Wayne State University

About Theatre and Dance at Wayne

Mission Statement

We engage, educate, and empower diverse student/artists through the rigorous study, practice, and production of theatre and dance to enrich Detroit and global communities.

History of Theatre and Dance at WayneHistory

Theatre and Dance studies have been offered at Wayne State since the late 1920s. Since then the departments continued to grow from activities within the Speech and Physical Education Department, respectively, to become their own vital parts of the Wayne State community. In 2000, Maggie Allesee named the Department of Dance with a generous gift. Later, when the Department of Dance merged with Theatre in 2013, the department became the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance.

The FutureGateway Performance Complex

Wayne State University will enhance the growing and vibrant area just south of campus by creating the Gateway Performance Complex, a $65 million performance complex for theatre, music, dance and arts-related events. 

As part of the complex, the current Hilberry Theatre will be renovated to become the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center (GVJC), a high-caliber venue for music and dance performances. The 200-seat GVJC will offer ample seating for parents, patrons, donors, and community members for dance events.  The renovated space also will enable the dance program to feature master classes and lectures.

The Gateway Performance Complex will herald a new approach to theatre at Wayne State. Learn more about our future home, the Gateway Performance Complex, here

Learn more ABOUT the department by clicking one of the links below

150 years in the heart of Detroit