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Oakland University’s Department of Theatre is a training ground for young artists interested in mastering the skills vital to the most collaborative and powerful of the visual arts. We take an objective-based approach to ensure our graduates are not merely employable - but employed.

With this mission defined, our industry-active faculty provide a nurturing and supportive atmosphere where command of fundamentals is achieved and confident artistic proficiency is a matter of course. With the intense focus of a conservatory-style institution, we recognize and promote the opportunities for growth, social responsibility, inclusion, diversity, and personal development that Oakland University’s greater liberal arts setting offers. 

We believe that well-roundedness is vital to creating unique, extraordinary artists. In addition to the carefully cultivated, industry-leading relationships maintained by our world-renowned faculty, Oakland University is one of the few undergraduate programs in the nation to have a professional theatre company on campus. Meadow Brook Theatre is Michigan’s largest Actors’ Equity contracted theatre. The opportunity to work alongside professional actors and directors provides unparalleled field experiences bolstering our students’ pre-professional training.  

Oakland University Department of Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST.)

Auditions Senior Showcase

“Anything you do, let it come from you. Then it will be new. Give us more to see…”
Stephen Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree curriculum offers a platform for the study of theatre within the framework of a broad-based, liberal arts curriculum. Students gain an understanding of fundamentals, as well as a fuller intellectual grasp of the performing arts.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), the initial professional theatre degree, places primary emphasis on the development of skills, concepts and sensitivities essential to the theatre professional in three areas of concentration:
  • Acting
    The BFA in acting develops professional competency through performance, repertory and theoretical studies for students whose primary interest lies in acting and directing. Training emphasizes a variety of acting skills and offers opportunities to perform and direct. 
  • Musical Theatre
    The BFA in musical theatre is for students interested in acting, singing and dance. A variety of acting classes, individual vocal instruction, and training in ballet, jazz and modern dance are available. Performance opportunities exist in musical theatre and opera, in both workshop settings and fully staged productions.
  • Theatre Design and Technology
    The BFA in design and technology serves students interested in theatrical design, technical production or stage management. Training in stagecraft, stage management and scenic, costume and lighting design may lead to advanced projects in these areas according to each student's interests and capabilities.
To earn a minor in theatre, students must complete a minimum of 20 credits. View more information in the academic catalog.

Each academic degree program requires students to audition to be admitted into the program, with the exception of the minor. You may minor in theatre without an audition.

Your first step is to apply for admission to the University. To apply online, go to the Oakland University Admissions site.
Current Productions
  • ¡Farsa/Farce! (An Affair of International Laughter): “El suplicio del placer” by Sabina Berman | “Non tutti i ladri vengono per nuocere” by Dario Fo | October 5 - 15, 2023
  • Chaos  October 27 - 29, 2023
  • Varner Act II Gala November 9-12 and November 16-19
  • Directing II | December 8 - 9, 2023
  • Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties | February 9 - 11, 2023
  • Jesus Christ Superstar | February 15 - 24, 2023
  • Laramie Project | March 28 - April 7, 2023
  • Nightclub Cabarets | April 18 - 21, 2023
  • Theatre for Young Audiences | May 17 - 19, 2023

For detailed information about our performances, visit the Performances and Events page.

Past Productions
In a typical year Oakland University's Theatre program presents five outstanding productions, playing to packed houses and rave reviews. In addition, theatre students prepare and present the cabarets and Senior Showcase, which connects senior theatre majors with industry professionals in New York City. Photos from many of the shows are viewable on our Facebook page .
  • 2022-23: She Kills Monsters; A New Brain; Pizza Man; Directing II: An Evening of 10-Minute Plays; A Little Night Music; Twelfth Night; and Love and Information
  • 2021-22: Passage; The Last Five Years; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Sense and Sensibility; and Pippin
  • 2020-21: The Servant of Two Masters; How I Became a Pirate
  • 2019-20: Orestes; Urinetown; Blue Stockings; Macbeth
    Canceled due to Covid-19: Cabaret; The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
  • 2018-19: Into the Woods; Lysistrata Remix; Seagull; The Who's Tommy; James and the Giant Peach
  • 2017-18: Bullets Over Broadway; Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet; The School for Scandal; Hands on a Hardbody; The Three Little Pigs
  • 2016-17: The Scarlet Pimpernel; The House of Bernarda Alba; Rumors; A Chorus Line; Wiley and the Hairy Man
  • 2015-16: Oklahoma!; Equus; Faust(US); Assassins; The Adventures of Pinocchio
  • 2014-15: The Life; The Liar; A Doll's House; She Loves Me; Pinkalicious the Musical
  • 2013-14: CARRIE the musical; Blithe Spirit; Under Milk Wood; Sweet Charity; Freckleface Strawberry

Theatre Program Partner - Synergy on Stage

Synergy On Stage is a dynamic company based in the Metro-Detroit area specializing in entertainment interpreting. They incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) enhancement into several Oakland University theatre productions, creating an unforgettable event for both Deaf and hearing audiences.

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