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Theatre & Dance

“I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. This supremacy of the theater derives from the fact that it is always "now" on the stage.”
― Thornton Wilder

South Dakota State University Theatre is accredited by the
National Association of the Schools Of Theatre

Theatre and Dance at SDSU offers opportunities for all students to participate in the performing arts. Theatre majors and minors, Dance minors and any interested State student may become involved in our robust schedule of productions each year. Our auditions are open to any enrolled student. Students may also be involved offstage as well. They may work in design/tech areas such as: stage management, costume design and construction, scenic design and construction, props design and construction, lighting and sound design and execution, theatrical rigging, publicity/promotion, ticket sales and front-of-house management.

Overview of Theatre and Dance Academic Programs

We take great pride in offering our students a liberal arts bachelor’s degree in Theatre. Theatre majors and minors will find that their coursework informs production work and vice-versa. Our aim is to provide a solid and practical foundation in both theatrical theory and practice. While students usually find a focus in a particular area of theatrical study (performance, direction, technical/design), we encourage and support students to gain experience and knowledge in all areas of Theatre. In our program a performer may well be on the stage in a costume they constructed or performing in a musical under lights they designed or focused. The Theatre faculty not only encourages the cultivation of multiple skills but regularly employs those various skills themselves. Our graduates have a solid understanding of all aspects of creating, promoting and performing Theatre and Dance.

Theatre Major

The Theatre major requires 45 credit hours, though many students take more credits than required during their undergraduate experience. One of the advantages of a liberal-arts Theatre degree is the ability to double-major. Students may tailor their undergraduate studies to their specific needs or interests. Our Theatre students often pair that major with disciplines such as: English Education, Speech Education, Marketing/Advertising, Interior Design or even Electrical Engineering. This allows for even greater potential opportunities after graduation.

Theatre and Dance Minors

Students may complete a Theatre minor by taking the required 18 credits. Our minor in Dance also requires 18 credits (many of our Theatre majors also minor in Dance). Students may also elect to earn a minor in Performing Arts Administration, a multi-disciplinary minor featuring 18 credits of coursework in Theatre and Music as well as courses from across campus in accounting, non-profit management, facilities administration, digital promotions and others.


Theatre & Dance News

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Prairie Repertory Theatre Logos

Ackman celebrating final curtain call

J.D. Ackman, coordinator of theatre, will be retiring in August after 32 years of service. Ackman served as the managing and artistic director of Prairie Repertory Theatre from 2007 to 2021 and the director of State University Theatre and Dance from 2010 to 2022.

Festival of New Plays

The Festival of New Plays at South Dakota State University is dedicated to developing new works by emerging playwrights.

State University Theatre and Dance presents ‘Women of 4G’

State University Theatre and Dance begins its spring 2022 season with “Women of 4G,” by Brookings native Amy Tofte. Performances will be Feb. 23-26 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.