Dakota Wesleyan University provides the only Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program offered by a private institution in the state of South Dakota. The BFA in theatre at DWU is a program that consists of practical studio courses, contrasted with lecture and discussion classes. The DWU Bachelor of Fine Arts program consists of two-thirds study in the art of theatre, with a one-third study in more general liberal arts courses; with a simple B.A. in theatre offered by other institutions, the ratio might be reversed.
As both an academic program and theatrical production company, theatre students can find themselves in an environment where they can feel safe and secure while exploring their talent for theatre. Under the supervision of DWU's theatre faculty, participants will explore the numerous genres, styles and approaches to theatrical productions. Students will prepare themselves for graduate programs, employment opportunities or, at least, will become culturally savvy individuals ready to take on the local community theatre.
Auditions for all public performances presented by the DWU theatre department are open to all full-time and part-time students, as well as staff, faculty and the community of Mitchell, S.D.
Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Participation
Each year the Dakota Wesleyan University Department of Theatre participates in the American College Theatre Festival sponsored by the Kennedy Center. At this festival, DWU theatre students compete for scholarships and showcase their talents as actors, directors, technicians and designers. Students also make professional contacts and audition for summer repertory theatres across the nation. Each year, the DWU theatre department enters shows for adjudication and possible performances at the festival
Internships are available in the theatre program during a student’s junior or senior year. This working experience gives students career opportunities and academic credit. Sites chosen for internships are based on a student’s interests and consultation with the department head.
Professional Field Study
Every other summer BFA students travel to New York or London, England, and spend two to three weeks participating in professional workshops and attending professional theatre productions. They keep daily journals or blogs of their experiences, and upon their return give a presentation to the university community.