About Theatre & Dance

Theatre and Dance at Minnesota State University, Mankato is dedicated to two primary goals. The first is to provide students with high caliber training in theatre and dance that prepares them to create theatre of any kind at any level. The second is to provide Southern Minnesota with a multifaceted, high quality theatrical experience. These goals interweave to provide entertainment and education to those on both sides of the curtain.

About our program:
The Theatre and Dance programs are strongly committed to students and audiences. The programs offer the student an array of theatrical and dance opportunities exploring a wide range of dramatic literature and movement possibilities in three performance venues. Based upon a strong academic foundation, bolstered by a strong appreciation of the liberal arts, Theatre and Dance literally allows students the opportunity to put their lessons into practice. This is done with the outstanding support of the local community. Over 35,000 patrons witness, support, and enjoy the Department's offerings each year, ranking it in the nation's top one percent of colleges in theatre attendance.

our vision Statement: 

To imagine 21st century theatre and dance as powerfully resonant mediums that provoke change, engender artistic excellence, serve our students and community with educational and creative vision, commit to advancing racial and gender equity, and embrace inclusion throughout all of our practices.

Our Mission Statement:
The Minnesota State University, Mankato Theatre and Dance programs are  dedicated to three primary goals: to provide students with the highest caliber of preparation in theatre and dance; to cultivate student’s social awareness and responsibility relative to equity and inclusion as they pertain to race, gender, and ability; and, to provide the southern Minnesota region with a multi-faceted, high quality theatrical and dance experience.  

To accomplish this mission: 

  • we engage students in meaningful practice and help them develop competencies in their chosen discipline, as well interdisciplinary applications; 
  • we balance student’s practical training with theoretical knowledge to prepare them for varied careers in the performing arts: as performers, choreographers, designers, technicians, educators, art administrators, among others;  
  • we help students realize the importance of life long learning and recognize the interrelatedness of knowledge in the diverse and complex, global society in which they live; 
  • and, we offer southern Minnesota regional audiences with entertaining and thought-provoking productions.

Production Schedule:
We present five major theatrical productions in our Mainstage Season. These productions (three shows, usually two musicals and a combination of classic, comedic and dramatic shows) are divided between the Ted Paul Theatre and the Andreas Theatre. Four smaller studio shows, selected and produced by students (with faculty advice), are presented in the Andreas Theatre. ETC Theatre is an "open stage" with up to 20 minor offerings each year. We also offer two dance concerts each academic semester in the Ted Paul Theatre. Read more about our venues.

Although the department’s Mainstage Season puts on shows that are appropriate for the whole family, most are not recommended for children under the age of five. Our studio shows are for mature audiences.

Highland Summer Theatre is our professional summer stock theatre specializing in light entertainment. Two productions are presented within a nine-week period of time using professional actors and students making their professional debuts.

Ted Paul, the "founding father" of the Theatre program And florence Cobb, the "founding mother" of the dance program:
Read more about how Ted Paul and Florence Cobb impacted our University, students, and the community.