Theatre hero


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, 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 mainstage productions.

Current Season

Director: R. Andrew White
Audition Dates: Aug. 21, 2019

Location: University Theatre

Performances: Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 at 8 p.m.

and Sept. 28, 29, Oct. 5, 6 at 2 p.m.

About the Performance:
Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word.  After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does.

Director: Lee F. Orchard

Vocal Director: Maura Cock
Musical Director: Andrew Flash

Audition Dates: Sept. 4, 2019

Location: University Theatre

Performances: Nov. 8, 15 at 8 p.m.

and Nov. 10, 17 at 2 p.m.

About the Performance:
Hailed as a “revelatory revue full of wonderful moments” and a “funny, affectionate and revealing tribute to musical theatre’s greatest living composer and lyricist,” Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words…and music.  Through the use of exclusive interview footage, audiences get an inside look at the personal life and artistic process of famed composer, Stephen Sondheim.

His story.  His inspiration.  His genius.  The tapestry of creativity that characterizes Stephen Sondheim remained largely undiscussed, especially by the man himself, until the creation of Sondheim on Sondheim.  Ranging from beloved to obscure, the carefully selected two-dozen songs hang from a framework of in-depth video interviews, delving into Sondheim’s personal and artistic process.

Audition Dates: Oct. 2019 – dates TBD

Performances: Dec. 4 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: Aug. 27, 2019

Performances: Jan. 30 and 31, 2020 at 8 p.m.

and Feb. 1 and 2, 2020 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. 14, 2020

Performances: Feb 19, 20, 21, 2020 at 8 p.m.

and Feb 22 and 23, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Location: Studio Theatre

About the Performance: 
Admissions is a new play that explodes the ideals and contradictions of liberal white America.  Sherri Rosen-Mason is head of the admissions department at a New England prep school, fighting to diversify the student body.  Alongside her husband, the school’s Headmaster, they’ve largely succeeded in bringing a stodgy institution into the twenty-first century.  But when their only son sets his sights on an Ivy league university, personal ambition collides with progressive values, with convulsive results.

Director: R. Andrew White

Audition Dates: Jan 14, 2020

Location: University Theatre

Performances: April 24 and May 1, 2020 at 8 p.m.

and April 25, 26, May 2, 3, 2020 at 2 p.m.

About the Performance:
Under the guidance of their beloved mother, the four young March sisters – tempestuous Jo, motherly Meg, shy Beth, and spoiled baby Amy – struggle to keep their family going while Father’s away in the Civil War.  in this beautifully dramatized adaptation of the classic novel, even as privation, illness, and sibling rivalry cast their shadows, each girl strives to find her true self.

Audition Dates: TBD

Location: Duesenberg Recital Hall

Performance: May 4, 2020 at 7PM

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

Past Performances

Past main stage performances have included such titles as The Dream of the Burning Boy, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Our Town, Pippin, The Lady from the Sea, Rose and the Rime, The Spitfire Grill, 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 »

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.

Stefan Roseen ’15