The Learned Ladies - Photo by Phylis Graber JensenApplicants to Bates interested in theater may find it helpful to learn more about our program by speaking to a member of our faculty. If you are planning to visit campus, please email the Academic Administrative Assistant (, who can make an appointment for you with a member of the department.

While you are waiting to visit check out our virtual tour!

Auditions are not required for admissions to Bates, but a resume and/or short video of your performance work and other aspects of your creative output can give your application a boost, and is a good way to introduce yourself to our department. To apply, please go to the submission portal.

Intro to Theater at Bates

The major in theater combines the study of dramatic literature from the Greeks to the present with work in acting, directing, dance, design, and film. Students acquire these skills in production and performance while learning the history and literature of one of the world’s major forms of artistic expression. Majors are prepared for graduate work in the humanities or for further professional training in theater, dance, or film. The theater major is also a valuable asset for a wide variety of careers — such as business, law, or teaching — requiring collaborative effort, public poise, imagination, and a broad background in the liberal arts.

Theater Curriculum

The department offers both a major and minor in theater. The major in theater has two tiers:

  • Theater Studies, a general introduction to all areas of theater culminating in a research thesis.
  • Theater Makers, a more intense study of theater with emphasis in either acting, directing, playwriting or design leading to a creative thesis in your selected track. Students in this tier should are strongly encouraged to select a study abroad experience that supports their particular area of interest.

Performing Opportunities

Auditions for plays are open to the entire campus community. It is not necessary to be a theater major or minor to audition or be cast in department productions. Other opportunities exist with student-run organizations like the Robinson Players and Strange Bedfellows.


The Department of Theater welcomes all members of the Bates Community – students, faculty and staff, as well as our neighbors in the wider community – to audition for plays we produce. We view auditions as an opportunity to meet new people who are interested in our program, to discover their talents, and to incorporate their talents with our work on stage.


The Department of Theater and Dance maintains three theaters in the Schaeffer/Pettigrew performing arts complex. Schaeffer Theatre is the flagship venue, a 300 seat proscenium style house; Gannett Theater is a flexible venue that seats roughly 70 -100 people; and Black Box Theater is a small laboratory space seating 40 people.

Community Engagement

Each year we bring the magic of theater to local elementary school children as part of our Tour, Teach, Perform program. The Robinson Players annually produces theater appropriate for school children, and our mainstage performances are regularly attended by the Lewiston/Auburn community.

Professional Connections

Each year we bring leading professional theater artists to campus to talk about their career and to describe their path from college. Previous students have had internships at regional theaters like Long Wharf Theater, Williamstown Theater, Portland Stage, The Public Theater Lewiston/Auburn, and Theater at Monmouth.

Study Abroad

In keeping with our global approach to theater, we encourage you to broaden your educational experience by doing a semester of study abroad.  The Study abroad office has a growing number of dance options available.