Each year, the department presents an extensive season of theatrical performances featuring students of many majors.

Students participate in productions that embrace a wide range of theatrical traditions, including recent contemporary works, classical dramas, Broadway musicals, children’s plays, liturgical presentations, improvisational and interactive theatre pieces, and dance ensemble concerts.

In addition, a variety of showcase performances and special projects — such as student one-acts, staged readings, and laboratory productions — are presented throughout the year, providing numerous acting, directing, design, and management opportunities as well as the ability to receive academic credit toward graduation for participation in both mainstage and second stage experiences.

Current Season

Director: Lee F. Orchard
Audition Dates: August 23 and 24, 2017

Location: Studio Theatre

Performances: Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 7, and 8 at 2 p.m.

About the Performance

Doctor Wangel is a doctor in a small town on the west coast of Norway. He has two daughters by his first marriage, Bolette and Hilde. After the death of his first wife, he married Ellida, who is much younger than he is. She is the daughter of a lighthouse-keeper, and has grown up where the fjord meets the open sea. 

Ten years earlier Ellida had been engaged to a seaman. After murdering a captain he had to escape, but asked her to wait for him to come back and fetch her. When he returns after all these years to take her away with him, Dr. Wangel realizes that he must give Ellida the freedom to choose between staying with him or going away with the stranger.

Director: R. Andrew White
Audition Dates: Aug. 23 and 24, 2017

Location: University Theatre

Performances: Nov. 3 and 10 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 2 p.m.

About the Performance:
Cursed by the Rime Witch, the town of Radio Falls is stuck in a perpetual winter. Rose, the only child left in town, aims to free it from the curse, but finds the task more complicated than anticipated.

Audition Dates: Oct. 2017 – dates TBD

Performances: Dec. 5 and 6 at 8:00 p.m.

About the Performance:
One-act plays, directed by senior theatre majors as part of their capstone coursework for the theatre department. Titles to be determined.


Directors: Ann Kessler and Salena Elish

Audition Dates: August 29 and 30, 2017

Performances: Feb. 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.             

and Feb. 10 and 11 at 2 p.m.

Location: University Theatre

About the Performance: 
The Dance Ensemble takes the stage in the month of February, bringing student and faculty choreographed dance to the Valparaiso community.

Director: Lee F. Orchard
Audition Dates: Jan. 16 and 17, 2018

Performances: April 20 and 27 at 8 p.m. and April 21, 22, 28, and 29 at 2 p.m.

Location: University Theatre

About the Performance: 

A feisty parolee follows her dreams, based on a page from an old travel book, to a small town in Wisconsin and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. It is for sale but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why you want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin’ at the Spitfire Grill.

Audition Dates: March 2018 – dates TBD

 Location: Studio Theatre

Performances: May 5, 2018

About the Performance:
Join us on May 5th for the second Valpo New Play Festival where we feature staged readings of new work written by undergraduate playwrights.





Past Performances

Typically, four to five main-stage and a variety of second-stage productions are presented annually in two separate performance spaces. The main-stage productions are directed and designed by the theatre faculty, while second-stage shows are most often produced by selected students and guest artists.

Past main stage performances have included such titles as Mr. Burns, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), The Bacchae, Sylvia, Godspell, Mosque Alert, The Eyre Affair, God of Carnage, The School for Lies, An Evening of Short Plays by Beckett, Dido and Aeneas, Eurydice, Arcadia, Macbeth, Sweeney Todd, Marriage, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, How I Learned to Drive, The House of Bernarda Alba, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Circle Mirror Transformation, Hansel and Gretel, The Arabian Nights, Floyd Collins, The Universal Wolf, Tartuffe, Almost Maine, Twelfth Night, Cabaret, and Fuddy Meers.

See photographs and video footage from recent productions »

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"One thing that drew me to Valpo was the variety of shows that the department performs. In just one season we did a translation of a Russian show; Sweeney Todd, which is one of the best musicals ever written; Macbeth, which is Shakespeare and difficult; and Arcadia, considered one of the best-written plays of the 20th century. We’re given challenges, that’s for sure."