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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

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 off the stage 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.

Our 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.

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.

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.

Our Productions - Theatre

Each year State University Theatre produces four major musicals or plays, two dance concerts and two student-directed productions. This gives students the chance to work in several different areas both on the stage and behind the scenes. Our seasons include a wide array of genres and styles. Our selections to allow students to gain experience in different sorts of shows. During a student’s four years of study they can expect to work on classic and contemporary musicals, classical plays (such as Shakespeare or Moliere), modern comic or dramatic classics by writers like Arthur Miller or Sam Shepard, original plays or musicals and Theatre for Young Audiences plays and musicals. While we wish to select productions the campus community will enjoy, we also want to give our students the broadest “vocabulary” possible.  

SDSU’s Prairie Repertory Theatre (PRT) presents more production experiences. Each summer PRT produces and performs four musicals/plays over the course of eleven weeks, including playing the season in true repertory each July at the Brandon Performing Arts Center. The PRT company has been in existence for nearly 50 years. Many alumni say their experiences with PRT were among the most significant of their undergraduate training.

Our Productions - Dance

Dance produces two to three performances each year with opportunities for student choreographed work as well as participation in faculty and visiting artist's works.

Dance at South Dakota State University provides students with opportunity to participate in choreography in several dance styles, including ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre and hip hop, though the program upholds a modern/contemporary somatic dance education focus. Students with dance experience in dance studio, competition, or theatrical settings, will find opportunities for continued growth in our productions.

The program values student choreographic voice and provides many opportunities for student devised work in mentored, collaborative settings. Much of the faculty and guest artist directed choreography is rooted in collaborative contemporary work in both large and small- scale projects.


Box Office Phone: 605-688-6045

Theatre & Dance Events

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Nov 6

Fall Student Showcase - Theatre and Dance

Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center
Nov 20

State University Theatre Presents: "The Living"

Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center
Nov 21

State University Theatre Presents: "The Living"

Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center

Theatre & Dance News

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State University Theatre and Dance opens season Sept. 25

State University Theatre and Dance opens its fall 2020 season at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 with “Reflections: Theatre+Dance at the Garden” at McCrory Gardens.

Doner Auditorium makeup room

Doner Auditorium project progresses with SDHC grant

The Doner Auditorium digital preservation project is moving forward, thanks to a South Dakota Humanities Council grant.


Hendricks wins award for costume design excellence

South Dakota State University student Mary Hendricks won the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 5 Award for costume design excellence and will travel to Washington, D.C., in April to display her work.