Joan Karlen, Chair
Room 161, Noel Fine Arts Center
This department is in the College of Fine Arts & Communication .
Faculty and Academic Staff: M Estanich, L Golda, J Hanlin, M Hanson, C Hill, J Hill, J Karlen, P Luedtke, T Marchant, G Olsen, S Ross, S Rudolph, L Schmeling, S Trovillion Smith, K Sneshkoff, J Strassburg.
About the Department
UW-Stevens Point offers five theatre and dance degree tracks, including three highly competitive conservatory-styled BFA programs in Musical Theatre, Acting and Design & Technology. In addition, we offer two liberal arts degrees: the BA Dance major and minor, with coursework in ballet, modern, jazz, tap and theoretical studies, and the BA Drama major, which allows students to study multiple focused areas such as playwriting, dramaturgy, directing, design, and acting. These excellent academic and production programs have established UW-Stevens Point as a primary undergraduate center in Wisconsin for students interested in the performing arts.
Our alumni are working in all areas of the business, including:
- Film & Television
- Regional Theatres
- Cruise Ships
- National & International Tours and Stages
- Studio Owners and Entrepreneurs
Admission to all Theatre and Dance programs is by audition/interview only.
Academic Standards for Theatre and Dance Majors
To be retained as a major or minor in any of the theatre arts options and to be approved for graduation, you must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in all courses taken within the major or minor each semester, including transfer courses, regardless of any declaration of academic bankruptcy. You may repeat a course in the major or minor if you follow the course repeat policy found in the Grade-related Policies section of this catalog.
Credit-by-Exam Policy for Theatre and Dance
The Theatre and Dance Department offers credit-by-exam for specific courses. If you wish to take the test-out exam, contact the department chair to arrange an exam with the appropriate faculty member. If credit is granted, results will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.
You may apply transfer credits to the major or minor with the approval of the department chair.
All theatre and dance majors and minors are required to attend the department orientation meeting held on the first Saturday of the fall semester.
Incoming theatre and dance majors and minors are assigned an adviser with Academic Career and Advising Center for three semesters. After that, you will be assigned a Theatre and Dance faculty adviser.
Course Fees for Theatre and Dance
Fees are charged in specified courses to cover the cost of materials.
Scholarships for Theatre and Dance
The department awards scholarships to entering majors in all five programs based on theatre and dance admission auditions and interviews. All students auditioning for UW-Stevens Point’s major program on each of our audition dates will be considered for an incoming major scholarship; there is not a separate scholarship application or an additional scholarship audition process. Several additional scholarships are available for returning students.
The department offers several scholarships based on ability and potential to entering students in dance, drama, acting, design/technology, and musical theatre. Several additional scholarships are available for returning students. All students auditioning for UW-Stevens Point’s major programs on each of our audition dates will be considered for an incoming major scholarship; there is not a separate scholarship application or an additional scholarship audition process.
Required Theatre and Dance Practicum
For Theatre and Dance Majors: Register for a practicum each of your first six semesters as a major. Practicum areas are scene shop, costume shop, deck run crew, costume run crew, house/public relations, design, directing/choreography/management, and performance. You may repeat an area after you have completed 6 different activities.
For Theatre and Dance Minors: Register for a practicum one semester of each of your first three years as a minor.
For Majors and Minors:
- Practicum areas are scene shop, costume shop, deck run crew, costume run crew, house/public relations, design, directing/choreography/management, media marketing, and performance.
- Students assigned to work in one of the technical shops must complete 40 hours of work.
- All other assignments must attend/work all scheduled meetings, calls, rehearsals, and performances as appropriate.
- Credit for practicum includes DNCE 226 , DNCE 426 , or THEA 226 , THEA 426 as appropriate.
- Theatre and Dance majors and minors must explore different areas of Practicum each time they enroll.
- If you do not register for a practicum or do not complete the activity satisfactorily, you are placed on department probation and must make up the missed work in the next semester. If you must make up missed work, you must also register for a practicum for the current semester. If the work is not made up, you will be dropped from the major or minor.
- Normally a practicum may only count in the current semester. If a production occurs unusually late in a semester, the practicum for that production may count for the following semester.
Joan Karlen, Dance Program Coordinator
Room 140, Noel Fine Arts Center
About the dance program
UW-Stevens Point’s dance program aspires to create a dynamic culture in which you are inspired to achieve full physical expression, technical and stylistic range, and anatomical efficiency. We are dedicated to artistic experimentation and contemporary inquiry that is culturally relevant and historically grounded, preparing you to communicate, contribute and lead as global citizen artists.
The dance program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Our curriculum features ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and theatre dance technique classes, dance composition, history, movement analysis and dance education courses. Dance majors complete 48-56 credits including the senior-level capstone Interdisciplinary Seminar, a course that features camera dance, digital video editing, and web design and integrates dance with other academic disciplines and art forms. Dance minors complete 27 credits.
After completing the core requirements, you may take selected performance classes for either two or three credits. We encourage you to pursue an additional major or minor in another field.
The dance faculty works with you to re-evaluate technique and explore new approaches to training at a high level. This re-evaluation includes training with optimal anatomical alignment that supports injury-free dancing.
We recommend that you be accepted to UW-Stevens Point prior to your dance program audition date. There are a few seats available each semester for non-dance majors and minors in introductory level classes. Upper-level dance courses are not available to non-majors and minors. All dance majors and minors participate in required practicum assignments.
In order to be accepted into the dance major or minor, you are required to complete an on-campus audition and interview.
As part of the audition, you are required to perform a one-minute solo that highlights your performance skills. You or someone else may choreograph this solo. You should provide any sound accompaniment. The solo may be excerpted, and the music cut from an existing longer work, or you may prepare a solo that is intended as a one-minute dance. Please prepare to stay within the one-minute time limit.
Two required letters of recommendation should address your ability to be successful in a university-level dance program. One letter should be written by an academic teacher able to detail your ability to be successful in your academic coursework, and the second letter should be written by a primary dance teacher able to comment on your ability and potential in dance.
If you wish to be accepted into the dance major program, you are required to have proficiency in two of these four areas: ballet, jazz, modern, and tap. For the minor program, proficiency in one of these areas is required.
As a student in our program, you will develop the ability to work as a part of an ensemble, the ability to work openly and honestly with other dancers, and the ability to be flexible in the artistic process with choreographers, directors, rehearsal assistants and peers. Therefore, we do begin all our new students in our 100-level major technique courses.
NOTE: We recommend that dance majors complete two core classes per semester and encourage participation in summer dance workshops that enhance performance training and expand your professional network.
Admission, scholarship, retention requirements
- To be accepted to the dance program, you must first be eligible for admission to UW-Stevens Point. Then, to be eligible for admission to UW-Stevens Point’s dance program as a major or minor, you must successfully complete an on-campus performance audition and interview. Detailed program and audition information, including audition dates and protocol, application forms and scholarship information is available on our website at www.uwsp.edu/theatre-dance/Pages/Students/apply.aspx.
- The dance program awards scholarships to incoming dance majors based on ability and potential in dance. A variety of scholarships are awarded annually to continuing students.
- To continue as a major or minor, you must meet the dance program’s retention criteria and successfully complete scheduled mid-semester assessments in your technique courses.
Performance and choreography
Each year the dance program provides multiple opportunities for you to perform and choreograph including in Afterimages, the student directed fall concert; Danstage, the spring concert featuring choreography by faculty and guest artists; Players Student Artistic Alliance, forums and events; repertory projects; composition course showings; camera dance projects; and all main stage and studio theatre productions.
The interdisciplinary focus of our dance program trains you to be innovative in creating and finding employment opportunities. Recent graduates perform on Broadway; with national and international dance companies; and in television, commercials and film. Others become dance videographers, form and direct dance companies, open private studios, and develop dance and related arts programs for school districts.
Courses for general university students
DNCE 103 , DNCE 105 , DNCE 114 , and DNCE 115 are introductory courses open to all university students. You may apply one credit of DNCE 103 and DNCE 114 toward the General Education Program Wellness requirement.
Dance courses for the community
Those outside the university who wish to enroll in selected dance courses must first contact the UW-Stevens Point Admissions Office to determine eligibility to enroll as a special student. Registration is based on seat availability, technical placement, and permission of the dance faculty are also required.
Laurie Schmeling, Coordinator
Admission Policy: To major in the BA drama option, you must be admitted to both the university and the drama program. Admission to the drama program is by application, essay and interview. Interviews are held in the spring for fall acceptance and we recommend that you be officially admitted to UW-Stevens Point before your assigned interview date. If you are a high school student, you should apply to the department in the fall of your senior year. If you are a transfer student or continuing UW-Stevens Point student, you must also apply for admission to the drama program. Contact the Department of Theatre and Dance for more information.
Jared Hanlin, Coordinator
Admission audition required: Admission to the BFA acting program is by audition only. Auditions are held on select dates in the fall and spring for fall acceptance the following academic year. We recommend that you be officially admitted to UW-Stevens Point before your assigned audition date. We encourage you to apply early as the number of students accepted into the program is limited. If you are a transfer student and wish to enter the acting program, you should audition before transferring to UW-Stevens Point. Contact the Department of Theatre and Dance for more information.
Retention in the program: Every BFA Acting Major will meet with the area coordinator at the end of each semester for a comprehensive evaluation of classroom and performance work. If you do not demonstrate satisfactory progress or do not adhere to the retention standards established by the department, you may be placed on departmental probation or dropped from the major.
Required auditions: BFA acting majors must audition for all faculty-directed mainstage and studio theatre productions and accept roles as assigned.
Kristina Sneshkoff, Coordinator
Admission interview required: Admission to the design and technology program is by audition interview. Interviews are held in the spring for fall acceptance and we recommend that you be officially admitted to UW-Stevens Point before your assigned interview date. Apply early since the number of students accepted into the program is limited. If you are a transfer student and wish to enter the design/technology program, you should interview before transferring to UW-Stevens Point. Contact the Dept. of Theatre and Dance for more information.
Retention in the program: You will be formally reviewed each semester. If you do not demonstrate satisfactory progress or do not adhere to the retention standards established by the department, you may be placed on departmental probation or dropped from the major.
Mark Hanson, Coordinator
Admission audition required: Admission to the BFA musical theatre program is by audition only. Auditions are held in November and in the spring for fall acceptance. We recommend that you be officially admitted to UW-Stevens Point before your assigned audition date. We encourage you to apply early as the number of students accepted into the program is limited. If you are a transfer student and wish to enter the musical theatre program, you should audition before transferring to
UW-Stevens Point. Detailed program and audition information, including audition dates and protocol, application forms and scholarship information is available on our website’s How to Apply page. Contact the Department of Theatre and Dance for more information.
Retention in the program: You will be formally reviewed each semester. You must participate each semester in at least one public performance in mainstage, studio or Players productions, performance forums or publicly performed class projects. If you do not demonstrate satisfactory progress in the program or do not adhere to the established retention standards, you may be placed on departmental probation or dropped from the major.
Required auditions: Musical theatre majors must audition for all faculty-directed mainstage and studio theatre productions and accept roles as assigned.