Theatre and Dance
The theatre and dance major provides a program of interdisciplinary study that prepares students for a wide range of careers in the performing arts, including performance, stage management, arts management, producing, directing, choreography, teaching and writing, creative arts therapy, and entertainment law.
Students will gain experience in peer leadership and creative process, while developing skills in acting, dancing, and design techniques. Hands-on learning is supported and enriched by the study of history and theory, which informs the interpretive technique of the performer and fosters intellectual curiosity and cross-cultural awareness.
Student Experience of the Performing Arts at Wells
Theatre and dance students have distinctive advantages at Wells: a sense of community; access to faculty and facilities; small classes where every student is visible; working professional relationships with working professional faculty; over 30 career-building internships; onstage and backstage roles in department productions; workshops and networking opportunities with guest artists; the daily enrichment of the liberal arts environment; and an interdisciplinary, experiential learning banquet.
Faculty advisors emphasize career planning, networking, contact with professional artists, and portfolio development.
Students learn to translate vision into action. Through course work, co-curricular activities, and study-abroad programs, they develop the skills today’s employers are looking for:
- Interpersonal skills
- Sensitivity to diversity
- Creative problem-solving
- Time management
- Organizational skills
- Communication/presentation skills
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Initiative, goal setting and follow-through on projects
The total number of courses required for the performing arts major is 18-23 (46-52 semester hours). The equivalent of at least six courses (18 semester hours) taken for the major must be at the 300-level or above.
Internships and Study Abroad Opportunities
Depending on your area of interest, students have a wealth of internships opportunities. Wells alumnae/i who are established leaders in their fields often provide internship opportunities for current students. The following is a sample of internships recently held by performing arts students:
- Broadway Inner Circle, New York City
- Sheldon P. Starke (entertainment/international law office), Beachwood, OH
- Community School of Music and Arts, Ithaca, NY
- The Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, OH
- The Arts Partnership/Spartanburg Repertory Co., Spartanburg, SC
- Cottey College dance studio, Nevada, MO
- The Dance Place, Washington, DC
Discover the beauty of Italian or German opera houses, take dance classes in Paris, or dive into Shakespearean works at the famous Globe Theatre in London. Theatre and dance majors can pursue fascinating programs across the country and around the world. Check out our off-campus study programs.
Students earn academic credit and gain valuable performance experience participating in a range of ensembles.
- Chamber Orchestra
- Concert Choir
- Jazz Band
- Percussion Ensemble
Students at Wells attend and participate in productions in three very different performance venues:
- Phipps Theatre, a beautifully appointed 500-seat proscenium theatre, ideal for formal faculty and guest artist theatre and dance productions.
- Barler Recital Hall, 192-seat hall which houses formal music concerts as well as the informal performances by students and faculty.
- Schwartz Dance Studio, with stunning views across Cayuga Lake, equipped for intimate dance and theatre productions in an informal setting.
Student clubs and community groups provide for further opportunities for music, theatre, and dance performance in a social setting. Students take charge of performance, technical/design elements, publicity and marketing for a number of co-curricular performance groups and organizations at Wells. Below are just a few clubs and activities that might catch your interest:
- Appointed (gospel choir)
- Dance Collective
- Henry's VIII (a cappella)
- Kastalia (theatrical)
- Programming Board
- The Producers
Students also serve on the Arts and Lecture Committee, which annually selects professional guest artists in music, theatre, and dance for performances and master classes on campus.
What can I do with a major in Theater and Dance?
A high percentage of theatre and dance students go directly into touring or production work after graduation. Recent graduates of the program
are now employed in positions like dance therapist and instructor, house
manager, wardrobe designer, and technical consultant, and can be
found performing at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, the Florida
Studio Theatre, and Chicago’s Navy Pier, as well as in the New
York Fringe Festival and Sterling Renaissance Festival.