actors on stage - create innovate transform

Because performance happens everywhere, not just on stage at 8:00 p.m. We prepare you to make it, design it, write it, respond to it, and use it to change the world. Beginning your first semester, you will be involved in professionally modeled theatre productions. Making theatre will lead you to developing important life skills: problem solving, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, decision-making, creative thinking, self-awareness, empathy, and coping.

You'll also gain the knowledge to choose your path in life. If you are destined for a career in the performing arts, you will develop the skills to succeed in a competitive industry. If you choose a different pathway, you will have the creativity to live a fulfilling life and flourish with “power skills” practiced in the craft of theatre and dance.

Undergraduate Programs

Theatre, BA with Concentrations in Performance, Design/Tech/Management, or Theory/Criticism

Musical Theatre Track/Theatre, BA

Dance Minor

Theatre Minor

Applied Theatre and Performance Certificate

How to Apply

If you are accepted to IUP, you may declare a major in theatre without an audition. The Musical Theatre Track requires more specialized skills for success, so an audition is required either before attending or during your first year. Auditions and portfolio reviews are also required to be eligible for a Freshman Talent Scholarship. Please review our Audition Guidelines.

All Are Welcome

Why participate in theatre and dance? Meaningful and creative experiences between people can be more compelling to bring people together than all the ideas, concepts, faiths, fears, ideologies, and prejudices that divide them. We want everyone to participate in our performance companies. Become involved—participate with Theater-by-the-Grove and IUP Dance Theatre through Crimson Connect.

We "Make It" here. Learn by doing in IUP's professionally modeled ensembles.

Are you a performer? You will hone your performance skills to create characters, collaborate in an ensemble, and cultivate interpersonal communication skills.

Enjoy making things possible for others "behind the scenes"? Then you will thrive in opportunities to design, build and manage—creating imaginary places in real spaces, and organizing and running complex human organizations in ensembles.

Interested in theatre for social change? Join the Simulation Performance and Applied Theatre Ensemble (SPATE)—enter into simulations and effect positive change as a teaching artist.

Are you a storyteller? Write and produce your own production in the Acorn Project, a studio theatre series for student-produced and -directed work.


Theater-by-the-Grove presents several productions each year, including a coproduction with Music Theatre of a major musical.

Dance Theatre

IUP Dance Theatre presents two major concert programs annually.

Footlight Players

Footlight Players is a youth theatre program offering a month-long summer program for ages 7–17 led by professional teaching artists and assisted by IUP student interns.

Simulation Performance and Applied Theatre Ensemble

SPATE is an ensemble engaged with the emerging field of simulation and community-building applied theatre methods. 

The Acorn Project

The Acorn Project is an incubator for student actors, designers, technicians, playwrights, and directors who wish to create their own performance projects in an ensemble.


Footlight Players Performing "Finding Nemo, Jr." and "As You Wish It"

IUP’s summer youth theatre camp, Footlight Players, will perform the musical "Finding Nemo, Jr." and the play "As You Wish It" in a double bill on July 14 and 15 on the main stage at Theatre-by-the-Grove in IUP’s Performing Arts Center. Performances are open to the public.

Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Presenting Summer Youth Theater Program

IUP’s Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance will offer its summer youth theater program, Footlight Players, from June 19 to July 15 at IUP. The program explores creativity through workshops and creating plays and musicals, providing four weeks of day-long performing arts programming, primarily serving Indiana County.

Theater-by-the-Grove and Music Theatre Premiere New Musical by IUP Alumnus and Writing Partner

Spring means romance is in the air. IUP’s Theater-by-the-Grove in co-production with Music Theater will present a new musical written by IUP alumnus Joe York (2012) and his writing partner Hali Alspach opening March 29 at 7:30 in Waller Hall’s main theater.

IUP to Present “Nine Days in the Sun,” Exploring Shifting the Racial Balance, Social Order

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Theater-By-The-Grove will present Mark Clayton Southers’ “Nine Days in the Sun” at IUP. This initiative begins Theater-By-The-Grove’s association with Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, where Southers is the founding artistic director. The play explores a world where dark skin is the desired tone, so the racial balance is shifted and the social order in America is turned upside down.

Ordnung, an Amish Ballet Traces Unlived Dreams

IUP Dance Theater, along with devised theater students from the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance, guest artists, and The Mahoning Valley Ballet will premiere this collaborative work on Thursday November 10, 2022, at Waller Main Stage with a free pre-show discussion with Torah Bontrager, founder of The Amish Heritage Association at 5:00 p.m.