Theatre Performance Major

Where creativity takes the stage

Looking for your starring role? As a theatre performance major at UNI, you’ll get acting roles starting your first year here.

Working closely with our industry-recognized faculty, you’ll be trained in a number of acting techniques and approaches, stage combat, improv, character creation, how to audition and much more.

You'll have the chance to apply your knowledge by taking part in one of our 14 performance opportunities each year, and you’ll even learn the behind-the-scenes work by taking classes in lighting, production and set design, costume design and theatrical makeup.

Performance students also have the opportunity to pursue roles behind the scenes such as: assistant director, dramaturg, fight/dance captain and stage combat choreographer.

With an emphasis on collaboration, creativity and professionalism, this major prepares students for entrance into the profession and gives them the tools for lifelong learning and career development. Our graduates go on to successful theatre careers across the country – from Broadway to Hollywood!

Two singers on stage in full costume.


Our department is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). This accreditation indicates an ability to provide a base of academic strength and operational integrity.


of UNI graduates

are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.


performance opportunities

 each year. This includes four mainstage productions and several smaller productions throughout the year.


Find out More about Theatre: Performance

Fill out your information here and we'll be in touch!

Contact us directly at:

Department of Theatre
University of Northern Iowa
257 W 27th St
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423

Phone: 319-273-6386

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Behind the scenes with TheatreUNI

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Common career areas for graduates of this program include:

  • Stage and/or film actor
  • Director
  • Vocal coach
  • Fight choreographer
  • Acting coach
  • Voiceover artist

Course Sampling

Movement for the Actor 
Designed to encourage relaxation, limberness and strength. Exploration of ways in which movement and sensory work can trigger and influence character work and emotional connection.

Acting Studio I 
Students will learn the Meisner Technique of Acting and how to put it into practice. Performance students will gain freedom in their work through the use of imagination, improv and scene work. Students will gain a process in order to personalize and spontaneously maneuver their way through a script. 

Stage Combat 
Basic skills of modern and historic styles of fencing, swordplay and other modes of fighting, and application of these skills to the planning and safe execution of an effective and artistic stage fight.

ninja Mikayla Wahl

It’s Your Time to Shine

TheatreUNI produces an eclectic, well-designed mainstage season including musicals, heightened language texts, comedies, new works and plays that address underserved populations. This work is supported by a broad range of professional guest artists and outside industry professionals, as well as opportunities to view professional theatre productions.

Hear from a student – Tatiana Sandoval


“As a student in the department, I’ve been able to get involved on a deeper level. As a founding member of the Multicultural Theatrical Society, I’ve worked together with fellow students and professors to create a more equitable environment, and to make sure students’ voices are heard. We’ve held performances, educational outreach events, panels and workshops within the department. Our work centers on educating people, and celebrating our differences, and it’s really amazing to see the impact we’ve been able to make. We’ve not only grown as students and performers, but I feel like we’ve really grown as people.”

– Theatre Performance student Tatiana Sandoval