Theatre and Dance

Mission, Goals and Objectives


The Department of Theatre and Dance is a community of professional artists, scholars, and educators who value and practice the most collaborative art forms—art forms that explore the human condition, stimulate and engage our audience, and connect to a global, diverse community. Our standard of excellence demands the celebration of individuality within the collaborative process, empowering the student to begin a lifelong career of artistic risk-taking and self-discovery. These commitments are reflected in the curriculum and the multitude of opportunities we provide for students to develop skills and apply their craft in the crucible of production.

Goals and Objectives

The goals of the department stem from our departmental mission and the primary values of Western Illinois University: academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth and social responsibility. The primary goal of the department is to develop skilled and creative student artists for future study and for avocational and professional careers in theatre, dance and related arts. These student artists may be actors, actor-singers, dancers, directors, technicians, or designers at the undergraduate or graduate level. To this end, the Department of Theatre and Dance:

  • Develops creativity, artistic skills and professionalism in students through an active production program that melds scholarship and practice;
  • Encourages and develops skills in communication, problem solving, research and effective writing through coursework and application in performance and production;
  • Enables majors and non-majors to expand and perfect their knowledge of the literary, historical and philosophical aspects of theatre and dance by providing a rich curriculum that has both depth and breadth;
  • Fosters students' understanding and appreciation of the arts through general education courses and the production program;
  • Enhances the cultural life of the campus and the region through a diverse and intelligent array of quality theatre, musical theatre, and dance productions;
  • Maintains a faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching, creative/scholarly endeavor, and service to the college, university, community, and the fields of theatre and dance;
  • Supports students and faculty in their professional development and service to the discipline.