Contact Information

Address:  214 Russell Thomas Fine Arts Building
Phone:  906-227-2553
Fax:  906-227-2071
Department Email:

Theatre and Dance at NMU

NMU’s Theatre and Dance program offers extensive onstage, offstage, and behind the curtain training. The range of experiences to which students are exposed is vast, creating the kind of well-rounded theatre and dance artist that is necessary in today’s field. Opportunities for participation in these programs begin in the freshman year. The department presents six mainstage productions each season in two different theaters, which often feature student designs in set, costumes, lighting, and sound. Students have the chance to work in both the proscenium Forest Roberts Theatre and the intimate James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre. NMU Theatre and Dance also hosts a bi-annual playwriting contest, the Mildred and Albert Panowski Playwriting Award, and is home to the North Coast Theatre and Dance Festival, our summer stock theatre and dance company.


Forest Roberts Theatre

Our mainstage theater, the Forest Roberts Theatre, is one of the finest university theaters in the country. It accommodates 515 people in a continental seating arrangement. Boasting computerized lighting control and an upgraded sound system, it also has its own scene and electrical shops, as well as state of the art costume facilities and dressing rooms. Experimental theatre space in the McClintock Building is home to numerous student-directed productions as well as many performance classes.


Getting Involved

In the NMU Department of Theatre and Dance, majors and minors, as well as other students interested in theatre and dance, have plenty of opportunities to perform on stage as well as make the magic happen behind the scenes. Whether in major stage productions, intimate Black Box plays or class projects, every aspect is student-focused. The theatre and dance community is Marquette is strong and supportive, with plenty of opportunities for students to be involved both on and off campus. Find yourself creating technical spectacles on one of the many NMU Theatre and Dance shows, CO/LAB COLLECTIVE, or working with Superior Arts Youth Theatre.

Involvement in the NMU Theatre and Dance department entails direct hands on experience in acting, costuming skills, stage management, properties design, lighting design and even theatre marketing.


Department/Program Policies

Theatre and Entertainment Arts Majors
Each semester all theatre and entertainment arts majors are required to participate in a jury presentation scheduled and critiqued by the theatre faculty. Juries are evaluated on a “pass/fail” basis; the evaluations are not reflected in students’ academic transcripts. Students who fail two consecutive theatre juries at a given level may be dropped from the major.

Transfer students who wish to major in theatre and entertainment arts must receive credit for at least sixteen hours of academic work in the theatre and entertainment arts area at NMU unless a waiver is approved by the student’s adviser and department head.

All theatre and entertainment arts majors are required to have at least one field studies experience as part of their degree program. Only the New York Field Studies, the Stratford Summer Tour or a comparable substitute approved by theatre faculty will fulfill this requirement.


Bulletin Year: 2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Bulletin