School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

Girl playing trumpet

About Us

Each day, Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD) is alive with the sights and sounds of performing arts education. Collaborating with world-class faculty, students are transformed through experiences in the classroom, rehearsal space, practice room, studio and beyond. Diverse performance opportunities abound for both students and audiences.

The Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

Message from the Director

Thank you for your interest in the Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance. As you peruse our website, you will observe myriad opportunities to discover the performing arts at its finest! Located in the metro-Detroit area, we capitalize on the culture, artists, and experiences around us, while aspiring to contribute to the state-wide performing arts community in both traditional and imaginative ways.  

At OU we encourage all students to engage in the arts, regardless of major. Students who plan to explore careers in the performing arts are given the most expansive tools and resources to delve into their creative ambitions. Non-performing arts majors who want to participate in our creative offerings are given every opportunity to do so while studying alongside nationally and internationally renowned faculty and practitioners.

I invite you to learn more about the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Oakland University. We are an inclusive performing arts school where students flourish, diverse and innovative perspectives are encouraged, and dreams and passions are cultivated. Join us as we explore the performing arts at OU.

Deborah VanderLinde, Ph.D.
Interim Director, School of Music, Theatre and Dance


The School of Music, Theatre and Dance provides pre-professional, professional, liberal arts, and general education in the performing arts through artistically-grounded academic programs and diverse performance opportunities.

Our work is kinetic, alive, visceral––occurring collaboratively among learners and teachers, realizing learner potential, cultivating unique artistic voices––in artistically rigorous, authentic, interactive environments.


Varner Hall, located at the southeast corner of the main campus, is the center of performing arts at Oakland University. SMTD facilities within Varner Hall include:

  • Varner Recital Hall
  • Varner Studio Theatre
  • Varner Laboratory Theatre
Varner Recital Hall can seat up to 425 people, including 10 handicap/wheelchair seats. The Studio Theatre capacity and seating chart varies by performance, ranging between 90-150 people.
General Info
Varner Hall’s performance facilities can accommodate special needs on a limited basis. Accessible restrooms are located on the second floor. These are easily accessed from Varner Recital Hall’s upper level seating or from the first floor and Studio Theatre, via the elevators at the Varner Recital Hall entrance to Varner Hall.

For your convenience, we recommend using the elevators near the "Varner Recital Hall" entrance (parking lot 26) when attending performances at Varner Recital Hall.

Please contact the Box Office at (248) 370-4578 in advance of the performance you wish to attend for information and special assistance.

Free parking is available in several lots adjacent to Varner Hall, including lots 36, 26 and 24. For more information on parking on OU’s campus, see the parking page.

Lockers are available for students on the first floor of Varner Hall. To obtain a locker see the departmental secretary in 207 Varner Hall.
To rent any of the MTD facilities or equipment, email

Facility, Services and Equipment Rental
MTD's Varner Hall facilities and equipment are available to rent.

To request the use of any MTD facility and/or personnel, submit the Scheduling Form to the Office of Scheduling, 203 Varner Hall. To request MTD services and equipment, submit the Services and Equipment Request Form to the Office of Scheduling, 203 Varner Hall.