Feb 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Theatre and Dance

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Dr. Karin Tollefson-Hall, Interim School Director
Phone: (540) 568-4304
Email: tollefkl@jmu.edu
Location: Forbes Center for the Performing Arts
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/theatredance

D. Beck, R. Graciani, S. Miller-Corso, S. O’Hara

Associate Professors
K. Arecchi, E. Becher-McKeever, J. Burgess, R. Corriston, I. De Sanctis, Z. Dorsey, R. Finkelstein, B. Lambert, K. Sherrill, B. Smallwood

Assistant Professors
J. Brent, J. Del Vecchio, M. Pardo, T. Twining, E. Vasta, E. Wislar


The School of Theatre and Dance is rooted in the belief that the relevant artist is the thinking artist who couples the mastery and embodiment of concrete skills with knowledge of and sensitivity to the cultural environments of ideas, artistic forms and other persons. The school trains and educates artists, scholars and teachers in the rich traditions and current practices of dance, theatre and musical theatre. The school’s programs blend liberal arts education and critical thinking with intensive pre-professional training and practice. Faculty foster an environment that values and cultivates creative, passionate, disciplined, curious, innovative, engaged, articulate, collaborative and independent-thinking artists and scholars. Committed to a teaching approach that emphasizes mentorship and individual attention to students, faculty members of the school empower students in the development of their own personal strengths, provide them with tools and opportunities to realize their potential, and equip them for successful work in professional environments, graduate programs and to be lifelong learners.


To realize this mission, the School of Theatre and Dance strives to:

  • Develop in students the ability to work productively and sensitively in creative and collaborative processes.
  • Offer multiple opportunities for students to self-initiate and self-produce work in a context supportive of experimentation.
  • Produce performances and creative experiences of high quality.
  • Present performances by and learning experiences with visiting artists.
  • Motivate students to take active responsibility for their work, processes and careers.
  • Promote, support and enable faculty professional development so that teachers continue to provide the education for students that only growing, current and active creative artists and scholars can provide.
  • Inspire and prepare students to be advocates for the arts.
  • Foster an understanding of the roles of the artist and the arts in society.
  • Advance dynamic partnerships with diverse communities.

Career Opportunities

For information about career opportunities in theatre, dance and musical theatre, contact the appropriate coordinator:

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

The School of Theatre and Dance offers a number of co-curricular activities and organizations. They allow students to apply and experiment with the theories they learn in the classroom and gain practical experience in their field.

  • Alpha Psi Omega
  • Associate Dance Ensemble
  • Madison New Works Lab
  • Contemporary Dance Ensemble
  • Dance Studio Productions
  • Dance Theatre
  • Studio Theatre Productions
  • Experimental Series Productions
  • Workshop Productions
  • Mainstage Productions
  • National Honor Society for Dance Arts
  • Stratford Players
  • Virginia Repertory Dance Company
  • USITT Student Chapter
  • Weird Cousins Improv Group

Special Admission and Retention Requirements

Admission to the dance, theatre, and musical theatre majors are competitive and an audition/interview is required. Please see the School of Theatre and Dance website for more information: https://www.jmu.edu/theatredance/apply/index.shtml.

All School of Theatre and Dance majors must complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree, and must complete the General Education program. Theatre/Musical Theatre majors cannot take THEA 210. Introduction to Theatre [C2VPA]  to meet the visual and performing arts requirements. Courses from other academic units may not be counted both for the School of Theatre and Dance majors and for another major. A grade of “C” or better must be achieved in all courses that apply to a major in the School of Theatre and Dance.


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