Theatre Arts

Do you like to act, tell stories, and share culture with others? Consider majoring in theatre arts at Dordt.

As a major in theatre arts, you will not only learn the technical skills necessary for the industry, but you will have the chance to actively be part of the stage production process. You can choose a focus such as acting and directing, design and technical, playwriting, drama ministry, and theatre management.

At Dordt, you will learn how to glorify God through a career in theatre, using the platform as an opportunity to show Christ in today’s culture.

 

Program Options

Dordt is among a handful of Christian colleges with a stand-alone theatre arts department. We offer options for those who wish to prepare for a professional career in theatre, learn to teach theatre skills, or use their experience of this vital art form to develop skills that will lead to a job in another field. Whether you wish to be a theatre major or minor—or simply to broaden your liberal arts background—we have something for you. 

As a Dordt theatre student you will quickly become part of the stage production process. You’ll be mentored by faculty and fellow students as you learn the fundamentals of theatre. As part of a collaborative team that prays and works together to create performance art, you will learn to care about theatre as a gift from God that engages our community, critically examines our culture, affirms our humanity, and clarifies our beliefs.

Auditions are open to all students, so you will work closely with people whose backgrounds and interests differ from your own. In the intensity of the work, a new community is forged with each production. 

We have been invited to perform whole and partial productions at the annual regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. One-person shows, sets, costumes, and original music compositions have received awards, and our students have advanced to the finals in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. 

We offer emphases in:

  • Acting/directing
  • Design and technical theatre
  • Dramaturgy/playwriting
  • Drama ministry
  • Theatre management 

OPPORTUNITIES

You'll have many opportunities to get involved, even in your first year on campus. You will be able to audition for four to eight performances a year that require actors and technical crews. American College Theater Festival representatives respond to each performance, giving our students the opportunity to advance to regional and national competition.

Our students have choreographed dance concerts, led children's drama workshops, organized storytelling sessions, and directed middle and high school productions. They have taken internships at the Guthrie and CLIMB theatres in Minneapolis, the Santa Fe Opera, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, and more.

At the High School One Act Festival, our students work with high school students from across the nation who come to perform their plays. Dordt students also perform and help lead workshops and discussions about dramaturgy, directing, technical theatre, and other aspects of theatre.

You will learn hands-on skills by working in the scene shop, costume shop, and box office. Many of these are student employment positions, allowing you to get paid while learning valuable skills.

Resources

  • The New World Theatre located in the Ribbens Academic Complex on Dordt's campus is a black box performance space with a recently upgraded lighting and sound system. It is used for rehearsals, experimental pieces, student-directed productions, and more intimate main stage shows.
  • The Te Paske Theatre is a 514-seat, modified thrust stage located in the Sioux Center High School, two blocks north of the main campus entrance. This theatre is used for most main stage shows. It was completely renovated in 2009 and the lighting and sound system has recently been updated.
  • Dordt has a large, well-equipped 1,700-square-foot scene shop where the sets for all of our productions are constructed. We also operate a very busy costume shop where costumes are designed and created. Costumes are available to students and the community for a small rental fee.
  • Both the scene shop and the costume shop employ student workers to complete projects, offering students hands-on experience. Dordt students with building, painting or sewing experience may apply for a workstudy position.

Learn More

Check out our program strengths.

Dr. Teresa Ter Haar

Dr. Teresa Ter Haar
Professor of Theatre Arts
Department Chair

CL 1421
(712) 722-6207
Teresa.TerHaar@dordt.edu

Laura Andersen

Laura Andersen
Technical Director/Technical Theatre Instructor

CL 1419
(712) 722-6209
Laura.Andersen@dordt.edu

Robin Suing

Robin Suing
Theatre Arts Department Assistant

CL CL1417
(712) 722-6208
Robin.Suing@dordt.edu