full-time faculty of ten with approximately 120 majors. As we describe in our mission statement, the Department of Theater and Dance is dedicated to theater and dance as collaborative and highly disciplined fine arts that demand a broad-based education. Student involvement in department affairs is desirable, and there are many ways to get involved.

We offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater, a Theater minor, and a Dance minor. In collaboration with other departments, we offer an Interdisciplinary Fine Arts B.A. degree with tracks in Music-Theater and Dance Arts. Graduates have gone on to distinguish themselves in theater, television, radio, film, management, advertising, business, law, and education. Approximately one-fourth of our graduates have pursued graduate work.

Our department also provides academic service to the Robert E. Cook Honors College as well as the departments of English, Communications Media, Elementary Education, Health and Physical Education, and Consumer Services. Introduction to Theater and Introduction to Dance are an integral part of the university’s Liberal Studies’ curriculum, as are our regularly offered sections of LBST 499 Synthesis, either Public Architecture or Masks and Puppetry.

The Production Companies

At the heart of the department is our commitment to putting learning into practice. We do so through our performance companies:


A professionally modeled resident theater producing a main season of plays and musicals for the university and community.

IUP Dance Theater Company

A professionally modeled touring company, primarily based in a more modern style, producing dance concerts.

The Acorn Project

An incubator for production development, usually student-directed, and often short works minimally produced.

Footlight Players

A summer theater-for-youth program directed by theater faculty, IUP alumni, and upper-division majors.

Through these companies the department has presented:

  1. Over 150 main season productions under the auspices of Theater-by-the-Grove
  2. Over thirty major dance productions by the IUP Dance Theater Company
  3. Hundreds of student-written, -directed, and -designed one-act and full-length plays, including many experimental and original products, largely through the support of the Acorn Theater Project
  4. Children’s theater productions presented to the community through the summer company, Footlight Players
  5. Touring productions in both theater and dance to regional schools

Access to Professional and Study Abroad Residencies

Residencies sponsored and supported by the department have included stage combat specialist David Leong, playwright Edward Albee, make-up artist Bob Kelly, dance company Dance Alloy, and puppeteer Robert Smythe. Our majors also have the opportunity to internship with major regional theaters throughout the country as well as take advantage of many study abroad opportunities.


The facilities of the department are in two locations on campus—the newly renovated Fisher-Waller Performing Arts Center (off the Oak Grove, which includes Waller Hall and Fisher Auditorium) and Zink Dance Studio and Auditorium (located in Zink Hall between the Memorial Field House and the tennis courts).

Waller Hall

Waller Hall, completely renovated for the purpose of theater in 1988–1989, is where Theater-by-the-Grove makes its home. It is also where the department office is located. In addition to a main, flexible, “black box” performance space seating about 240, Waller houses a studio theater, two lobbies, a green room, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, costume studio, scenery studio, dressing rooms, and offices.

Fisher Auditorium

Adjacent to Waller in the Performing Arts Center is Fisher Auditorium. It was renovated in 2008 to become an up-to-date “road house” for the university, and has a seating capacity of about 1,500. Theater-by-the-Grove usually produces a musical here each year. IUP Dance Company produces collaborative works with music ensembles and visiting artists here as well.

Zink Dance Studio and Auditorium

Dance classes and performances are held in the Dance Studio and Auditorium in Zink Hall with an approximate seating capacity of 270.

More information is available in the facilities' section of this handbook.


In Spring 1995, the Department of Theater and Dance was granted membership in the National Association of Schools of Theater. The department joins a select group of schools with nationally accredited theater programs.

  • Theater and Dance Department
  • Waller Hall, Room 104
    401 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2965
  • Fax: 724-357-3885
  • Department Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.