Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance

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 theater productions. Making theater 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 theater and dance.

Undergraduate Programs

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

Musical Theater 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 theater 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 theater 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 theater 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 theater 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.


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.

“Carousel” Marks Musical Theater’s Return to Fisher

Shouts of delight and surprise were heard as the cast list went up Monday night, marking musical theater’s spectacular return to Fisher Auditorium in the spring semester.

Open Auditions for “Carousel”

Information about upcoming auditions and how to apply for backstage production opportunities in the spring semester musical, "Carousel."

It's All for One at Theater-by-the-Grove

Theater-by-the-Grove presents the premiere production of a new play by Pittsburgh playwright TJ Young. “The Inseparables” is an uproarious and feel-good comedy perfect for an entertaining evening (or matinee). Performances open Wednesday, November 3, and run through Sunday, November 7.

Guest Artist Holder to Offer Self-Producing Workshop

BIPOC arts instigator and early-career producer Amber Holder will speak at an IUP Theatre and Dance Forum on Friday, September 10, 4:40–5:30 p.m. in the Waller Hall main theatre.  A brief talk on creating a performing arts career with radical programming in this "gig economy" will be followed by an interview and questions from attendees.