Theatre & Dance at the University at Buffalo engages emerging artists, scholars, and audiences dedicated to sustaining and innovating the performing arts across disciplines. Our diverse programs integrate
rigorous training, critical understanding, and impassioned creation supported by close faculty mentorship and developed in collaboration with internationally recognized guest artists.
Learning within conservatory style courses and grounded in the liberal arts, students acquire the essential skills for effective communication, collaborative problem-solving, and critical perspective in an increasingly
diverse and interconnected world.
The Department's production season of fully produced plays, musicals, dance concerts, and experimental performance work is integral to the training of new artists and provides an essential cultural resource for
the larger campus community.
About Our Facilities
University at Buffalo's Theatre & Dance department utilizes three performance spaces including a flexible black box theatre and two distinct performance venues. With a rehearsal workshop space, numerous dance studios, scene and costume shops, a craft
room and a design suite, UB boasts an array of resources for both classroom training and practical preparation for productions.
The Center for the Arts (CFA) benefits UB students who use its outstanding public performance and exhibition facilities. Within the CFA, students from the Department of Theatre & Dance directly benefit from
the use of:
The Drama Theatre: a 388-seat theatre that is the venue for most of our fully produced shows, from large-scale dramas to Broadway musicals to performances by Zodiaque, the department's dance company.
The Black Box Theatre: a flexible space that can be configured in a variety of ways with seating of 100-120. This is where the department produces and supports several smaller-scale productions and workshops
each season in this flexible black box theatre.
Rehearsal Workshop: a mirror image of the Black Box Theatre, our rehearsal workshop is used for acting classes and as a rehearsal room for departmental productions
Dance Studios: two spacious studios used for classes and rehearsals. Dance studios are spacious with Marley covered maple wood floors engineered for maximum resiliency, twelve-foot mirrors, upper-level observation
spaces, and specially designed sound systems.
Students also use the Katherine Cornell Theatre (KCT), a flexible performance space housed in the Ellicott Complex on UB's North Campus. This space functions as a rehearsal space, performance space, and the Graduate
Student Studio. Theatre majors are eligible to apply to use the space for original student-created shows with generous financial support from THD alumni.
Alumni Arena, adjacent to the Center for the Arts, also includes:
The Design Suite, which includes a drafting studio, lighting lab and a ten-seat computer lab with design software, including Vectorworks, WYSIWIG, and Adobe Photoshop
Two additional classroom and rehearsal spaces
A departmentally run seminar room for lectures
Department and Faculty Offices
About Our Courses
The typical class size for:
Freshman/introductory courses is: 20-50
Sophomore/intermediate courses is: 16-35
Upper level/advanced courses is: 10-20
Our curriculum is largely structured around sequential progression through our required performance and design courses, with successful completion of the previous level necessary in order to stay on track toward your
degree. With this in mind we generally do not allow for courses to be taken out of sequence, nor do we typically place students out of any courses.
Composed of active theatre professionals and internationally recognized scholars, UB's Theatre and Dance Faculty is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre and dance artists, teachers, and supporters.
Our theatre faculty have extensive professional experience that includes directing, designing, dramaturgy, and acting on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, Hollywood films, and in major North America theaters,
Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities
Performance and production are essential parts of the curriculum, providing hands-on learning experiences for students in every area.
The Theatre & Dance department produces eight shows a year including two musicals, two theatrical productions, and four dance concerts by the Zodiaque Dance company, Zodiaque Dance Ensemble, and Emerging
Choreographers Showcase, in addition to numerous student-led productions throughout the year. Students can begin performing as early as their second semester Freshman year, and Design & Technology students can begin
working on productions their first semester at UB.
Special Majors, Double Majors, and Joint Majors
Students can design their major to fit their specific needs. As a liberal arts degree, the BA in Theatre offers the most flexibility in course requirements. Students may complete their BA Theatre degree in one
or more of the following areas: acting, design, technology, directing, dramaturgy, history, and dramatic literature.
Many of the courses in Theatre fulfill the General Education requirements and can be combined easily with other degree programs such as:
honors State University of New York students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement,
community service or creative and performing arts.
College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior Award
annually, honors the best senior graduating from each department in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) with the "Dean's Outstanding Senior Award". The selection criteria are:
Demonstrated academic excellence exemplified by an exceptional grade point average
Election to honor societies
Participation in research
Other academic achievements selected by the department
Perry Watkins Scholarship for African Americans is available to African American freshman students majoring in design/technology. Auditions, portfolios, and a personal interview are required for all scholarships.
The Guild is a theatre-oriented group managed entirely by students. It hosts opening night receptions, organizes group attendance at local theatre and performance events, and supports original students
work. The student representatives from this group also function as the liaison among department faculty, staff, and students.
Dancers Workshop, a student-run organization, also generates a production annually. Workshop advisors are members of the faculty. The Guild, a student theatre and dance organization, develops and supports student-directed
From the Wings is a student organization that offers non-credit performance opportunities for music theatre majors and others in the department with an interest in musical theatre performance. Music
Theatre faculty serve as advisors and mentors for this group.
Under faculty guidance, students participate in a number of professional development opportunities including the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology
Conference. They participate in a host of programs through the Department's International Artistic & Cultural Exchange Program.
Paid technical assistant positions are available with the Center for the Arts Production Department. To apply, please call (716) 645-6926.