The Department of Theatre and Dance at NMU plays a vital role in the cultural life of the Upper Peninsula through:

  1. Creating theatrical and dance productions of the highest standard which explore and illuminate the human condition;
  2. Providing artistic training and experience for a diverse group of university theatre and dance students;
  3. Providing educational programs for our audiences;
  4. Providing the community with the resources and consulting skills of the theatre and dance faculty;
  5. Providing the opportunity for the Marquette community to participate in theatrical and dance productions.


Guiding Principles

We believe theatre and dance, at their best, illuminate the human condition.

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Northern Michigan University prides itself on its national reputation as an outstanding undergraduate theatre and dance program. As such, our productions are staged as creatively and boldly as resources permit and under no circumstances will we compromise the present level of artistic standards. Instead, every effort will be made to enhance quality.

We create musicals, plays, dance compositions, and experiences, not simply produce them, and place a high value on originality and innovation.

The theatre is an art that is most effective when it asks provocative and essential questions about the human condition rather than attempting to provide specific solutions or answers. With this in mind, our work is not biased toward any particular political, theological, or aesthetic point of view.

Classical works that allow all of us to re-examine our cultural, moral, and aesthetic heritage are an essential component of our work. We believe that realizing the true power of these works requires continual creative and scholarly re-examination, led by the artistry of forward-thinking directors working with innovative designers.

The future of the American theatre depends largely upon the development of the American playwright and choreographer and we encourage the creation of new works through our annual playwriting award competition. The NMU Theatre and Dance faculty actively keeps abreast of new work produced within the non-profit and commercial theatre and we mount productions of the most entertaining, provocative, and educational new plays and dance compositions.

We are committed first and foremost to our students, the individuals evolving into true theatre and dance artists. As such, we select plays and compositions that give our student artists the opportunity to work with the kind of material they will encounter should they embark upon a professional theatre or dance career. We endeavor to present as wide a range of theatre and dance styles, periods, and genres as possible at Northern Michigan University.