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Letter from the Director

We are committed to providing inclusive, collaborative and innovative education for our students. Our teaching artists, scholars and alumni work locally, nationally and internationally to advance and transform the research and practice of the performing arts and connect art to the world.

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies undergraduate and graduate programs rank among the top in the country. We serve as a national model for an education that provides a dense and deeply complex ecosystem, fully preparing students for the professional world—whether they pursue careers in the performing arts or apply their knowledge and skills to industries outside of the arts after graduation.

Our values and training in leadership, intellectual curiosity, creative thinking and problem-solving prepare our students for any career path. Our nationally and internationally recognized faculty contribute to a learning environment that reveals theater and dance as powerful collaborative art forms through artistic and scholarly practice. We encourage our faculty to cultivate imagination and transformation in the classroom, rehearsal studio and on stage. Their work as professionally recognized directors, choreographers, actors and designers crosses over into their work with the students in the school, just as their scholarly research and teaching informs their work in the professional world.

Please browse our website to learn more about our academic programs and join us for our upcoming Main Season, student produced Second Season and our other performance events. Whatever your interest in the performing arts—as a prospective student, collaborator or audience member—we invite you to become a part of our rigorous and joyful artistic and scholarly community.


Leigh Wilson Smiley, Director
School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies