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Students of theatre become artists, whether they choose to be on stage or back stage. Courses in the technical aspects of theatre, acting, directing, and stage management, as well as courses in theatre history and literature provide a well-rounded grounding in theatre and strong preparation for graduate school. At Mary Baldwin, all students have five opportunities each year to participate in a main-season show — including an annual musical — and get hands-on experience. Students design and run lights, stage-manage, build sets, design costumes, handle publicity, and manage props. All female roles are performed by Mary Baldwin students.

Students can pursue a minor in theatre or a BA/MLitt in theatre and Shakespeare and Performance. Our 3+2 program lets you finish your undergraduate work in three years and your Master of Letters during the next two years. Students may then audition for the MFA company to receive their terminal Master of Fine Arts degree in a total of six years. Theatre is one of three emphasis in the Performing Arts major and well as one of the main components of MBU’s Shakespeare and Performing Arts track — a coeducational, accelerated degree program with special networking and collaborative opportunities.

Why study theatre at Mary Baldwin University?


  • Mary Baldwin produces five shows every year
  • All women’s roles are restricted to students and students fill all production roles
  • High level of opportunities to participate in productions allows students to get more exposure to theatre than they would at larger institutions
  • Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the area of the theatre that interests them: scene painting, set building, singing, acting, publicity, playwriting, stage managing, etc.
  • The collaborative nature of producing each show reinforces skills in organization, teamwork, leadership, and responsibility
  • Faculty work closely with students in all aspects of the discipline
  • With professor permission, an undergraduate can take graduate classes in the masters level Shakespeare and Performance program
  • Undergraduates are encouraged to audition for graduate-level productions
  • Undergraduates are encouraged to pursue a variety of internships in professional theatre
  • Theatre, by nature, is a lot of work … and a lot of fun

The Arts at Mary Baldwin


Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC)

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)
Virginia Theatre Association

Up Next:

November 11-13 and 16-20
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Music and lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Sheinkin, Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Directed by Michelle Laurence
Musical direction by Brian Holsopple

Order tickets online

Local Theaters

American Shakespeare Center

As the world’s only replica of Shakespeare’s indoor theater, the Blackfriars Playhouse, the American Shakespeare Center delights audiences at home and abroad with a fresh, energetic approach to Shakespeare.

Ampersand Arts

These are the people who shout “theatre” in a crowded fire. Ampersand is an entirely volunteer organization that engages audiences with the unique and edgy.

Clever by Half Productions

Founded by Mary Baldwin Shakespeare graduate students, Clever by Half is a traveling theatre that specializes in murder mysteries and dinner theatre.

Imagine That! Theatre

Their mission is to educate and inspire through the arts; to provide an atmosphere that encourages and enables children to appreciate and to participate in all aspects of live theatre, dance, and music while making their program accessible to children of all economic levels.

Oak Grove Theater

Founded by a Mary Baldwin University professor, starring Mary Baldwin University students … more than 50 years old the Oak Grove continues it’s strong connection with Mary Baldwin every summer. The Grove is a wonderful outdoor theater with a five play season. The summer nights are filled with music, laughter, and drama as the Oak Grove Players display their magic.


The Outsiders, Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, ART, just to name a few. ShenanArts brings the big name shows to the community starring some of the greatest in the area.

Waynesboro Players

The Players have been “bringing community to theater” for more than 40 years. Located in Waynesboro, WP has a three show season with intermittent dessert theaters.

Contact Information


Theresa K. Southerington

Professor of Theatre and holder of the Margaret Hunt Hill Chair in Humanities; BA, Mary Baldwin...
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James Allan Moyé

Adjunct Faculty Member and Director of Communication Studios; BA, East Carolina University; MFA,...
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Sarah Kennedy

Professor of English; BA, MA, Butler University; PhD, Purdue University
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Clinton A. Johnston

Adjunct Faculty Member; BA, Haverford College; MFA, University of Virginia
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Gifts That Mean The World

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Students Give Back Through Social Work Program

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Tracy “Lolita” Burks Healy ’87

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Jessica Gatewood ’00

After earning a BA in biopsychology at Mary Baldwin and a master’s degree at the University of Richmond, Jessica Gatewood was working as a biochemistry research assistant at the University of Virginia when she reached a turning point in her professional life. Instead...
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Monique Burgess ’14

College life was not a passive experience for Burgess. Her influential roles on campus included peer mentor, resident assistant, Anointed Voices of Praise Gospel Choir singer, and member of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa — applying her...
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