The mission of Wheaton’s Department of Theatre and Dance Studies is to provide students with a complete education in dramatic theory and literature as well as the actual practice of theatre arts. Central to this education are:

  • An emphasis on the development of communication skills–both oral and written. Within the 11-course major , students are challenged to analyze plays and characters in plays from viewpoints both literary and psychological, to articulate directorial and design concepts as meticulously as possible, and to provide sound constructive criticism to peers performing in monologues, scenes or full productions.
  • An emphasis on theatre as a collaborative art form involving the efforts of directors, actors, scene, costume, light, and sound designers, playwrights, dramaturgs, stage managers, seamstresses, carpenters, painters, makeup artists, graphic artists and a host of other backstage personnel. In other words, the overall success of a given project is largely dependent on how well students function as members of an ensemble.
  • An emphasis on theatre as a window to diverse cultures, lifestyles and psychological perspectives. Our students are expected to explore and understand a vast array of historical and emotional realms.