Theatre and Performing Arts Degree Requirements

Theatre and Performing Arts Degree Requirements

The Crucible Spring Show

The Theatre and Performing Arts program at Iowa State University offers a flexible, interdisciplinary curriculum with focuses on undergraduate experiences, high impact learning, collaboration, and exceptional professional preparation. The program impacts students from various majors across our productions, classes, and studios. It offers a wide variety of courses to support student's individual interests and specializations. 

people on stage posing

Performing Arts Major

Students interested in theatre as a major can expect a cross-disciplinary core with courses across three categories: theatre, music, and dance. In addition, students select an emphasis in theatrical design, theatre studies, musical theatre, or acting/directing. 

Students undergo professional development through required internships, gaining practical understanding of the field. ISU Theatre concentrates on undergraduate student artists, providing production opportunities throughout the academic year in diverse venues. 

Why choose a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts


Performing Arts Minor

Requirements for a performing arts minor include 15 credits of either theatre or performing arts courses and must include 3 semesters of Performing Arts Seminars (PERF 1050), Introduction to Theatrical Production (THTRE 2550), and Script Analysis (THTRE 2630). For the full list of requirements, view the Theatre and performing Arts catalog.

Emily Oldham
My favorite thing about my time at Iowa State is how widespread my theatre experience has been... The variety of productions I have stage managed with ISU Theatre and the department's faculty support makes me feel prepared to take on exciting and varied works in the professional world.
Emily Oldham, Industrial Engineering and Performing Arts with an emphasis in Technical Design

Announcing ISU Theatre's Latest Season

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.”

Theatre Season


Review this season's shows and discover our playgoer's guide for a deeper dive into each performance.

Join a Show


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.

Backstage Work

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.  

Interested in helping backstage? Enroll in THTRE 2500 to receive hands-on experience in Theatre production while earning one hour of credit. Student employee positions are also available in the Scene Shop, Electrics, and Costume Shop.

Learn more about backstage work

ISU Theatre Season Selection

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
  • 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. Fin Instructions in the project proposal form below.

Season Project Proposal Form

ISU Theatre CoLab Initiative

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. 

Learn more about ISU Theatre's CoLab partnerships


Brad Dell
Chair of Department of Music and Theatre

Ready to join the Department of Music and Theatre?