The Department of Theater and Dance at Whitman College is a diverse community of empathetic artists and scholars. We engage critically and artistically to explore the canons of live performance in its many facets. Our students work collaboratively with the faculty and guest artists to investigate the process of art-making and challenge us to expand our capacity for, and ideas of, creative expression.
The academic courses and productions at the Harper Joy Theater provide students with rigorous training in the practical skills, historical context, and cultural background of the dramatic arts. The skills they acquire will allow them to succeed in many diverse areas of theater and dance. All classes without stated prerequisite or an indicated level of difficulty are recommended to any student, regardless of class standing. All Whitman students are welcome to audition for departmental productions, participate on backstage crews, and work in the shops or box office.
In addition to our curricular and production offerings, we invite professional playwrights, designers, choreographers, directors, and performers to work with our students as part of our Guest Artist Program. This program is made possible through a generous endowment that allows working professionals to visit Whitman and share their expertise, experience, and talent with our students.
If you are a talented theater person, consider applying for the President's Scholarship, a full-need scholarship as determined by the Office of Financial Aid guidelines. It is open to candidates with experience in theater and dance who plan to make a strong contribution to the theater and dance program during their four years at Whitman. To apply, you must interview with the theater and dance faculty and show examples of your work in either acting, choreographing, designing, directing, playwriting, stage management, or costume and set construction.
More than 60 percent of all Whitman students either enroll in a theater class or dance class, perform on stage, design, build, crew, usher, or work box office before they graduate. Theater is available as a major or minor course of study and dance is available as a minor.