The School of Theatre Arts

Spring Feature

The Drowsy Chaperone 

The Drowsy Chaperone

Click here for the School of Theatre 2013-2014 Brochure


Why study theatre at Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Theatre Arts?

Individual Focus

At Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Theatre Arts, you will be valued for who you are. Our low faculty-student ratio ensures that you will enjoy close mentoring relationships with our faculty, and the close-knit campus community means you will never feel like "just a number." Because IWU is strictly an undergraduate institution, you will never be taught by graduate students or compete with them for opportunities.  As a part of the School of Theatre Arts  you will benefit from regular visits by guest artists currently working in the business who will educate and enlighten you to what is trending in the industry.  Students regularly take advantage of study abroad opportunities and internships. Our mission is for every student to leave the School of Theatre Arts with a broad view of the world and the desire to make a difference in their field.

 Liberal Arts Setting

12 ophelias


The School of Theatre Arts wants you to be challenged and stretch yourself. You will have the opportunity to explore all aspects of theatre through coursework and hands-on experiences, both on-campus and off. You will broaden your base of knowledge through our liberal arts program. The liberal arts curriculum at IWU enables students in The School of Theatre Arts to not only explore all aspects of theatre, but also expand their studies beyond the performing arts.  This curriculum provides Wesleyan theatre students with a broad perspective and deeper understanding that enhances their creative endeavors. 

Personal Passion

By the end of your four years, you will feel enabled to succeed. You will have begun your own network of contacts, through our alumni, your internship, and your jobs working summer stock. You will have started to build your professional resume, have a  game plan for beginning your career, and a superior educational foundation on which to build your dreams.

Hay Fever


 Financial Assistance

IIWU is considered one of Kiplinger's "Best Values in Private College."  The School of Theatre Arts is pleased to offer scholarships based on talent and/or academic performance.  Students planning to major in the BFA in Acting, BFA in Design & Technology, BFA in Music Theatre or the BA in Theatre programs will be considered for the Alumni Fine Arts for Theatre Scholarships or Alumni Fine Arts for Music Theatre Scholarships.  These scholarships are renewable for four years and are awarded on the basis of a combination of audition or portfolio evaluations and high school academic performance.  Four year awards range from $32,000 to $48,000.  All academic scholarships are awarded based upon the academic record submitted in your application.  In addition, IWU offers need-based grants and loans.

 Class Act

Make an appointment to visit our campus and see for yourself! Once you visit you may never want to leave.Click here to go to Auditions_Admissions.


Select 2012 Summer SoTA Credits:

Current SoTA Students:

Annie Simpson , BFA MT '13, Hairspray for New Theatre, MO
Ben Mulgrew , BFA MT '14, Kick it Up! for Six Flags Great America, IL
Blake Brauer , BFA MT '12, 2012 Summer Season for Cabin Nite
     Dinner Theater, AK
Caitlin Borek , BFA MT '12, State Fair & Plain and Fancy for Amish
      Acres, IN
Christine Polich , BFA ACT '13, The Lost Colony , NC
Ian Coulter-Buford, BFA MT '12, Aladdin for The Muny, MO
Isaac Sherman , BFA MT '13, 2012 Season for Peach State Summer
      Theatre, GA
Joey Chu , BFA MT '14, Spring Awakening for Out North
      Contemporary Art House, AK
Josh Levinson , BFA MT '13, 2012 Season for Shenandoah Summer
      Music Theatre, VA
Kate Rozycki , BFA ACT '13, The Affray: Lincoln's Last Murder Case for
      B-N Convention & Visitors Bureau, IL
Marek Zurowski , BFA MT '14, 2012 Summer Season for Theatre West Virginia, WV
Mary K. Holm , BA THEA '12, 2012-13 Arkansas Repertory Theatre
      Season , AR

SoTA Alumni: 

Matt Wolfe, BFA MT '98 , Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson at the Neil Simon Theatre, NYC, NY

Adam Estes , BFA MT, Broadway Melody for Sunset Playhouse, WI
Alex Pagels , BFA MT '10, Wonderful Town for Gallery Players, NY
Alison C. Vesely , BA '79, Melanie Keller , BFA ACT '97, Hayley L. Rice ,
      BFA ACT '04 &  Michael Holding , BFA ACT '12, The Merchant of Venice
      for First Folio Theatre, IL
Amanda Dehnert , BFA MT '94, Eastland: A New Musical for Lookingglass
      Theatre Company, IL
Amanda Dehnert , BFA MT '94, The Verona Project for Northwestern
      University's AMTP, IL
Amanda Hentsch , BFA MT '09, Legally Blonde for Devonshire Playhouse, IL
Andrew Schneider , BA THEA '03, Troilus & Cressida for The Wooster Group,
      NY and abroad
Bradely Smoak , BFA MT '07, Alice in Wonderland for Opera Theatre of
      Sait Louis, MO
Britta Whittenberg , BFA ACT '11, I Love Bob for Parallel Exit, NY
Bryonha Parham , BFA MT '07 The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess for Jeffery
      Richards & Associates - Broadway, NY
Casey Erin Clark, BFA MT '04, Les Miserables for NETworks - National
      Tour, domestic
Casey Erin Clark , BFA MT '04, The Sound of Music for Stages St. Louis, MO
Christine Moore , BFA THEA '95 & Matt Raftery , BFA MT '95, God of Carnage
         for New Harmony Theatre, IN
Daniele Plisz-Kastner , BFA MT '02, RENT for American Theatre Company, IL
Elizabeth Hope Williams , BFA MT '06, Exit, Pursued by a Bear for Theatre
      Seven of Chicago, IL
Evan Kasprzak, BFA MT '10, Newsies for Disney Theatricals-Broadway, NY
Hannah Kramer , BFA ACT '09, La Traviata for Amore Opera, NY
Jeremy Trager , BFA MT '98, Henry V for Promethean Theatre, IL
Jonathan Cable , BFA MT '07, Sisters of Swing for Infinity Theatre
      Company, MD
Julia VanderVeen , BFA MT '07, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play for NC
      Stage, NC
Katie Whalley , BFA MT '09, Parade for Cygnet Theatre, CA
Keely Vasquez , BFA MT '94 & Holly Stauder , BFA MT '94, Hairspray for
      Drury Lane Theatre, IL
Kevin Schuering , BFA MT '09, Carousel for National Asian Artist Project , NY
Kyle Blair , BA THEA '09 & Nick Bursoni , BFA D/T '11, 2011-12 Season for
      Playhouse on the Square, TN
Larry Neumann, Jr. , BA THEA '81, The Iceman Cometh for Goodman Theatre,
Marti Lyons , BFA ACT '08, Last Duck for Jackalope Theatre Company, IL
Meredith Siemensen , BFA ACT '97, Good Enough for Erasing the Distance
      at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre, IL
Mike Yarnell , BFA ACT '08, Cabaret for Just Passing By Theatre Company, IL
Nicholas Reinhart , BFA MT '11 & Erin Daly , BFA MT '10, Cabaret for Four
      Play Theatre Company, IL
Peter Durkin , BFA MT '07, Andy Junk BFA ACT '08, Amber Robinson , BFA
      ACT '08 &  Diane Teng , BA THEA '09, Melancholy Play for Grey Ghost
      Theatre, IL
Ryan Naimy , BFA MT '07, A Chorus Line for Crown Uptown Theatre, KS
Ryan Simpson , BFA MT '10, 2012 Summer Season for Theatre at
      Monmouth, ME
Sara Gorsky , BA THEA '07, The Jammer for Pine Box Theatre Company, IL
Sarah Bockel , BFA MT '10, Floyd Collins for BoHo Theatre, IL
Zachary Zube , BFA MT '06, Pippin for Music Theatre Company, IL  



Music and Lyrics by Edward Kleban Bookby Linda Kline and Lonny Price

October 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 @ 8:00PM

October 13 @ 2:00PM

 A Class Act provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how a musical is created and brought to the stage.  It is based on the real life of composer/lyricist Edward Kleban winner of a 1976 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the lyrics to A Chorus Line.  Though put together after his death, Kleban is the composer and lyricist for all of the songs in the show.  Linda Kline, a personal friend of Kleban, worked with Lonny Price to write the libretto for this Broadway musical which first premiered off-Broadway in October of 2000 and went to Broadway in early 2001. The show includes characters like the late Michael Bennett, Marvin Hamlisch and Lehman Engle, the founder of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and was nominated for five 2001 Tony Awards including Best Musical.


Hay Fever

by Noel Coward

November 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 @ 8:00PM

November 24 @ 2:00PM


All David and Judith Bliss want is a quiet weekend in the country with some guests. When their high-spirited “children” appear with guests of their own, chaos ensues. Misunderstandings, flaring tempers and a general house full of drama turn the quiet weekend into a hilarious farce. "An evening of intoxicating escape." - The New York Times  "Light, luminous, and charming, and hilariously funny." - The New York Post


TWELVE OPHELIAS (a play with broken songs)

by Caridad Svich

February 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 @ 8:00PM

February 16 @ 2:00 PM

 Shakespeare's Ophelia dreams of Pop-Tarts and a moody Rude Boy who in another life might be called Hamlet.   Set in neo-Elizabethan Appalachia, this whimsical, lyrical play with songs turns the Hamlet story on its ear in a world where desire swallows girls whole and nothing is ever what it seems.  This show is intended for mature audiences.



Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar

April 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 @ 8:00PM

April 13 @ 2:00PM


The show begins when a die-hard musical-theater fan plays his favorite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet trying to find, and keep, her true love. The Drowsy Chaperone is a parody of the 1920/30s Broadway musicals written by the writing team that created the popular Canadian television series Slings and Arrows. It was nominated for thirteen 2006 Tony Awards winning five, including Best Musical.



For ticket and additional season information please see our Box Office page. Click Here

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Viva la Flora

Official Florist for IWU Theatre



Working - Spring 2008

Director, Playwright Jent '84 to Speak at Commencement
Deanna Jent will deliver Illinois Wesleyan's Commencement address to the Class of 2014 on Sunday, May 4. Over 500 students are expected to participate, one of the largest classes in University history.

Khan '93 Describes Path to Oscar Punditry
Tariq Khan '93, the Fox network's official Academy Awards writer and on-air commentator, describes how his lifelong passion became a vocation.

12 Ophelias Provocative Twist on Classic Tale
The play 12 Ophelias, on stage at McPherson, takes characters on a journey beyond Shakespeare, where Ophelia becomes an agent of her own fate and Hamlet is identified as "Rude Boy."

Exploring Theatre's Potential for Social Change
Launching a new theatre company, alumni and students creatively worked side-by-side with IWU faculty to create an indelible portrayal of the struggles of America's working poor.

Fashion-Savvy Student Makes the Cover
The fashion statements of model and acting major Priscilla Moy '15 brought her to the attention -- and the cover -- of Keel, an international fashion magazine.

Company, Students Find Success Through Internships
Revolution Dancewear LLC. has found success in hiring Titans as interns and full-time employees, where the students and alumni in turn find creative and career success.