Performance & Practice

Welcome to the Acting and Directing programs at the University of Montana! Here students can pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in various areas of Theatre.  Our curriculum includes classes in Directing, Voice for the Stage, Physical Performance, Theatre History, Performance Theory, Drama Education, Playwriting, and all levels and traditions of Acting, including Shakespeare, acting for the camera, and contemporary approaches.  We also offer many special topics courses designed to suit the needs of our current students. Check out our degree offerings under Degrees and Academics at the tab on the left to find out more about our programs.

With an average student to teacher ratio of 10-1, our small classes, faculty expertise and commitment, and individualized attention help make us the premier Theatre School in the Pacific Northwest. Alumni from our program have gone onto perform and direct on and off Broadway, in films, television and radio, at prestigious regional theatres, and internationally.  Our graduates have gone into careers in other areas as well including business, law, medicine, education, engineering, and environmental and political science. From working on main-stage theatre productions to being involved with filmmaking projects, to writing and directing short plays for the University Player’s festivals, our students participate in numerous activities each semester.

Our programs and classes offer you the opportunity to learn more about, and excel in the performing arts and they also teach life skills that will help you succeed in other endeavors. Our degrees help you explore yourself, your society, and your world and teach collaboration, problem solving, and innovative thinking. There has never been a better time to earn a degree in Theatre and we would love to guide you through that journey!  Email or call us for more information about how you can become a part of our community.

John Kenneth DeBoer – Head of Performance & Practice


Mainstage Season
The School of Theatre & Dance produces five mainstage plays each year as part of the School's mainstage season that includes one or two dance concerts and Montana Rep's national touring production. From the contemporary to the classical, from original works to award-winning musicals, our productions offer the very best in the Rocky Mountain region. Auditions for these productions are almost always open to anyone, with preference given to students whenever possible. BFA and MFA actors are required to play a number of roles as part of their studies.

Studio Shows
From time to time, faculty, grad students, and guest directors work with actors on projects open to the public in a less-structured format than a mainstage-season show.

University Players
Developed and run by students in our program, the University Players produces two shows annually, offers student delivered workshops and readings, and houses an improvisational group.

Media Arts Films

Students have the opportunity to be cast in The School of Media Arts undergraduate and graduate student films, commercials, and animated projects throughout the academic year. These opportunities provide authentic experience working with the camera and leave actors with the beginning material for a film reel.

Service Learning and Community Initiatives

We offer a great deal of service learning opportunities. From community based projects, to teaching and performing in local schools, to role play exercises with businesses and special interest groups, our students can choose from a variety of experiences designed to offer experiential learning and community service. 

International Programs
Through our association with the Office of International Programs and our partner schools abroad, students can take advantage of many international opportunities, from short intensives to a semester or year of international study.

International Programs
Through our association with the Office of International Programs and our partner schools abroad, students can take advantage of many international opportunities, from short intensives to a semester or year of international study.

Montana Repertory Theatre

Montana Repertory Theatre is the professional theatre-in-residence at the University of Montana. It provides professional opportunities for the students through the following programs: the National Tour; the statewide Educational Outreach tour; Missoula Colony, an annual “gathering of artists in support of the writer’s craft;” and Five on Five Play Slam and Four for Four Episode Slam, local writing series. Montana Rep works under an agreement with Actors' Equity Association, (the professional actors' union), and the National New Play Network, developing a new generation of playwrights for the American stage, and is a member of The Theatre Communications Group (TCG).

Professionals Weekend
Professionals Weekend, which occurs a weekend or two prior to the beginning of Spring Term (or sometimes the first weekend of Spring Term), is a chance for actors and designers/technicians to seek summer work and an opportunity for our faculty and staff to network with area professionals. Invitations are extended to most of the state and region’s professional theatre artists representing over two dozen entities; fifteen companies attend on average each year. Typically, offers for summer employment are made to more than 30 student actors, designers, or technicians after each PW. As part of their training, all BFA and MFA theatre students are required to audition and interview at Professionals Weekend, even if they are not seeking summer employment.