Shakespeare and Performing Arts

A signature living-learning opportunity for women and men in MBU's new co-ed University College.

Apply NowInfo. SheetAll Programs

Earn your bachelor’s degree in performing arts with an emphasis in music, theatre, or film in 3 years, and explore opportunities to accelerate your path to a Master of Letters, a Master of Arts in Teaching, or a Master of Business Administration.

Why study performing arts at Mary Baldwin University?

The performing arts have long enjoyed a place at the center of a Mary Baldwin education, with music being one of the seminary’s original core disciplines. The university’s new performing arts major is designed to strengthen the existing synergies between theatre, film, and music while opening new connections with our master’s degree programs in education, business, and Shakespeare and Performance. Performing arts students at MBU enjoy unparalleled opportunities for specialization and collaboration, and they are well prepared for success in a career or graduate school.

Mary Baldwin theatre students 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 the study of theatre history and literature provide a well-rounded foundation and strong preparation for graduate school.

MBU’s film minor focuses on the critical or practical study of cinema as an art form, a mass media industry, and a social artifact that both reflects and shapes human culture.

Music at Mary Baldwin offers flexibility not often found in larger institutions. Students have the opportunity to pursue all aspects of music, including performance, education, and arts management.



Our Shakespeare and Performing Arts program has several distinctive features:

  • Skip your senior year of high school or enter right after graduation.
  • Immediate introduction to and opportunities to interact with arts organizations (including American Shakespeare Center, Heifetz
    International Music Institute, and Virginia Film Festival).
  • Expanded exploration and additional professional opportunities with regional and national arts groups in your second and third years.
  • Programming with MBU’s respected graduate programs in education and Shakespeare and Performance, including graduate student mentors.
  • Real-world experience taking a theatre production from conception to performance; a fi lm from storyboard to production; or a musical composition from score to performance.
  • Access to MBU alumni in the performing arts for mock interviews and consultations.
  • The opportunity to live with other students in the program in an environment that encourages sharing, collaboration, pooling resources, and problem-solving.

How it works

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 and 1000 SAT or equivalent ACT score
  • Earn your BA in performing arts with an emphasis in theatre, music, or film in 3 years, and a Master of Letters, Master of Arts in Teaching, or Master of Business Administration in 4 to 5 years (total)




The Leadership Advantage is our promise that every undergraduate will connect ideas with action through outstanding academics and unparalleled opportunities to apply that knowledge. By the time you graduate, you’ll be resilient, confident in your strengths, and prepared to be the architect of your life.

Founded in 1842, Mary Baldwin is a distinctive small university offering a variety of coeducational master’s and doctoral programs while remaining one of the nation’s oldest women’s colleges. At the undergraduate level, the Mary Baldwin College for Women serves students on the college’s historic main campus in downtown Staunton, Virginia, and Baldwin Online and Adult Programs serve both men and women on campus and at locations throughout Virginia. Graduate programs include health sciences, offered in a state-of the-art facility on our Fishersville campus; as well as education and Shakespeare studies available on campus and online.

  • How do I apply? There is a special application to let us know you’re interested in the Shakespeare and Performing Arts program. You can complete the application online.
  • What are the financial benefits? Save a year of tuition by completing your undergraduate requirements in three years.
  • Do I have to graduate in three years? We will give you the resources and plan to complete the program in three years, but you are not required to do so.
  • Will I be able to study abroad? May Term is the perfect opportunity for students in the Shakespeare and Performing Arts program to study abroad and have meaningful international experiences led by MBU faculty. If a student wants a longer study abroad, it may take longer to graduate.

Contact Information

Shakespeare and Performance