For Prospective Students

Considering applying to Dartmouth? Curious about how theater might be part of your studies and/or campus life? Read on . . .

Prospective Students

The Department of Theater empowers our students with the critical and creative tools, the artistic courage, and the empathy that are essential to a fulfilling exploration of the world through theater.

Our goal is to forge a strong sense of community based on respect, artistic endeavor, and collaboration, where all Dartmouth students can feel at home and thrive. We welcome and nurture theater majors and non-majors alike: as scholars, performers, designers, playwrights, stage managers, technicians, and audience members. We also strive to create a learning community where all students, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, or ability, are treated with equality and fairness, and where diversity is embraced as a core artistic strength.

We take deep pride in:

  • our exclusive focus on undergraduates
  • our emphasis on individual faculty mentorship
  • our outstanding faculty and staff
  • our openness as a department

Upon graduation, our majors launch professional careers in New York, Chicago, or L.A.; others enter post-graduate programs at institutions including NYU, Yale, the American Conservatory Theater, and CalArts. Still others pursue careers in medicine, education, and law, where alumni report their training in collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking enhances their skills and professional careers. We work closely with all of our students to help them attain their educational and career goals.


Our faculty and staff is composed of professional artists and scholars, teaching an innovative and rigorous academic curriculum that places equal emphasis on both theatrical practice (acting, directing, design, playwriting, stage management) and study (history, criticism, and theory). Their collective professional experience spans work in regional, community-based, off-Broadway/Broadway, and international theater settings, as well as in film and television.

Students also study and learn from exceptional visiting artists who teach in our classrooms, offer master classes, and direct and design our productions. Recent guest artists include: Tazewell Thompson, Deena Selenow, Sarah Hughes '07, Fabian Obispo, Kathy Perkins, Miranda Haymond, and Lawrence Moten. 

Beyond the Theater Department, Dartmouth also enjoys a continuous influx of preeminent visiting artists and scholars. Past guests have included Leslie Odom Jr., Nilo Cruz, Cherríe Moraga, Peter Sellars, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Alan Alda, and Anna Deavere Smith.

Our students benefit from a rich alumni network across the country. Dartmouth Theater alumni working in the profession include Niegel Smith '02, Mindy Kaling '01, David Harbour '97, Shonda Rhimes '91, Rachel Dratch '88, Melinda Lopez '86, and Jerry Zaks '68, to name just a few.


From popular musicals to original pieces to devised work to classical drama, our stages burst at the seams with a wide range of both student and faculty-directed productions. Students gain hands-on experience working in close mentorships with faculty directors and designers in our MainStage season. They also have abundant opportunities to lead their own student-driven theater productions, working as actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to develop their artistic and collaborative skills.

Every one of our performance and production opportunities is open to all Dartmouth students, regardless of major; we are proud to offer creative, experiential theatrical opportunities to every interested student.

The Sophomore Summer is a unique feature of the Dartmouth curriculum. Those interested in theater may take advantage of our Summer Theater Lab, a remarkable academic class that immerses students in performance, production, playwriting, movement, and devised and collaborative theatre techniques, setting them to work alongside professional theater artists through a series of festivals and workshops.

Each spring, several of our majors lead our Senior Spring Season, which showcases a wide variety of advanced, performance-based projects by our graduating students.


Through our Theater Foreign Study Program, many of our majors and minors study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), one of the world's great conservatories. The program enables students to develop their craft during ten weeks of intensive conservatory training while taking advantage of London's incomparable theatrical tradition and vibrant cultural scene.


Thanks to our unique partnership with Northern Stage, a leading professional regional theater located 10 minutes from campus, our students have access to extraordinary internship opportunities in acting, directing, production, and arts administration. The Theater Department-Northern Stage experiential learning term, or "E-Term", includes fifteen weeks of hands-on training in all aspects of the industry.

Students also benefit from the our close relationship with the New London Barn Playhouse, a professional summer stock theater in New London, NH. Every summer, Dartmouth students can be found onstage and behind the scenes in a variety of roles.


You're welcome to visit the Department of Theater on weekdays. Get in touch with us today and we can arrange for you to meet with faculty, engage with current students, observe a class, and/or tour our facilities. 

Please note that the Theater Department faculty does not conduct auditions or interviews; instead, all prospective students must apply directly to Dartmouth College. If you would like to submit theater materials for review with your application, please use the art supplement portal with your application. A member of the faculty will be contacted by Admissions to review your materials as part of the application process. Students are encouraged to submit those materials that best showcase their artistic passion and dedication, such as an excerpt from an original play, video of audition monologues, design renderings, or a combination thereof.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to apply to Dartmouth, we sincerely hope that you will continue to pursue your love of theater and the performing arts, and we wish you every success.