Welcome to Theater & Dance!

We pride ourselves on being an inclusive department. Majors and non-majors, first-years and upper-class students, and Five College students all work together to produce our season of theater and dance. There are lots of opportunities -- extracurricular and curricular -- for all students.

Check out our frequently asked questions, especially if you are a new student, or a high school student wondering about submitting the Arts Supplement with your application.


All of our production and studio-project work involves students participating on an extracurricular basis, including students of every major, new students, and Five College students.


Auditions are open to everyone, including first-year students. Usually, no preparation is necessary. 

To find out about performance opportunities, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, visit our Auditions page, or stop by the departmental lounge and office in Webster Hall. 


In addition to performing, students frequently join run crews or stage management teams. Contact a faculty member about a specific project in which you are interested!

Student worker in production shop

If you are interested in work-study or volunteering in the scene shop, contact our Technical Manager Jeff Bird at jbird@amherst.edu. For other inquiries about other production related opportunities, please contact our Production Director, Jonathan Doyle, at jmdoyle@amherst.edu.

For opportunities in the costume shop, contact our Costume Shop Supervisor, Carla Froeberg at cgfroeberg@amherst.edu.

If you are interested in working in front of the house for our shows (box office and ushering), contact Ryan O'Donnell our Academic Department Coordinator.

You can find a list of all work-study opportunities on our student employment page.


From time to time, we invite professional guest artists to give workshops. Look for announcements on FacebookInstagram, and our Season Events page.


Every semester, we offer courses that require no prior experience. Our core courses offer a great introduction to the department. 

We also offer courses in the history, literature and theory of theater and dance, as well as beginning courses in dance technique and spoken expression.

The Core Courses

In the core courses, key experiences and principles of collaboration and creative problem-solving are applied to the fundamentals of improvisation and composition in movement, visual thinking, and acting. A course in studying performance in context is also open to anyone, with no pre-requisite. Our core courses require no prior experience, and are offered every year:

  • THDA 111: The Language of Movement
  • THDA 112: Visual Thinking
  • THDA 113: Action and Character

Further Courses

Following an introductory course, non-majors may pursue a particular strand of interest in playwriting, choreography, acting, dance, performance installation, video production, visual and sound design, and directing. 

We encourage students with interests in creative writing, music, video and film, visual art, architecture, and poetry, to complement your studies with a related course in Theater and Dance. Students also often discover interdisciplinary connections with history, psychology, anthropology, political science, cultural studies, and issues of race, gender and sexuality. 

See the Courses page to get a feel for what may interest you. Please feel free to contact any faculty member to discuss interests and course options.  

Welcome New Students!

Welcome Class of 2026 and Transfer Students!


Are you a fan of theater and dance? 

Maybe you are already an actor, dancer, playwright, or designer.  Or love working behind the scenes!

Or perhaps you are curious. 

We look forward to helping you get involved in theater and dance at Amherst. Our courses and production season will help you pursue interests in acting, dancing, choreography, playwriting, directing, design, and much more.

At the heart of our program is collaboration and making performances.  Hundreds of Amherst students join us every year.  We hope you will be one of them!

All auditions and introductory courses are open to new students: no experience necessary!  We are also a member of Five College Dance: you can take courses at Hampshire, Smith, Mount Holyoke and the University of Massachusetts. Theater and dance auditions at all of the schools are generally open to all Five College students.

Here are some links to help you get started:

We will be updating our events and auditions pages as opportunities come up -- and also posting on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  We always welcome first-year and transfer students to get involved, so please do check back for more info!

If you have any questions about courses, shows, work opportunities, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at rdbashford88@amherst.edu, or Ryan O'Donnell, our Academic Department Coordinator, or any other faculty or staff member of the department.  We would love to hear from you.

Ron Bashford
Associate Professor & Chair
Amherst Theater and Dance