ISU Theatre and Performing Arts


Actor and dragon puppet on stage
ISU Theatre's "She Kills Monsters" 2023

The Mission of ISU Theatre and Performing Arts is to empower citizen artistry by engaging students and the community in transformative theatre and performing arts experiences which examine the human condition, encourage lifelong learning, teach artistic skills, prepare professionals, inspire empathy, explore creativity, build relationships, and embrace diversity. Go here to read ISU Theatre's 2018-2021 Vivid Vision.

ISU Theatre offers many ways for all students, majors, non-major, and community members to participate in Theatre and Performing Arts at ISU.


Students interested in theatre as a major area of concentration can declare a major Performing Arts and with an emphasis in Theatrical Design, Theatre Studies, Musical Theatre, or Acting/Directing. Go here to learn more about Theatre and Performing Arts Degree program.


The Department of Music and Theatre offers many scholarship opportunities for students interested in Theatre and Performing Arts. Go here to learn more.


A wide variety of Theatre and Performing Arts courses are offered at ISU, including courses in acting, directing, design, costuming, makeup, dance, and more! Courses are open to all ISU students, regardless of major. Go here to learn more about the Theatre and Performing Arts Courses offered at ISU.

Announcing ISU Theatre's 2023-2024 Season

Check out ISU Theatre's 2023-2024 Season of shows!

ISU Theatre Accessibility Statement: "Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to participate in ISU Theatre events. If you require a reasonable accommodation to do so, please contact ISU Theatre at least one week prior to the event., 515.294.2624.”


Auditions are open to all ISU students, regardless of major.  Theatre offers multiple auditions per year.  Click below to learn more about auditions. Join the Theatre student organization to ensure you receive all the latest information about ushering, backstage opportunities, courses, and auditions.

Theatre Audition Information and Schedule


Sign up to usher for ISU Theatre shows! We use Sign Up Genius, which makes it easy to volunteer. This is a great (free!) way to see shows if you are required to attend performances for a course. It is also an easy way to log service hours for school or an organization. Check back here for usher opportunities throughout the year and join the Theatre student organization to ensure you receive all the latest information about ushering, backstage opportunities, courses, and auditions.

Ushers needed for "The Crucible" and "John Proctor is the Villain" April 18 -28. Please sign up HERE.


BACKSTAGE WORKMan runs sound board in theatre

Interested in stage management, sound operator, wardrobe, light board operator, and more?  Volunteer backstage crew positions are available for all productions and open to all ISU students, regardless of major.  Student employee positions are also available in the Scene Shop, Electrics, and Costume Shop.

Interested in helping backstage? Enroll in THTRE 250 to receive hands-on experience in Theatre production while earning one hour of credit. 

  • Enrollment in THTRE 250 is the preferred method for assisting backstage on ISU Theatre productions.
  • Open to all majors. Requirements: Completion of the Practicum Survey on Canvas indicating your preferred production and role; successful completion of job duties as assigned; attendance to all technical rehearsals, performances, and strikes as required; and completion of a Response Survey on Canvas.
  • Grading is Satisfactory/Fail. One course credit. Repeatable.
  • No traditional class meeting times. All course requirements will typically be fulfilled during a nine to twelve-day period of tech rehearsals, performances, and strike.
  • Production roles include Assistant Stage Manager (runs length of rehearsal process), stage crew, wardrobe crew, light board operator, sound board operator, and additional roles as needed.
  • Read more details here

For student employee positions, please contact the following Technical and Design faculty/staff members depending on your area of interest:

Student employment in Lighting Department - Will Coeur, Production Manager,

Student employment in Scene Shop and Set Construction - Brian Seckfort, Technical Director,

Costume and Makeup Design - Kelly Marie Schaefer, Resident Costume Designer,

Student employment in Costume Shop and Costume Construction - Doris Nash, Costume Shop Supervisor,


Any ISU student, faculty, staff member, or member of the Ames community can submit project proposals for consideration in a future ISU Theatre season. Project proposals can cover a broad array of productions, projects, and other initiatives including (but not limited to): fully produced plays/musicals, play workshops and readings, lectures, guest artists, cross-disciplinary partnerships and projects, or course-related showcases.

Priority consideration for the 2024-25 academic season will be given to proposals received by October 1, 2023.  Proposals will be evaluated based on their match to ISU Theatre’s mission and values as well as match to current and future resources. Instructions and the project proposal form can be found here.


The ISU Theatre CoLab Initiative seeks to foster collaboration and engagement between ISU Theatre and other partnering groups both within ISU’s community and beyond in order to expand opportunities for ISU Theatre students, faculty, and staff, create citizen artistry, and to inspire and be inspired by meaningful public discourse. The CoLab initiative is made possible in part by the Transforming Liberal Arts and Sciences Endowment. Click here to learn more about ISU Theatre's CoLab partnerships!



Contact Brad Dell, Chair of Department of Music and Theatre


Transcript or Alternate URL: 
Promotional video for ISU Theatre.