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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:


We will be having auditions for Almost, Maine on August 29 and 30 at Fletcher Collins Theatre. Please arrive at the auditions at 7 PM. There are reading copies of the play in Deming 010.

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.

Motley Shakespeare

The Motley Shakespeare Players revel in the ephemerality of theater with performances tailored to each audience and venue. Materializing out of the Shenandoah Valley and patching together the varied talents of our company, Motley Shakes reaches out to draw people into the creative acts of making and studying theater. Threading actors with audience, everyone becomes a Player as we explore, expand, and explode what the plays of Shakespeare, and others, can be.

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.


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

“My goal, as we sailed from New York on the SS Independence, was to take it all in,” said M. Elizabeth “Betty” Swope when recalling her trip to Spain through Mary Baldwin’s Junior Year Abroad program. That year, and that trip, set the...
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Students Give Back Through Social Work Program

When Rob and Sue Warfield Caples ’60 gave to Mary Baldwin College to start an accredited social work program, they left a lasting mark on the college community. In 2007, 148 students petitioned the college to begin accreditation processes for a Bachelor of Social...
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Tracy “Lolita” Burks Healy ’87

It started as an ordinary night out with girlfriends. Lolita Healy and her friends kicked back and ordered cocktails, but when the drinks arrived, Burks thought something was missing; the glasses needed color, style, and personality to match the women sipping from...
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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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