Kate Arecchi discusses the details of JMU Theatre and Dance.

You are invited to join us for these livestream events!

Wednesday, April 15

  • Noon YouTube - Dance Student Q&A (recorded)
  • 6 p.m. YouTube - Theatre/Musical Theatre Q&A (recorded)

Theatre and Dance Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the School of Theatre and Dance?

Approximately 280 total majors, and 100 minors; with approximately 150 Theatre majors, 80 Dance majors, 50 Musical Theatre majors, and minors in Dance and Theatre. Most major classes range from 10 to 20 students per class.

How is a B.A. program different from a B.F.A. program?

The School of Theatre and Dance offers B.A. degrees in Theatre, Musical Theatre, and Dance.  We do not offer B.F.A. degrees. Our accrediting agencies have called our majors “intensive B.A.s,” meaning that we combine a liberal arts education with pre-professional artistic training. We feel strongly that undergraduate years are best balanced between skill development in your major and obtaining a broad base of knowledge about the world in which we live, and reflect as artists.

How many productions do you do?

Each year we produce three plays, two musicals and three dance concerts on our mainstage season;  five to eight student-produced full-length plays, musicals, or devised work in the Studio Theatre; three student-produced full-length dance concerts and two student choreography showings in the Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre; and eight to 10 staged readings of original student work in our workshop season.

Can I be cast in dance or theatre productions as a first-year student?

Yes. Any JMU student (including first-year students) can audition for theatre and musical theatre productions, including mainstage, studio, and workshop productions. In addition, first-year Dance majors are required to perform in the Student Dance Concerts in the fall and spring and can audition for student choreographers (showcasing in the spring Student Dance Concert) and some guest artist work. Any first-year Dance major may also audition their own choreography for the Student Dance Concert.

If I am a Theatre, Musical Theatre, or Dance Major, can I take courses in any of the other two majors?

Yes. Our curriculum is designed for students to take courses across disciplines. Upper-level major courses may also be taken on a skill and space-available basis. Majors may also minor in another School of Theatre and Dance program.

Is it possible to double major?

Yes. Some double majors, such as English, Kinesiology, or Media Arts and Design, are easier to complete in four years. More credit intensive double majors, such as Business, may require more than four years.

Can I study abroad?

Absolutely. The Center for Global Engagement at James Madison University offers a variety of study abroad opportunities during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

As a Theatre Major, can I specialize?

Yes. As a Theatre major, you may choose to interview/audition for a “concentration” in the spring of your sophomore year. Theatre offers four concentrations: Performance, Design and Technology, Theatre Studies, and Theatre Education (with or without Licensure). You can audition/interview for and be accepted into multiple concentrations.  Concentrations are not required.

Do you have a Senior Showcase for Theatre and Musical Theatre Majors?

Yes.  We produce both New York City and a Washington, D.C. Senior Showcases every spring.  In Washington D.C., Musical Theatre majors and Theatre majors from all specialty areas (including performance, design, technology, dramaturgy, arts management, theatre education, among others) have the opportunity to participate. The New York City Showcase is for Musical Theatre majors and Performance concentrators only. (Senior Showcase )

What are your graduates doing?

Our alumni are successfully working in the professional Theatre, Musical Theatre, Film, and Dance worlds upon graduation. We have strong alumni networks in Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, among others. Alumni are currently working on Broadway, in national tours, regional theatre, professional dance companies, cruise ships, and the film/TV industry.

Have a question that's not listed above? Ask us!

Forbes Center for the Performing Arts

This Forbes Center for the Performing Arts tour was produced by Richard Finkelstein, Associate Professor of Theatre: Set and Light Design

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