About Theatre and Dance at Wayne

About us

Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University offers undergraduate and graduate students professional training in performance, design, stage management and arts leadership. Graduate students in the MFA receive assistantships with generous stipends and tuition waivers. Undergraduate students may be eligible for in-state tuition and talent scholarships.

With an 11 show season, students have multiple opportunities in production augmenting a robust academic program. Annually, 8-10 guest artists conduct master classes, direct or design productions, and mentor students. Internships are available at many of the neighboring theatres in Detroit including the Fox Theatre, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Broadway in Detroit.

Wayne State's commitment to arts education includes learning communities, dedicated housing for art students, and scholarships for arts activities.

Theatre and Dance proudly works within the community providing touring productions for elementary schools, social justice projects in the high schools, and a cabaret troupe entertaining civic organizations around the region.

Being located in the heart of the cultural center of Michigan, students have easy access to multiple theatres, museums, art galleries, the symphony, opera, and ballets of Detroit.

History of Theatre and Dance at Wayne
WSU Theatre and Dance


Theatre and Dance studies have been offered at Wayne State University since the late 1920s. Since then, Theatre and Dance studies 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 2013, the Department of Dance merged with the Theatre department to become the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance.

Learn more about Maggie Allesee here

The Future

Gateway Performance Complex
The Gateway Performance Complex (on Cass)
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

from corner
Gateway Performance Complex (on Forest and Cass)


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

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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.