The department of theatre and dance is nationally recognized as a leader in the performing arts. Our outstanding faculty attract some of the nation’s most talented students to our programs, which include degrees in acting; costume design and production; scenic, lighting and sound design as well as technical direction, musical theatre, directing, and dance performance. Students audition for their place in these programs and perform in as many as eight major theatre productions, six major dance productions, the month-long SummerTide Theatre in Gulf Shores, and a number of one-time performances ranging from full-scale roadhouse productions in major Alabama cities to Off Broadway shows in New York each year.

In the spring of 2016, the department staged the premiere of the new American musical The Countess of Storyville in cooperation with Tony Award-winning producer Margot Astrachan. Countess will be produced next at the Pasadena Playhouse, and if all goes well, the musical will go on to Broadway. Since 1997, UA has hosted the American Ballet Summer Intensive each year. The intensive brings dancers from American Ballet Theatre and approximately 190 students from across the country to campus for three weeks of professional ballet training. UA was the first university site for the program, which has grown nationwide.

Graduates from UA’s department of theatre and dance hold prestigious positions throughout the arts world—from Broadway to highly-rated national television productions to major ballet companies. Norbert Leo Butz, a two-time Tony Award winner, regularly appears on Broadway and television, along with two-time Emmy winner Michael Emerson. Casey Reitz is the executive director of the Second Stage Theatre Company, the largest nonprofit theatre in New York, and owner of the Helen Hayes Theatre. Jake Boyd, Nick Burroughs, Stephen Williams, and Michael Luwoye have all appeared on Broadway in recent years. Sonequa Martin Green stars in The Walking Dead.

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A play being performed with many people in coats hauling suitcases about.
Three male dancers with one leaping high into the air.
A lady in glasses twirling.
A scene from Swan Lake with lots of ballarina's in a formation.
A group of ballet dancers in varying poses.
A woman in a wheelchair and another sitting on a coutch in a play.
Two ballet dancers against a purple background.
A large cast arranged across the stage with an iron work balcony.