Theatre has the power to build bridges and open hearts.

Program Overview

With a major in Theatre from Dean College, you'll have the hands-on experience and educational foundation to make your mark on the theatre world. Dean College offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts and a minor in Theatre.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program offers degrees in the following areas:

In the Bachelor of Arts program, you can choose from the following theatre tracks:

Each program features our signature mix of intense coursework in theatre techniques and fundamentals with a broad foundation in essential subjects like English, history, art, music, math and science. You’ll study under our dedicated faculty and staff, who offer our students the knowledge and skills to thrive both in and out of the classroom. You’ll learn everything from the Stanislavsky acting method to dramatic literature and performance theory. You’ll also put theory into practice by gaining real-world experience in singing, acting, stage management, set design and so much more. And you’ll take part in main stage and student-directed productions as early as your first semester on campus, building the confidence and skills needed to become a well-rounded artist who understands the context of their art in the world. 

Learn more about Audition and Program Requirements

A theatre professor helping students during a theatre rehearsal.

Theatre and Arts Management Faculty

Our faculty are experts in their fields. In small classes, you’ll work closely with your professors and learn from their experience.

Beyond the Classroom

Dean College theatre students Whether you crave a role on the stage or behind the scenes, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to practice your art at Dean College.

On campus, we present several theatre productions each year—from classic plays and comedies to musicals and the avant-garde—so you can find your niche as an actor, singer, dancer, director, lighting/set/costume designer or stage manager. Off campus, you’ll explore the theatre world through internships, a senior showcase and workshops with professionals in New York City, Boston, Providence and other major theatre hubs.

Our graduates go on to graduate school and to successful careers in acting, singing, dancing, design/technical work, dramaturgy and teaching. You’ll find Bulldogs starring in roles at NBC Universal, Community Little Theatre, Walt Disney, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, Hanover Theater, Neighborhood Musical School, InMusic Brands, Canobie Lake Park, Universal Studios, College Light Opera Company and so much more. 

Uniquely Dean

Dean College theatre students Hone your craft through the unique programming and performance opportunities that the Dean College Theatre program has to offer.
  • Learn from award-winning practitioners and scholars of acting, set design and musical theatre through coursework, master classes and workshops.
  • Attend master classes taught by guest artists and industry professionals. Recent master class guests have included Gabrielle Hamilton, award-winning Broadway cast member of the reimagined musical Oklahoma! and its national touring company, and Chris Rice-Thomson, a member of the touring company of Hamilton.
  • Participate in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival.
  • Get involved with summer stock companies throughout New England.
  • Receive highly specialized injury prevention and care services, provided by our full-time performing arts athletic trainer, Amanda Donahue. Learn more about how she works with Theatre and Dance students.
  • Meet industry professionals through our “Storytime” series via Zoom, a talk-show format featuring leaders in the arts and entertainment industry.
  •  Audition for industry representatives, casting directors and agents at industry showcases.
  • Study away through the Disney College Program, Washington Center or one of our many study abroad opportunities.
  • Dean was listed as one of the "Top 20 Musical Theatre Programs That Should Be On Your List" by The College Audition.

Space to Learn and Perform

As a Theatre major at Dean, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take the stage in our first-class performance and teaching venues, study on-stage and behind-the-scenes techniques and receive support from our talented faculty and staff. Explore the photo gallery below to see the spaces you’ll learn and perform in.

Program Requirements 

Prospective students applying to the Theatre program must complete both an audition or portfolio review and an application for admission. We offer in-person auditions, video auditions and off-campus audition opportunities. Learn more about the audition process, requirements and dates.

Dean College offers both BFA and BA degree programs in Theatre. For the BFA program, you may choose from a degrees in Acting or Musical Theatre. For the BA program, you may choose from three tracks: Performance, Production & Design and Theatre Studies. See the course listings below to see a sample of classes offered in each concentration.

Acting BFA

The Acting BFA provides you with the skills and tools to become a lifelong artist that is ready for the stage, the screen and beyond. You'll receive conservatory-style training - including voice and movement work, text analysis studies and dance classes - while learning how to apply these techniques to a variety of materials. You will also be involved in faculty- and student-produced performances starting in your first year.

Musical Theatre BFA

The rigorous Musical Theatre BFA program provides holistic training to help you grow as a performer. Your coursework will include private, individualized voice training, musical theatre courses and dance technique courses . You'll also develop your acting skills and expressiveness in a range of material, from operetta to rock.


Combining rigorous acting and performance training with the room to pursue courses and programs outside of the arts, the Performance BA track is ideal for those who want to do more than take center stage. You'll learn tools and techniques taught in acting, dance and musical theatre classes while also exploring your interests both off-stage and behind the scenes, including the liberal arts, sciences, business and beyond.

Production and Design

The Production and Design track provides real-world experience in technical theatre: design, lighting, sets, props, costuming and stage management. You will work behind the scenes to help make our stage productions a reality while gaining live theatre experience in various settings, including dance, musical theatre, cabaret, live music and stage plays.

Theatre Studies

The Theatre Studies track emphasizes a rigorous exploration of theatre history, dramatic literature and performance theory. Your coursework includes theatre pedagogy, research methods, acting, script analysis, portfolio creation, dramaturgy and production and design. Blending theory and practice, this track will prepare you for teaching, criticism and writing, arts leadership, graduate studies or work as a dramaturg.


Check out the news and stories below to learn more about being a Theatre major at Dean.