Theatre & Dance at Winona State University

Located in a picturesque valley in southeast Minnesota, the Theatre & Dance Department (THAD) at Winona State University offers a stimulating and enriching experience through the undergraduate theatre major, theatre minor and dance minor programs, within a supportive liberal arts context.

Theatre majors and minors focus on foundational skills in acting, directing and design, and dance minors study movement techniques, improvisation and composition. Both theatre and dance students examine the history and theory of their disciplines and acquire integrated kinesthetic, cognitive and creative skills as they develop their unique artistic voices.

Through class and production experiences, non-major students also have the opportunity to enrich their lives through the performing arts and gain access to their creative potential, which is an essential skill in any field.

The entire Winona State University community benefits from the richly varied and high quality theatre and dance events produced throughout the year by the department. Winona State University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Mission Statement

We prepare our students to be active artists and scholars in community, drawing from the distinctive forms of theatre and dance, within a liberal arts context.

As Artists and Scholars, Our Students:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of historical and cross-cultural foundations in theatre and dance as well as current practice and critical thought.
  • Apply and practice skills that require collaboration, analysis, physical expression, and self-awareness.
  • Analyze, synthesize, integrate and evaluate process and production of self and others, within the context of class, stage and studio – the laboratories of our work.
  • Participate in productions and artistic endeavors that enrich self and community.


The THAD faculty intends that the courses you take with us and the productions we work on together be directed toward helping you achieve the following educational goals:

  • Explore, expand and celebrate the human condition;
  • Learn to respond as artists to informed self-assessment by actively working toward improvement;
  • Learn to apply artistic skills to situations both within and outside the theatrical art form;
  • Learn to think critically and communicate clearly and effectively; and
  • Develop abilities and readiness to participate effectively in learning groups and collaborative processes.

Recent Conference Awards

  • Faculty and student choreography featured in seven American College Dance Association (ACDA) gala concerts since 2000, including dance minor Jenna Grochow's human error (2019), Erin Drummond's Xx (2018), and Gretchen Cohenour's Deja Trois (2013).
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) United States Institute for Theatre Technology (March 2013)Senior Dan Fredell got awarded Top
  • Techie and second place in Props in USITT National Tech Olympics 2013