School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

Two male students acting on stage during theater performance


The Department of Theatre is a community of artistic scholars and practitioners pursuing an immersive exploration of the human condition with a focus on the imagination and a mastery of skills and techniques. Through rigorous coursework and robust production values, faculty foster personal growth, social responsibility, inclusion and diversity, and professional success. There are five MainStage theatre productions each year as well as a SecondStage series. The Oakland University Department of Theatre is one of three Michigan universities that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST.)

Auditions Senior Showcase
Academic Programs
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree curriculum offers a platform for the study of theatre within the framework of a broad-based, liberal arts curriculum. Students gain an understanding of fundamentals, as well as a fuller intellectual grasp of the performing arts.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), the initial professional theatre degree, places primary emphasis on the development of skills, concepts and sensitivities essential to the theatre professional in three areas of concentration:
  • Acting
    The BFA in acting develops professional competency through performance, repertory and theoretical studies for students whose primary interest lies in acting and directing. Training emphasizes a variety of acting skills and offers opportunities to perform and direct. 
  • Musical Theatre
    The BFA in musical theatre is for students interested in acting, singing and dance. A variety of acting classes, individual vocal instruction, and training in ballet, jazz and modern dance are available. Performance opportunities exist in musical theatre and opera, in both workshop settings and fully staged productions.
  • Theatre Design and Technology
    The BFA in design and technology serves students interested in theatrical design, technical production or stage management. Training in stagecraft, stage management and scenic, costume and lighting design may lead to advanced projects in these areas according to each student's interests and capabilities.
To earn a minor in theatre, students must complete a minimum of 20 credits. View more information in the academic catalog.

Each academic degree program requires students to audition to be admitted into the program.

Your first step is to apply for admission to the University. To apply online, go to the Oakland University Admissions site.
MainStage Productions
  • Urinetown | October 10-13 and 16-20, 2019
  • Blue Stockings | November 14-17 and 21-24, 2019
  • Macbeth | February 6-9 and 13-16, 2020
  • Cabaret | March 26-29 and April 1-5, 2020
  • The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse | May-June, 2020
    • This production performs four times in Varner Recital Hall and tours throughout May and June. Learn how to bringThe Town Mouse and the Country Mouse to your school by emailing
    • Select performances shadow-signed for the Deaf by Synergy on Stage.

Click here to purchase tickets online. 

SecondStage Productions
  • Orestes | September 6-8, 2019
  • A Trip to Broadway: Scenes, Songs, and Snippets | December 2-3, 2019
  • Facing Our Truth: 10-minute Plays on Trayvon, Race, and Privilege | December 5-7, 2019
  • Nightclub Cabarets | April 7-8 and 13-14, 2020
  • Major Barbara | April 16-18, 2020

Click here to purchase tickets online. 

Past Productions
In a typical year Oakland University's Theatre program presents five outstanding productions, playing to packed houses and rave reviews. In addition, theatre students prepare and present the Meadow Brook Estate Cabaret and our Senior Showcase, which connects senior theatre majors with industry professionals in New York City. Photos from many of the shows are viewable on our Facebook page .
  • 2018-19: Into the Woods; Lysistrata Remix; Seagull; The Who's Tommy; James and the Giant Peach
  • 2017-18: Bullets Over Broadway; Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet; The School for Scandal; Hands on a Hardbody; The Three Little Pigs
  • 2016-17: The Scarlet Pimpernel; The House of Bernarda Alba; Rumors; A Chorus Line; Wiley and the Hairy Man
  • 2015-16: Oklahoma!; Equus; Faust(US); Assassins; The Adventures of Pinocchio
  • 2014-15: The Life; The Liar; A Doll's House; She Loves Me; Pinkalicious the Musical
  • 2013-14: CARRIE the musical; Blithe Spirit; Under Milk Wood; Sweet Charity; Freckleface Strawberry
In Residence

Theatre Program Partner - Synergy on Stage

Synergy On Stage is a dynamic company based in the Metro-Detroit area specializing in entertainment interpreting. They incorporate American Sign Language (ASL) enhancement into several Oakland University theatre productions, creating an unforgettable event for both Deaf and hearing audiences. Learn more about Synergy On Stage.

Nightclub Cabaret Acts

The public performances of "Nightclub Cabaret Acts" were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19, but our musical theatre students continued working on this project in order to share them with our audiences remotely. While the performances are free, you have the option to donate the equivalent of a ticket price of $10 (or a greater amount of your choosing) to the Covid-19 Student Relief Fund. This fund will immediately support students who are dealing with financial emergencies and who are unable to meet essential expenses due to a temporary or unexpected hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enjoy the performances!

Josh Young, instructor | Frank Pitts, piano

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