Learn the vocabularies of our disciplines, take master classes with distinguished artists, and become part of a vibrant arts community.
Rehearse for your life. Studying theater and dance prepares performers, directors, choreographers, designers, researchers, technicians, and playwrights for careers in the arts, but that’s not all. By taking our courses and working closely with classmates on all aspects of productions, students also learn valuable skills of collaboration, teamwork, listening, and observation that can be applied to many different careers and professions.
Opened in January 2019, Macalester’s new theater and dance building features 11 flexible and modern classrooms; a large performance space with hinged galleries that can create different seating and performance configurations for each production; an expanded costume shop; and a 2,400-square-foot dance studio.
Why study theater and dance at Macalester?
For students interested in the arts, our facilities and urban location are unparalleled. The Twin Cities have the second highest number of theater companies per capita in the United States, after New York. Attending performances is integrated into our curriculum. Students regularly attend on-and off-campus theater and dance productions at nationally recognized LORT theaters such as the Guthrie; the Cowles Center for Dance and Theatre; Penumbra Theatre; Ananya Dance Theatre; Jungle Theater; James Sewell Ballet; Mixed Blood Theatre, as well as many other venues throughout the community. There are also ample opportunities to explore music, visual art, and other performances at concert halls and museums that will fuel your own artistic development.
Our cross-disciplinary degree will challenge you and expose you to many different people and ideas. With mentorship from expert faculty members and visiting artists, you will learn the nuts and bolts of our disciplines in studio classes, while also delving into academic topics like gender and race theory in performance that will help you bring to life what’s next in theater and dance. Collaboration is part of our DNA. Each spring, students in lighting, costuming, directing, acting, and dancing studio courses collaborate on public performances.
Life after Macalester
- Penumbra Theatre
- Children's Theatre Co., Minneapolis
- Teatro del Pueblo
- St. Paul Public Schools/Theater Arts Classroom
- Stages Theatre Company
- Ananya Dance Theater
- Crash Dance Productions
- Mixed Blood
- Fredrickson Learning
- Kidzu Children's Museum
- Lowes Foods
- Missoula Children's Theatre
- Open Eye Figure Theatre
- Project Success
- Science Museum of Minnesota
- Selfie and Co.
- The Cedar Cultural Center
- William Morris Endeavor
- Yale School of Drama
- University of California/Berkeley
- University of California/San Diego
- University of Indiana
- American Conservatory Theater/San Francisco
- University of California/Irvine
- Columbia University
- Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre
- University of Washington
- UCLA World Arts & Cultures
- Louisiana State University
- University of Minnesota
- Arizona State University
- Trinity College Dublin
- NYU Tisch School of the Arts
- City University of New York Hunter College
- Florida State University
- University of Hamburg
- University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill
- Utrecht University
Theater and dance in the cities
Number of theater venues in the Twin Cities, from the Fringe Festival to the Guthrie.
Theater and dance students intern as assistant directors and designers, actors, dancers, dramaturgs, and arts administrators at dance and theater companies throughout the community.
National touring companies like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and American Ballet Theatre often perform during the Northrop dance season at the University of Minnesota, just 5.4 miles from campus.
Join our community
- Evenings out. Twice a semester, our entire department attends a performance together at a local theater or dance space to support fellow artists and get to know each other better.
- Visiting inspiration. Local and nationally recognized dance and theater artists regularly visit Macalester to work with students, give lectures, and perform.
- Ad hoc adventures. Our students are active in the arts community and regularly organize casual outings to performances and exhibitions at theaters, galleries, and studios across the Twin Cities.